Pando Days ’23


Pando Days ’23 gives Southland colleges and universities the framework and resources they need to help implement LA County’s sustainability plan. Read more about the Pando Days program series, now in its fourth season. 

Pando Days brings educators together from across the arts, humanities, sciences, and trades to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing the County — water, energy, food, housing, green space, biodiversity, jobs, equity, and more. And asks them to inspire each other. And their students. And Angelenos. And the world. With ingenious new solutions and plans.

To date, 25 colleges and universities have enrolled in the Pando Days program, with over 400 students producing 36 real-world projects implementing visionary change. Pando Days schools and projects come from all 5 Supervisorial Districts in the County, and beyond. See our impact.


How it works

The Pando Days season begins every year in the spring with outreach to fifty-some colleges, universities, and professional schools throughout the Southland. 

Instructors from across departments and disciplines apply for the opportunity to enroll their fall-term courses, studios, or labs in the Pando Days program.  

We provide a full curricular framework and a broad range of resources, including a Pando Fellowship opportunity for course instructors and honoraria. The program is offered to participating institutions free of charge.

See Overview deck below for a full description of the program, timeline, and events. College and university instructors, see Instructor’s deck for additional information on curricular resources. Pando Days Subscribing Members, see Sponsor’s deck for information on how you can get involved advising and mentoring school teams.

*For a printable version of the Instructor’s deck, click here.


This season’s lineup includes the following schools and projects:

ART CENTER COLLEGE OF DESIGN, Graduate Transportation Systems and Design 

Project: Investigate the future of mobility in the LA metro area, around 2045, through the lens of sustainability applications. 

ART CENTER COLLEGE OF DESIGN, Humanities and Sciences/Industrial Design 

Project: Provide a sanitizing solution during water-scarce emergencies, including earthquakes, wildfires, and flooding, for vulnerable communities in LA County.

ART CENTER COLLEGE OF DESIGN, Humanities and Sciences/Industrial Design 

Project: Water-efficient solutions that address cleansing needs, in particular during emergencies when water supply may be compromised.

CAL ARTS, Experience Design and Production

Project: MYCELIATE is a multi-hyphae exploration of more circular futures in Los Angeles. Using bio-based material propositions, student projects invite Angelenos to examine, imagine and expand circular and regenerative practices where we live, work, and play. In the search for nutrient exchange, CalArts artists and designers intersect with issues of community resilience, food security, building materials, water use, waste, and soil/terra health.

CAL STATE UNIVERSITY, FULLERTON, Cal State Fullerton Startup Incubator

Project: A software solution which collects data at the Food Pantry level to validate local needs and patterns. Bag/Get also contains a platform to simplify communication between Food Banks and their hundreds of partnered Pantries, as well as creating a unified database of Pantry-goers; each with a dedicated user profile to track order history & communicate dietary restrictions/needs across all participating pantries.

CAL STATE UNIVERSITY, LOS ANGELES, College of Business and Economics: Marketing 

Project: Data analysis and marketing strategy focused on eco-therapeutic programs for the blind and visually impaired, in collaboration with the Hearts for Sight Foundation (HFS).

CAL STATE UNIVERSITY, LONG BEACH, Immersive Design Research Lab / Social Design Seminar 

Project: The objective of project S.H.A.P.E (Sustainable Hubs and Public Engagement) is to create a trash-free Long Beach, promote collective action, and strengthen social relationships by using art and technology. We will create sculptural trash receptacles that represent a shared identity amongst community members with the goal of incentivizing people to engage in trash pick-up; additionally, we will incorporate data collection features that will track impact.

CAL STATE UNIVERSITY, LONG BEACH, Immersive Design Research Lab / Social Design Seminar 

Project: The creation of a novel multi-sensory experience that tells the story of endangered green sea turtles at the confluence of San Gabriel river and Coyote Creek.

CAL STATE UNIVERSITY, NORTHRIDGE, Sustainability Department 

Project: Working with students at Arminta Elementary School to compost food waste from their lunch hour.

CITRUS COLLEGE, Architecture/Drafting 

Project: A community-based energy project that will prototype solar energy innovations producing free self-sustaining power for each home where it is installed.

LOS ANGELES PIERCE COLLEGE, Art and Architecture 

Project: This linking project focuses on the development of tangible elements to support biodiversity and habitat and follows up with dissemination, education and maintenance.

LOS ANGELES TRADE TECH COLLEGE, Architecture 

Project: To solve climate change and urban heat islands, we are creating Super Shade Structure and Systems using digital twins and game engines to quickly visualize, accelerate, and simulate nature-based solutions (biomimicry) for water collection, solar energy, air purification, and soil restoration. Drag and drop a warehouse in virtual reality to observe its impact with precise engineering and scientific simulations.

MOUNT ST. MARY’S UNIVERSITY LOS ANGELES, Biology 

Project: Students are working with campus agencies to actualize a plan to transform unused land into a native-plant garden and build a living laboratory/community space with educational signs and events to inform and inspire others.

UCLA, School of Arts and Architecture, Design Media Arts, in association with CounterForce Lab 

Project: Phase II of Biophilia Treehouse, linking birds and people at the tree level by installing a series of living public sculptures that restore fractured wildlife corridors and address legacies of environmental injustice across Los Angeles County.

USC, Architecture / Landscape Architecture + Urbanism 

Project: Design and installation of a “Test Plot” on Catalina Island at the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center “Green Ravine”, to develop an ecological restoration approach that can help guide a larger vision for best restoration and stewardship practices.

USC, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, Office of Religious and Spiritual Life

Project: The Los Angeles River Pilgrimage is a contemplative journey that highlights issues of climate change along the LA River and utilizes interfaith spiritual practices to regulate stress from the climate crisis. Together we will walk along the river, participate in nature-inspired spiritual practices, and reflect upon what gives us hope and motivation for climate action.  


Pando Days ’23 calendar of events

The Pando Days calendar launches in the spring with the opening of a six-week enrollment period, concentrates program effort over the fall term, and celebrates impact over the following spring.

Pando Days Launch
April 16, 2023, Caltech

Pando Days Blitz
Sep 23, 2023, Zoom

Pando Days Premieres
Nov 28, Dec 4-8, 11, 14, 2023, Zoom

Pando Awards
April 14, 2024, Caltech


Pando Days Advisory Council

Rita Kampalath and Gary Gero, Key Advisors

Advisory Council: CSO (Chief Sustainability Officer) Strategic Taskforce members Heidrun Mumper-Drumm (chair) — Professor & Director of Sustainability Initiatives, ArtCenter College of Design; Robyn Eason — Strategic Sustainability Advisor; Dan Joldzic — CEO, Alexandria Technology; Nurit Katz — CSO, UCLA; Dean Kubani — City of Santa Monica (ret.); Maribeth Larkin — Community Organizer, Sisters of Social Service; Pablo La Roche — Director, Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies, Cal Poly Pomona; Emmanual “Cris” Liban — CSO, LA Metro; Marcela Oliva — Professor Architecture & Environmental Design, LA Trade Tech College; John Onderdonk — Assistant Vice President for Facilities Operations and Services, Caltech; Cassie Rauser — Grand Challenge at UCLA; Andy Shrader — Environmental Affairs, consulting; Sandy Skees — EVP, Porter Novelli Global Lead, Purpose & Impact, Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Services; Mark Spears — Director, Sustainable Business Practices, Walt Disney Consumer Products (ret).

Related programs

Pando Days ’22

2022 Season

Pando Days ’22 brings 15 colleges and universities together to create a more sustainable region.

Pando Days ’21

2021 Season

Ten of the most creative college and university minds take on four challenges within the LA County sustainability plan.

Pando Days 2019-20

2019-20 Season

Southland colleges and universities come together with courses, studios, and labs to build County sustainability.


Selected blog posts

Pando Days ’23 Premieres recap

The Pando Days ’23 Lineup!

And the Pando goes to…

Student voices from Pando Days


Thank you!

Pando Days is a collaboration with the CSO Taskforce for LA County with the ’23 season made possible in part by the support of our generous partners: