Department of Public Worms: Operations Coordinator

Posted: April 17, 2017

The Department of Public Worms (DPW) runs UCSB’s student-funded on-site composting programs. Students collect pre-consumer food waste from the UCSB Dining Commons and use vermicompost bins to process food waste into a rich soil amendment. Additional aerobic compost is managed on campus and both the Family Student Housing Apartment complexes. The resulting compost and worm castings are used to educate students and as a soil amendment in the Edible Campus Program, where our team will be growing produce to distribute to students at no cost through the AS Food Bank.

DPW students were also crucial partners in establishing UCSB’s off-site compost program that diverts tons of waste from the landfill each year.

The Department of Public Worms Operations Coordinator manages daily operations for food waste collection, processing, and harvesting, as well as leading other student workers on projects to expand the program as needed.

– Under the direction of career staff Recycling and Compost Program Coordinator, co-lead DPW student staff members by running weekly meetings, assigning tasks, tracking schedules and incorporating student feedback.
– Manage aerobic compost stalls, large-scale vermicomposting bins, a greenhouse (for seed starting and plant propagation) and an organic garden.
– Monitor workspace integrated pest management and weeding.
– Train new student staff on compost and garden procedures as well as general ASR and DPW policies (attendance, office use, etc.).
– Extensively research best practices for composting and gardening and refine procedures as needed.
– Help Outreach Coordinator and Program Coordinator keep the DPW manual up to date.
– Assist Outreach Coordinator with scheduling, developing and implementing workshops for students on composting, gardening and sustainable closed-loop food systems.
– Represent DPW at Edible Campus Program meetings and functions
– Lead team in all associated Edible Campus activities including garden plot maintenance, planting, watering, weeding, fertilizing, and harvesting.
– Manage team in Citrus tree maintenance.
– Record weekly collection data in appropriate spreadsheets, track monthly totals and produce reports for the University and team. Update data sheets and procedures as needed.
– Update the DPW departmental history quarterly.
– Assist Outreach Coordinator with answering emails and phone inquiries.
– Participate in hiring committees for DPW staff.
– Maintain frequent and regular communication with Program Coordinator on DPW progress and needs. Must be able to attend a weekly meeting with the Program Coordinator and a weekly meeting for DPW Student Coordinators to discuss project progress and needs.
– Collaborate with AS Recycling Program to maintain organization in a shared work and storage space. Manage communications about electric vehicle and recumbent bicycle scheduling, malfunctions, or maintenance needs.

– Must have a strong interest in and knowledge of composting, vermicomposting, gardening and environmental issues related to food waste
– Must be comfortable with public speaking and interacting with students, staff and community members
– Must be able to problem-solve in high-pressure or unique situations
– Must be able to research and implement new composting and gardening techniques
– Must possess excellent interpersonal communication skills, both written and verbal
– Must be detail-oriented and able to maintain clear, accurate recordkeeping
– Must possess strong team leadership skills and experience
– Must be able to work in a team and coordinate schedules with multiple people
– Must be extremely organized and have good time management skills
– Must be willing to work up close and hands on with pre- and post-consumer food scraps, large volumes of green waste, manure, worm castings, and smelly conditions.
– Must be able to lift 50 pounds
– Must possess a valid driver’s license

TO APPLY: Apply on Gaucholink and you must attach a resume and cover letter in order to be considered. Please indicate on your cover letter your availability for Summer Sessions A and B. Please label your cover letter and resume with your first and last name (ex. FirstnameLastnameResume and FirstnameLastnameCoverLetter).

For more information:
Contact the Recycling and Compost Program Coordinator, Jessica Schmitt, at

Hours Per Week: ~15
Location: Facilities/all campus
Wage: $13/hour

Keywords: Bikes, Compost, Customer Service, Environment, Leadership, Office, Recycling, Waste, Work-Study

To Apply, login with your UCSB NetID above