A 2011 analysis, conducted by the San Diego County of Governments’ (SANDAG) economic bureau, reports that for the algae sector alone, the industry currently provides the San Diego region with 466 direct jobs and $81 million in direct economic activity and $157 million in total economic activity annually. With increasing pressure on fossil fuels and the movement to develop clean, renewable alternative energy, the biofuels sector is set to grow at an impressive pace. The EDGE Initiative was developed with funding from the California Department of Labor to develop and provide training programs to anticipate the growth of the biofuels and industrial biotechnology sectors.
Based on the Biofuels Science Technician Certificate offered through the CA Department of Labor funded Educating and Developing workers for the Green Economy (EDGE) grant, SD-CAB and UCSD Extension have developed two Specialized Certificates in Biofuels.
Biofuels Science Certificate
The Biofuels Science Certificate is a hybrid program with lecture courses completed online, followed by intensive laboratory courses completed at the UCSD campus during summer. It is aimed at training professionals for field and laboratory roles in the growing biofuels industry. It provides students hands-on technical knowledge and experience in laboratory techniques used in biofuels production, analysis and processing. Students choose from one of the following specialization tracks: Molecular Biology, Aquatic Microbiology, or Analytical Chemistry.
For students not living in San Diego, a limited amount of discounted on-campus housing will be available for the summer lab courses. UCSD Extension can also assist foreign students with visa issues and discounted on-campus housing for the summer lab courses.
Biofuels Processes Certificate
The Biofuels Processes certificate program is a fully online program that provides students with comprehensive view of the landscape of biofuels research and production, analysis and downstream processing, as well as project management and other business skills. It is aimed at training professionals for roles in the growing biofuels industry in project management, business development or other support roles not requiring direct, hands-on experience with the experimental techniques used in biofuels research.
There are a few different options available for financial assistance for these Certificate programs:
Scholarships: The Legler Benbough Foundation has generously provided SD-CAB with a grant to provide EDGE students with partial scholarships for 2013. Scholarships will cover up to 50% of tuition. Applications for 2013 are now closed.
UCSD LAUNCH Program: Active UCSD undergraduate juniors and seniors have the opportunity to receive grant money to cover most course fees for most specialized and professional certificates that Extension offer, including the Biofuels Certificates. Information about the application process can be found on the UCSD Extension website.
WIA Funding: The federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) offers a comprehensive range of workforce development activities through statewide and local organizations. UC San Diego Extension is one of California's Eligible Training Providers. WIA funds for approved training programs can be available to unemployed or underemployed individuals who qualify. The Biofuels Processes Certificate is eligible to receive Individual Training Accounts through WIA Title I-B funds. Eligible jobseekers can receive up to $3480 to pay for the cost of the Biofuels Processes Certificate program. For more information, visit the California EDD WIA webpage. UCSD Extension is currently in the process of getting the Biofuels Science Certificate approved for WIA funding.
Other Assistance: For further information on financial assistance, please visit the UCSD Extension website.
For further information on these certificates, please visit the UCSD Extension website. If you have additional questions, please contact Angeline Yang (avyang @ ucsd . edu) at UCSD Extension. For further information on the EDGE Initiative, please contact Wendy Stegman (wstegman @ ucsd . edu) at SD-CAB.