PICA is a community of UCSC students who wish to explore what it means to live, eat and learn sustainably by cooperatively examining the impact of the choices we make in our everyday lives and using those insights to build a model for just and vibrant agroecological communities. Each year holds the promise of new interactions, both with the dynamic and beautiful ecological niche we call our home and with the greater UCSC and Santa Cruz communities that surround us.

There are more of us PICAns all the time, be we residents (nearly forty of us, and counting!), seminar students, interns or alumni. We are students of the community and we teach one another to embrace the joys and lessons of our daily meal and garden experiences. We are ecologists, philosophers, writers, artists, healers, chefs and even computer scientists. We hope to use the knowledge and trust we gain from our time together to build sustainable communities wherever our passions may lead us.

Kate Schaffner
CUIP Intern, Student Ambassador
Program in Community and Agroecology (PICA)


It is my hope that PICA will serve as the training ground for new generations of community-oriented students. PICA plants the seed of possibility into each of its members. (…) It is within the minds of our future friends, wives, husbands and family that this seed, with which we are entrusted, will find new soil.

Alija Bajro Mujic, PICA alumnus