Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 57.66
Liaison Michael Kensler
Submission Date Jan. 23, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Auburn University
AC-10: Support for Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Nanette Chadwick
Director, Academic Sustainability Programs
Biological Sciences
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an ongoing program to encourage students in multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct research in sustainability? :
Yes

A brief description of the student research program, including the incentives provided and any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

Academic Sustainability Programs provides support and coordination for student research in sustainability on campus. The program maintains an inventory of all research relating to sustainability, and has posted this inventory online as a resource for students. Students use this inventory and referrals from Dr. Chadwick, the Program Director, to locate and connect with faculty about possible projects, who are outside of their home departments or colleges.
The Program also has provided ad-hoc funding support for travel by students to conferences to present sustainability-related research, and for supplies for pilot research projects by students.
Examples are:
(1) Political Science undergraduate students funding awarded for their attending an environmental policy conference in Atlanta, and presenting their project results on environmental laws about fracking for natural gas in Colorado, with their professor Dr. Jonathan Fisk in 2017.
(2) Human Sciences graduate student awarded research funds for her project during 2018 on "Investigating the Fur Controversy" in terms of consumer attitudes about unsustainable harvest of animals for fur garments.

Positive outcomes: Undergraduate students were able to attend and present their sustainability-related project results at a professional meeting. A graduate student was able to receive financial support for her research on a sustainability topic toward her thesis research on the use of animal furs in the garment industry.


Does the institution have a program to encourage faculty from multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct research in sustainability topics?:
Yes

A brief description of the faculty research program, including the incentives provided and any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

Academic Sustainability Programs provides support and coordination for faculty research in sustainability on campus. The program maintains an inventory of all faculty on campus who conduct research relating to sustainability, and has posted this inventory online as a faculty resource. Faculty use this inventory and referrals from Dr. Chadwick, the Program Director, to locate and connect with faculty collaborators and consultants about their projects, who are outside of their home departments or colleges.
See the current 2016-18 Faculty Sustainability Research Inventory posted online at:
http://acadsustain.auburn.edu/research-activities-plans/

Dr. Chadwick also writes letters in support of multidisciplinary research grant proposals on sustainability, which are submitted to outside funding agencies.
She serves on faculty search committees in diverse programs across campus, to provide a context and expertise for recruiting and hiring faculty with sustainability research expertise. The Academic Sustainability Programs (ASP) participated in a multi-college faculty hire in Disease Ecology in 2017. ASP also wrote letters to support a multi-college cluster hire in Climate, Human, and Earth System Sciences [CHESS], which resulted in several faculty hired who collaborate on climate change-related research across college boundaries.
See the CHESS website: http://wp.auburn.edu/cgc/

The Program also provides ad-hoc funding support for travel by faculty to conferences to present sustainability-related research, and for supplies for pilot research projects.
Examples are:
(1) Dr. Sweta Byahut, Professor in Community Planning, received funding from our program to attend a 2-day Bike and Pedestrian Planning Workshop at Portland State University during Summer 2016, to support her research on this topic.
(2) Dr. Sharyn Pulling, faculty in English, received funding to attend a conference "On Sustainability Knowledge Community" in Michigan, and to present her research about "Transformative Ecoliteracy", during 2016.


Has the institution published written policies and procedures that give positive recognition to interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research during faculty promotion and/or tenure decisions?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s support for interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research, including any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

During 2017, the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) published a call for grant applications for the Intramural Grants Program (IGP), which included categorization of submitted proposals as being focused on Sustainability, Diversity, or both.

See a detailed description of this program, in the file attached below.

Positive outcomes: A high proportion of interdisciplinary faculty research focusing on sustainability was funded by that program. See the attached report.


Does the institution have ongoing library support for sustainability research and learning?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s library support for sustainability research, including any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

Auburn University employs a dedicated librarian to support sustainability research and learning, Mr. Greg Schmidt. Mr. Schmidt maintains a Library Guide website that connects faculty and students with important books, journals, recent scholarly articles, organizations, and other resources that support scholarship in sustainability. He has developed a different website relating to each of the major systems considered in sustainability: food, water, transportation, energy, built environment, green business, etc. Mr. Schmidt also offers individual consulting services to faculty and students to support their specific projects, as well as regularly presenting about library resources to students doing research projects in sustainability courses, and groups of professors in our faculty sustainability training workshop.
See the Sustainability Library website:
https://libguides.auburn.edu/c.php?g=519068&p=3550034


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.