Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.71
Liaison Keisha Payson
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Bowdoin College
AC-10: Support for Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 4.00 Keisha Payson
Sustainability Director
Sustainable Bowdoin
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Does the institution have an ongoing program to encourage students in multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct research in sustainability? :

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

With 193 Bowdoin students engaging in research in the 2017-2018 academic year and 197 over the summer, mentored by a total of 136 faculty members, Bowdoin is one of the most active research institutions among liberal arts colleges today. The Cooke Fellowship provides an opportunity for students to conduct community-based research with a faculty mentor within the field of environmental studies. The Psi Upsilon Maine Community fellowships pair students who have an interest in pursuing an environmental career with local non-profit organizations and governmental agencies. Placements could be with a community organization that is actively implementing a climate action plan, a nonprofit organization that is implementing weatherization or community energy systems, or a state agency that is developing alternative transportation systems. The 2018 organizations included the Nature Conservancy, Maine Conservation Voters, and the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust. Students can also receive funding to work with an organization of their choice through the Psi Upsilon Sustainability and Environmental Justice Fellowship. Tasks in these fellowships often involve researching particular sustainability issues specific to their host organization. In addition, Bowdoin offers a number of institutional summer research fellowships that would support research in the natural or social sciences relating to sustainability. Academic departments other than Environmental Studies, can also fund students to do research that might relate to sustainability. Students also receive grants from the Bowdoin Scientific Station Fund to do ecology research on Kent Island's Scientific Station.

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

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

In 2018, Bowdoin College made funding available for professors to participate in an expedition to Disko Bay in May 2019 for collaborative, interdisciplinary research between Bowdoin College Faculty and Danish Institute of Study faculty, and incorporating Bowdoin College students who may be studying at DIS. The research area may include focuses on marine biology, climate change impacts, glaciology, etc.

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?:

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

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

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

Bowdoin librarians have designed a number of research guides specific to sustainability focused and related courses (see https://bowdoin.libguides.com/environmental-studies or https://bowdoin.libguides.com/spring2018-hist2182 ).  Librarians also visit classes to lead hands-on sessions to teach students how to find, evaluate, and access the research literature. The library also provides access to books, software (e.g. computers with ArcGIS) and other materials necessary for sustainability focused research.

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

Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.