Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 52.46
Liaison Andrew DeMelia
Submission Date May 11, 2022

STARS v2.2

Bryant University
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Gaytha Langlois
Chair, Science & Technology Department
Science & Technology Department
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer at least one immersive, sustainability-focused educational study program that is one week or more in length?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive program(s) offered by the institution:

Several existing campus programs offer sustainability-focused immersive experiences. For example, the Study-Abroad Program provides opportunities for students to immerse themselves in sustainability-related endeavors with an international component. Bryant students have participated in such programs, completing climate change studies at a Swedish university that focused on economic and technological climate change issues, embarking on coral reef studies in Australia or environmental studies in Ireland.

Other immersive experiences have included studies of Galapagos ecology and its economic importance as part of our Sophomore International Experience (SIE) program. All International Business students are required to take advantage of the study abroad program to design a tailored study arrangement; these arrangements sometimes encompass sustainability issues, such as tropical forest protection in Costa Rica, including social, economic and environmental dimensions of these ecosystems to local populations.

Additionally, the Sustainability Marketing course (MKT-421) explores marketing sustainability from an international perspective. The course is focused on assessing sustainable practices of international companies from the perspective of supply chain dynamics, and how these practices compare to those in the United States. The course emphasizes communication, consumer sentiment and regulation regarding sustainability. There is a travel component for this course to provide students with a true global and experiential learning experience. Students are abroad anywhere from 8-10 days, visiting sustainable coffee, chocolate, vanilla bean, and banana farms, and staying at varying levels of sustainable hotels. The LEAVES certification is examined, (similar to the LEED Certification for buildings in the U.S.). Students participate in "behind the scene" tours of all facilities and work on some of the farms. After returning to campus students work on providing best practices to Bryant and its community based on their perspective of Costa Rica's commitment to sustainability, for example, energy efficiency or waste reduction. Students maintain journals, give presentations, and demonstrate a consistent social media presence in an effort to inform and educate their community.

The Science & Technology Departments, working in concert with the university's Office of the Vice President for International Affairs, provide an interactive field study experience for Environmental Science and Biology majors, concentrators, and minors, coupled with visiting students from China, in which students travel to various locations within the U.S. to study topics related to climate change, habitat protection, coastal resiliency, and other environmental concerns. These programs are co-funded by grants from NASA and regularly encompass various NASA research facilities; some research studies are funded by NSF grants. Typically 10-20 students will be part of this field study experience, which focuses primarily on the environmental dimensions of sustainability.

The Science and Technology Department regularly schedules lectures and participation events that focus on sustainability topics. Recent examples have included issues such as the importance of bees as pollinators, the protection of birds in R.I., threats to coral reefs, the dynamics of Arctic ecosystems, characterization of the RI Department of Environmental Management's regulation of toxic chemicals, and other environmental sustainability topics.

Another example of an immersive experience, albeit only one day long, is Bryant's year-end Research Day (REDay), wherein all students, faculty and staff are invited to participate in describing research studies conducted in the past year. During this experience, there are multiple and varied demonstrations of sustainability research from all departments, exhibited as oral presentations, workshops, and poster sessions.

Website URL where information about the institution’s immersive education programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The Sustainability Marketing course (MKT 421) is described in the summary of Sustainability Focused courses: https://web.bryant.edu/~bes/Courses_Sustainability_March_2019.pdf

Clarkia fossil site in Idaho (site of field studies for faculty and students from Bryant University).

Ongoing studies of past patterns of climate change are supported by an NSF grant for two investigators at Bryant University: https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1804511

Research Day 2019 (REDay) - many presentations on topics of sustainability

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