Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.72
Liaison Roxane Beigel-Coryell
Submission Date March 3, 2023

STARS v2.2

California State University, Channel Islands
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.00 / 4.00 Scott Perez
Director of Research and Sponsored Programs
Research and Sponsored Programs
"---" 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 sustainability research?:

A brief description of the student sustainability research program:

Student engagement in research, scholarship and creative activities (RSCA) is a central part of the student experience at CSU, Channel Islands, and the university has a range of ongoing programs to provide opportunities and resources for student research in sustainability.

The Student Research Advisory Committee (SRAC) was established in 2008 and administers several programs that engage students in sustainability-related RSCA experiences. These include:

Summer SURF -
The Summer SURF Program affords students an opportunity to engage in a meaningful, faculty-mentored research project over 8 weeks in the summer. Students receive a stipend, engage in an interdisciplinary learning community and enjoy professional development opportunities. The following are examples sustainability-related projects funded the Summer SURF program.

Prof. Hugo Tapia, Biology -
Most of our understanding of biology occurs within a narrow moisture window. Macromolecules, cells, and organisms typically require above 98% relative humidity to function. Yet, survival at an extremely low water level (termed anhydrobiosis), is essential for most seeds, spores, and microscopic animals. How macromolecules, cells, and organisms can establish and maintain reversible suspension of biological activity at low water content is not well understood. Understanding anhydrobiosis and desiccation tolerance mechanisms is critical for tackling the climate crisis, space exploration, medical innovation, plant breeding, food spoilage, and gene banking. To elucidate how life can persist without water, we must understand how molecules, cells, and organisms protect themselves during desiccation and rehydration. Research in the Tapia lab is centered on understanding how the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae becomes tolerant to desiccation.

SURF students will be exploring various research projects such as: 1) creating a set of transgenic yeast strains expressing genes known to protect tardigrades against desiccation, 2) investigating the role of eisosomes in desiccation tolerance, 3) doing fluorescent analysis of yeast cell compartments during desiccation/rehydration cycles. These different projects are all interrelated, students will use many novel techniques which they will be able to carry with them as molecular biologists into any lab they join in the future. Additionally, SURF students in the Tapia lab will present their final summer laboratory findings to Dr. Doug Koshland’s research group at the University of California at Berkeley.

Dr. HyeSun Lee (Psychology) -
Fairness in testing is essential to proactively sustain equity, diversity, and racial justice. To ensure fairness, Dr. HyeSun Lee seeks to identify and address 1) threats to fairness in psychological/educational test, 2) how to evaluate fairness in testing, and 3) how to estimate assessment scores to ensure fairness. Focusing on impacts of test scores on high-stakes decisions in schools, workplaces, and clinical settings, Dr. Lee's program of research aims to develop psychometric/statistical models to incorporate respondents’ diverse backgrounds into score estimation, thus eliminating unintended consequences in the use of scores.

The project entitled “Fairness in Psychological Tests for Underrepresented Minority College Students” explores psychological tests measuring pandemic-related psychological damages and social phenomena using the PsycTests data base (via CI Broome Library) and examines cultural fairness issues. The focus of the project is to identify potential threats to cultural fairness in psychological testing and explore how cultural values and social norms affect cognitive processes involved in responding to questions.

Students joining this project will use cognitive interview techniques to explore respondent’s cognitive processes regarding the interpretations of questions, processes in constructing answers, and any difficulties in answering questions. The interview data will be used to identify whether respondent’s cultural values and social norms differentially impact the comprehension of questions and distort responses, thus negatively affecting test results. Based on the analysis results, students will revise problematic questions which jeopardize cultural fairness and demonstrate whether their revision of the problematic questions appropriately addresses potential threats through a second round of cognitive interviews. Students will learn about test fairness and cognitive interview techniques frequently used by practitioners and researchers in social sciences. The project will help students to be independent researchers through the development of scientific reasoning skills as well as abilities to draw logical inferences from empirical data, while providing an engaging opportunity to understand the value of cultural inclusiveness. Students will also be encouraged to submit their research paper for presentations at professional conferences. Research activities can be conducted either via zoom or in-person depending on public health requirements.

Research & Conference Support for CI Students -
The Research Conference Support program provides up to $700 to support a student to present their research or creative activities at a conference or attend a conference/workshop for continued professional development.

Student Materials Funding Program -
This award aims to provide California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) students with the opportunity to engage in creative projects, research, or other costs that are related to participation in research or creative activities.

The SRAC administers programs that allow students to present their work to the campus community and the public.

Formerly known as SAGE, the Channel Islands (CI) Student Research conference is held annually in the spring. This is an annual event that is open to all students and the public. Students may present either a poster or oral presentation. Prizes are awarded for best poster and best presentation.

California State University (CSU) Student Research Competition -
The CSU Student Research Competition (SRC) is the premier showcase for student research in the CSU. Undergraduate and Graduate students are eligible to participate in the SRC.

Southern California Conference of Undergraduate Research (SCCUR) -
An annual conference where undergraduate students are invited to present their research findings.

Fall Research Showcase -
The Showcase gives students an on-campus forum to present faculty-mentored research they conducted over the Summer. Students present posters or video displays.

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

A brief description of the faculty sustainability research program:

The campus also administers two annual grant competitions that are not specifically focused on sustainability, but are open to all faculty including faculty who conduct sustainability research.

Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities (RSCA) -
All faculty are invited to apply for funds to support research, scholarship, and creative activity. These funds are made available in an effort to support faculty scholarship and raise the visibility of the California State University as an institution that values faculty RSCA. Faculty may apply for release time from teaching, $5,000 seed grants, or $3,000 in summer salary.

Provost's Direct Costs Grant Program
Faculty members may apply for a grant to defray direct costs associated with research and creative activities. Examples of direct costs that may be covered by this grant include subventions, translation, indexing, article processing charges (APCs), submission fees, and other costs associated with the dissemination of scholarship and creative work, such as videos, recordings, shipping, and payment to collaborators, sound editors etc.

In addition the programs listed above, the Provost’s Office offers the Materials, Services, Facilities, and Technology (MSFT) program, which provides funds for securing equipment or material resources needed for teaching, research, and/or creative activities. Proposals from
individual faculty can be for the purchase of equipment and/or material resources costing up to $2500.

The university also provides resources to assist faculty with identifying potential opportunities for extramural funding for sustainability research as well as assistance with developing and submitting proposals and administering awards.

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 copy of the promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:
The promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:

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

A brief description of the institution’s library support for sustainability research:

The library provides access to a robust collection of over 100,000 bound books and more than 400,000 electronic books, over 20,000 electronic journals and newspapers, numerous databases, a comprehensive digital image collection, best sellers, CDs, DVDs, access to 70,000 streaming movies, and children’s books. The library has an active course reserves service that engages with faculty to promote the use of library collection for course materials, both print and electronic, to reduce the cost of required texts and course materials for students. The library also houses a number of interesting archival and special collections that can be used for original research. The Robert J. Lagomarsino Collection contains papers, photographs, furniture, and memorabilia relating to Lagomarsino’s years of political service as a California Senate member from 1961-1974 and as a United States Congressman from 1974-1992. Other archival and special collections include the University Archives, Jack O’Connell papers, Harold T (Bizz) Johnson Congressional papers, Camarillo State Hospital, Elmer “Gene” Lore, Sr. Collection, Michelle Serros Collection, Irene and Jorge Garcia Chicano Studies Collection, City of Oxnard Collection, and the Southern California Chicano Cultural Collection.

The library provides students with opportunities to engage and create. The library is home to the Writing and Multiliteracy Center, and the Learning Resource Center, both integral parts of the library administrative structure. Broome Library also houses the Information Technology Help Desk, the campus art gallery, and the Student Research Space. The building provides attractive and enticing spaces for inquiry and study for both individuals and small groups. There are 130 hardwired computers with additional laptop computers available for check out. The library also circulates digital cameras, digital video cameras, hotspots, and Go Pros. Each year the library sponsors a number of events including a speaker’s series, Dia de los Muertos celebrations, and the library’s finals de-stress activities.

The Library offers classes and services that help students develop life-long information and multiliteracy skills. Librarians collaborate with faculty in all disciplines to provide information literacy sessions and resource specific instruction. The library also provides a robust reference service that includes both virtual and in-person research assistance, provided by a librarian, to teach students necessary research skills at their point of need. The entire library staff works to ensure that the John Spoor Broome Library is a comfortable, safe space that aims to nurture students as they learn to use the library, explore curiosities, and engage in a myriad of research and information activities.

Website URL where information about the institution’s support for sustainability research is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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