Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.45
Liaison Benjamin Newton
Submission Date March 3, 2023

STARS v2.2

Central Community College
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 4.00
"---" 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:

Project Growing Pathways to STEM (Project GPS) Partial albinism in barn swallow feathers: elemental composition, heavy metals, and possible DNA damage- Lauren Gillespie, Grant Wyatt, David Cassidy, Lisset Oropesa, Conner Mueller, Abby Hornaman, Rachel Otten Department of Biology, Central Community College, Columbus, Nebraska
Uniting most aberrant plumages in birds is a partial or total lack of pigment, either melanin pigments or carotenoid pigments, in eyes, skin, feathers, or all three. Melanin pigments give rise to reddish-brown plumages which appear to be disrupted in this population which displays partial leucism, the partial or complete lack of pigments in normally colored feathers. We hypothesize that environmental contamination contributes to observed partial albinism; a population under study in Chernobyl, Ukraine displays the same aberrant plumage and genetic damage from radioactive fallout. Findings of detectable levels of heavy metals in barn swallow feathers.

Project GPS is also studying native bluebird populations. The goal of this study is to create a smart next box that allows for monitoring from a mobile device as opposed to traditional catch and release methods. The smart nest boxes will allow student scientists to monitor bluebird populations even during the winter.

Monarch butterflies are raised from the larval stage by the Environmental Sustainability Office each year. The adult butterflies are tagged before being released.

We are experimenting with using mycelium to grow solitary bee and wasp hotels. We hypothesize that mycelial-grown hotels will impact solitary bee and wasp abundance and health as exudates or secretions from certain species of fungi can bolster bee's immune systems. We hope to provide a natural nesting alternative, made from recycled materials, that benefits pollinators and their landscapes.
Dr. Lauren Gillespie, Katy Ayers, Samantha Martinez, and Cynthia Sanchez

Staff and students from the CCC Occupational Therapy Class came up with an inclusive playground that would impact individuals who are unable to fully participate in activities of daily life due to physical or psychological limitations. This community project was created to make a space for future programs, summer camps and activities that is both fun and educational for everyone. The playground will be located in Ryder Park, as if offers several amenities including baseball fields, tennis courts, and picnic shelters. It is anticipated that playground construction will commence in spring 2023.

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:

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:

We have a library resource guide for climate change and sustainability research.

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

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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