Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.95
Liaison Susan Powers
Submission Date Feb. 12, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Clarkson University
IN-1: Innovation 1

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Susan Powers
Assoc. Dir. Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Integrating education in agroforestry carbon offset programs

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome :

This project integrates a university and community partnership in Uganda with research completed as an MS thesis, education and service learning and efforts. It is designed to see if microfinance groups are an effective network for implementing agroforestry carbon sequestration. The involved MS thesis has begun a dialogue toward changing policies for acceptable carbon offsets for higher education.
Partnering with the Mbarara University of Science and Technology in southwestern Uganda, the Clarkson School of Business is working on a long term microfinance study. Embedded within that study the Institute for a Sustainable Environment has initiated a carbon sequestration scheme where women in the microfinance groups are given training and an economic incentive to practice agroforestry. Student interns and researchers from Clarkson and MUST are responsible for collecting data on the project.

The concept of valuing this type of program for its educational value and potential for carbon off sets was the focus of Alex French's MS thesis. The results of that work have grown into an AASHE and Second Nature dialogue about rules for claiming carbon offsets for GHG inventories. These type of educational project have real value to students and carbon sequestration, yet rarely the budget for 3rd party verification. Alex is participating in that on-going dialogue ad is using our own experiences and successes as part of the justification for looking somewhat more broadly at the role of student centered projects when we value carbon sequestration from non-verified projects.

A brief description of any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation (if not reported above):

This is an experimental structure for forest carbon being developed by the Clarkson University School of Business. Microfinance networks exist all over the developing world. This project is working to demonstrate how cost effective carbon sequestration can be by utilizing these existing financial networks to both mitigate climate change and encourage communities to adapt to climate change. This project is also unique in that it provides interesting educational and research opportunities for our institution.
Some of the quantifiable successs include:
• Successfully established 3 tree nurseries
• One of the nurseries is a group of Catholic students
• Roughly 1,000 trees and shrubs have survived over 21 farms
• 2 rainwater catchment systems have been installed
• Farmers have expressed more interest moving forward and have requested specific species such as mango and grevillea (for timber)
• 4 Agroforestry trainings carried out
• Land donated by Our Lady of Good Council nuns for agroforestry demonstration site
o Significant amount of land
o Fence has been built for initial planting area
o Opportunity to restore a degraded mountain, experiment with new biodiesel industry, and offset (very possibly all of) Clarkson University emissions.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
Which of the following STARS subcategories does the innovation most closely relate to? (Select all that apply up to a maximum of 5):
Yes or No
Curriculum Yes
Research Yes
Campus Engagement Yes
Public Engagement Yes
Air & Climate Yes
Buildings No
Dining Services No
Energy No
Grounds No
Purchasing No
Transportation No
Waste No
Water No
Coordination, Planning & Governance No
Diversity & Affordability No
Health, Wellbeing & Work No
Investment No

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:

The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
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.