Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.55
Liaison Susan Powers
Submission Date Feb. 22, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Clarkson University
IN-24: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Alex French
Sustainability Coordinator
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
HP 200/201 - Sophomore Honors' Project

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

This program is a year-long class for sophomore honors students. There are 40-50 students in the group each year. The group works with a client in our region on real-world sustainability challenges. During the fall semester students learn about the problem/challenge by meeting with stakeholders and a group of faculty consultants with relevant expertise. During the spring semester students break into groups and work on addressing the overall problem. Included below is a list of project titles with sections of the course descriptions from syllabi.

The work that our students produce through this program is valuable for our community. As an example, current students working on Potsdam as a Climate Smart Community (CSC) are structuring projects in a way that will allow the Village or Town of Potsdam to use their work for the basis of a CSC grant. They are tracking their hours as a potential labor match to help meet grant requirements. The 45 students have broken into teams of 4-5. Their CSC projects cover a wide range of sustainability issues for Potsdam such as LED streetlights, stormwater management, urban forestry, riparian buffers, renovations for the community recreation building, complete streets, emergency response plans, and more. The Village and Town of Potsdam are both happy with the partnership. This program consistently addresses either environmental or social sustainability as shown in the course descriptions. The relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are listed under each course description.

*2015-2016: Bioregional Resilience
The Sophomore Honors class is exploring the general theme of Bioregional Resilience with this year’s project. Student teams will be generating ideas from a long list of issues that need to examined and evaluated so that the local community can be prepared to deal with the effects of climate change, natural disasters and/or man-made incidents. Projects will examine processes and technology that will support the effort of making communities such as Potsdam, more resilient from these effects that will have a major impact or disruption of essential services such as power, transportation, water, food, medical, etc.
(SDG 9, 11)

*2016-2017: Zenda Farm Preserve
The Sophomore Honors class worked with the Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT) to provide a plan for their Zenda Farms Preserve (ZFP). Student teams worked on projects that helped Zenda Farms move forward with their Vision 2025 plan. The teams were guided by Clarkson’s Reh Center for Entrepreneurship, faculty with expertise in entrepreneurship, in GIS land mapping and land use, in land-use economics, environmental issues, business planning etc. while in consultation with TILT and ZFP representatives.
(SDG 6, 8, 14, 15)

*2017-2018: AccessABILITY at Clarkson
The Sophomore Honors worked with the Office of AccessABILITY Services and the 504/ADA Committee, as well as other campus stakeholders on a year-long project where students were given an opportunity to evaluate accessibility in all aspects of Clarkson life. Student gained an appreciation and understanding of the regulatory environment and the opportunities and constraints facing us as we move our campus forward to be more accessible to a diverse body of students with a wide range of physical ability and learning abilities.
(SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities)

*2018-2019: Climate Smart Communities for Potsdam
The Sophomore Honors class is working on a year-long project where students were provided the opportunity to work with Village and Town authorities and other concerned community members to help in the implementation of the Climate Smart program as described by the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation (see https://climatesmart.ny.gov/actions-certification/getting-started/ and https://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/50845.html for details) into the Potsdam community. The goal of the project is to provide the framework, background, road map and other assessment needed to for both the Village and Town of Potsdam to become certified as Climate Smart Communities. Students are gaining an appreciation and understanding for the importance of their actions on the long-term environment, and the importance of environmental awareness in the establishment of a sustainable community. The students are mentored by faculty with expertise in various aspects of the project.
(SDGs 11, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15)

*2019-2020: LEED for Communities in Lake Placid and the Olympic Region
This project has been chosen for next year but the syllabus and course description have not been written yet. It will be similar to the Climate Smart Communities project but it will involve the new LEED program for community sustainability. Clarkson has already begun working with the Olympic Region on this project. The honors class will push the work forward.
(SDGs 11, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15)

Although the nature of work included in these classes overlaps criteria for campus as a living lab, aspects of this class result in a much deeper and significant partnership between client and class than in outher CLL project. ome aspects of this includes:
* consistent use of sustainability projects for this project class
* year-long (rather than semester or <semester long experiences)
* Multiple separate groups to address multiple facets of the problem concurrently
* strong focus on stakeholder needs results in outputs that are immediately valuable to community clients.
* focus on our Honors students - the best and brightest of our students with expected significant future leadership potential - and therefore potential for integration of sustainability into future work.

Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Campus Engagement
Public Engagement
Air & Climate

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :

The website URL where information about the innovation 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.