Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 81.81
Liaison Tonie Miyamoto
Submission Date Feb. 25, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Colorado State University
ER-12: Sustainability Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Nik Olsen
Assistant Director of Administrative Communications
Office of the President
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer a program that meets the criteria for this credit?:

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

The Institute for the Built Environment at CSU offers 'Intro to Sustainable Design and Construction,' a 3 credit course in Costa Rica. The 10-day course is offered to students and practitioners in interior design, construction management, business, landscape architecture, architecture, engineering, sustainability and related disciplines. This course is offered through the departments of Interior Design and Construction management. The course focuses on energy, healthy buildings, water efficiency, sustainable materials, solar design, and environmental topics pertinent to the sustainable practices affecting the built environment. Program participants will gain knowledge about best green practices through experiential learning, field trips, and co-learning among diverse disciplines at an acclaimed eco-tourism demonstration site.

CSU also offers a whole range of Sustainability Focused Spring Breaks: http://www.slce.colostate.edu/alternative-breaks.aspx

This year's break locations based on sustainability include:
Achiote, Panama: "The oldest of the international alternative break trips, participants will work with a local community center focusing on environmental conservation and ecotourism. The group will experience the culture and customs of Panama while assisting a local organization (CEASPA) with construction and environmental projects. Previous participants have helped build a museum, done trail work, and have enjoyed getting familiar with the citizens, customs, and animals in the small village of Achiote. This is a flying trip and is perfect if you truly want to experience another culture and work with your hands!"

Catalina, California: "This trip focuses on environmental issues and is the longest standing partnership with Alternative Break Trips at CSU (16 year history!). Participants stay in Catalina Island Camps, on Catalina Island, which is located southwest of Los Angeles (beautiful!) and participate in numerous environmental projects including trail building/repair, environmental education projects, and landscaping. In addition to volunteer work, participants will also have the opportunity to experience a ropes course and snorkeling on the island. This is a flying trip."

Denver, Colorado: "Explore sustainability in Northern Colorado from the soil up! Participants will focus on sustainable business responsibility at New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins and explore the importance of local food as a sustainable practice at Denver Urban Gardens and the SAME Cafe in Denver. Additionally, participants will evaluate sustainability from many angles to get a big picture at how our living practices affect each other and our environment. Overall we hope all participants will increase awareness of environmental consciousness in their lives. This is a driving trip."

Pine Ridge, South Dakota: "The Pine Ridge Reservation trip revolves around building sustainability and cross cultural connections with the Lakota tribe of South Dakota. Collaborating with the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, participants will learn how renewable energy can directly help entire communities across the Dakota region. Alternative breakers will also get the chance to experience Lakota traditions and gain insight into life on the Pine Ridge Reservation. This trip is all about helping communities sustain their natural resources through human connections. This is a driving trip full of adventure!"

Portland, Oregon: "A trip focusing on environmental justice and food insecurity. Participants will work with progressive and sustainable organizations such as, Zenger Farms, the Oregon Food Bank and Growing Gardens. They will have opportunities to serve in community gardens, farmer’s markets, public outreach and maybe turning some driveways into vegetable patches! This trip will give participants a better understanding around sustainability, urban farming and food justice. In addition, volunteers will have a chance to explore Portland culture- waterfalls, food trucks and so much more! This is a flying trip."

Taos, New Mexico: "A new trip which focuses on "off-the-grid" living, sustainability, and American Indian issues and culture. Participants should expect to become immersed in the diverse Spanish, Mexican, and American Indian cultures present in Taos. Participants of the trip should expect to visit the Earthship Biotecture firm, help in the completion stages of a completely sustainable house made from recycled materials, and spend the night in one of the homes! Participants will also visit the Taos Pueblo, a reservation with a mudbrick complex that has no running water or electricity. It's going to be a blast!"

The website URL where information about the immersive experience is available:

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.