Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 85.56
Liaison Tonie Miyamoto
Submission Date Feb. 7, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Colorado State University
AC-10: Support for Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Nik Olsen
Assistant Director of Administrative Communications
Office of the President
"---" 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 research in sustainability? :

A brief description of the student research program, including the incentives provided and any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

The School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES) Sustainability Leadership Fellows are a select group of leading CSU senior PhD Candidates and Postdoctoral Fellows interested in communicating their science to media and the public. Over the course of one year, SoGES Sustainability Leadership Fellows receive state-of-the-art training in environmental communication and professional development skills.

Sustainability Leadership Fellows are selected on a competitive basis, including their current sustainability science research and their interest in communicating important scientific concepts to broad audiences. Each year, the application process opens in March, and Fellowships begin in May and run through April.

SoGES has worked with CSU faculty and the CSU Student Sustainability Center to involve undergraduate students in an ongoing research project to assess CSU’s nitrogen footprint and options for reducing emissions. SoGES Global Challenges Research Teams, described below under Faculty Incentives, also explicitly encourage proposals to include student involvement at all levels, thus providing opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.

20 Sustainability Leadership Fellows are selected each year. 60 individuals from seven of CSU’s eight colleges completed the program during the 2014-2016 period.

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

A brief description of the faculty research program, including the incentives provided and any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

Global Challenges Research Teams
The School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES) invites applications each year for Global Challenges Research Teams (GCRTs). GCRTs engage in scholarly, creative research and problem solving consistent with the mission and six research Focal Areas of the School. These GCRTs bring together the best researchers across colleges and disciplines at CSU to improve understanding of environmental and sustainable grand challenges and advance research in sustainability science through integration of environmental, societal, and economic knowledge in a team-based, creative, experiential approach to real-world problem solving.

The School seeks proposals which will build interdisciplinary cross-campus collaborations, build research strengths for pressing global to regional environmental issues, and are highly innovative and/or enterprising in nature. Most projects are one year in duration. Awards range from $5000 to $20,000. SoGES has funded 16 research teams during the last 3 years (2014-2016) with 60 principal investigators (faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students), resulting in 12 publications so far, with more in development.

SoGES Resident Fellows
The School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SOGES) also invites applications for Resident Fellows each year, to engage in scholarly, creative research and problem solving consistent with the mission and the six research Focal Areas of the School. These positions provide unique opportunities to accelerate progress in research designed to meet global environmental challenges, and to engage in the academic life of the School and its affiliates. SoGES expects a substantial level of involvement with SoGES activities and events.

The School seeks candidates from a broad range of disciplines including, but not limited to, the biological and physical sciences, the social sciences and engineering fields related to sustainability. It targets CSU faculty and researchers (at the Ph.D. level) whose scholarly contributions to sustainability will be significantly enhanced by receiving a Fellowship. Individuals engaged in interdisciplinary research are particularly encouraged to apply.

SoGES has hosted 11 resident fellows during the 2014-2016 period who have so far produced 12 manuscripts.

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 brief description of the institution’s support for interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research, including any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

Excerpts from the Promotion and Tenure guidelines at CSU;

"Here at CSU we have a well-deserved reputation for interdisciplinary activity. We value that, and at promotion and tenure time we are in a position to reward it. We appreciate alternative CVs. We would never devalue a strong grounding in one’s discipline and the building of a disciplinary reputation with quality and impact. We take interdisciplinary work into account in a positive way."

Specific criteria for promotion includes:
"An expectation of some qualitative difference in the scope and level of contributions for the promotion to full professor. For example,...leading interdisciplinary teams on more complex projects; collaborations with an expanding circle of colleagues, both in and out of CSU."

Positive outcomes in the previous three years include enhanced collaboration and scholarship on campus as well as 12 manuscripts from the SoGES Resident Fellows program and 12 publications from the SoGES Global Challenges Research Teams.

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

A brief description of the institution’s library support for sustainability research, including any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

In general, the School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES) exists to support faculty and researchers across the CSU campus working in sustainability science. SoGES also hosts a Scholar Database. Scholars are recognized as a network of world-class experts at CSU, each working in a unique area of sustainability research. Scholars can take advantage of the many services provided by the School and are listed on the School's sustainability Scholar database, utilized as a resource across campus and worldwide as CSU's first point of contact for sustainability experts.

SoGES Scholars have access to all SoGES services, including:
Scholars database: The SoGES website and staff receive regular inquiries for contact information for sustainability experts. Our Scholars database is the first place people look for leading researchers, and helps connect you across campus and globally in your field as it relates to sustainability.
Networking opportunities: The School provides regular opportunities throughout the year to get involved on and off campus, ranging from panels to social gatherings. Your level of participation is up to you!
Free access to conference and meeting room space: The School has two conference rooms available for your use, both equipped with computers, projectors, white boards and other equipment. Conference rooms are frequently used for cross-campus and cross-disciplinary meetings to convene faculty and researchers across campus in a neutral location. Our front desk can assist you with room reservations, A/V setup, and meeting coordination including food orders and refreshments.
Research support: The School and staff are available to SoGES Scholars to help manage tasks and promote your message so you can focus on your research. SoGES provides seed funding to faculty Fellows and Research Teams, and is available to assist Scholars with professional communications design, events assistance, outreach support and other administrative tasks.

More generally, the CSU Library System offers research guides in a number of sustainability topics. http://libguides.colostate.edu

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

In addition to the below opportunities, many departments and/or programs offer a range of student opportunities. Students are encouraged to contact faculty in subjects they are interested in and can get additional support and guidance for connecting with faculty/opportunities from the School of Global Environmental Sustainability. For example: the Institute for the Built Environment which specializes in structural and behavioral research and modification of building space has a dedicated student opportunities program: http://www.ibe.colostate.edu/mentorship.aspx

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.