Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 74.24
Liaison Lindsey Lyons
Submission Date April 30, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Dickinson College
AC-9: Academic Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 11.71 / 12.00 Lindsey Lyons
Assistant Director
Center for Sustainability Education
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Number of the institution’s faculty and/or staff engaged in sustainability research:

Total number of the institution’s faculty and/or staff engaged in research:

Number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that include at least one faculty or staff member that conducts sustainability research:

The total number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that conduct research:

A copy of the sustainability research inventory that includes the names and department affiliations of faculty and staff engaged in sustainability research:
Names and department affiliations of faculty and staff engaged in sustainability research:

List Attached.

A brief description of the methodology the institution followed to complete the research inventory:

A survey of sustainability related faculty scholarship was conducted March 9‐29, 2011 under the direction of the Center for Sustainability Education with support from the Dickinson Provost. An email was sent to all full-time faculty members, adjunct faculty and other teaching staff to request that they participate in the online survey. Responses were received from 107 of the 217 people to whom the request was sent for a response rate of 49%. Results of the survey were used to create this inventory of sustainability related scholarship at Dickinson.

A brief description of notable accomplishments during the previous three years by faculty and/or staff engaged in sustainability research:

Global Climate Change Mosiac Interview Research: Fourteen Dickinson students, Earth Science Professor Jeff Niemitz, and CSE Director Neil Leary conducted research at the UN climate conference held in Lima, Peru in December 2014, interviewing delegates about the negotiations. Videos of the interviews can be viewed in our Interview Archive and the student's stories told through the Student Perspectives on COP20 Blog: http://blogs.dickinson.edu/cop20/

FARMDATA - A Mobile/Networked Database Application for the College Farm:
Two computer science students, with the assistance of Mathematics & Computer Science Professor Tim Wahls, created FARMDATA - a database of planting, harvesting, tillage, spraying, and invoicing records for the Dickinson College Farm. They also added a web interface that allows entry of all data and running of reports from any web-enabled device (smartphone, tablet, desktop machine, etc.). As part of this project, the students learned two programming languages (PHP, Javascript), two markup languages (HTML, CSS), and a database query language (SQL).

Painted Turtle Nest Site Selection: For the last five years, Dickinson students have conducted field research with Biology Professor Scott Boback on the ecological and environmental influences of nest-site selection in the Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta). Students have marked over 1,000 turtles in a 7 acre pond at a local hatchery. Because painted turtles are highly susceptible to global temperature changes, understanding parameters of nest selections and hatchling sex and survival is critical to the future of this species.

Nanoparticles and Green Chemistry: Katelyn Cohen '12 and Aaron Brumbaugh '14 worked with Chemistry Professor Sarah St. Angelo to test green chemistry processes for synthesizing nanoparticles with lemongrass and ginko extracts as reducing agents. Green chemistry reduces the use of toxic agents and volumes of waste generated. Their paper, “Green synthesis and characterization of bioreduced nanoparticles”, was accepted for presentation as a poster at the April 2013 conference of the American Chemical Society. Aaron received a Ciba Student Travel Award from the Green Chemistry Institute to attend the conference and present the poster, one of only four students to receive the national award.

Other student-faculty research is highlighted online:

The website URL where information about sustainability research is available:

A survey of sustainability faculty research and scholarship was conducted in 2011, and we are currently assessing the need to re-inventory faculty. Demand for sustainability research support has increased since 2011, and a five year comparison would provide useful information as we assess sustainability across the curriculum. The Center for Sustainability Education does provide grant awards through Dickinson's Sustainability Education Fund (see AC-10) to support this research.

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.