Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.90
Liaison Kathleen Crawford
Submission Date July 23, 2020

STARS v2.2

Florida Gulf Coast University
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Kathleen Crawford
Sustainability Coordinator
Environmental Health & Safety
"---" 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 sustainability research?:
Yes

A brief description of the student sustainability research program:

About the SAGE Grant
The Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education works toward realizing the dream of a sustainable and peaceful future for Earth through scholarship, education, and action. The Center seeks to elevate the environmental mission of Florida Gulf Coast University and serve the university community, the local community of the Western Everglades and Barrier Islands, and the wider community of scholars.
In order to advance this mission, we have developed Student Associates for a Greener Environment (SAGE), to involve students in our work in the Florida Gulf Coast University community and beyond. Students who become a member will be nurtured in their leadership capacity and develop their identities as environmentally conscious individuals. Students who become associates are expected to make a serious commitment to SAGE, the mission of the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education, and to environmental and sustainability education at FGCU.
The goals of Student Associates for a Greener Environment (SAGE) is to be a student branch of the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education. Students who become a member will be nurtured in their leadership capacity and develop their identities as environmentally conscious individuals. Students who become associates are expected to make a serious commitment to SAGE, the mission of the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education, and to environmental and sustainability education at FGCU. SAGE members will work within the Center's traditions of collaboration, civil dialogue and intellectual integrity.

For the Fall of 2019 and Spring of 2020, the Center offered small grants up to $500 for SAGE members to support projects that fulfill one or more of the five SAGE goals:

1.Innovative educational research project that promotes environmental literacy.

2.Transdisciplinary approach to water issues, such as those at The Water School (https://www.fgcu.edu/thewaterschool/).

3.Civic engagement activities that increase underserved communities’ access to nature, including campus initiatives and partnerships with local K-12 schools.

4.Practicing the Earth Charter Principles.

5.Scholarly activity, teaching, or service related to environmental and sustainability education.

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Seidler Gift 2018-2019
These fellowships support collaborative scholarly work
among students and faculty during the summer. In many
cases, these represent long-term ongoing work, but other
projects are new and designed to be completed during the term
of the fellowship. The selection process began with a call for
proposals sent to the college in November. Forty-six proposals
were submitted by the Feb. 8 deadline. A six-member selection
committee reviewed the proposals and ranked them using a
defined rubric. From the 46 submissions, 17 were selected for
funding. Of the funded projects, 12 were
in STEM fields, 4 were in the arts and humanities, and 1 was in
the social sciences. An event showcasing the projects will be
scheduled during the upcoming academic year.


Does the institution have a program to encourage academic staff from multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct sustainability research?:
Yes

A brief description of the faculty sustainability research program:

Research and scholarly activities are required for faculty promotion.

The Whitaker Center provides mini-grants for sustainability-focused research and the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education partners with faculty for grant opportunities. The Whitaker Center supports the development and reporting of a variety of curriculum and teaching innovations at all levels of STEM education. The Center also fosters and supports research and evaluation of teaching innovations and practices. Funding for faculty and graduate activities is provided for assessment and evaluation of teaching innovations and practice where the research meets the Center's goals. Funding levels are determined annually by the Leadership Team. Funding, while limited, is meant to encourage pilot studies that may lead to larger externally funded projects.


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?:
Yes

A copy of the promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:
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The promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:

There is no faculty tenure at FGCU. Promotion standards are set within the individual departments. Interdisciplinary research is encouraged and is provided equal weight in consideration for promotion.

The Faculty Senate promotes the rights and responsibilities of faculty with respect to:
• quality teaching and learning;
• pursuing research and scholarly activity;
• providing service to our local, regional, national, and global communities;
• preserving and defending academic freedom.

The Grants and Research Team is a standing committee of the collegial faculty
governance system, reporting to the Faculty Senate. One of its responsibilities includes Reviewing Internal Grant proposals and making recommendations for funding; Reviewing Multidisciplinary Research Initiative (MDRI)proposals and making recommendations for funding.

Other internal funding sources providing incentives and opportunities for interdisciplinary, transdisciplnary and multi-disciplinary research include:

The FGCU Whitaker Center provides programs and materials that stimulate interest and promote public awareness of local and global issues related to science, environment, engineering and mathematics.

Established in 2004, the Coastal Watershed Institute (CWI) is an interdisciplinary group of FGCU faculty researchers, graduate students, undergraduates, & community partners with a collaborative focus on watershed-related concerns and their impacts on the coastal environments of Southwest Florida.

The Emergent Technologies Institute (ETI) at Florida Gulf Coast University within the U.A. Whitaker College of Engineering opened in 2016 to support interdisciplinary research, graduate education, and technology development.

FGCU's newly formed Water School uses an interdisciplinary approach to address local issues with global consequences. It is a comprehensive center for learning and research. Because of the complexity and interconnectedness of Southwest Florida's water-based natural resources, The Water School's experts come from many disciplines, including marine sciences, economics, chemistry, paleoclimatology and engineering.

The Water School uses a holistic approach that focuses on the environmental sciences but also draws in the social sciences, health sciences, business and engineering. It was designed to:
- Feature state-of-the-art research and learning facilities where students receive the professional preparation they need to tackle real-world problems.
- Bring together all water-focused faculty from the marine and ecological sciences, biology, engineering and business fields.
- Integrate our off-campus facilities that provide access to the Gulf of Mexico, estuaries, rivers and the Everglades.
- Draw in local, national and international partners and open the doors to new partnerships.
- Conduct outreach and education programs in our local communities so that we help create a more water-literate society.
- Empower FGCU to claim its rightful place as a leading, independent source of environmental and scientific knowledge.
- Take the lessons we learn here and apply them throughout the state, nation and world.


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

A brief description of the institution’s library support for sustainability research:

The library has the Berkshire Encyclopedia of Sustainability online. This set of 10 e-books “draws from the natural, physical, and social sciences to bring readers an unprecedented array of 887 articles—from over 900 contributors from 53 countries—on environmental law and ethics, green business practices, regional sustainability issues, and resource and ecosystem management.”

Library faculty continually assist research-conducting faculty in developing LibGuides (including an extensive Sustainability LibGuide) and other resources as needed and these may intersect with sustainability research efforts.


Website URL where information about the institution’s support for sustainability research is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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