Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.20
Liaison Kimberly Williams
Submission Date March 5, 2020

STARS v2.2

George Washington University
OP-10: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Kehan DeSousa
Sustainable Project Facilitator
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution own or manage land that includes or is adjacent to legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, or regions of conservation importance?:
No

A brief description of the legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance:
---

Has the institution conducted an assessment to identify endangered and vulnerable species (including migratory species) with habitats on land owned or managed by the institution?:
Yes

A list of endangered and vulnerable species with habitats on land owned or managed by the institution, by level of extinction risk:

GW has begun the process of assessing the species on GW's campuses, including identification of endangered and vulnerable species. During FY2019, GW conducted two bioblitzes and collected data during the year using iNaturalist, identifying 180 confirmed species through this process. This work will continue into FY2020, at which point GW will be able to identify any endangered and vulnerable species with habitat at GW.

Washington, DC, has one endangered species and two threatened species. Loudoun County, Virginia, (where the GW Virginia Science and Technology Campus is located) has one endangered species and one threatened species. GW will look for signs that these critical species have habitat on campus.


Has the institution conducted an assessment to identify areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution?:
Yes

A brief description of areas of biodiversity importance on land owned or managed by the institution:

As noted above, GW began the process of establishing a biodiversity baseline during FY2019. This assessment will help GW identify areas of biodiversity importance on campus.


The methodologies used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or areas of biodiversity importance and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:

Biodiversity information at GW was produced from downloaded, research grade data from iNaturalist. The open source nature of this species occurrence data allows it to continually be collected, vetted, and updated by participants on campus and remote naturalists. Information was collected on an ongoing basis as well as through two scheduled, faculty-led bioblitzes wherein students and volunteers assessed a defined location at GW.

Research grade data was filtered while within “The George Washington University” point of interest bounding box in iNaturalist. Research grade material indicated identifications have been vetted by at least two users. Observers, Identifiers, observation totals, and total species were gathered, and individual observation data was downloaded. Further data analysis was completed in Microsoft Excel, and maps were analyzed and completed in ArcGIS. These maps were based on observation (or occurrence) data and depict areas of high density through a kernel density function. Mapping the priority blocks used a “closest” proximity analysis based on spatial location, to condense nearest occurrence points within each block.


A brief description of the scope of the assessment(s):

The biodiversity study conducted by GW in FY2018 covered the Foggy Bottom Campus at GW.


A brief description of the plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats, and/or ecosystems:

GW's campus is in the heart of downtown Washington, DC. As such opportunities to protect and preserve wildlife habitat are at a premium. The GW Ecosystems Plan which lays out goals and targets to enhance biodiversity on campus. The GW Sustainable Landscapes Guidelines provide specific plants and design guidelines to enhance habitat and biodiversity on campus.


Estimated percentage of areas of biodiversity importance that are also protected areas :
---

Website URL where information about the institution’s biodiversity initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support 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.