Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 55.35
Liaison James Biesecker
Submission Date Dec. 1, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

Gettysburg College
ER-15: Sustainability Research Identification

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 3.00 Gretchen Natter
Director of Center for Public Service
Center for Public Service
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution developed a definition of sustainability research?:

A copy of the institution's definition of sustainability research:

Definition of Sustainability in the Curriculum

STARS Faculty Survey
Sustainability Advisory Committee
Approved by the Academic Policy and Procedures Committee
Gettysburg College
February 2011

Recognizing that sustainability is an extremely complex term with no singularly accepted definition, for the purposes of our survey we are defining in the following way: Sustainability reflects human-environment interactions that allow current and future generations to meet their needs in socially just, economically viable, and ecologically sound ways. The study of sustainability is inherently interdisciplinary.

➢Sustainability-focused courses, projects, research, and creative activity examine a broad range of sustainability topics in both their environmental and social dimensions, or they focus study on a particular topical area through the lens of sustainability. Such courses focus on the Environment, Social Justice, Economic Equality, Environmental Health, Nature-Human Relationships, Resource Management; Environmental Ethics, Environmental Economics, Environmental Policy or Law; Rural Development, Trade, Land Use Planning and Development, Biodiversity, Ecosystem Management, etc.

➢Sustainability-related courses, projects, research, and creative activity incorporate sustainability or a sustainability-related topic as a discrete course component or module. Examples include lectures, case studies, reading assignments, projects, discussions, or immersive field-based experiences.

Course Objectives
Courses designated as sustainability-focused or sustainability related will contain some of the following elements:

➢Integration of basic and applied knowledge from multiple disciplines – including the natural and social sciences – to analyze human-environmental interactions;
➢Analysis of the tradeoffs and benefits involved in managing resources for the environmental, social and economic welfare of current and future generations;
➢Development of alternative strategies for the use of natural, human and fiscal resources that are compatible with the constraints on these resources to re-produce;
➢Implementation of practical solutions to socio-environmental and economic problems, including those that relate to energy, ecosystems, technology, social change, food systems, public policy and governance issues.

Course Learning Goals
Students that successfully complete sustainability-focused or sustainability–related courses will be able to do some of the following:

➢Use and integrate knowledge and skills drawn from multiple disciplines to address problems associated with human-environment interactions
➢Understand how sustainability applies to their major, chosen career path, and everyday life;
➢Apply scientific expertise and technology to create sustainable solutions to actual problems.
➢Communicate the essential elements of sustainability
➢Promote sustainable communities within and beyond the college campus.

Has the institution identified its sustainability research activities and initiatives?:

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

The inventory of sustainability focused and related courses, projects, research, and creative activity was completed via an online survey emailed to all faculty and endorsed by the Office of the President. The initiation of the survey was also announced at a faculty meeting by the two Student Sustainability Coordinators. The survey was open for four weeks, from mid-February to mid-March of 2011. The response rate for the survey was approximately 42%. However, as the concept of identifying sustainability related courses and research was still relatively new, the faculty who participated in the survey are likely represent the majority of those who are most actively and progressively integrating sustainability into their courses.

The results from the survey will soon be made available online.

Does the institution make its sustainability research inventory publicly available online?:

The website URL where the sustainability research inventory is posted (required if claiming Part 3 of the credit):

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.