Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 81.82
Liaison Ryan Ihrke
Submission Date Feb. 23, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Green Mountain College
AC-10: Support for Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Tom Mauhs Pugh
Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs
Academic Affairs/Administration
"---" 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 institution encourages student research in sustainability in three ways.

First, to graduate, every undergraduate Green Mountain College student must conduct a substantive piece of sustainability research in the capstone ELA course entitled "A Delicate Balance" and must earn a passing grade. The general description of this assignment is provided here:

The “Delicate Balance Project” Assignment Project Overview: The Delicate Balance project is a culminating service activity that you research, design, carry out, and write up. The project is both scholarly and action oriented: that is, you both write a paper that supports your project and carry out the project. Required elements include:
1. Detailed Project Proposal with goals, deliverables, measurable outcomes, budget and timeline
2. Problem/solution research paper
3. Poster Presentation
4. Final Project “Package” which includes an evaluation of its impact and of what you have learned

Project Description: This is where you are to put your well-researched ideas and idealism into action. The project is the scholarly and real-world expression of your environmental and social ethics—a public activity that addresses a genuine need in a community. You are to find a problem involving community sustainability (broadly defined), use your research skills to understand and contextualize the problem and possible solutions, and deliver a solution through civic engagement. Projects will be negotiated in class, based on your interests, goals, disciplinary skills, and the needs of the community. Past examples will be made available.

This capstone experience was described and evaluated in comparison to other approaches to capstone projects at AASHE 2015 in Minneapolis.

Second, full-time faculty can provide $500 of funding per semester to Undergraduate Research Assistants (URAs). Each year approximately 7 out of the 10 URAs work with faculty engaged specifically in sustainability related research.

Finally, Green Mountain College has provided scholarships to support research in sustainability. The Sustainability 2020 Award scholarships are available to current students who have demonstrated excellence through past and current participation in community service, leadership roles in academic and extracurricular settings, and/or dedication to environmental practices and while maintaining good academic standing. The award ranges in amount up to $7,000 per year and students are required to provide a detailed resume of community service, leadership and/or environmental advancement experience with their initial application.

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:

Because of the College's mission and academic focus on sustainability, we encourage all faculty to engage in sustainability-related research, and most of those faculty engaged in research do so.

Support is provided to faculty research focused on advancing the College's Sustainability 2020 plan through the form of grants to support research through additional personnel via the Undergraduate Research Assistant Positions. In addition, decisions related to sabbatical are reviewed based on the faculty member's goals to support and strengthen Green Mountain College. Similar to the URA support awards, sabbatical proposals are evaluated, in part, on how well they advance the College's Sustainability 2020 strategic plan. Additional professional development money is available to support faculty who are researching on areas related to the Sustainability 2020 strategic plan.

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:

Faculty receive positive recognition to interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research during faculty promotion decisions as these types of research are essential to the structure of our academic programs.

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:

Griswold Library at Green Mountain College supports the College’s curriculum and mission-based sustainability efforts by subscribing to a number of carefully selected and specific research databases. Three widely used databases are Environment Complete, Agricola/Agriculture Journals, and Building Green. The Building Green online library focuses on sustainable eco-friendly design, building materials, and construction methodology.

Also of value and receiving much use by library patrons are the databases BioOne and JSTOR Biological Sciences.

In addition, Griswold Library is committed to offering library patrons access to new and historical resources, and therefore the library actively purchases books, serials, and DVD/documentaries in a variety of subject areas to include environmental and sustainability studies in general, and in particular the subjects agriculture, animal studies, ecological design, environmental ethics, food systems, natural resources management, renewable energy, and sustainable/green business.

The Griswold Library supported the creation of the College's Open Access to Research policy during Fall, 2017 and provides the staffing necessary to implement the policy.

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

The library homepage directs patrons to LibGuides that directs the library users to specific subject guides that support the study of sustainability. See links below:

Animal Conservation and Care: http://library.greenmtn.edu/animal
Biology: http://library.greenmtn.edu/biology
Business: http://library.greenmtn.edu/business
Environmental Studies: http://library.greenmtn.edu/environmentalstudies
Natural Resource Management: http://library.greenmtn.edu/nrm
Renewable Energy & Ecological Design: http://library.greenmtn.edu/reed
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Production: http://library.greenmtn.edu/sustainableagriculture

Masters in Resilient and sustainable Communities (MRSC): http://library.greenmtn.edu/mrsc
Masters of Science in Environmental Studies (MSES): http://library.greenmtn.edu/mses
Masters of Science in Food Systems (MSFS): http://library.greenmtn.edu/msfs
Bioregional Research for MRSC: http://library.greenmtn.edu/mrscbioregion
Bioregional Research for MSES: http://library.greenmtn.edu/msesbioregion
Bioregional Research for MSFS: http://library.greenmtn.edu/msfsbioregion

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.