Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 61.98
Liaison Michael Amadori
Submission Date March 2, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Hobart and William Smith Colleges
AC-10: Support for Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 4.00 Michael Amadori
Sustainability Manager
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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:

1. The Carver and DeLaney Family Environmental Studies Endowment seeks to encourage and support student sustainability projects on the Hobart and William Smith campus and in local communities. Grant funding (up to $1,000) can be used toward supplies, materials and travel expenses. Students must have a staff or faculty project adviser. Awards are determined by the Office of Sustainability, in consultation with the Finger Lakes Institute, Environmental Studies program, and others on campus. Awards are based on criteria such as anticipated impact on campus and/or local community sustainability efforts, student and project support by advising faculty/staff, and feasibility of the project.

2. The Environmental Research Fund supports environmental research projects in the amount of $250 - $1,000, which can be used for supplies, materials and travel expenses. Students enrolled in ENV 450 Independent Study or ENV 300/301 Senior Integrative Experience may apply. First- and second-year students are also encouraged to apply for this fund. Selection is based on relevance to environmental studies, student motivation, preference to students early in their careers, feasibility of the project and student academic record. The Selection Committee is made up of both students and faculty.

3. The Kloman Fellowship Fund is designed to underwrite Hobart or William Smith student research projects about whales and the natural environment up to $1,000, which may be used for supplies, materials, travel and living expenses. Students work with a faculty sponsor. Selection is determined by the Kloman Fund Selection Committee and is based factors such as relevance to Kloman's interests, student motivation, feasibility of the project and the student's academic record.

4. The Environmental Sustainability Trustee Scholarship is awarded to students with a demonstrated commitment to environmental leadership, sustainability, energy and environmental policy, climate change science or policy, or similar. Students must submit the scholarship application along with all HWS application materials by January 15. Applicants must have an admissions interview by February 1. Sustainability Trustee scholars are awarded $25,000 annually.

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:

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:

Each interdisciplinary program at Hobart and William Smith is required to submit a formal Standards and Criteria (SAC) document noting how interdisciplinary is evaluated. The following example is taken from the Environmental Studies SAC document.

Faculty members within the Environmental Studies program have a broad range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary interests, ranging from geoscience and biology to economics, sociology, religious studies, art, and literature. As such, scholarship within Environmental Studies must be evaluated in terms of standards relevant to that individual’s disciplinary or interdisciplinary interests. If a candidate has clear disciplinary scholarship, then that person’s scholarship should be evaluated by standards typical for his/her primary disciplinary interests. However, this does not imply that a faculty member in Environmental Studies should be bound by the Standards and Criteria (SAC) of another department at HWS, as Environmental Studies professors’ research may be more interdisciplinary in nature than would be research solely acceptable by a disciplinary program. For example, an economist by training but located within the Environmental Studies program may have a more interdisciplinary research agenda and publication record than would be acceptable for the same candidate within an economics program.

In general, the burden falls to the candidate, his/her review team, and external reviewers to frame the importance of a scholar’s research agenda and publications (or other commonly accepted forms of scholarship) from the perspective of the Environmental Studies program. This will usually require a thorough review of the candidate’s statement of scholarship and her/his scholarly materials by the external reviewers, ideally other faculty affiliated with Environmental Studies at peer institutions during Review II and Review III. It is conceivable that a faculty member within Environmental Studies might have a more disciplinary scholarship record (such as the economics professor within the program but whose research is focused on economic issues and whose publication record would be suitable for scholarship in the economics department); in this case, the candidate and review committee may agree on review of scholarship by disciplinary faculty at other schools. In selecting outside reviewers for scholarship, the Environmental Studies Program may look towards national organizations for advice and possible reviewers. These national organizations include the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE), the Council of Environmental Deans and Directors (CEED), and the North East Environmental Studies (NEES) group. These national organizations are also valuable resources for faculty in Environmental Studies.

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:

The HWS Warren Hunting Smith Library supports the entire curriculum of the Colleges, including sustainability research. Some areas of the curriculum allow for inquiry into the many aspects of sustainability. The library includes 23 professional staff trained to work with faculty, students, and staff. Six days a week, the library staffs a Research Desk with a dedicated Research Consultation Room to assist faculty, students, and staff with their research needs, including topics related to sustainability.

The Finger Lakes Institute Information Clearinghouse is a collection of approximately 2,000 regionally-related documents of various media pertaining to the Finger Lakes environment, sustainable development, and economy. The expanding clearinghouse contains information, rare documents, citations, publications, and educational materials available to campus and regional residents to further advance awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the Finger Lakes’ spheres of sustainability (economy, society, environment) related to decision making and management of the region’s communities and natural resources. The FLI Information Clearinghouse is searchable within the HWS Library Collections.

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

Data source(s) and notes about 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.