Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.07
Liaison Katie Koscielak
Submission Date May 7, 2020

STARS v2.2

Humboldt State University
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 4.00 Mary Oling- Sisay
Vice Provost
Academic Affairs
"---" 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?:
No

A brief description of the student sustainability research program:

While the institution does not provide specific incentives (e.g., fellowships, financial support, and/or mentorships) to bolster or recruit student sustainability research, HSU does provide recognition for student sustainability research in two ways:
1. During IdeaFest (an open showcase each spring for research and creative projects), all submissions have the opportunity to highlight whether their work is related to sustainability. If they select this option, they are given a magnet for their poster showing this designation and their abstract is marked with a sustainability symbol in the program. This bolsters attention for these projects and may influence participants to consider incorporating sustainability to their work for future projects.
2. The Office of Sustainability offers internships for course credit on a number of sustainability research projects under ESM 482 each semester, which serves as an opportunity for students to develop green jobs skills and take a deep dive into researching campus sustainability topics. Typically the office only mentors one or two students at a time, but may provide minor incentive for students to take on these research projects. In the past, students enrolled in this internship/mentor opportunity have conducted projects on the following topics: improving occupant conditions and efficiency by examining HVAC hot/cold calls, cold water laundering, identifying and mapping point source storm water pollution, among others.


Does the institution have a program to encourage academic staff from multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct sustainability research?:
No

A brief description of the faculty sustainability research program:

Similar to students, the institution does not at this time provide specific incentives by way of material or financial support to bolster or recruite faculty sustainbility research. That said, HSU does provide recognition for faculty sustainability research in one way:
1. During IdeaFest (an open showcase each spring for research and creative projects), all submissions have the opportunity to highlight whether their work is related to sustainability. If they select this option, they are given a magnet for their poster showing this designation and their abstract is marked with a sustainability symbol in the program. This bolsters attention for these projects and may influence participants to consider incorporating sustainability to their work for future 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:

The Department of Politics publishes a formal procedure that gives positive recognition to interdisciplinary research in their Retention, Tenure, and Promotion (RTP) Criteria & Standards. The Standards Handbook (approved Feb 2016) specifically says, "For the granting of tenure and promotion, the Department of Politics expects a candidate to provide evidence of an ongoing program that will lead to the production and dissemination of original, peer-reviewed work. We consider political science to be cross-disciplinary in nature, so we value interdisciplinary scholarship and publication in scholarly journals outside the traditional boundaries of political science as equivalent to publishing within the typical parameters of the field. We value collaborative research and co-authored publications; candidates must specify their role and the magnitude of their contribution to the final product," (page 2). The Standards may be downloaded here: http://www2.humboldt.edu/aps/faculty/RTP_Criteria.html.

The Department of Critical Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies also pays special attention to inter- and trans-disciplinary work in their published RTP Criteria and Standards, approved May 2016. Section II. Scholarly/Creative Activities, under A. Activities to be assessed, item #1 reads: "The field of Critical Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies is inherently inter- and trans-disciplinary, and therefore our standards must be relevant for faculty from a diverse range of professional and disciplinary backgrounds. The CRGS Department recognizes interdisciplinary and intersectional research as the most original (though not necessarily the most valuable) contribution a faculty member can make to our fields of study." The full CRGS RTP Criteria and Standards document is available at: https://hraps.humboldt.edu/sites/default/files/docs/crgs_rtp_criteriastandards-approvedmay2016.pdf.

In addition, the tenured and probationary faculty members comprising the committee for the International Studies Program are interdisciplinary by nature, as mentioned in the introduction of the International Studies RTP Criteria & Standards.

Finally, Environmental Studies and the Geography department also explicitly recognize the importance of interdisciplinary work in RTP decisions. The Department of Geography RTP Criteria and Standards document, Section II, Item 1 states under the first bullet that: "Geography is cross-disciplinary in nature, so we value interdisciplinary scholarship, publication in scholarly journals outside the traditional boundaries of disciplinary fields, and creative activities that engage a broader academic community as equivalent to publishing within disciplinary parameters." (The full document can be accessed at: https://hraps.humboldt.edu/sites/default/files/docs/geog_rtp_criteriastandards-approvedapril2017.pdf.) Similarly, the Environmental Studies Program RTP Criteria and Standards document states: Environmental Studies is cross-disciplinary in nature, so we value interdisciplinary scholarship, publication in scholarly journals outside the traditional boundaries of disciplinary fields, and creative activities that engage a broader academic community as equivalent to publishing within disciplinary parameters. (Full document online at: https://hraps.humboldt.edu/sites/default/files/docs/enst_rtp_criteriastandards-approvedapril2017.pdf.)


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 provides a variety of resources for sustainability research.

A fairly comprehensive set of resources are provided via the following links:
http://libguides.humboldt.edu/envs/enviro-articles
http://libguides.humboldt.edu/c.php?g=303766&p=2027605
http://libguides.humboldt.edu/openedu/enst

The resources listed on these pages include (among others):

Environmental Science Research Guide
http://libguides.humboldt.edu/envs/enviro-articles
• GreenFILE: Offers references to scholarly, government and general-interest publications covering all the aspects of human impact to the environment. Topics include global climate change, green building, pollution, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, recycling and many more.
• Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management: Indexes journal articles and other literature covering environmental science and pollution
• Geobase: Index to research literature on the earth sciences, ecology, geology, human and physical geography, environmental sciences, oceanography, geomechanics, alternative energy sources, pollution, waste management, and nature conservation.
• Forest Science Database: Indexes the world's literature on all aspects of forestry, including land use and conservation, forest products, forest industry and agroforestry. For Advanced Search, Mac users must use the Firefox browser. (Note: Please Logout when done.)
• HSU Office of Sustainability Project & Document Database: The HSU Office of Sustainability maintains a database of past projects and documents created by HSU students. Most projects have a local focus, with many centered on the HSU campus. This is particularly useful for ENVS 410 Environmental Science Practicum students.
• Academic Search Premier: Access to more than 13,000 scholarly journals and popular magazines in all academic disciplines from 1975 to the present.
• OmniFile Full Text Mega (H.W. Wilson): Provides a wide range of research resources, including subject coverage in the applied sciences, art, education, humanities, law, social sciences, and technology.
• Social Sciences in Forestry Bibliography : Includes literature on legislation, policy, planning, management and economic development issues as applied to forestry and public land management in general. Does not include full text articles- to obtain full text articles, search in Articles+ or order through Interlibrary Loan.
• Environmental History Bibliography Database: Indexes books, articles, and dissertations on topics in the fields of forest, conservation, and environmental history. Does not include full text articles- to obtain full text articles, search in Articles+ or order through Interlibrary Loan.
• FS INFO Database: Indexes forest and range research of interest to researchers and managers in the US Forest Service, with links to fulltext if available.

Environmental Resources Engineering Research Guide, Water Resources Databases
http://libguides.humboldt.edu/c.php?g=303766&p=2027605
• Water Resources Abstracts: Index to scientific and engineering literature on the characteristics, conservation, control, pollution, treatment, use, and management of water from 1967 to the present.
• Ecology Abstracts: Topical and comprehensive reference source for literature in the fields of marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecology. Provides a specialist overview of the increasing number of papers being published in the field.
• Geobase: Index to research literature on the earth sciences, ecology, geology, human and physical geography, environmental sciences, oceanography, geomechanics, alternative energy sources, pollution, waste management, and nature conservation.
• Sustainability Science Abstracts: Index to journal articles and other literature on the sustainability of natural resources, including water resources.
• Toxicology Abstracts: Index to journal, web, and conference literature on all aspects of toxicology in the home, environment and workplace including clinical effect of toxins and toxic risk. Topics of current concern such as the effects of alcohol and smoking, drug abuse, hydrocarbon studies, nitrosamines, radiation and radioactive materials, and much more are extensively examined. Toxicity testing methodology and analytical procedures for toxic substances are also covered.
• Toxline: Index to journal and conference literature on the toxicological, pharmacological, biochemical and physiological effects of drugs, pesticides, environmental pollutants, mutagens and teratogens.
• Pollution Abstracts: Index to scientific research, engineering applications and government policy on pollution detection, effects, monitoring, analysis and control found in journals, conference proceedings, web resources and government publications.

Open Educational Resources (OER) for Environmental Studies
http://libguides.humboldt.edu/openedu/enst
• Appropedia: Appropedia is the site for collaborative solutions in sustainability, poverty reduction and international development through the use of sound principles and appropriate technology and the sharing of wisdom and project information. It is a wiki, a type of website which allows anyone to add, remove, or edit content. Registration is encouraged but not required for contributors.
• MERLOT: MERLOT is a curated collection of free and open online teaching, learning, and faculty development services contributed and used by an international education community.
• The National Academies Press (NAP): This resource provides textbooks on various environmental studies topics. All of the books on the National Academies Press site are available as freely downloadable PDFs.
• Project Gutenberg - Ecology Bookshelf: Project Gutenberg's list of Ecology books in the public domain that are available freely online.
• Appropedia: Appropedia: is the site for collaborative solutions in sustainability, poverty reduction and international development through the use of sound principles and appropriate technology and the sharing of wisdom and project information. It is a wiki, a type of website which allows anyone to add, remove, or edit content. Registration is encouraged but not required for contributors.
• Coursera: Every course on Coursera is taught by top instructors from the world’s best universities and educational institutions. Courses include recorded video lectures, auto-graded and peer-reviewed assignments, and community discussion forums.
• Environmental Studies - edX: Take online courses in environmental science, natural resource management, environmental policy and civic ecology. Learn how to solve complex problems related to pollution control, water treatment and ecological sustainability with free online courses from leading universities worldwide.
• Future Learn - Nature & Environment: How is our need for energy and resources shaping the environmental challenges for tomorrow? Explore the natural world, and understand the causes and impact of climate change, with our online environment and biology courses.
• Future Learn - Urban Studies: Understand the problems cities face and learn how they can be resolved with ethical solutions.
• MIT Open Courseware - Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences: The MIT department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences explores the the solid earth, fluid earth, the biosphere, and their interactions, as well as planetary science, solar system dynamics, and observational astronomy. Lectures, quizzes, exams, problem sets and in some cases entire textbooks are available for use in the classroom or as supporting materials.
• MIT Open Courseware - Urban Studies and Planning: MIT's extensive list of open Urban Studies courses includes Environmental Justice, Policy and Planning materials. Lectures, quizzes, exams, problem sets and in some cases entire textbooks are available for use in the classroom or as supporting materials.
• Open Learn - Environmental Studies: Open Learn provides 52 free online courses such as "Understanding the environment: Learning and communication," "Environmental management and organizations," "Environment: Treading lightly on the Earth," "Energy resources: Solar energy," and "Effects of pollutants on the aquatic environment."
• Open Yale - Environmental Politics & Law: The Environmental Studies Program in Yale College provides an interdisciplinary approach to understanding and responding to environmental problems. From the natural sciences, students learn experimental techniques and methods of analysis needed to make accurate observations, to document change, to distinguish those changes resulting from human activity, and to understand what comprises healthy landscapes and functioning ecosystems.
• The Story of Stuff Project: The Story of Stuff is an illustrated lecture by author and environmental activist Annie Leonard that examines the environmental and social repercussions of the U.S.s consumer culture. The Story of Stuff Prject has expanded with videos addressing environmental studies topics and solutions.
• Global Development Resource Center's Virtual Library: Collection of online resources for Environmental Studies.
• HathiTrust: HathiTrust is a partnership of academic & research institutions, offering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world.
• Internet Archive: Digital Library: Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.
• Memrise - Earth Sciences: Memrise uses images and audio to help memorize vocabulary. The interactive site saves individual progress.
• National Geographic - Environment: The National Geographic online website and resource. Click the environment tab to find topics on climate change, oceans, parks, food, and urban expeditions.
• The National Science Foundation (NSF): (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense.
• Oxford Environmental Science Encyclopedia: Browse subjects such as Environmental Biology, Environmental Economics, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Ethics and Philosophy, and Environmental History.
• Sustainable Food Systems on Campus: Case Studies (UBC): Case studies on: Urban Agriculture, Ethnobotany, UBC Farm Through a sustainable Lens, Dining Environments, and Indigenous Food Sovereignty.
• U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: When Congress writes an environmental law, we implement it by writing regulations. Often, we set national standards that states and tribes enforce through their own regulations. If they fail to meet the national standards, we can help them. We also enforce our regulations, and help companies understand the requirements.


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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The Office of Sustainability is partnered with the Library to create a sustainability database in which all research and work relating to sustainability coming out of the campus may be archived in the future. While this effort is just getting underway, we hope that within the next year pathways will be developed to capture capstone final papers, faculty research, IdeaFest abstracts and posters all that relate to sustainability via a special collection organized on a library webpage. In addition, we hope to publish a special volume of the IdeaFest Journal on work specifically focused on sustainablity. The hope is that by bringing special attention to this work, more folks will be inclined to join the movement and explore sustainability with their research.

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.