Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.32
Liaison Merry Rankin
Submission Date Aug. 29, 2022

STARS v2.2

Iowa State University
EN-11: Inter-Campus Collaboration

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Merry Rankin
ISU Director of Sustainability
Facilities Planning & Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution currently a member of a national or international higher education sustainability network?:

The name of the national or international sustainability network(s):
Iowa State University is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Iowa State is one of over twenty leading Midwestern higher education institutions, non-profits, local governments, and businesses partnering with the goal to develop a coordinated Midwestern response to the climate crisis. This partnership yielded the inaugural Midwest Climate Summit which took place in two parts occurring in fall 2020 and fall 2021. The goal of the summit is to “... expand climate knowledge, accelerate climate action, and catalyze new partnerships that deepen expertise and develop a Midwestern response to the climate crisis”.

Does the institution actively participate in a regional, state/provincial, or local higher education sustainability network?:

The name of the regional, state/provincial or local sustainability network(s):
Iowa Chapter of the United States Green Building Council USGBC Iowa seeks to create a positive impact on the region's built environment by accelerating the adoption of green building practices, technologies, policies, and standards. We endeavor to move the green building industry forward with education, awareness, advocacy, and market-based solutions. One Sustainable Iowa Student Sustainability Conference This conference, first held at Iowa State in the spring of 2019 brought together eighty-one students, staff, and faculty from 11 schools across the state of Iowa with a goal of creating a sustainability network across Iowa. The second conference was hosted at UNI in March 2020. After the second conference, the momentum continued and the University of Iowa (UI) was next on the list to host a student conference. However, due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19, representatives from UI, ISU, and UNI decided to postpone the in-person 2021 conference and shifted to virtual programming. The 2022 conference took place in person at the University of Iowa and provided students, faculty, and staff with valuable networking and education opportunities. Water Scholars The Water Scholars Water Resources Learning Community is a program for faculty, staff, and graduate students across Iowa to connect and participate in professional development programming tailored specifically for water resources researchers. Throughout the year, the program offers professional development programming with guest presenters and leading experts in Iowa water policy, science communication, and team building, networking opportunities for interdisciplinary faculty, staff, and graduate students, and a book club that serves as a venue to discuss emergent water-related topics in popular press and public discourse. Participants in the program are listed in the Water Scholars Directory for the public to access to serve as a resource for potential project collaborators among water scientists, interview/subject matter expert requests for media, and connections to researchers for community members and educators. Big Ten and Friends Sustainability Network Offering an opportunity for sustainability leadership to come together and support each other, share best practices and brainstorm solutions to barriers, the Big Ten and Friends Sustainability Network, meets annually and also offers targeted dialogues and affinity working group sessions throughout the year. Affinity groups represent sustainability focus areas of: Food Procurement, Procurement, Athletics, Tracking & Assessment, Zero Waste, Academics, Power Purchase Agreements, Strategic Plans and Goals, Green Office Certification, Social Justice/Anti-Racism, Water, Reusable Containers, Trees and SDGs. Iowa Sustainable Business Forum The Center for Industrial Research and Service, or CIRAS, helps Iowa businesses connect and develop effective sustainability programs as a partner with the Iowa Sustainable Business Forum (ISBF). The mission of the ISBF is to connect Iowa businesses to continuously improve practices that positively impact people, the planet, and profits. ISBF is a confidential, members-only forum focused on helping environmental, social responsibility, safety, and other sustainability leaders connect with each other to help solve problems. Programs include networking, education, training, and member discounts. Key topics of education and training include general business sustainability initiatives, environmental health and safety, waste reduction, energy efficiency, renewable energy, employee wellness, and more.

Has the institution presented at a higher education sustainability conference during the previous year?:

A list or brief description of the conference(s) and presentation(s):
In fall 2021, Merry Rankin (Director of Sustainability), Ayodeji Oluwalana (former Recycling Coordinator), and Dan Neubauer (Associate Teaching Professor of Industrial Design) presented a plexiglass recycling project at the AASHE Global Conference. As the barriers (which were initially implemented to mitigate the spread of COVID-19) were removed, there were concerns about what would be done with the barriers. Industrial design students turned the barriers into things like portable tables and desk organizers, preventing them from being sent to the landfill. In fall 2020, Merry Rankin (Director of Sustainability), Ayodeji Oluwalana (former Recycling Coordinator), and Jayna Grauerholz (Contract Manager) presented a cardboard composting project at the AASHE Global Conference. Cardboard is shredded and used as animal bedding (and is more absorbent than the corn stalks previously used), then sent to the Iowa State University Compost Facility. In fall 2021, Merry Rankin (Director of Sustainability) was a member of a panel discussion, hosted by HDR, as part of their Adaptations interview series. The goal of the series was to “to examine how educators are adapting to the ever-changing education landscape and how the built environment helps or hinders them in that effort.” The panel was hosted online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In December 2020, Iowa State University faculty and staff presented a case study on “Sustainability in Higher Ed: Iowa State University's Culture Change, One Building at a Time” for USGBC Iowa. Key members of the team Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Building at ISU shared how the building complex has helped the department improve its work, how the ABE building complex was a turning point in ISU's approach to stormwater management, and how the ABE building complex set the stage for integration of LEED strategies across all buildings -- including new and existing buildings. In March 2021, Merry Rankin (Director of Sustainability) was one of six guest speakers (representing national and international universities) for the annual SIUE Energy Symposium, sharing experiences in sustainability and as a sustainable campus.

Has the institution submitted a case study during the previous year to an external higher education sustainability resource center or awards program?:

A list or brief description of the sustainability resource center or awards program and submission(s):
The Iowa State University National Electrical Contracting Association (NECA) Student Chapter participated in the North American Electrical Contracting Innovation Challenge (ECIC). As a part of the challenge, student teams from the U.S. and Canada are challenged to create a 50-page electrical contracting proposal. Students gain valuable skills working with their local NECA contractors on real-world projects. Proposals are judged by industry professionals in the summer; the top three teams complete an oral presentation at the National NECA Convention, held in the fall. The 2021 competition tasked the team with creating a complete electrical design to complement a previously completed architectural design - based on a university student union. From low voltage device layout to lighting photometric studies, the team developed a full set of electrical construction documents. After placing third in the written portion of the contest, the team presented their proposal to a live audience in Nashville, TN. and placed 2nd overall, with two team members also receiving best presenter awards.

Has the institution had employees or students serving on a board or committee of a sustainability network or conference during the previous three years?:

A list or brief description of the board or committee appointment(s):
Wendy Wintersteen, ISU President Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Council of Presidents and Research Intensive Committee Big 12 Conference Board of Directors University Innovation Alliance (UIA) Kathy Wellik, Director of Transportation Board member of National Conference of State Fleet Administrators (NCSFA) Ulrike Passe, Professor of Architecture Sustainable Cities Research Team Lead Robert Brown, Professor of Mechanical Engineering Member of the University of Wisconsin’s Chemical Upcycling of Waste Plastics Consortium sponsored by the DOE Gene Takle, Professor of Geologic and Atmospheric Sciences Member of the Board of Trustees, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research William Gutowski Jr., Professor of Geologic and Atmospheric Sciences Midwest Climate Collaborative steering committee member Merry Rankin, Director of Sustainability Midwest Climate Collaborative Conference Planning Committee co-chair James Tener, Professor of Music and Theatre Member of the Midwest Climate Collaborative Conference Planning Committee

Does the institution have an ongoing mentoring relationship with another institution through which it assists the institution with its sustainability reporting and/or the development of its sustainability program?:

A brief description of the mentoring relationship and activities:
ISU Dining, University of Northern Iowa, and University of Iowa programs compile collective purchases for joint contracts for grease collection/mitigation, dairy supplier, convenience store items, and prime vendor. This collaborative effort allows universities to share the reduced prices that accompany sustainable purchasing like brands, volume purchasing, etc. In response to the NSF’s Dear Colleague Letter, Build and Broaden: Enabling New Social, Behavioral and Economic Science Collaborations with Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), NSF funded a project titled, “Build and Broaden: Collaborative Research- African American Family Relationship Research through Partnerships with HBCUs.” The principal investigators included: Drs. Chalandra Bryant, professor of family social science at the University of Minnesota, Jennifer Ross, associate professor of psychology and sociology at Tuskegee University, and Tera Jordan, assistant provost of faculty development and an associate professor of human development and family studies at Iowa State University. The resulting deliverable was a virtual conference aimed to foster partnerships among Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), and research-intensive institutions. The goal to have faculty participants learn from faculty mentors in developmental science about how to submit a competitive National Science Foundation (NSF) grant proposal.

Has the institution had employees or students serving as peer reviewers of another institution’s sustainability data and/or STARS submission during the previous three years?:

A brief description of the peer review activities:

A brief description of other inter-campus collaborative efforts around sustainability during the previous year :
With a goal of connecting students throughout Iowa who have interests in sustainability and build lasting relationships to impact on-campus and off-campus sustainability commitment and impact, the One Sustainable Iowa Network was formed. Including colleges and universities across Iowa, the network offers virtual connection and sharing opportunities, as well as an annual professional development conference. The Iowa Student Leadership Experience (ISLE) is a one-day leadership conference that brings students together to collaborate, engage, and practice meaningful leadership. ISLE is a collaboration between Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa, and the University of Iowa and is open to students from all three campuses. The conference features a presentation by a keynote speaker, a student panel, and a variety of breakout sessions related to different facets of leadership. 2022 breakout sessions included “COVID and Student Leadership Fatigue”, “Life and Leadership after Undergrad”, “Crucial Conversations and How to Work Through Difference” and others. Since the COVID-19 pandemic initially necessitated the transition to virtual learning and networking, the annual Symposium on Sustainability (which accompanies Iowa State’s Sustainapalooza event) features a keynote speaker highlighting excellence nationally and/or internationally in environmental, economic or social sustainability. After the switch to virtual delivery, the Symposium on Sustainability was made available to students at the University of Northern Iowa and University of Iowa, who became co-hosts of the event. Virtual delivery of this event meant additional flexibility for speakers (who could “attend” from different countries, time zones, etc.) and students outside of Ames, who no longer had to factor in transportation time or costs in their decision to attend the Symposium.

Website URL where information about the institution’s inter-campus collaborations is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
https://www.onesustainableiowa.com/ https://hs.iastate.edu/news/build-and-broaden-a-chance-to-increase-grant-proposals-to-the-national-science-foundation/

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.