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

STARS v2.2

Iowa State University
PRE-2: Points of Distinction

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

Name of the institution’s featured sustainability program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Consortium for Cultivating Human And Naturally reGenerative Enterprises (C-CHANGE)

A brief description of the institution’s featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:

In the late fall of 2019, staff of the ISU Bioeconomy Institute (BEI) noticed an opportunity across campus to increase understanding, research and collaboration within the campus community for the potential to use agriculture to help mitigate climate change. This is a relevant area of focus for a land grant university and specifically important for Iowa. Team members began connections and dialogue with university administration, as well as interdisciplinary leaders from across campus, to both inform others about the research work of the Institute and strategize collaborative opportunities. Encouraged by the synergistic connections that already existed, a collective initiative began to create an open dialogue with students, faculty and concerned citizens to harness knowledge toward developing an action-based, campus-wide plan to include agriculturally-based carbon removal in the research, education and extension missions of the university.

With considerations of COVID-19 safety precautions, an in-person forum scheduled for the 2020 spring semester was rescheduled and hosted virtually in 2021. Despite the delay, the forum had over 350 participants and sparked collective enthusiasm from students, faculty and staff for campus carbon collaboration. In pursuing next steps, BEI partnered (and continues to partner) with the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Engineering and Liberal Arts and Sciences, as well as local, state and national agencies, organizations and companies to offer the following deliverables:
• Statewide Carbon Assessment, an overarching and in-depth research and reporting collective of Iowa’s carbon sources, challenges and opportunities.
• Conversations about Carbon, a biweekly virtual lunch hour discussion with an expert addressing key questions about carbon reduction, removal and repair (Spring 2021).
• BeingCHANGE/SeeingCHANGE Lecture and Leadership Workshop, a connection and strategizing opportunity assessing campus-wide actions and potential toward carbon reduction and removal (Fall 2021).
• C-CHANGE and CyBound Scholars Internship Programs, an education, engagement and empowerment opportunity for students across the U.S. and around the world to focus on carbon reduction and mitigation (Summer 2021-2025).
There is substantial research, extensive collaboration and widespread knowledge to be shared toward ensuring a sustainable and carbon mitigated future.

Which of the following impact areas does the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Campus Engagement
Air & Climate

Website URL where more information about the accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
Innovation A

A photograph or document associated with the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:

Name of a second highlighted sustainability program/initiative/accomplishment:
EPA Green Power Partnership

A brief description of the second program/initiative/accomplishment:

On July 28, 2022, EPA's Green Power Partnership (GPP) released updates to its Top Partner Rankings, which feature Partner organizations leading the way with their use of green power. Iowa State University was recognized among the top partners for this quarter – appearing on the Top 30 College & University List for the first time at #17, for our increased commitment in incorporating renewable fuel sources into our energy portfolio - using nearly 100 million kWh of green power, an increase of more than 82 million kWh.

Which impact areas does the second program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Air & Climate
Coordination & Planning

Website URL where more information about the second program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the second program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):

A photograph or document associated with the second program/initiative/accomplishment:

Name of a third highlighted program/initiative/accomplishment:
Climate Science Degree Program

A brief description of the third program/initiative/accomplishment:

A new interdisciplinary degree program beginning this fall at Iowa State University aims to prepare students for careers helping society address and adapt to climate change.

Along with a core curriculum of geological and atmospheric science, economics and science communication, students will choose additional coursework in at least one of six defined pathways: advanced climate science; science visualization; design and planning for sustainability; policy and human behavior; climate, food, agriculture and biodiversity; and science communication.

The Iowa Board of Regents approved the new climate science degree program July 27 after a multi-year process initiated by the department of geological and atmospheric sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS).

Iowa State considers workforce needs and demand when creating new degree programs. Given the financial costs associated with extreme flooding, droughts, heat waves and wide-spread crop failures, there is a growing need to provide a well-trained, adaptable workforce to address these challenges.

Currently, no other public university in Iowa offers a program like the new climate science option at ISU. The climate science program is rooted in the geosciences and earth system processes from local to global scales.

Which impact areas does the third program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Air & Climate

Website URL where more information about the third program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the third program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):

A photograph or document associated with the third program/initiative/accomplishment:

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.