Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 78.07
Liaison Kate Witte
Submission Date March 4, 2021

STARS v2.2

Keene State College
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Cary Gaunt
Director of Campus 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 sustainability research?:

A brief description of the student sustainability research program:

The KSC Office of Sustainability launched the KSC Student Sustainability Innovation Fund in Spring 2020. Rising Junior or Seniors are eligible to apply. The fund provides up to three rising Juniors or Seniors a financial award of $500 toward a project that supports student-centered programs of the Office of Sustainability or other innovations that will help KSC achieve its sustainability goals.

Examples of projects that qualify for the funding include new sustainability marketing and communications campaigns; student workshops or other educational outreach programs; theater, dance or music performances that address sustainability or climate change; science projects about water or ecosystem health – the options are endless, but the projects must address topics of relevance to KSC.
See: https://www.keene.edu/office/sustain/sustainability-innovation-fund/

Does the institution have a program to encourage academic staff from multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct sustainability research?:

A brief description of the faculty sustainability research program:

Keene State College offers Faculty Development Grants. These are not explicitly tied to Sustainability Course development, however they are tied to supporting development of the College-Wide Learning Outcomes (CWLOs), of which Sustainability is one. Three additional CWLOs also address sustainability: Intercultural Competence, Commitment to Well-Being, and Civic Engagement. Many faculty use the Faculty Development Grants to develop course materials or incorporate sustainability into existing courses as is evidenced in the examples of funded projects found here: https://www.keene.edu/academics/fe/internal-grants/faculty-development-grants/; scroll to Past Awards. Faculty Development Grants also are offered to Adjunct Faculty (see: https://www.keene.edu/academics/fe/internal-grants/afdg/).
Here are three examples of how these grants are used to support research:
1) Off Country: A film project that uses first person accounts and oral history to critique the inequities built into the nuclear weapons industry.
2) Interdisciplinary Study of the Cultural and Biological Significance of Gravestones
3) The Music of Social Justice.
Details for these three examples are provided below:
Project Title: Off Country
Faculty Investigator Name: Taylor Dunne, Film Studies
Abstract: Radiation is invisible and atomic weaponry was born in secret. This unseen industry has defined the American landscape through testing, manufacturing and storing nuclear armament. Off Country is a feature length film that uses first person accounts and oral history to critique the inequities built into the nuclear weapons industry. This project focuses on three landscapes: The Trinity Site in New Mexico, the former Rocky Flats Plant in Colorado and the Nevada Test Site.Though these communities inherited the public health crisis of environmental exposure to radiation, their voices have been redacted from history. Traditional nuclear historiography emphasizes the individual accomplishments of a handful of Anglo-American and European participants in the Manhattan Project as a means to overlook the collective experience and physical burden of the citizens adjacent to the Nuclear Weapons Complex. This project archives and curates a chorus of activists, public health workers and community members who tell a story outlining the environmental racism built into military-industrial policy. In visual compliment to hearing this People’s History the film critiques the politics of the built environment by photographically recontextualizing roadside attractions, military museums and contaminated landscapes. This grant will support the costs associated with finishing the post production of this film, specifically preparing the final audio mix, high-resolution image processing and color grading. Additionally, I am developing a special topics course based on the oral history methodologies intrinsic to this project. The course will link Undergraduate community driven fieldwork with documentary filmmaking, personal storytelling and local history.

Project Title: Historic gravestones in Keene – an interdisciplinary study of their cultural and biological significance
Faculty Investigator Name: Greg Knouff, History (see also, Loren Launen, Biology)
Abstract: Stone surfaces, including stone monument surfaces, develop microbial biofilms that contribute to their biodeterioration. Microbes degrade stone through biochemical activity leading to mineral dissolution, and physical damage, such as penetration by fungal hyphae. This damage threatens monuments of cultural significance world-wide, and may be accelerating due to anthropogenic influences on climate. In New England one of the cultural resources we will lose is our historic gravestones, many of which are the oldest in the nation.
There have been studies characterizing these complex stone surface microbial biofilm communities, including those occurring on historic gravestones (8). It is known that the communities are complex and include microbes living in symbiotic relationships (lichen and others). Factors like rock type influence the community composition and its functional abilities , with some microbes leading to degradation and others protecting stone. Overall, however, relatively little is known about the microbial communities on gravestones, which limits our ability to predict levels of biodeterioration and to establish conservation strategies.
Gravestones provide important insight into the history of individuals and communities. Keene contains numerous graveyards that have stones from the Revolutionary war era, including stones from smallpox victims of the 18th century related to an ongoing project of Dr. Knouff’s. This project aims to archive information on representative stones identified as particularly important, which will add to the historical record. Furthermore, this work could yield important baseline information towards informing preservation strategies utilizing microbial communities, as has worked for other types of stone monuments.

Project Title: The Music of Social Justice Series – Spring 2020 Commission
Faculty Investigator Name: John Hart, Music
Abstract: With the Spring 2020 Commissioning Project, Dr. John Hart and the KSC Concert Band launch a new social justice initiative at the College: the Music of Social Justice Series. The initiative works to dismantle some of the systemic barriers faced by people of marginalized populations in the composition and performance of wind ensemble repertoire. Historically, women composers, composers of color, and composers in the LGBTQ+ community have been drastically underrepresented in wind ensemble concert programming. Lack of representation means that composers from these marginalized populations have been denied the opportunity to influence, let alone create, cultural norms in music, thus perpetuating the status quo of the cultural majority. To address this injustice, the Music of Social Justice Series will celebrate marginalized composers by programming, commissioning, performing, and recording new works for the wind ensemble repertoire each year. The KSC Concert Band will give the world premiere of each work, and will cultivate a reputation for being a haven for the creation, performance, and celebration of works by marginalized composers, acting as a model for other progressive music programs throughout the country. Our inaugural commission, funded in part by KSC Faculty Enrichment, is written by Gala Flagello (ASCAP), a rising female composer, musical entrepreneur, and advocate for women composers. This initiative constitutes a significant step toward reinforcing the College’s missions related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and demonstrates our dedication to the crucial work of creating a more just society.

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 copy of the promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:

The promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:

Faculty promotion and/or tenure decisions are based on how well faculty perform scholarship and research that address the College's values, Collegewide Learning Outcomes, and the Academic and Co-Curricular Plan. Each of these documents identifies the importance of interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches. This type of cross-disciplinary perspective is central to Keene State College and also articulated in the required Integrative Studies Program. The following URLS identify these key policies:
(1) Collegewide Learning Outcomes (http://www.keene.edu/academics/liberal-arts/outcomes/) which are inherently inter-, trans-, and multidisciplinary.
(2) Academic and Co-Curricular Plan: https://www.keene.edu/administration/president/svp/planning-archive/planning/assets/documents/academic-co-curricular-plan/download/
(3) College's 2015 Strategic Plan: https://www.keene.edu/administration/president/svp/planning-archive/planning/strategic-plan/
(4) The Faculty Handbook (See: https://www.keene.edu/administration/policy/detail/faculty-handbook/download/) outlines how faculty are to address these approaches as part of faculty promotion/tenure.
Each Department furthermore determines specific Department Promotion and Evaluation Criteria that articulate in more detail some of these requirements regarding interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multi-disciplinary research and intersection with Collegewide Learning Outcomes. The website for these is: https://dept.keene.edu/aa/departmental-dpec-guidelines/; also provided later in this AASHE section under "Website URL where information about the institution’s support for sustainability research is available"

Does the institution have ongoing library support for sustainability research and learning?:

A brief description of the institution’s library support for sustainability research:

The Keene State College Mason Library is co-located with the Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies to provide "one of the oldest Holocaust resource Centers in the United States." (See: https://www.keene.edu/academics/ah/cchgs/about/). The library also holds a special archive of Doris “Granny D” Haddock's materials--a collection of nationally-recognized letters, photographs, and memorabilia. These historic materials are described as being available at the Keene State College’s Mason Library to students, faculty, the local community, and the public at large as a vital resource on social justice. (See: https://www.keene.edu/news/stories/detail/1339005047810/) The Granny D collection is part of a larger N.H. Social Justice Collection that includes materials from civil rights activist Jonathan Daniels, award-winning journalist William Seamans, NH film producer Louis de Rochemont, and NH Poet Laureates William Butts, Patricia Fargnoli, and Marie Harris. The Special Collections also houses the internationally-recognized Orang Asli Archive, a research collection dedicated to preserving the history and culture of the indigenous peoples of Peninsular Malaysia.
These are but a few of the ways KSC's library supports sustainability research. The library also is integral to sustainability practice and co-curricular education, as it is the central hub for KSC's Green Bikes Program, a free bicycle lending program that educates about and encourages sustainable transportation.

Website URL where information about the institution’s support for sustainability research is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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