Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 47.51
Liaison Chris Frantsvog
Submission Date May 1, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Luther College
OP-11: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Molly McNicoll
Assistant Professor in Biology and Natural Area Lands Manager
Biology
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution own or manage land that includes or is adjacent to legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance?:
Yes

A brief description of any legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance on institution owned or managed land:
Luther recently enrolled ~123 acres to be permanently protected under the U.S. federal program, USDA's Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program and additional 6 acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). These areas are in addition to the 545 acres of natural areas that are managed for diverse native communities, similarly to the officially designated protected areas.

Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify endangered and vulnerable species with habitats on institution-owned or –managed land?:
Yes

Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify environmentally sensitive areas on institution-owned or –managed land?:
Yes

The methodology(-ies) used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or environmentally sensitive areas and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:
Luther biology faculty (ecologists, botanists, entomologists, ornithologists, etc.) have conducted assessments of Luther's natural areas since the natural areas were first purchased. These assessments were conducted along with students as part of classroom work and research. Assessment and monitoring continues, especially as any new restoration projects or land management are proposed.

A brief description of identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:
Native species on the natural areas include restored tallgrass and sand prairies, oak savanna and woodlands, oak-hickory forests, bottomland (floodplain) forests along the Upper Iowa River. The campus natural areas also contain habitats typical of the driftless region and karst topography.

A brief description of plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:
Luther's natural areas are an outdoor classroom and research site for students and community members. Sustainable management and restoration of Luther's natural areas is overseen and implemented by a broad group on campus, including facilities, several academic departments (including biology and environmental studies), a natural areas land manager, student land stewardship interns, a land use committee (advisory), and students/faculty/staff from across campus. A general guidance document for the natural areas is provided in Land Stewardship Plan, available here: https://www.luther.edu/sustainability/land-use/land-stewardship/
In addition, new restorations and land management are developed for each part of Luther's natural areas to promote the ideals of: student education, promoting healthy native ecosystems, and creating a connection between students and natural areas.

The website URL where information about the institution’s biodiversity policies and programs(s) is available:
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.