Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.60
Liaison Dayna Cook
Submission Date May 1, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Northern Arizona University
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Ellen Vaughan
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee, office, and/or officer that focuses on sustainability broadly and covers the entire institution?:

A brief description of the activities and substantive accomplishments of the committee(s), office(s), and/or officer(s) during the previous three years:

Accomplishment by the Caucus and Student Environmental Caucus for the last three years. They may be easier to read off their website: http://nau.edu/Environmental-Caucus/Accomplishments/

Accomplishments in Fiscal Year 2012

• Successfully served as catalyst and driving force for sustainability efforts in academic affairs, research, student life, facilities, and operations, providing grass roots ideas to middle-level and senior administrators across campus and to the Coordinating Committee for Campus Sustainability. Provided an opportunity for administrators to learn about sustainability interests and opportunities directly from students, faculty, and staff.
• Monthly meetings drew 30 – 50 participants from a listserv of over 400 members
• Sent out weekly EC newsletter to all EC members.
• Made numerous presentations at American Association for Sustainability in Higher Education conference, Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences, American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment Regional Symposium, Hewlett Foundation Engineering Schools of the West Initiative, and other associations, and organized significant participation of NAU faculty, staff and students
• EC Transportation Action Team (TransAT) activities included
o Leadership and Coordination Plan for bicycles resulting in NAU designation as a Bike Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists
o A SESES Intern with Trans AT produced the Multimodal Inventory Project
o Held events increasing Awareness of sustainable transportation alternatives at No Impact Week and Earth Week, including parades and Bike to Breakfast
o Initiated, Planned Bike Safety Maintenance 1 Credit NAU Course Provided for Fall 2012
o Sustainable Environmental Practices Action Team
o Sustainability Landscape Maintenance Project completed first year.
o Eight student interns researched environmentally friendly options to replace herbicides in landscape maintenance.
o Data gathered and analyzed to lay groundwork for Year 2, when alternatives will be tested.
• Earth Week
o Organized and integrated Earth Week activities, collaborating with several groups on campus to ensure minimum overlap and maximum participation
o Sponsored and hosted Earth Week Kickoff speaker Dr. Ed Grumbine and the Sustainability Awards Ceremony P
o Created and selected recipients for NAU Sustainability Awards recognizing exceptional contributors to sustainability on campus
o Working with Action Research team WACBAT and ASNAU on the NAU “Blackout” Event.
• Submitted proposal at President’s request for priority one-time funding for sustainability activities
• Select new Chair, Associate Chair and Steering Committee members, and created a sustainable operations model no longer dependent upon the 0.25FTE that had supported the EC in the past.
• Hosted fall 2011 welcome back sustainability/EC event at green residence of architect Carl Ramsey
• Worked with Office of VP Research to establish a graduate assistantship to support Caucus activities
• Canvassed EC membership to improve scheduling and organization of EC meetings
• Designed job description and worked with Provost to establish and screen and select a candidate for a sustainability leadership position in the Office of the Provost (Coordinator of Academic Sustainability Programs)
• Worked with President Haeger to establish the Campus Coordinating Committee for Campus Sustainability (CoCoSus)
• Worked with units across campus to advertise for and select interns in sustainability, connected Faculty and students for undergraduate research and internship projects, provided guidance to staff and faculty on how to advise interns.
• Served as steering committee and mentors for the student-run NAU Green Fund.

Ib. Student Learning
• Assisted in implementing new courses (ENV/MGT 499, Implementing Sustainability Programs, offered Fall 2011, FYS Global Sustainability, fall and spring)
• Supervised over a dozen interns (Green NAU, carbon offsets for travel, recycling, residence life, marketing, Student EC)
• Assisted Paul Gazda in continuing the sustainable landscaping project, including research and demonstration projects run by three interns
• Continued support of the Global Learning Initiative and provided expertise as advisors to the Global Learning Curriculum Design teams.
• Participated in Course Expo featuring sustainability/environmental courses
• Established a Steering Committee on Academic Sustainability, reporting to the Provost, to support existing interdisciplinary sustainability and environmental courses, co curricular activities and degree programs, improve connections and reduce redundancy between academic units, and to promote interdisciplinary and Global Learning Initiative-related education

Ic. Student Engagement
• Coordinated with NAU Reads to provide discussion strategies and leaders for Colin Beavan’s No Impact Man as NAU Reads selection; advanced campus learning efforts through the organization of No Impact Week in October 2011
• Continued support NAU Green Fund, as informal advisors and formal steering committee members

Id. Communications
• Served as clearing house to inform external marketing consultants COOPERKATZ and assist them in design and implementation of a Sustainability Marketing Campaign for NAU.
• Redesigned Green NAU, the web portal for sustainability activities at NAU

Ie. Coordination on Sustainability
• Improved coordination/networking on sustainability efforts across campus
• Created synergy for collaborative success, e.g. the successful NSF Climate Change education project
• Coordinated and submitted NCSE/CEDD EnvironMentors Program proposal

If. Community
• Held fund-raising drive to get the Murdoc Community Center solar initialization fully funded, through Solar Mosaic.
• Worked with Stephanie Smith, City of Flagstaff, on Flagstaff resiliency and preparedness study
• Helped to establish home for Flagstaff Local Fare and Foodlinks in the ARD building
• Worked with Friends of Flagstaff’s Future to establish a joint, linked calendar of sustainability and environmental events on campus and in the community

Ig. Campus Operations and Climate Commitment
• Worked to develop strong relationship between CoCoSus and Sustainability Coordinators (Bryan McLaren, Director of Office of Sustainability; Lindsay Wagner, Director of Energy Services and Sustainability,; and Rod Parnell, Director of Academic Sustainability Programs)
• Provided assistance to STAARS report documenting campus progress toward meeting NAU’s climate commitment

II. Accomplishments by the Caucus working with the Office of Sustainability
• Continued to improve the campus web hub for sustainability: Green NAU. Using google analytics and other surveys, redesigned the web hub of sustainability on campus: Green NAU. Added social media, a calendar of campus events, and took over “Student Connections” newsletter (weekly listing of scholarships, jobs, internships, research opportunities and graduate study opportunities). In process of adding a searchable sustainability course listing option to allow faculty to list their courses as sustainability-focused or sustainability-related.
• Support Initiation of Green Office Certification Program Led by Office of Sustainability
• Hosted the ARD building landscape Charette to develop plan for the campus gateway area on the south side of the ARD building, and ARD pond clean up days
• With Green NAU and academic deans, installed water bottle refill stations across campus

III. Sustainability Accomplishments completed by NAU units with some assistance by Environmental Caucus members
• Established bike lockers, bike storage areas, and electric vehicle recharging stations in parking garages
• Installed meters and established the web-based Green Screen for Residence Life utility use tracking
• Designed and offered CM 499, Energy Management, in Spring 2012
• Facilities Services worked with NORESCO on a performance contract to identify $18M in energy and resource retrofits resulting in $3M per year in utilities savings
• Working with NORESCSO, Facilities Services developed a behavioral change program to reduce energy and resource consumption on campus
• Facilities Services, Finance and Administration and University Advancement came up with funding stream to pay for NORESCO performance contract
• Worked with Action Research Teams across campus and the community including campus and community gardening, water and conservation
• Continued implementation of paper-free work environment, including Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, and Human Resources, and faculty evaluation and promotion process through Faculty 180 system
• Distributed Big Belly solar powered waste containers across campus

2010-2011 Accomplishments
Caucus Organization & Leadership Accomplishments
Monthly meetings drew 30-45 participants from a listserv of 425 members.
Two new action teams formed:
Transportation Action Team (TransAT)
Sustainable Environmental Practices Action Team (SEPAT)
Continued evolution of organization, including leadership transition process to select Chair, Associate Chair, and steering committee members
Led numerous presentations at AASHE 2010 conference in Denver and organized significant participation of NAU faculty, staff and students.
Submitted proposal at President's request for priority one-time funding
Hosted Fall 2010 welcome back sustainability/EC event; planning another for fall 2011
Student Learning
Achieved support for EC plan to establish a sustainability leadership position in the Office of the Provost for Spring 2012.
Initiated a President's Innovation Fund grant, with Capital Assets and Landsward, to design two new courses
ENV/MGT 499, Implementing Sustainability Programs, Fall 2011
CM 499, Energy Management, Spring 2011
Supervised 8 interns in fall semester and 5 interns in spring semester
Launched the Sustainable Landscaping Project, including research and demonstration projects run by three additional SEPAT interns.
Continued to support the Global Learning Initiative and provided expertise as advisors to the Global Learning Curriculum Design teams.
Supported development of the First Year Seminars and CRAFTS/Community Engagement Initiative courses.
Participated in Course Expo featuring sustainability/environmental courses.
Student Engagement
Coordinated with NAUreads to choose Colin Beavan's book No Impact Manas NAUreads selection and helped to organize No Impact Week for October 2011
Continued support for Green Fund, helping select committee and organize efforts.
Sponsored the Human Rights & The Environment Lecture Series, with Martin-Springer Institute and the Program in Community, Culture and the Environment, bringing Peter Gleick, Jen Marlowe, Winona LaDuke, Robert Gottlieb and Nalina Nadkami to speak on campus and interact with classes.
Sponsored, with the Student Environmental Caucus, the successful New York Times/American Democracy Project Talks; three talks brought 35-75 participants each for pizza and discussion on topics of climate change, food security, and water.
Talks included:
The Science and the Skepticism of Climate Change
Food, Drought, and Climate Change in the High Desert: What To Do?
Water Sustainability in the High Desert, is it a Pipe Dream?
Co-sponsored Flagstaff's first World Carfree Day (September, 628 participants), Campus Sustainability Day (October) and Earth Week (April)
Continued to provide support, advising and mentoring to Student Environmental Caucus, Campus Climate Challenge and Green Fund.
Created a 2010 EC Summer Reading List and held three book discussions in the fall. Books included:
Diane Dumanoski's End of the Long Summer
Bill McKibben's Eaarth
Tim Jackson's Prosperity Without Growth
Supported a student intern to initiate a residence hall energy competition.
Campus Operations and Climate Commitment
Assisted university in transition to a new Sustainability Coordinator - provided impetus to fill an essential role; offered expertise and personnel during the transition period.
Worked closely with Campus Operations staff to publicize and improve recycling, develop an approach to track faculty air travel, assist with a Lights Out program and further conservation outreach, and support a campus organic garden.
Developed ideas, coordination and publicity on transportation, including campus chart on walking and biking, bike lockers installation, Bicycle Friendly University Application, "Exercise Your Options" programs and Employee Development Day workshops.
Collaborated with Office of Sustainability to complete STARS report.
Managed the Green NAU website, which had over 18,000 visits in the last year, including 13,000 unique visitors. Coordinated with Student Connections to publicize jobs, internships, and other student opportunities.
Grew the visibility of the University's sustainability efforts (AASHE bulletins, AZ Daily Sun, Princeton Review, application for AASHE award, Sierra's Cool Schools, etc.)
Teamed up with University Marketing to complete NAU Sustainability Marketing Plan
An EC intern developed the Green Louie the Lumberjack concept and initiated planning for a sustainability outreach and competition program.
An EC intern produced and submitted an NAU video to National Wildlife Federation's Chill Out competition
Second annual Environmental Caucus Sustainability Leadership Awards presented by President Haeger during Earth Week.
Coordination on Sustainability
Improved coordination/networking on sustainability efforts across campus.
Created synergy for collaborative success in research and public service efforts, e.g. NSF Rural Climate Change Education grant.
Began coordination of NCSE/CEDD EnvironMentors program proposal.
Promoted importance of integrating curriculum and campus operations and worked with Capital Assets to better understand priority areas for student involvement.
An official EC representative participated on the City's Rainwater Harvesting Task Force to integrate rainwater harvesting into the existing codes focused on water conservation.
Helped to organize and participated in 10-10-10 Global Work Party to conduct neighborhood outreach, promoting residential weatherization, together with the Weatherization and Community Building Action Team.

2009-2010 Accomplishments
Highlights of initiatives for Academic Year 2009-2010 include:
Through Ponderosa action team discussions, catalyzed formation of seven Community-based Action Research Teams (ARTs) (September 2009). ARTs bring together First Year Seminar students, Master of Arts in Sustainable graduate students, Program in Community, Culture and Environment, faculty, and community partners to work collaboratively on sustainability and grassroots democracy projects.
Publicly launched the Green NAU Website (October 2009). A central and active clearinghouse for NAU's environmental activities, Green NAU includes events, curriculum, campus initiatives, community engagement, and Student Connections (with Landsward Institute), a newsletter linking students to jobs, internships, organizations, and opportunities.
Advanced the Global Learning Initiative (January 2010). With EC endorsement, the Faculty Senate adopted the Global Learning Initiative, establishing university-wide student learning outcomes in diversity education, environmental sustainability, and global engagement. EC faculty and appointed consultants are now actively engaged in the GLI implementation team.
Supported Campus Climate Challenge in passing the Green Fund(March 2010). The EC is now working with students to successfully establish the Green Fund student committee and develop policies and procedures for a successful first year.
Completed the Climate Action Plan (April 2010). Through EC coordination, advocacy, and involvement, the Climate Action Plan was completed and submitted to ACUP. The EC is now developing annual goals to implement the Plan.
Developed the first annual Environmental Caucus Sustainability Leadership Awards, presented by President Haeger on Earth Day (April 2010). The 2010 award recipients were NAU Campus Dining and senior Jane Stewart, President of Campus Climate Challenge.
Connected faculty, staff and students for dynamic cross-boundary, multi-disciplinary efforts to advance sustainability (ongoing). Examples of partnerships include organizing for a Sustainability Café, advancement of campus gardening initiatives, developing First Year Seminars, partnering to bring national-level speakers to campus (e.g. Van Jones, Billy Parish, David Orr, Tony Cortese).
Sparked greater student action and involvement (ongoing). Through networking and involvement of the Caucus, campus student groups are more active than ever, and a highly successful and well-attended Earth Day proved to be a culminating event this year.
Improved coordination/networking on sustainability efforts across campus (ongoing). Examples include a new Leave Green program that increased items donated to local nonprofits at the end of spring semester by 52% and decreased trash from 68 to 35 tons from the previous year, approval by Residence Life of an energy competition and study in residence halls, reduction by 15% of overall energy consumption/square foot, an improved approach to recycling education on campus, and strong coordination with Campus Dining on local and organic food sourcing, waste reduction, purchase of sustainable materials, and other sustainability measures.

Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee?:

The charter or mission statement of the committee(s) or a brief description of each committee's purview and activities:

1) The Environmental Caucus facilitates creative and strategic communication across campus to advance the institutional commitment to sustainability and to promote education, research, and collaboration on the environment.

Members of each committee, including affiliations and role (e.g. staff, student, or faculty):

1) Environmental Caucus Steering Committee 2012-2013:

Scott Perelstein: Chair, Associate Director, Residence Life
Rod Parnell: Vice Chair, Professor, School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability
Kristina Aksenova: Graduate Assistant, Environmental Caucus; Master of Arts in Sustainable Communities candidate
Jim Allen: Director, School of Forestry
Blase Scarnati: Director, First Year Seminar Program
Lindsay Wagner: Manager of Utilities and Infrastructure
Ellen Vaughan: Sustainability Manager, Office of Sustainability
Agnes Drogi: Construction Manager, Capital Assets and Services
Kimberley Curtis: Director, Master of Arts in Sustainable Communities; Professor, Criminal Justice
Eva Putzova: Director, University Policy Initiatives
Derek Hansen: Marketing Coordinator, Enrollment Management and Student Affairs
Sheila Anders: Director of Administrative Services in the Center for International Education
Lauren Berutich: Director of Campus and Community Action Research Teams
Abrahan Garibay: Student, Green Fund and Student Environmental Caucus representative

Note: This is JUST the steering committee. The full environmental caucus consists of hundreds of other listserve subscribers of which, roughly 40 attend monthly meetings.

The website URL where information about the sustainability committee(s) is available:
Does the institution have at least one sustainability office that includes more than 1 full-time equivalent (FTE) employee?:

A brief description of each sustainability office:

The department of Utility Services and Sustainability oversee's two FTE sustainability program coordinators.

Full-time equivalent (FTE) of people employed in the sustainability office(s):

The website URL where information about the sustainability office(s) is available:
Does the institution have at least one sustainability officer?:

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
Ellen Vaughan, Manager Office of Sustainability

A brief description of each sustainability officer position:

The sustainability Manager's primary job description duties include:
-Assisting in management of the operations and programs within the Office of Sustainability under Facility Services.
-Acting as a primary contact for the department for the university and the public.
-Developing, implementing, and evaluating major programs or projects that will promote sustainability on the NAU campus including but not limited to: energy projects, building projects, waste and recycling projects, and resource use programs that will help the university reach its goal of carbon neutrality by 2020.
-Creating partnerships with university departments as well as outside agencies that will lead to effective implementation of sustainability project goals and objectives.
-Conducting necessary research related to sustainability projects and goals.
-Coordinating, hiring, and supervising student interns.
- Conducting regular campus presentations as a way to create a culture of sustainability in the academic, student affairs, and administrative/operations areas of the campus.
-Tracking and reporting savings associated with sustainability programs including the ACUPCC reporting requirements.

The website URL where information about the sustainability officer(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.