Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.48
Liaison Dayna Cook
Submission Date Sept. 28, 2020

STARS v2.2

Northern Arizona University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Matthew Muchna
Sustainability Manager
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an active student group focused on sustainability?:

Name and a brief description of the active student groups focused on sustainability:

There are many student clubs/organizations dedicated to sustainability or that have heavy sustainable components.

Student Environmental Caucus or "Green Jacks" - overarching environmental group on campus: http://nau.edu/Green-NAU/Green-Jacks/

Additional Student Groups are listed below, information on them can be accessed at: http://nau.edu/Green-NAU/Student-Groups/

Seven Environmental Caucus Action Teams:
Waste Minimization Action Team (WMT)
Transportation Action Team (TransAT)
Sustainable Landscape Team
Communications Action Team
Energy Action Team
Justice Action Team
Academic Action Team

Hospitality and Business Sustainability Club (HBS)
Connecting Higher Education Indigenously (CHEI)
Botany Club - Student-governed
Forestry Club - Student-governed
Hiking Club (NAUHC) - Student-governed
Program in Community, Culture and Environment (CCE)
Student Association for Fire Ecology (SAFE) - Student-governed
Thrift Jacks Club - Student-governed
The Wildlife Society - Student-governed
Ambassadors for the College of Engineering, Forestry & Natural Sciences (ACEFNS) - Student-governed
Anthropology Club - Student-governed
NAU Divestment Club- Student governed
Astronomy Astrobiology Club - Student-governed

Graduate Clubs
Environmental Science and Policy Graduate Student Organization (ESPGSO) - Student-governed
Biology Graduate Student Association (BGSA) - Student-governed
Forestry Graduate Student Association (FGSA) - Student-governed
Geology Graduate Student Org (GGSO) - Student-governed
Climate Director (Position) Graduate Student Government

Sustainability Coordinator Position- Undergraduate Student Government (ASNAU)

NAU Learning Communities
Residence Life has developed on-campus communities where like-minded students live and study together.

Community-University Public Inquiry
CUPI is a collaborative research program at NAU that aims to give undergraduate students research experience and leadership skills through applied community inquiry while focusing on addressing various community partners’ identified research needs. The program brings together multiple small groups (or “pods”) each comprised of undergraduate students from different disciplines, graduate student facilitators, a faculty advisor, and a community partner. These undergraduate students receive independent research credits that can be applied toward their major, while graduate students gain valuable mentoring experience, which some link to their thesis or final project.

Through CUPI, students have the opportunity to:

Build leadership, collaboration, and research skills
Select and work with a small interdisciplinary “pod” of upper-level undergraduate students, two graduate students, and a faculty advisor
Help design and conduct research projects for a community partner
Receive independent research credits
Program Goals
Increase undergraduate applied and interdisciplinary research at NAU
Engage students in issues relevant to Northern Arizona communities while also increasing partnerships between the university and these communities
Build up students’ inquiry skills, research ethics, and experience to help them in the job market or graduate school
Give students opportunities to collaborate, communicate, and work across disciplinary lines
Enable students to recognize and understand complex systems using interdisciplinary approaches
Foster and develop strong interpersonal, listening, and leadership skills
Students have the opportunity to select the pod they would like to work with. As community-based research is dynamic and ever-changing, these research partnerships do shift from year to year. The pods we are currently offering include:

Grand Canyon Trust Pod
This pod researches environmental and social issues of the Grand Canyon region and Colorado Plateau. Topics are approached through how they relate to water, public lands, and indigenous lands. This project includes opportunities for students to go on field trips throughout the Grand Canyon region.

Northern Arizona Interfaith Council
NAIC works to build civic engagement to help support immigrant families. Students in this pod work with NAIC to engage educators in Flagstaff Unified School District on supporting immigrant students. They conduct research for educational equity for Dreamers and immigrant students.

Arts & Social Justice
Students will work with local musician and artist Ed Kabotie on issues related to the indigenous historical, social, and cultural context of the Colorado Plateau. Centering around Rumble on the Mountain (an annual event that features music, dance, film, and lectures), students will engage in research that focuses on the complex issues connected with the Colorado Plateau.

Community Public Health
This pod has two possible research directions. One builds on research on the health impacts of immigration enforcement. Participants will help administer surveys to Northern Arizona residents about their perceptions and lived experiences of race and immigration status. The second will be an assessment of the need for Community Health Workers in Northern Arizona.

Flagstaff Dark Skies
Working with the Flagstaff Dark Skies Coalition, students pursue research related to night studies, including human health impacts, concerns about crime, nocturnal ecosystems, cultural values, and resource values of dark skies.

The Hood Initiative
Student-led, the Hood Initiative creates a safe space for students who have been raised in and are managing systemic injustice (poverty, violence, addiction, and criminality). Through in-depth interviews, CUPI students study challenges of academic and personal identity Hood students face and how academic environments must adjust to acknowledge their existing expertise while supporting their academic success.
Visit for more info about CUPI: https://nau.edu/sustainable-communities/cupi/

Does the institution have a garden, farm, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, or an urban agriculture project where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

The Students for Sustainable Living and Urban Gardening (SSLUG).
What SSLUG does:
Integrate growing local foods and broader food-sustainability issues into education at the university via hands-on learning.
Advocate for food justice, and promote community gardening, fruit tree planting, and composting.
Research traditional agricultural practices.
Cultivate broad participation and durable networks of support so that they are able to flourish for many years.
Enhance collaboration with the broader community, particularly Flagstaff Foodlink and Community Gardeners.

What they grow and how we grow it:
The SSLUG Garden promotes sustainable food systems through demonstration of organic growing methods in a campus setting. Hands-on participation in planting, harvesting, seed collecting, and soil amendment activities enable volunteers to learn how to grow a variety of food crops in a challenging high-elevation climate. The Garden features short-season heirloom vegetables, medicinal and culinary herbs, climate-appropriate fruit trees and berries, along with native wildflowers and shrubs. Since Flagstaff has a relatively short growing season (103 days), many of the plants are sown from seed in the NAU Greenhouses in the spring and are cared for by volunteers until they are ready to be planted in the garden in early June.

The NAU Botany Club runs the SHAND garden on north campus. Creation of the garden transformed a weedy, unused lot into a beautiful and functional place on campus. The garden serves as an important teaching tool and research location for all botany courses.
- Student-governed

NAU funds a full-time Campus Organic Gardener (COG) to support the SSLUG organization and the expansion of on-campus, organic gardens that will be accessible to all students.

Flagstaff Foodlink: Community Gardens
First Year Seminar Programs work with Flagstaff Foodlink to be immersed in the community and connect students with community gardens.

Flagstaff Foodlink: School Gardens
First Year Seminar Programs work with Flagstaff Foodlink to get out into the community and connect students with K-12 gardens.

Students Nurturing Alternatives in Landscapes (SNAIL) - Engage the campus community in cooperative gardening on campus.
- Student-governed
- Grow local produce for student volunteers

Does the institution have a student-run enterprise that includes sustainability as part of its mission statement or stated purpose?:

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

Louies Cupboard:
Louie's Cupboard is NAU's on-campus food bank that distributes to food insecure students regularly. It is run by students helping students and staff by providing nonperishable food and resources. Many students struggle with the expenses of college. Some struggle to afford books or rent, but many college students face limited financial resources to buy groceries or a meal plan.

The concept of a campus food pantry—Louie’s Cupboard—started with a class project geared towards social movements. Now each year we serve hundreds of students staff and faculty through biweekly food distributions. We provide nonperishable canned and boxed goods, fruit, meat, beans, pasta, grains and more.

Does the institution have a sustainable investment fund, green revolving fund, or sustainable microfinance initiative through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:

Green Fund - The Green Fund Committee oversees NAU's Green Fund: In March, 2010, NAU students overwhelmingly voted to establish the University's Green Fund: a $5.00 per student, per term fee that goes towards projects that make NAU campus more sustainable. In April 2019, a $15 per student per term fee was passed by ABOR. Funded projects aim to decrease the University's carbon footprint and contribute to the University's culture of sustainability. As of 2010, the Green fund has passed 84 projects totaling over 2 million dollars. The Green Fund Committee is a resource available to the student body for project and investment coaching. The committee votes to select distribution of funds.

NAU Student Managed Investment Fund - founded in 2000 with an initial fund from the NAU Foundation of $500,000. The fund was created to allow students to apply what they have learned in their educational career by investing money in the stock market. This is a hands-on learning experience, where students are required to perform investment research and manage a portfolio in excess of $1.88 Million.
The NAU Foundation awarded $1M to create a new portfolio managed with environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria. This is in addition to the $1.9M portfolio currently managed by SMIF. Companies will be identified that are doing well financially as well as by their various stakeholders.

Has the institution hosted a conference, speaker series, symposium, or similar event focused on sustainability during the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia, or similar events focused on sustainability:

The Office of Sustainability hosts Earth Hour, Earth Month and Earth Jam.
Earth Month is held annually on campus. Both include activities such as speakers, sustainable demos, events (like the Eco-Fashion show and Earth Jam event) and often music attractions. In 2019, Earth Jam became Arizona's first ever bike-powered concert. There were over 300 attendees and riders who enjoyed +30 vendor booths, a rock wall, music, and bike powered smoothies.

Biennial Conference of Science & Management:
The 15th Biennial Conference of Science and Management for the Colorado Plateau and Southwest Region. This conference has emerged as the preeminent forum for bringing together resource managers and research scientists to discuss findings and management needs associated with the Southwest’s natural and cultural resources. The conference, with an attendance of more than 500 participants, creates an important opportunity to identify possible responses to challenges such as climate change, energy development, and habitat alteration that negatively affect the natural and cultural landscapes of the Southwest.

As the conference prepares to celebrate its 28th anniversary, organizers remain committed to:
including a wider range of disciplines and encouraging multidisciplinary approaches,
ensuring broad and diverse participation, and
creating and expanding opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students to gain professional experience and build professional relationships.
Speaker: Terry Tempest Williams
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Dr. Hugh Possingham
Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Nancy Baron
Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Climate 2020: Seven Generations for Arizona
Hosted by NAU ECOSS
Climate 2020: Seven Generations for Arizona was a two-day event (Nov. 15-16,2019) on campus that that brought together youth, community leaders, decision makers and researchers. The summit featured nationally-recognized voices on climate issues including Texas Tech scientist Katharine Hayhoe, hip-hop artist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, and former Governor of Arizona and Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt.

Climate 2020: Seven Generations for Arizona aimed to transform the conversation, moving beyond drought contingency plans and into a comprehensive and future-oriented framework of creative and science-driven decision-making. The summit is organized by Ecoss (NAU), the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals, the Center for Health Equity Research (NAU), the Green Fund (NAU), the Sustainability Program at the City of Flagstaff, Vitalyst Foundation and other partners. It was very well attended and helped to spur new conversations and collaberations.

Concert and Keynote by youth activist/artist Xiuhtezcatl; Nov 15, 2019


Has the institution hosted a cultural arts event, installation, or performance focused on sustainability with the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations, or performances focused on sustainability:

NAU hosts an annual "Better World Film Series"
This free documentary film series shows our society’s greatest challenges and celebrate the triumph of the human spirit.
Sustainable films shown in
True Cost (Fast Fashion)
Wasted (Food Waste)
Ice on Fire (Global Climate Change)
Awake! (Dakota Access Pipeline Documentry)
A Plastic Ocean (Plastic pollution)
The True Cost (Fast fashion)
Planeat (Plant-based diets)
Food Evolution (GMO)
Rancher Farmer Fisherman (Sus. Farming)
Hot Water (Uranium mining/public health)

The Better World Film Series is sponsored by: The Office of Sustainability, the Environmental Caucus, Center for Inclusions and Diversity (IMQ), and the W.A. Franke College of Business. There is a Q&A time held after each film screening to share perspectives and ideas towards action on campus.

The Center for International Education (CIE) helps prepare Northern Arizona University students to be globally competent upon graduation.
They host an annual Symposium and International Week as wells as "Culture Nights." Other CIE events included a Tai Chi expert lesson, a lesson on international dances, and an international quiz show event. They also hosted a seminar on international business communication, a panel on STEM careers, and a session on international internship opportunites. They hosted lectures about Tibet, Chinese women's history, and women's experiences in Bosnia.

The Native American Cultural Center hosts cultural arts events.

Campus Dining holds regular cultural food events.

Office of Inclusion (IMQ) has a space in the university Union building that allows students to gather and hold free events such as poetry slams, film screenings, club meetings, and more.

Does the institution have a wilderness or outdoors program that follow Leave No Trace principles?:

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

NAU is one of the many nation-wide educational institutions that has partnered with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. The mission of the NAU Outdoor Program is to facilitate experiential opportunities where students have the ability to learn the values of trusting one's self, intrapersonal communication, diversity, health, leadership, and the importance of creating life-long friendships while exploring and preserving our natural environment.

NAU Outdoors consists of a collection of programs designed to assist NAU students and others to explore Arizona and the surrounding area.

NAU Hiking Club supports LNT principles: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2217965304/

Has the institution had a sustainability-focused theme chosen for a themed semester, year, or first-year experience during the previous three years?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

Green Jacks club hosts the "Better World Seminar Speaker Series" every Spring semester with various speakers on ranging topics in the field of sustainability, climate action, justice, and much more.

Prof. James Biddle, Urban Planning and Flooding
Nikki Cooley, ITEP and Indigenous Resilience
Dara Moreno, Activism and how to organize a Climate Strike

Profs. Brian Peterson and Jessica Barnes, and FMPO Director David Wessel, Urban Development and the Environment
Julie "Madrone" Schutten, Gender and the Environment
Freshwater Fish Presentation

Does the institution have a program through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

The First Year Seminar Program brings the best faculty, teachers, and scholars on campus together with highly motivated first year students to explore rich and engaging topics based upon faculty research, scholarship, interests, and current issues. Through this experience, undergraduate research is pursued from the beginning of students’ careers, communities are established among Seminar students, strong mentoring relationships are formed with Seminar faculty, and increased numbers of students are retained from the first year into the second year.

The Sustainable Ambassador Program teaches students how to live sustainably: https://in.nau.edu/green-nau/sustainable-ambassador/

Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

Students can work for:

Environmental Caucus

Office of Sustainability

Campus Recreation/NAU Outdoors/Bike Hub

Composting with Campus Dining

Green Fund

ASNAU (associated Students of Northern Arizona University https://in.nau.edu/dean-of-students/asnau/

Graduate Assistantships
NAU has dozens of sustainability-related academic departments and classes which can offer GA or GT positions to research or teach sustainability related topics.

Does the institution have a graduation pledge through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:

A brief description of the graduation pledge(s):

A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that do not fall into one of the above categories:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

Data provided by: Andrew.Dies@nau.edu

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.