Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.29
Liaison Brandon Trelstad
Submission Date Dec. 23, 2020

STARS v2.2

Oregon State University
PRE-2: Points of Distinction

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete N/A Brandon Trelstad
Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s featured sustainability program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Agrovoltaic Research

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

Student teams led by OSU assistant professor Chad Higgins of Biological and Ecological Engineering have for three years conducted research into solar panel impacts on field crop production, grazing and other productivity factors. Dr. Higgins has been using space at OSU's 6 acre 35th Street solar array as a primary research plot and in 2019 expanded to use one more of OSU's five ground mounted solar arrays.
https://fa.oregonstate.edu/sustainability/ground-mounted-photovoltaic-arrays

Initial findings from the research indicate that shading the growing area actually increases grazing crop productivity and nutrition, because of water limitations late in the growing season, and NOT the sunlight limitations early in the season.

Research and student activity are ongoing, and Dr. Higgins is working with the Sustainability Office to offer students a wide variety of short and longer term academic experiential learning activities at the site. These include:

1) Weed management
2) Cultivation and planting
3) Plant sample collection
4) Plant sample analytics
5) Ecological observation (monitoring pest and plant disease outbreaks)
6) Data collection (physical)
7) Modelling.

Dr. Higgins has identified an additional six research topics/hypotheses, which would each require one full growing season of commitment. Multi-year projects are also being explored.


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

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):
AC-8

A photograph or document associated with the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
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Name of a second highlighted sustainability program/initiative/accomplishment:
Sustainability Double Degree and Sustainability Minor

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

Our changing world presents challenges that leaders in all sectors are called upon to address. Business, government, nonprofit and community leaders need to be prepared to effectively address complex social, environmental and economic issues, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, social inequities, and water and food scarcity. The sustainability double degree and minor provide students with a rich interdisciplinary curriculum that explores sustainability issues in the world today and fosters the knowledge, skills and abilities to address complex sustainability issues in communities and workplaces.

In step with the interdisciplinary nature of sustainability, the degree was designed to complement all OSU degree programs and is to be earned as a second Bachelor’s degree in addition to a major area of study. Students generally respond that the additional credit hours can be easily incorporated into their desired academic timeline. OSU works with each student and their primary advisor to ensure that graduation requirements are met in a timely manner.

Students may obtain a Bachelor of Science, Sustainability after completing 32 credits of required and elective courses and a practicum, such as an internship or research project.

Students may earn a Sustainability Minor after completing 27 credits of required and elective courses.


Which impact areas does the second program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Curriculum
Campus Engagement

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):
AC-3

A photograph or document associated with the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
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Name of a third highlighted program/initiative/accomplishment:
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A brief description of the third program/initiative/accomplishment:
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Which impact areas does the third program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
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Website URL where more information about the third program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
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STARS credit in which the third program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
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A photograph or document associated with the third program/initiative/accomplishment:
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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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.