Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.55
Liaison Daryl Pierson
Submission Date Feb. 11, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

Portland State University
ER-15: Sustainability Research Identification

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Shpresa Halimi
Academic Sustainability Program Manager
Center for Sustainable Processes and Practices
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution developed a definition of sustainability research?:

A copy of the institution's definition of sustainability research:

PSU's expertise is concentrated in two main, inter-connected areas -- the coupling of human and natural systems, and sustainability in urban and urbanizing communities. PSU also has particular strengths in two cross-cutting topical areas -- metrics and evaluation, and mechanisms that effect change and foster engagement at the individual, organizational, societal and ecosystem levels:

1. The integration of human societies and the natural environment. How do we as humans build societies that are integrated with the natural systems that support life? The answer to this question is increasingly critical as the world's population increases and urban centers expand. PSU research provides a roadmap for sustainable development that brings about the harmonious integration of human and natural systems.

2. Creating sustainable urban communities. PSU is already known for its expertise and intellectual leadership in urban studies and urban planning. With our sustainability research, we are buildng on this strength through an interdisciplinary academic focus on the successful integration of the "triple bottom line" (economic, ecological and social needs) in urban centers. The City of Portland offers us the ideal research to study the changing ecological and socioeconomic conditions of a city already adopting many sustainable policies and principles.

3. Implementing sustainability and mechanisms of change. How and why do people, organizations and societies adopt more sustainable policies and behavior? And what motivates change? PSU faculty and students are researching how and why sustainability is (or isn't) adopted.

4. Measuring sustainability. Many people and organizations choose to adopt sustainable practices without knowing whether or not a particular practice actually works. We provide the measurement tools and data that will enable the most effective practices possible, thereby fostering increasing sustainable behavior.

This expertise is applied in a number of targeted research areas listed below:

1. Community Food Systems
2. Economic Sustainability
3. Environmental Science and Green Technology Development
4. Environmental Sustainability
5. Humanities and Sustainability
6. Integrated Water Resource Management
7. Social Sustainability
8. Sustainable Business Processes and Practices
9. Sustainable Urban Development
10. Transportation Systems

Has the institution identified its sustainability research activities and initiatives?:

A brief description of the methodology the institution followed to complete the inventory:

In 2008, the director of PSU's Center for Sustainable Processes and Practices conducted a university wide research inventory and identified all of the university approved research projects that have a core sustainability theme. These projects are listed on the university's sustainability web pages.

In addition, PSU's Office of Research and Sponsored projects tracks all of the research projects that are proposed and identifies which of these projects are sustainability-related. Separate tracking is done for projects that are internally funded versus those that receive external funding.

Does the institution make its sustainability research inventory publicly available online?:

The website URL where the sustainability research inventory is posted (required if claiming Part 3 of the credit):

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.