Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 67.01
Liaison Connie Norton
Submission Date Oct. 29, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Simon Fraser University
AC-9: Academic Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 11.66 / 12.00 Norbert Haunerland
Associate Vice-President
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Number of the institution’s faculty and/or staff engaged in sustainability research:

Total number of the institution’s faculty and/or staff engaged in research:

Number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that include at least one faculty or staff member that conducts sustainability research:

The total number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that conduct research:

A copy of the sustainability research inventory that includes the names and department affiliations of faculty and staff engaged in sustainability research:
Names and department affiliations of faculty and staff engaged in sustainability research:

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

Researchers at SFU are engaged on many different areas of sustainability-related research. Over 70% of the departments at SFU have faculty members whose work contributes toward the understanding of environmental, economic, or social sustainability issues. A large number of sustainability researchers identified in this inventory work in Science, Applied Science, Health Sciences, Environment, Economics, Education, Business and Public Policy. Sustainability research involves a range of diverse issues, from climate change to low carbon energy solutions, from sustainable communities to social equity and environmental justice, and from corporate social/environmental responsibility to early childhood education, among others. Research on Sustainability, Climate Change and Energy Solutions are fundamental components of the SFU Strategic Research Plan for 2010-2015. This inventory highlights sustainability research based on the broad and inclusive STARS definition. It is based on Chair/Director responses as well as additions by the Vice-President, Research Office–it should be noted that these researchers did not self-identify.

A brief description of notable accomplishments during the previous three years by faculty and/or staff engaged in sustainability research:

1. Pando | A Sustainable Communities Research Network
Simon Fraser University's Centre for Sustainable Community Development, led by Dr. Mark Roseland, has created a virtual network to bridge the gap between research and practice. Pando | Sustainable Communities is an international online community with a professional focus, where researchers, academics, and public and private-sector practitioners focused on local sustainability challenges can share knowledge, network, and collaborate. The network promises to stimulate interdisciplinary thinking, more relevant community-based sustainability research, and speedier dissemination of good ideas. It was officially unveiled in Brazil to a global researcher/practitioner community at events surrounding the Rio+20 Earth Summit.
By sourcing the most innovative communication principles from other social media, Pando offers a one-stop shop for knowledge-sharing and collaboration. Join the conversation – become a member!
Pando is a collaboration between Simon Fraser University's Centre for Sustainable Community Development, the BC Climate Action Secretariat, the journal Local Environment, and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions. For more details about the network, please visit our website.
2. World-Class Clean Energy Research
SFU’s research expertise coupled with state-of-the-art research facilities funded by the Canadian government and industry are helping to position Canada as a world leader in clean energy research.
SFU researchers lead several Automotive Partnerships Canada and industry-supported projects to develop cheaper, more efficient and durable applications for sustainable transportation, energy storage, and power generation.
These include:
• A national network of six Canadian companies and 20 top researchers and engineers to reduce the cost of fuel cell production;
• An SFU-Ballard Power Systems collaboration to advance fuel cell and battery research and development;
• A project with British Columbia’s Future Vehicle Technologies to improve thermal management for hybrid vehicles, and;
• A project with several industry partners to improve air conditioning and refrigeration systems for long-haul commercial vehicles.
3. World’s First Evolutionary Ranking of Birds
An international research team led by SFU biologist Arne Mooers and Walter Jetz from Yale University has developed the world’s first evolutionary ranking of all 9,993 species of birds. They combined the “evolutionary distinctiveness” index published by SFU PhD student Dave Redding in Nature in 2012 with data on extinction risk and maps of bird habitats to identify those species most at risk of extinction. The London Zoo plans to use the new rankings in a major conservation initiative called theEdge of Existence program.

The website URL where information about sustainability research is available:

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.