Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 55.24
Liaison Paul Scanlon
Submission Date Feb. 22, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Slippery Rock University
AC-10: Support for Research

Status Score Responsible Party
3.00 / 4.00 Paul Scanlon
Special Assistant to the President
President's Office/Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an ongoing program to encourage students in multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct research in sustainability? :
Yes

A brief description of the student research program, including the incentives provided and any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

SRU's Sustainable Enterprise Accelerator (SEA) supports sustainable student projects and research. Incentives include student internships and several $1,000 fellowship grants provided annually by a local business.

The SEA also receives grants from other nonprofit organizations to support projects involving sustainability research, such as the current aquaponics demonstration and research project. This project involved the design and construction of an aquaponics system located at the Robert A. Macoskey Center for Sustainable Systems Education and Research ("RAMC"). Student workers at RAMC operate the system and document/research the productivity of the system (in which fish are raised in one water tank, with their waste used as nutrient piped by gravity flow to a second hydroponic tank in which swiss chard is grown). The system is purported to produce twice the vegetative matter using only 10% of the water used by conventional gardening techniques. Lessons learned and the actual production results obtained are being researched and documented to aid a small village in Uganda to replicate the system, where both tilapia and swiss chard are cash crops with high nutritional value for the villagers. The system uses a photovoltaic panel to power a small recirculation pump; during Spring semester 2018, the system was stocked with fish and production of swiss chard began.


Does the institution have a program to encourage faculty from multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct research in sustainability topics?:
Yes

A brief description of the faculty research program, including the incentives provided and any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

The faculty co-directors of the Macoskey Center for Sustainable Systems Education & Research each receive 1/4 time release as an incentive to develop and manage the Center's programs, which include both sustainable education and research topics.

One positive outcome in 2017 was the sponsoring of a "World Cafe" brainstorming session to identify educational and research priorities and programs for the future of the Macoskey Center; individuals invited included the general public, alumni, faculty, staff and students.

Another positive outcome is the collaboration on the Aquaponics demonstration and research project among the School of Business's Sustainable Enterprise Accelerator interns and the Parks & Recreation Department's graduate assistants/student workers at the Macoskey Center.


Has the institution published written policies and procedures that give positive recognition to interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research during faculty promotion and/or tenure decisions?:
No

A brief description of the institution’s support for interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research, including any positive outcomes during the previous three years:
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Does the institution have ongoing library support for sustainability research and learning?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s library support for sustainability research, including any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

SRU's Bailey Library supports research across many disciplines, including sustainability, by providing a Center for Student Research, resources for different subject areas, interlibrary loans, scientific/research databases, as well as tutorials and citation format information.

The "LibGuide" at the library allows free and open access to database material at http://sru.libguides.com/, including specific sections on "sustainability and the environment", "Rachel Carson and Silent Spring", "Geography, Geology, & the Environment", and "Parks, Recreation and Environmental Education".

Positive outcomes include increased awareness of, easier access to, sustainable research resources (including environmental films available for free use) and the preservation of historic organic gardening and permaculture encyclopedias that have been archived at the library. See the "Robert A. Macoskey Center Collection" on the website URL below.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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