Overall Rating Bronze - expired
Overall Score 27.64
Liaison Jennifer McLaughlin
Submission Date March 31, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

South Dakota State University
AC-10: Support for Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 4.00 Jennifer McLaughlin
Sustainability Intern
Facilities and Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a program to encourage student sustainability research that meets the criteria for this credit?:

A brief description of the institution’s program(s) to encourage student research in sustainability:

There are 4 research programs held on the SDSU campus that pertain to sustainability:

USDA Meeting the Grand Challenges:
This project develops a workforce for food/agricultural sciences that is well prepared to meet the grand challenges associated with USDA priority need areas, i.e. hunger/food security, sustainable energy, childhood obesity, climate change and food safety. This will be accomplished through a series of interdisciplinary courses emphasizing systems perspectives, critical thinking, and soft skills, in addition to undergraduate research and service learning experiences in the priority need areas, and development of outreach materials delivered via student interns through SDSU Extension and Boys and Girls Clubs. Grand Challenges Scholar designation will provide a credential demonstrating students competence.Project audience includes diverse faculty, SDSU student participants (n = 1500), and more than 1000 youth via SDSU Extension and Boys and Girls Clubs. Products include faculty development, syllabi, and course/youth outreach materials, and presentations/publications resulting from student research. Courses developed will be approved for fulfilling institutional general education requirements, thus broadening and sustaining the project impacts. Results include enhanced capacity for interdisciplinary teaching, research and outreach; increasing numbers of talented, diverse students prepared to address USDA's priority need areas; implementation of Grand Challenges Scholar certificate/designation; and some 1000 youth with enhanced awareness of these issues. Pre- and post tests will assess participant learning and engagement. Long term tracking will monitor students pursuit of graduate degrees and career opportunities related to the priority need areas. The project strengthens higher education by preparing professionals to meet the grand challenges, and by providing a model collaborative network that catalyzes future multidisciplinary, cross-functional efforts. Project dissemination will occur via a robust, accessible website and through faculty/student presentations and publications at campus, regional and national scholarly venues.

REU in Bioenergy:
This interdisciplinary REU site invites ten undergraduate students in plant science, chemistry, biology, engineering, or economics to learn research skills and to work independently on research projects related to bioenergy.The program is structured into four different focus areas: feedstock development and production, bioprocessing, environmental sustainability, economic, societal and global impacts of bioenergy production.
The research projects will introduce the participating students to the whole spectrum of bioenergy research from feedstock genomics, to new technologies in bioprocessing and the conversion of bioenergy crops into biofuels, to ecological and environmental sustainability of agricultural bioenergy crop production, but will also consider the societal and economic impacts of global bioenergy production. The program encourages nationwide applications from motivated students from diverse backgrounds. Students will be selected according to their transcripts and research interests. Students who are admitted to the program will be supplied with a stipend, housing, meals and airfare. Under-represented minorities and students from colleges with limited access to research opportunities are particularly encouraged to apply.

REU Environmental/Green Chemistry:
Environmental and Green Chemistry span a chemical continuum from natural to industrial processes. South Dakota State University, Black Hills State University (BHSU), and Northern State University (NSU) have established a three-year REU Site focused on environmental and green materials chemistry that provides 10 students per year with multi-disciplinary research experiences aligned with Green Chemistry Principles 3, 5, 6, and 9 and the chemistry of natural environments. Interactions with the project's nine faculty mentors enable student participants to undertake research in catalysis/less hazardous synthesis, energy efficiency/safer solvents, and the environmental chemistry of natural systems. An integrated program of research, professional and career development, and student activities is facilitated by the state-of-the-art, internet-based communication technology known as the "Access Grid".

Sun Grant Initiative
Sun Grant provides researchers with funds to conduct various studies related to bioenergy. These researchers often include both undergraduate and graduate students in their project.

The website URL where information about the student research program is available:

Does the institution have a program to encourage faculty sustainability research that meets the criteria for this credit?:

A brief description of the institution’s program(s) to encourage faculty research in sustainability:

Faculty are welcome to conduct research in sustainability. SDSU does not have a special fund for sustainability research but does have several funding sources for research support in general.

The website URL where information about the faculty research program is available:

Has the institution formally adopted policies and procedures that give positive recognition to interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research during faculty promotion and/or tenure decisions?:

A brief description or the text of the institution’s policy regarding interdisciplinary research:

The website URL where information about the treatment of interdisciplinary research is available:

Does the institution provide ongoing library support for sustainability research and learning that meets the criteria for this credit?:

A brief description of the institution's library support for sustainability research and learning:

The website URL where information about the institution's library support for sustainability is available:

Information covers 3 years of data.

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.