Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 81.67
Liaison Mark Lichtenstein
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
AC-10: Support for Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Mark Lichtenstein
Executive Director of Sustainability
Energy and 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? :

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

Sustainability research is central to ESF's core mission, and it includes the environmental, social, and economic dimensions of sustainability. A high percentage of undergraduates and virtually all graduate students participate in research activity as part of their educational experience. More than 90% of full-time faculty are actively engaged in funded research, creating many opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to participate in sustainability research with financial support. Additional programs further support student research in sustainability such as the annual “Spotlight on Student Research” poster session, upper and lower division honors programs, capstones, master’s and doctoral thesis research, research experience courses, field and laboratory research components of many sustainability courses or courses that include sustainability, internships, study abroad programs, paid and for-credit opportunities with the ESF Office of Sustainability, etc.


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

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

ESF Discovery Challenge: Pathways to a Sustainable Innovation Strategy, Launched September 2018:

Interim President Amberg was asked by SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson to lead a process by which the campus – with strong faculty leadership and ownership – will identify three to five cross-cutting challenges/initiatives (Discovery Challenges) designed to build on the College’s strengths, assets, and partnerships to position it for future growth, enhanced prominence, increased funding streams, new academic/industry/government relationships, and true global impact. A Discovery Advisory Group has prioritized five Discovery Challenges as strategic areas for initial investment by SUNY Administration. Each of these areas is targeted for an investment of up to $200,000 per year for three years from SUNY with additional efforts being employed to attempt to match these dollars. The proposals put forth are highly focused on sustainability, for example:

Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation
Threatened Species and Ecosystem Restoration Center
Sustainable Food Systems and Environment
The ESF Center for Environmental Solutions
The ESF Center for Biomass and Solar Energy Conversion

The full list and more information about the winners is available here:


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?:

A brief description of the institution’s support for interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research, including any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

Numerous faculty, and collaborative research institutes and centers at ESF engage in interdisciplinary research (www.esf.edu/research/ric.htm). ESF and its Office of Research Programs provides additional support and incentives for new and existing faculty and centers to develop collaborative interdisciplinary research proposals and strive for formal partnerships with private entities.

The Division of Environmental Science is organized as a nucleus for interdepartmental and interdisciplinary education, research, and collaboration. The Division draws upon faculty from across many departments of the college in order to emphasize a multidisciplinary approach to environmental understanding, problem solving, and stewardship. It maintains a strong academic orientation and facilitates student and faculty engagement of fundamental environmental challenges such as resource utilization and sustainability, the uses and limits of scientific prediction and risk analysis, and a holistic concern for the health of the environment.

Does the institution have ongoing library support for sustainability research and learning?:

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

The Office of Research Programs is closely linked to the College Library. The library subscribes to numerous sustainability-related journals, and maintains ESF Digital Commons, an Open Access repository hosting countless sustainability related research papers and data sets.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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.