Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 85.66
Liaison Mark Lichtenstein
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

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

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Justin Heavey
Sustainability Associate
Sustainability Office
"---" 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 sustainability research?:

A brief description of the student sustainability research program:
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 activities as part of their educational experience. A high percentage 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 Sustainability Division.


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

A brief description of the faculty sustainability research program:
The ESF Discovery Challenge: Pathways to a Sustainable Innovation Strategy, Launched September 2018:

Then SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson asked ESF to lead a process by which the College – with strong faculty leadership and ownership – would 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 prioritized five Discovery Challenges as strategic areas for initial investment by SUNY Administration. Each of these areas was targeted for an investment of up to $200,000 per year for three years from SUNY with additional efforts expected by the College to attempt to build on these funds. The projects chosen highly focus on sustainability:

- 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:


Progress on funding Discovery Challenge projects was slowed as a result of the 2020-21 pandemic, but some projects were able to move forward regardless. The College's development efforts and resources are currently focused on funding these important strategic areas under ESF's newly appointed President, Joanie Mahoney.

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 copy of the promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:
The promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:
The SUNY ESF Appointment, Promotion, and Continuing Appointment Policies, Procedures and Standards gives recognition to interdisciplinary research during faculty promotion and/or tenure decisions.

Collaborative Scholarly Work is defined by the policy as "activities where two or more people combine the strengths of their subject matter specialization or expertise to work together to address an intellectual problem."

The standards for appointment/promotion to Professor and Associate Professor require a portfolio of "collaborative scholarly work."

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

A brief description of the institution’s library support for sustainability research:
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.


Website URL where information about the institution’s support for sustainability research is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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