Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.83
Liaison Mark Lichtenstein
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2023

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 Lexi Chipules
Campus Facilities Wellness Manager
Office of 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 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.

Programs heavily featuring research include upper and lower division honors programs, capstones, master’s and doctoral thesis research, field and laboratory courses, internships for credit, study abroad programs and paid/for credit opportunities with the Office of Sustainability.

Randolph G. Pack Institute
The Randolph G. Pack Environmental Institute was established at ESF in November 1995, based on funding from a generous gift by Virginia Pack Townsend, in honor of her father, Randolph Greene Pack, philanthropist and international forestry policy expert. The Institute supports and encourages the research and public service activities of the Department of Environmental Studies in the broad area of international environmental, natural resources, and conservation policy.

Each year the Pack Institute offers graduate student fellowships up support student research with a focus on "Engaging Diverse Publics Around Complex Environmental Issues". Multiple students are awarded up to $2,500 to support their research. See the most recent call for proposals under "Additional documentation".

The Graduate School
Given the field-based nature of environmental science and forestry research (among the many disciplines at ESF), travel is an essential part of most graduate research at the College. Each year, ESF's Graduate School offers current students Travel Grants to support their research. Students must apply to receive the grant and demonstrate how the funds will be used for research travel.

Graduate Program in Environmental Science (GPES)
The Graduate Program in Environmental Science (GPES) supports interdisciplinary environmental research and teaching at ESF and offers unique graduate programs that serve the needs of students. GPES is comprised of faculty from each academic department at ESF who understand the importance of interdisciplinary collaborations to manage and solve critical environmental problems.

Study Areas are designed to group faculty around broad research and teaching themes. Prospective students identify potential Major Professors within one of these Study Areas when applying to the program.

GPES offers Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Master of Science (MS), and Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degree programs. The program is designed to have minimal required coursework so students can uniquely design a graduate curriculum that satisfies their research and professional needs.

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 Office of Research Programs (OPR)

Academic staff are supported by the Office of Research Programs. Led by the VP of Research, the ORP seeks to stimulate, facilitate and highlight research at ESF, and strives to make research opportunities at the College as broad and achievable as possible. The Office is the central resource for the initiation, funding and management of all ESF research activity.

Caregiver Travel Grant Program

ORP encourages faculty to present at and attend conferences in their disciplines to further their scholarly activities, collaborations, and reputations in their fields. Nursing parents face unique hurdles in realizing these critical networking opportunities; these include age limitations of conference childcare (if even available/offered), challenges pumping and managing breastmilk throughout the conference, sponsor travel reimbursement restrictions, and the significant financial strain of bringing a caregiver.

The Office of Research Programs has launched a trial Caregiver Travel Grant Program to support conference attendance for pre-tenure, full-time faculty, for two years post-birth. Grants will reimburse up to $500 of the caregiver's air- or train-fare per fiscal year, for the purpose of assisting with the care of a nursing infant during the conference. Designated caregivers can be a co-parent, grandparent, babysitter, or other individual of the faculty member's choice.

Given the interdisciplinary and environmental focus of the College, much of the research performed by faculty at ESF contributes to the understanding of sustainability and support for address major sustainability challenges. The Caregiver Travel Grant further supports ESF faculty to share their findings and learn about emerging research topics in the field, that they may have otherwise missed due to caregiver responsibilities.

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 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 Experts at ESF (https://experts.esf.edu/esploro/) a growing institutional repository of scholarship supporting sustainability research and learning.

Online Resources for Students: Access Guide


This guide brings together information for students about resources available to them through the library as they are completing coursework online.

SUNY Textbooks

Milne Open Textbooks: https://milneopentextbooks.org/

Access is provided to Milne Library Publishing at SUNY Geneseo, which manages and maintains Milne Open Textbooks, a catalog of open textbooks authored and peer-reviewed by SUNY faculty and staff.

Students also maintain access to Syracuse University’s Library resources. https://library.syracuse.edu/

Website URL where information about the institution’s support for sustainability research 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.