Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 67.16
Liaison Mike Versteege
Submission Date June 24, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Alberta
AC-7: Incentives for Developing Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Maja Osmanagic
Program Lead - Academic Programs and Initiatives
Sustainability Council
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an ongoing program or programs that offer incentives for faculty in multiple disciplines or departments to develop new sustainability courses and/or incorporate sustainability into existing courses?:

A brief description of the program(s), including positive outcomes during the previous three years (e.g. descriptions of new courses or course content resulting from the program):


The Campus Sustainability Grants program, administered by Energy Management and Sustainable Operations (EMSO), provides financial support for faculty and researchers who seek to support curricular student learning in sustainability, through integrated and collaborative approaches that lead to real-world solutions. Campus Sustainability Grants increase access to funding through a competitive process, and help support areas that do not have access to significant external funds. Campus Sustainability Grants are funded through energy savings from the University of Alberta Energy Management Program. EMSO is responsible for the stewardship and administration of these grants, with input from an adjudication committee. One of the grant's focus areas that is closely connected to teaching is: to promote a culture of integrated sustainability through excellence in teaching, learning, innovative research, and community engagement.

The following recent projects support student learning by integrating sustainability into undergraduate course lab components:

"Water Re-circulation System to Cool Condensers in Senior Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry Labs"
The project aims to: replace continuous flow condenser systems with 18 simple, benchtop recirculating systems in two undergraduate chemistry labs (Chem 241 and 243) to reduce potable water use; evaluate how robust these recirculating systems are when used by undergraduate students; and, share the results of this project (e.g. with your faculty peers, through publication, and as opportunities arise).

"Advancing Sustainability in the Undergraduate Organic Chemistry Laboratories", Hayley Wan, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science.
Chemistry is a foundational part of a university science degree, with approximately 3000 students per academic year required to take organic chemistry. This project aims to investigate and implement changes to the undergraduate laboratory experiments to incorporate green chemistry and sustainability concepts that also educate students on: 1) waste management, 2) value added products, and, 3) water conservation.

"Replace Photo Studio Lighting with Sustainable LED Lighting", Cindy Couldwell and Louise Asselstine, Department of Art and Design, Faculty of Arts.
The photography studio in Visual Communication Design, in the Department of Art & Design, will replace their old, inefficient halogen lighting equipment with energy-efficient LED lighting and associated equipment. By installing more efficient and durable LED technology, this project will reduce energy consumption, reduce waste, and improve safety (halogens are hot and break easily, vs. LEDs, which are cool and durable). Additionally, this project will ensure students are learning using modern industry-standard equipment so they may take their knowledge of sustainable photography lighting into their course projects and professional endeavours. The project team will also share their experience and advice about LED photo studio lighting with the greater Edmonton design community, alumni, and so on.


The CSL Small Grant Fund supports faculty with CSL activities that require extra resources beyond the supports routinely provided by the CSL program and by the applicant’s home department. Applicants are eligible to submit for more than one granting cycle, however the proposed project must be unique for each application. Small Grant applications are accepted twice a year, in spring and fall. This grant is focused on enhancing student learning and supporting instructors as they potentially develop sustainability-related CSL project/course content.

The CSL Instructor Support Program provides new CSL instructors and CSL instructors with large classes (of 40 or more students) with matching funds to be used to employ a Teaching Assistant to support the service-learning components of courses. Teaching Assistants funded through the ISP can be engaged in the following type of activities: helping instructors to build a dynamic and innovative CSL community in their classrooms; assisting instructors in developing creative ways to integrate students' in-class learning with out-of-class CSL experiences; helping with logistics of CSL administration in large classes; and, participating in the assessment of CSL assignments. This program also seeks to diversify and enrich student learning, and provides extra support to instructors as they potentially integrate both in-class and out-of-class sustainability experiences/learning.

A brief description of the incentives that faculty members who participate in the program(s) receive:

Through the Campus Sustainability Grants program there are two types of grants available. The Micro Grants offer up to $2,000 and submission is open on an ongoing basis, with adjudication monthly. The Major Grants are between $2,000 and $50,000 and there are three submission opportunities per year.

The CSL Small Grant Fund covers one-time costs of up to $4,000 for projects that involve one (and possibly two) of the following activities: preparation for a CSL project or course; implementation of a CSL project or course; development of CSL expertise through an educational opportunity; and, creation of an event that builds community among CSL participants.

The CSL Instructor Support Program will fund up to $5,000 of a Teaching Assistant's salary, through cost-sharing (50:50) with the instructor's home department.

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

Additional documentation to support the submission:


Shannon Leblanc
Program Team Lead
Energy Management and Sustainable Operations
Facilities & Operations

David Peacock
Executive Director
Community Service-Learning
Faculty of Arts

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.