Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.77
Liaison Marianne Martin
Submission Date Nov. 9, 2010
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

University of Colorado Boulder
ER-18: Sustainability Research Incentives

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 6.00 / 6.00 James White
Chair, Director-Institute, Professor
Institute for Arctic & Alpine Research, Environmental Studies, Geological Sciences
"---" 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:

Student sustainability research is encouraged several ways. Two are mentioned here: 1) the ENVS Honors program and, 2) the Baker Environmental Residential Academic Program.

The A & S Honors Program Web site describes the Honors Thesis as demonstrating “scholarship, originality, and thoroughness in a particular topic or field of study.” Because environmental studies is an interdisciplinary program, the range of topics is much more broad and interdisciplinary than projects in most departments.

Historically, Honors projects in Environmental Studies have included topics and faculty from every college and department on campus, including fine arts, dance, law, business, engineering, architecture and design, education, music, foreign languages, English, economics, philosophy, international studies, as well as all of the natural, social, and behavioral sciences.

Honors projects come in three general varieties: creative projects; primary research projects; and scholarly, library, or analytical research projects. Many Honors Thesis projects combine aspects of all three varieties of projects:

• A creative project is one that combines environmental topics with one of the creative arts.

• A primary research project is one in which you collect and analyze your own data for the project, which can be in a lab or in the field collecting samples or doing tests of air, water, minerals, insects, animals, etc., or it can be an ethnographic study of people, cultural studies, or study of a government or its policies.

• A scholarly, library, or analytical project that does not require new primary research on an environmental topic, but does result in a creative or new perspective on a topic, such as a question in ethics or philosophy, or is a critical analysis of a policy or law that offers new insight or recommendations.

Likewise, the Baker Residential Academic Program specializes in environmental and sustainability education and promotes student research on the subjects.


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:

Research institutes in sustainability are purposfully interdisciplinary--and fostering interdisciplinary collaboration enables more creative and better funded research awards. CU's major research institutes: CIRES, INSTARR, IBS, NLRC, Deming, ENVS, are all staffed by co-rostered sustainability researchers. For instance, just one research institute, the globally respected CIRES, has five interdisciplinary units. From their web page:

"CIRES researchers explore all aspects of the earth system and search for ways to betterunderstand how natural and human-made disturbances impact our dynamic planet. Our focus on innovation and collaboration has made us a world leader in interdisciplinary research and teaching. We’re committed to communicating our research in ways that help inform decision-makers and the public about how we can best ensure a sustainable future environment."

CIRES is . . .
The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences
-A joint institute of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Colorado at Boulder
-Engaged in earth system research that spans six major divisions
-Home to five research centers on the CU-Boulder campus
-Inspired and directed by a diverse Council of Fellows
-Committed to education and outreach at all levels
-Host to more than 250 visiting research scientists since 1967

Other research units include similar foci.

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

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.