Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.01
Liaison Patrick McKee
Submission Date March 6, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Connecticut
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Richard Miller
Director
Office of Envirnmental Policy
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer at least one immersive, sustainability-focused educational study program that is one week or more in length?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive program(s) offered by the institution, including how each program addresses the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainability:

The University's Environmental Policy Statement states the following: “The University will advance understanding of the environment through its curriculum, research and other academic programs, and will employ an ethic of environmental stewardship in all intellectual pursuits.”

In compliance with this statement, the university offers a wide variety of sustainability-focused immersive programs through study abroad, including, but not limited to:
UConn South African Field Ecology in Limpopo, South Africa
UConn Food and Revolution: The Cuban Experience in Havana, Cuba

UConn Sustainable Food and Environmental Systems in Florence, Italy (Summer, 2017)

UConn Geoscience and Geohazards in Taiwan
UConn Water Systems of Rome: Ancient to Modern, in Rome, Italy
UConn Sustainable Cities in Amsterdam
UConn Geoscience Fieldcourse in the Bahamas
UConn Landscape Form and Urban Design in Europe (Summer, 2019)

The Office of Community Outreach also provides alternative break service learning opportunities for students to spend weekends and/or weeks on sustainability related service trips. These trips are intended to make participants more knowledgeable about conservation and environmental service in a fully-engaging setting. The trips for this academic year that relate to sustainability include but are not limited to:
Environmental Conservation (Spring Break Trip) Location: National Parks – Florida; March 14-22, 2020
Coastal and Environmental Protection (Weekend Trip) Location: Groton, CT; April 3-5, 2020
Urban Development, Education, & Civic Engagement (Spring Break Trip) Location: Detroit, MI; March 14-22, 2020

UConn@COP Fellowship Program
This past year, a cohort of UConn students attended the COP25 UN Climate Change Conference for an immersive, week-long experience at the global climate summit in Madrid, Spain. The UConn@COP program runs each year for UConn students and faculty to participate in a full and reflective experience discussing current climate change issues and solutions.

Student groups and experiences on campus include, but are not limited to:
Student undergraduate housing which promotes sustainability is also offered. EcoHouse, the sustainable living and learning community at UConn, requires students to attend lectures, seminars and complete volunteer hours related to sustainability and environmental topics. These students live on the eighth floor of Werth Tower (Next Gen Resident Hall). Additionally, there is a subset of EcoHouse called Spring Valley Student Farm which offers a full immersive experience in sustainable farming. These students live on the farm and are required to do 10 hours of work per week to help sustain farm operations. Many of the students live at the farm year-round, because most harvesting begins in summer. All students living in EcoHouse receive one credit hour per semester to reflect their immersive learning experience.

On campus, the undergraduate student interns in the Office of Environmental Policy work in support of environmental initiatives, ranging from making successful policy and events to general outreach and setting of sustainability goals. Students create outreach materials, plan events, conduct surveys, write grants and award applications, interview faculty, work on sustainability pledges and drives, and attend policy meetings as full committee members.

In addition, the Spring of 2018 has been designated as the university’s first ever Sustainability themed Metanoia, an occurrence that utilizes designated periods of time as an opportunity to pause, consider, and debate issues facing the community, the nation, or the world. In Spring 2019, the university hosted a “Youth for Change” Metanoia that included events and speakers focused on sustainability and climate change initiatives

http://www.metanoia.uconn.edu/


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Every year, UConn@COP fellows write several blogs to outline their experience at the UN Climate discussions:
https://ecohusky.uconn.edu/2019/12/04/cop25-first-impressions/

Additional Resources:
http://abroad.uconn.edu/
https://dining.uconn.edu/spring-valley-farm/

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.