Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.87
Liaison Kevin Kirsche
Submission Date June 22, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Georgia
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Nate Shear
Sustainability Metrics Intern
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:
The UGA Office of Sustainability Annual Campus Sustainability Grants Program
The UGA Campus Sustainability Grants Program provides grants up to $5,000 for competitive, student-proposed projects and initiatives designed to advance campus sustainability through education, research, service, and campus operations. Successful projects address priorities outlined in UGA’s 2020 Strategic Plan to actively conserve resources, educate the campus community, influence positive action for people and the environment, and provide useful research data to inform future campus sustainability efforts. Interdisciplinary projects designed to inspire, beautify and uplift—as well as to inform and conserve—are encouraged. Special consideration is given to projects incorporating sustainability + arts. Grants are awarded based on merit, positive impact, implementation feasibility, and available funding.

The program, funded by the student Green Fee, provides financial and staff resources to implement projects and research that furthers the university’s sustainability initiatives. To date, the Office of Sustainability has awarded a total of $250,000 to fund 68 student-initiated sustainability projects at UGA.


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 annual Faculty Development Workshops provide strategies to prepare students of all disciplines to address sustainability challenges in their professional, civic, and personal lives. Participants learn to integrate sustainability into courses using active, place-based, and experiential learning. Faculty who complete the two-day workshop and submit a revised syllabus are eligible to receive a $500 stipend to enhance the learning environment for their students.

The UGA Office of Research coordinates internal funding for the President's Interdisciplinary Seed Grant Program, which focused on solving sustainability and resilience grand challenges in 2019. The Office of Research also provides support for researchers such as funding opportunity announcements and proposal enhancement through peer review and proposal development workshops.

Watershed UGA brings together interdisciplinary faculty to collaborate on research related to water resources. The group meets regularly and has put in multiple proposals over the past two years. The most recent is a EPA 5-Star Restoration Grant for work at Howard B. Stroud Elementary School.

The Center for Integrative Conservation Research holds multiple events each year to bring together diverse collaborators and stimulate interdisciplinary proposals. They also host symposium to share sustainability research and send out a weekly newsletter that includes calls for proposal.

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:
"Guidelines for Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure" pg. 16:
"Inquiry and originality are central functions of the University. Faculty are to discover new ideas, to fashion new interpretations of enduring ideas,and to participate in the application of these ideas. Consequently, faculty should conduct research or engage in other creative activities appropriate to their disciplines and to the missions of their appointment units, and they should disseminate the results of their work through media appropriate to their disciplines. Interdisciplinary and collaborative works are valid forms of scholarly activity and will be judged as such as long as each candidate gives clear evidence of his/her participation in each instance."

In addition UGA's 2020 Strategic Plan, Direction III emphasizes excellence in research. Specifically "groundbreaking research and scholarship... (to)... improve the lives of their constituencies by addressing both immediate issues as well as “grand challenge” problems that threaten our security and well-being long term. Among these issues are safe and sufficient supplies of food and water, poverty and social justice, education, global health, environmental degradation, world financial stability, national security, and sustainable energy. Providing solutions to such complex problems requires multi-disciplinary approaches and multi-level teams working and partnering within and beyond the University."

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

A brief description of the institution’s library support for sustainability research:
UGA Libraries creates subject guides by major to support researchers within each discipline. The following subject guides relate to sustainability and related environmental research:

Ecology - http://guides.libs.uga.edu/ecology-databases
Landscape Architecture/Environment & Design - http://guides.libs.uga.edu/land
Public Health - http://guides.libs.uga.edu/publichealth
Weather & Climatology - http://guides.libs.uga.edu/weather

Many researchers integrate sustainability and environmentalism into their research, so many of our subject guides include databases that include sustainability research.
Our most relevant databases for this subject area include:
Environment Complete
Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management
GREENR - Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources
Wildlife and Ecology Studies Worldwide

UGA has offered 90 instructional research sessions and 60 individual or small-group research consultations over the last year to students in such sustainability-related majors as agriculture & environmental science, ecology, environment design, food and nutrition, forestry, and marine science.

A search in our catalog by Library of Congress Subject Heading (the descriptive tags used to describe books) for subjects that include sustainable or sustainability plus titles that include the word sustainable or any of that word's variants yields close to 10,000 records.

The exact search performed looked like this:
All Titles where Title (Subjects (LC) starts with "sustainable" or Subjects (LC) starts with "sustainability" or Title contains keywords "sustainab*")

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:
Source for Library Support for Research:
--Diana Hartle, Coordinator of Public Services, Science Library / Instruction Co-Coordinator - Dept. Research & Instruction, UGA Libraries
--Chandler Christoffel, Science Research and Instruction Librarian - Dept. Research & Instruction, UGA Libraries
--Mariann Burright, Head, Science Collections and Scholarly Communication - Collection Department, UGA Libraries

The UGA Office of Research website: https://research.uga.edu/

Watershed UGA website: https://www.watershed.uga.edu/

The Center for Integrative Conservation Research website: http://cicr.uga.edu/

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.