Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.46
Liaison Brandon Raco
Submission Date Sept. 2, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Guelph
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 4.00
"---" 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 ICON classroom brings together students from all years and disciplines to develop solutions to real-world problems.ICON harnesses the power of collaboration and knowledge sharing in a problem-solving and project-based learning environment.

Through workshops, team building activities, and fostering of knowledge translation and transfer, ICON aims to teach students valuable interpersonal, team, and communication skills, while fostering innovative ideas for today’s most pressing challenges.

ICON partners students and faculty at the University of Guelph, with a community group or business. The partnership introduces students to broad real-world challenges (e.g. food insecurity, green design, etc.), and provides students with access to expertise from across campus and from the community.

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 Guelph Institute for Environmental Research (GIER) offers funding opportunities through the Small Grants Program (SGP). GIER seeks to promote interdisciplinary research and scholarship relating to any aspect of the environment among investigators from all seven Colleges at the University of Guelph.

The GIER SGP will have two goals in line with the strategic goals of GIER:

(1) Enhance the reputation of the University of Guelph with respect to environmental research and scholarship; and

(2) Support the development of interdisciplinary environmental research.

Environmental research and scholarship is construed broadly, and refers to work that examines: environmental processes, functions, services, and values; environmental technologies and technological impacts on the environment; environmental policy formation and analysis; environmental health; human relationships with, and cultural understandings of the environment; and artistic engagement with the environment, among others.

Multi-disciplinary initiatives/institutes/centres:

ARRELL FOOD INSTITUTE: https://arrellfoodinstitute.ca/

Vision: A future where people in all communities have secure access to safe and healthful food through transparent, competitive and sustainable food systems.

Food is intrinsic to human, economic, and planetary health; yet rarely comes first in conversations about how to meet today’s challenges. Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph exists to elevate food to improve life. We bring people together to conduct research, train the next generation of food leaders and shape social, industrial and governmental decisions, always ensuring food is the central priority.

ONTARIO AGRI-FOOD INNOVATION ALLIANCE: https://www.uoguelph.ca/alliance/
Vision: The Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance Research Program supports research projects that help to support strong rural communities, keep our food safe, and develop a prosperous, environmentally sustainable agri-food sector in Ontario.
The Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance is a collaboration between the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs and the University of Guelph, who are working together to advance research and innovation that contributes to the success of the province’s agri-food sector and promotes rural economic development. Research, laboratory, and veterinary capacity programs at U of G continue to ensure Ontarians have access to healthy, safe food, and that our farmers and businesses have the information they need to be competitive and sustainable. This partnership is working to usher in the next generation of agri-food innovations by supporting the people, places, and programs that generate Ontario solutions with global impact.

FOOD FROM THOUGHT : https://www.foodfromthought.ca/

Vision: Transform our understanding of the ecosystems we depend on for food, at scales that range from planetary level to the level of microcosms. We aim to increase the capacity, sustainability, and safety of food production systems while promoting environmental health, ecosystem services, and livestock health and welfare.

Food from Thought is a major research platform at the University of Guelph funded by a $76.6 million investment from the Government of Canada through the Canada First Research Excellence Fund. Food from Thought synergises the incredible power of digital technologies and data science to reconcile two of the most significant global challenges of our times, sustaining the life-preserving functions of our planet while ensuring food security for the largest population in human history. Food from Thought has sustainability - ecological and societal - at its heart.

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:

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 study of sustainability and it’s related fields is embedded across the disciplines at the University of Guelph, and this is reflected in how we develop library collections in these subject areas. Dedicated collections librarians service sustainability-focused curriculum and research programs in the sciences, the social sciences and business, and the arts, and we are actively building collections in areas of sustainability, climate change, and eco-studies across these fields. Collections librarians at the University of Guelph are integrated into the institutional quality assurance process, which requires in-depth library assessments for all proposed new courses and programs, and for all cyclical program reviews at the University of Guelph. This work ensures that the library continues to meet curricular and research needs for all programs at the University of Guelph, including the current and emerging demand for sustainability-focused literature.

We subscribe to most major databases and journal collections focused on sustainability, such as the CABI collections, Web of Science, AGRICOLA, Environmental Impact Statements, and several dedicated ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) business data sets. We also maintain in-depth “collections of record” in special subject areas, some of which provide important coverage of sustainability themes, such as our collections for veterinary science, agriculture, apiculture, and agricultural history, landscape architecture, and Canadian culinary history and cookery. Access to these materials is facilitated through the library’s main search tool, Omni (https://www.lib.uoguelph.ca/), and the library develops subject- and course-specific library guides to service student access and discovery of key materials for their assignments (https://guides.lib.uoguelph.ca/).

Other areas for which the library is actively building online and print collections include: Sustainable and organic agriculture, sustainable animal production, sustainable food systems and food security, “one health”, sustainable land and community development, hydrology and soil science, international development, environmental sciences and ecology, climate change science, green/sustainable/ethical business, sustainable tourism and food services, green cities/urban infrastructure and green design, land and nature conservation, environmental governance, Indigenous land and resource rights, Indigenous health, Indigenous environmental governance, scientific communication, ecofeminism and feminist geography, the Anthropocene, epistemology of nature and Indigenous knowledge/ways of knowing, environment and creative writing, and ethics and the environment.
We have provided in-course support for courses that address sustainability from the departments of Geography (including support for the Master of Conservation Leadership program and various undergraduate courses) and History (an environmental history undergraduate course)

Website URL where information about the institution’s support for sustainability research is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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