Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 45.25
Liaison David Tedder
Submission Date Oct. 16, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Kentucky
AC-9: Academic Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 8.99 / 12.00 Rebecca McCulley
Interim Director
Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability & the Environment
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Number of the institution’s faculty and/or staff engaged in sustainability research:

Total number of the institution’s faculty and/or staff engaged in research:

Number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that include at least one faculty or staff member that conducts sustainability research:

The total number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that conduct research:

A copy of the sustainability research inventory that includes the names and department affiliations of faculty and staff engaged in sustainability research:
Names and department affiliations of faculty and staff engaged in sustainability research:

A brief description of the methodology the institution followed to complete the research inventory:

I performed a search in the Sponsored Project Information Files (http://www.research.uky.edu/aspnet/vsprojects/spifi/search.aspx) for the word ‘sustain’ in the project title, key words, or abstract, with the data limit being ‘active’ only. This generated 339 individual faculty with funded research projects. I then went through the abstract of each project and determined whether the work fit the STARS definition of ‘sustainability research.’ I marked in the spreadsheet when I thought the fit was somewhat questionable, and I eliminated those that were obviously not a fit. This generated 222 faculty with research in sustainability. Then I went through the active Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability & the Environment (TFISE) faculty working groups, and added any faculty that appeared there and were not already in the list. Then I checked that all faculty and staff in the 2014-2015 funded Sustainability Challenge Grant Program were included, and finally, I checked with Courtney Fisk at the Center for Applied Energy Research and added a few additional names of individuals she knows are active in sustainability research. I also included three staff members that are important to Sustainability research on our campus: Shane Tedder, Courtney Fisk, and Suzette Walling. I checked the UK Directory for the Departmental association (or institutional equivalent) for each person listed.

A brief description of notable accomplishments during the previous three years by faculty and/or staff engaged in sustainability research:

1) Interested faculty, students, staff, and community members created the Urban Forest Initiative in 2014, which has developed an 'Adopt-A-Tree' program that is publicly available and being advertised throughout our county, in our primary and secondary schools, and on our university campus. The program is open to anyone and any tree and is an effort to educate citizens about the ecosystem services trees provide, as well as to enhance people's connections to the surrounding environment.

2) An interdisciplinary team of faculty, staff, and students has substantially augmented a community garden being utilized by married and foreign graduate students and their families in the Shawneetown student housing complex on our campus. Students developed the conceptual design, conducting surveys, soliciting stakeholder input, and presenting their design to reviewers. The resultant design yielded 86 plots, work hubs, community spaces, walking paths, and children playscapes. The garden is generating a substantial amount of food for these families this growing season.

3) A living learning lab was co-developed with the creation of a rain garden/catchment on our campus. This sustainable 'green' infrastructure was designed by Biosystems Ag Engineering students and faculty, working in concert with Horticulture, Landscape Architecture, Plant & Soil Sciences, and TFISE. Students in courses associated with Earth & Environmental Sciences and Plant & Soil Sciences are collecting data from the basins, and a student intern this year will help develop a database for the project.

The website URL where information about sustainability research is available:

I never heard back from the Office of Sponsored Projects regarding the total number of faculty/staff engaged in research or the total number of departments that conduct research. Therefore, I left these values the same as what was reported in 2012.

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.