Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 77.34
Liaison Sally DeLeon
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Maryland, College Park
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Emily Hightower
Sustainability Coordinator
Environmental Safety, Sustainability, and Risk
"---" 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 Environment and Technology Scholars program is one of the two-year living-learning College Park Scholars programs for first- and second-year students from all academic disciplines. The program takes on the complex and urgent issues of global sustainability by exploring the relationships among natural and built environments; advances in technology and efficiency; and the impact of economic sectors, such as energy, transportation, and manufacturing. The students are guided to examine personal, academic, and future professional impacts through the lens of sustainability. The ETE program requires students to complete two colloquium semesters and a semester-long research based practicum. Students are guided through the research process and connected to on-campus research opportunities through the Maryland Center for Undergraduate Research (https://www.ugresearch.umd.edu/). Through the ETE program, students have partnered with the Office of Sustainability and other campus groups to facilitate sustainable research initiatives on campus including an interpretive trail on the Wooded Hillock, reducing student water use in showers, and installing an algal turf scrubber to clean campus waterways. Learn more at: https://scholars.umd.edu/programs/environment-technology-and-economy.

The School of Public Policy Do Good Institute offers the Accelerator Fellows program, an eight or nine week Fellowship program designed to support students where they most need it as they work diligently to increase their community impact. The Fellows program provides students the space, resources, and opportunities to explore, test, and scale up their initiative. Resources include Do Good Mini Grants and the Do Good Challenge. The Mini-Grants provide funding for the development and implementation of student-led, student-run proposals that aim to create a positive social or environmental impact. The Do Good Challenge is a year-long competition where students from across campus spend the year advocating, fundraising, volunteering, and developing solutions for pressing social issues. The Challenge culminates in a Finals event where six teams pitch their project or venture and the impact they've made for the chance to win a share of more than $20,000.

Some student Do Good initiatives from 2021 include:
- Pen to Paper Foundation, a non-profit organization that seeks to fill the skills gap of underserved LGBTQ+ community members in the District of Columbia by providing them with interview prep resources, resume writing workshops, writing tutorials, professional headshots, and other training and resources.
- Education Equality Initiative, a program that works to reduce educational inequality by making educational resources available to all by bringing high-impact tutoring to as many students as possible by using a learning pod format
- Public Health Beyond Borders, a non-profit organization that aims to raise awareness regarding the health disparities present across the globe and to work towards mitigating the problem of healthcare and health education access inequality for all individuals.

Learn more at: https://dogood.umd.edu/research-impact-dgi

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 Maryland Catalyst Fund program, formerly the Faculty Incentive Program, is UMD’s internal faculty research support program and a key resource in the University’s overall effort to expand research activity, visibility, and impact. The program is designed to enable innovative research, incentivize the pursuit of large, complex, and high impact research initiatives. Funding categories include Big Opportunity Funds, Reinforcement Grants, and New Directions Funds Tracks A, B, and C. New Direction Track C focuses on supporting Racial and Social Justice Research with emphasis on the underpinnings of, consequences of, and/or solutions to address systemic, institutional, and structural racism and injustice. Funded projects include:
-- Bringing Local Community Benefits to Prince Georges County, Maryland Through --- Demand Response Modeling for Electricity Usage in Buildings
-- A Missing Link in Understanding Disproportionality in Special Education: Assessing Implicit Racial Bias in Academic Decision Making
-- The Next Chapter Project: Exploring Parenting + Mental Health Intervention among Trauma-Affected Young Families
-- An Investigation of Perinatal Stress in Low-Income African American Women and Their Young Infants
-- Smart Machine Translation with Social Sensitivity: Facilitating Workplace Inclusion Through Socio-technical Solutions
-- Environmental Inequalities in Neurocognitive Development
-- Glacial Now
-- Improving measures of marriage in sub-Saharan Africa to address women’s and children’s health outcomes
Learn more at: https://research.umd.edu/development/MarylandCatalystFund

In 2018-2019, the Strategic Growth Fund -- also referred to as the Maryland Catalyst Fund -- specified priority topics as: water security, medical and environmental humanities, trusted artificial intelligence and autonomy, and aging.

Established in 2019, the Maryland Transportation Institute Seed Grant offers research grants to faculty with the aim to spur collaborative projects that bring together transportation researchers across colleges at UMD to conduct innovative research with broad societal and economic impact. In addition, the grant program is intended to yield at least one major external funding proposal.

The Maryland Transportation Institute (MTI) is an interdisciplinary research hub based at the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering. It is a research, workforce development, and technology transfer hub with a mission of advancing innovation in the transportation sector and related fields. MTI leverages the largest transportation data and data analytics center in the nation and a U.S. Department of Transportation-designated National Transportation Center. MTI also has affiliated centers in smart growth, GIS, logistics, sustainability, computer sciences, behavioral sciences, and public health, and more than 100 affiliated faculty members at UMD in all twelve colleges.

The 2020-2021 winning proposals cover a wide range of transportation-related topics, including environmental policy analysis, electric scooter mobility, and communications technology that can assist vulnerable road users. Learn more at: https://cee.umd.edu/news/story/mti-announces-seed-grant-awardees

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:

Scholarship is a dynamic process, and the University of Maryland recognizes that methodologies, topics of interest, and boundaries within and between disciplines change over time. Faculty are encouraged to engage in innovative discovery and dissemination. Several units are already accustomed to recognizing such different approaches and would not require modifications to existing unit criteria for tenure and/or promotion; however, many fields are challenged with assessment of faculty exploring non-traditional research paths. Such individuals will often publish in venues unfamiliar to faculty in their tenure homes, and may have different, though similarly important measures of impact, funding sources, and career networks. Examples of faculty practicing non-traditional scholarship include those who:
- Engage in emerging scholarship that spans more than one discipline, or has a non-traditional approach to an established discipline,
- Work in multiple traditional disciplines, or
- Are involved in scholarship outside that of the dominant model of their tenure homes.
- Any exceptional arrangement that requires a modification of criteria for tenure and/or promotion shall be specified in a written agreement from the time of appointment up to the third-year review for untenured candidates, or at any time following the award of tenure, and shall be approved by the faculty and administrator of the first-level unit, by the Dean of the school or college, and by the Provost. (APT Policy Section II)

Each candidate should be made aware of the opportunity to request an agreement specifying a modification of criteria for tenure and promotion. This formal written agreement would specify the nature of the candidate’s duties and obligations to the Department. It is recommended that the Department consult with a scholar from the relevant discipline(s), or one who does similar research, if applicable, to develop the agreement. Additionally, Chairs should assign appropriate mentors from a relevant discipline(s).

APT Review of Faculty with Agreements for Modified Unit Criteria
In cases where there is an agreement for modified unit criteria for tenure and/or promotion, Departments should consider identifying alternative venues and forms of dissemination of products of scholarship that would be acceptable alongside more traditional dissemination in their criteria for tenure and promotion. Examples might include:
- Research or scholarly essays published in refereed journals or books, or accepted for publication in journals or books outside one’s discipline
- Peer-reviewed handbooks
- Cross-disciplinary analysis of extant literature
- Popularizations or applications of scholarly research and theory in journals
- Computer programs or other media products
In reviewing candidates with agreements for modified criteria, APT review committees should include a professor knowledgeable in other discipline(s), from on or off campus, to serve in an advisory capacity to both the Advisory Subcommittee and the Department APT Review Committee. The Department may wish to have this professor present at the APT Review Committee meeting, in a non-voting capacity, in order to provide context for the candidate’s work. The Chair of the Advisory Subcommittee for the candidate should ensure that some of the reference letters are from scholars who conduct research in the other discipline(s), or of a similar nature to that of the candidate. Faculty involved in the third-year review and the Department APT Review Committee should be provided with the agreement as part of their deliberations. Additionally, the executed agreement must be signed and dated by the candidate and included in materials for external evaluators, as well as in the APT Dossier for review at all levels.

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

A brief description of the institution’s library support for sustainability research:
University of Maryland Librarian Subject Specialists may be consulted for help in locating information in their areas of expertise, and are available to conduct instruction sessions for university courses. They regularly provide programmatic support of Living-Learning communities where students frequently work in groups on topics directly related to sustainability issues. For example in the Gemstone Living-Learning program students have worked on projects related to environmental justice, climate data visualization, improving desalination systems, Chesapeake Bay oyster reef restoration, greywater filtration, carbon capture, electric vehicle charging and more.

The UMD Libraries have constructed many research guides that address sustainability issues. Here are a few examples:
- Environmental Science: http://lib.guides.umd.edu/content.php?pid=491429&sid=4034758
- Environmental Economics, Health, Law, & Policy: http://lib.guides.umd.edu/c.php?g=327287&p=2198137
- ENSP 102: Introduction to Environmental Policy: http://lib.guides.umd.edu/ensp102
- Chesapeake Bay Resources: http://lib.guides.umd.edu/chesapeakebay

The Gemstone Living-Learning program students have websites for their projects. Some example links can be found here:
- Improving Efficiency and Availability of Piezoelectric Technology: http://teampiso.weebly.com/
- Mobile EV Charging: https://gemstoneformula.weebly.com/
- Improving Micro-mobility and Bikeshare: https://autocycle.io/team
- Environmentally-friendly, Efficient and Accessible EV Charging: https://teamchargex.weebly.com/
- Improving Environmental Outcomes, Efficiency, and Reducing Cost of Photovoltaics Manufacturing: https://sites.google.com/view/teamsolar/home
- Space Junk Mitigation: https://gemstone2023.wixsite.com/junk
- Biodegradable Packaging for Perishable Food: https://swgems.wixsite.com/produce
- Zero Fabric Waste on Campus and Sustainable Fashion: https://teamrecycloth.weebly.com/
- Developing Software to Detect/Predict the Spread of Cancer for Global Health Outcomes: http://teamdoc.tech/
- Detecting Bias in Autonomous Systems: https://snagaokar6.wixsite.com/gemstoneteamdebias
- Proper Menstrual Education for Sexual Health: https://gemstoneflow.weebly.com/
- Plant-Based Universal Flu Vaccinations: https://teammutate.weebly.com/
- Microplastics in Local Waterways: https://teammarine2024.wixsite.com/my-site
- Heavy Metal Contamination: https://teamcycle.wixsite.com/gemstone
- Better Water Desalination Techniques: https://teamnosalt.weebly.com/
- Vegetated wall Enable Reuse, Detoxification, and Natural Treatment of Greywater: https://verdantgemstone.wixsite.com/green

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:

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