Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 76.93
Liaison Ezra Small
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Massachusetts Amherst
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Nathanael Schildbach
Marketing Manager
University Relations
"---" 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:
iCons. iCons (Integrated Concentration in Science) is a selective, 20-credit undergraduate science program offered by the UMass Amherst College of Natural Sciences. Designed for students majoring in the physical and life sciences, engineering, and public health, iCons provides integrative science education in two theme areas: Renewable Energy and Biomedicine/Biosystems.

Undergraduate Research in Sustainability Award
The Undergraduate Sustainability Research Award promotes in-depth understanding of sustainability topics, research strategies, and the use of library resources, providing participating students with vital skills they will carry into future academic and vocational endeavors. The award is funded by the award-winning UMass Amherst Libraries’ Sustainability Fund. First Prize $1,500 scholarship; Second Prize (2) $750 scholarship.

We offer multiple Research Experiences for Undergraduate programs each summer, several of which focus on sustainability research. Examples include the Collaborative Undergraduate Research in Energy (CURE) program https://elements.chem.umass.edu/reu/ and the Five College Coastal and Marine Sciences program https://www.fivecolleges.edu/marine/opportunities/FCCMS_internship. These are stipend programs.

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:
Interdisciplinary Faculty Research Awards

Interdisciplinary Faculty Research Awards are interdisciplinary awards offered to teams of at least three faculty members from at least two different colleges with the University. The research proposed by the team should represent a new interdisciplinary collaboration and are encouraged to address topic areas including "Sustainability and the environment". Seed funds up to $600,000 are available. The goal of this program is to empower creativity; to promote collaborations, especially those that those that foster diversity, equity, and inclusion; and to attract external funding across our colleges and schools.

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:
Section II mentioned in this faculty review and promotion policy (full txt is in the attached file) includes research:

" VI. If the activities described in Sections II through V represent significant contributions to an interdisciplinary program or a department other than your own, the faculty member forwards this report to the appropriate program director or department head two weeks before it is due in the department office. Otherwise, the faculty member returns form to the Department Head or Chair."

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 UMass Amherst Libraries launched the national-award winning Sustainability Fund in 2012. The Fund allows for the acquisition of sustainability-related books, journals, DVDs, and other materials. High-end subscription databases such as GreenR, PolicyMap, BioOne and Sustainability Watch were also added to the collections through use of the Fund. Campus individuals and groups organizing campus programs may request funding for outside speakers. In the past few years, the Fund has helped fund the appearance of prestigious speakers such as Annie Leonard, Majora Carter and Robert Bullard.

The UMass Amherst Libraries maintains several online research guides on topics such as Sustainability, Climate Change, Permaculture, Green Building and Infrastructure, and Food Systems. The Sustainability Studies Librarian offers information instruction to classes as well as by individual consultation. The Sustainability Curriculum Fellowship is a mini-grant program that partners librarians and faculty for a one-year experience, including monthly group meetings to discuss the integration of sustainability library resources into the curriculum. These groups are highly interdisciplinary, allowing for cross pollination of ideas across campus. Sustainable UMass makes use of the Library's Institutional Repository (ScholarWorks) to preserve and disseminate campus output related to sustainability.

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:

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.