Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 75.29
Liaison Ezra Small
Submission Date Feb. 17, 2023

STARS v2.2

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

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Darci Connor Maresca
Project Manager, Sustainability Programming
ECo
"---" 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?:
Yes

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 training and research in two theme areas: Renewable Energy and Biomedicine/Biosystems. http://www.cns.umass.edu/icons-program/ 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. https://guides.library.umass.edu/undergradsustainability We offer multiple Research Experiences for Undergraduate programs each summer, several of which focus on sustainability research. Examples include the Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (CAFE) Scholars Program https://ag.umass.edu/summer-scholars-program, the Collaborative Undergraduate Research in Energy (CURE) program https://elements.chem.umass.edu/reu/, and the ETI Research Experience for Undergrads https://www.energytransitionumass.org/reu.

Does the institution have a program to encourage academic staff from multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct sustainability research?:
Yes

A brief description of the faculty sustainability research program:
The UMass School of Earth & Sustainability offers seed grant funding to spark inter- and transdisciplinary sustainability research that can help eradicate inequity, enhance environmental and social justice, and build a more resilient future. The SES mission is to provide sound research outcomes that inform our collective future; and prepare our undergraduate and graduate students for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, with a long-term view of helping to build a more equitable, healthy, and sustainable planet. We seek proposals that align with our mission. Up to $10,000 is available for each project.

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?:
Yes

A copy of the promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:
The promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:
The university has several campus-level policies that address this question. For example, Article 4 of the Academic Personnel Policy, https://www.umass.edu/provost/resources/all-resources/academic-personnel/policy-and-labor-contracts/academic-personnel-policy-red. While that article does not explicitly mentions interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, or multidisciplinary scholarship, the spirit is there. Additionally, Article 12 accounts for interdisciplinary. https://umassmsp.org/site/assets/files/1029/msp_2020-23_successor_agreement_06_08_2022_-_final.pdf Additionally, departmental by-laws or cultural documents might mention valuing inter/trans/multi-disciplinary work in faculty evaluations (e.g., Environmental Conservation, Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning) and the repository of those by-laws can be found at the link below: https://www.umass.edu/provost/resources/all-resources/academic-personnel/policy-and-labor-contracts/academic-department

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

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:
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Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
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