Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 53.85
Liaison Ruairi O'Mahony
Submission Date May 1, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Massachusetts Lowell
AC-9: Academic Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 5.87 / 12.00 Juliette Rooney-Varga
Director & Associate Professor
Climate Change Initiative & Biological Sciences
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Number of the institution’s faculty and/or staff engaged in sustainability research:
63

Total number of the institution’s faculty and/or staff engaged in research:
883

Number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that include at least one faculty or staff member that conducts sustainability research:
20

The total number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that conduct research:
53

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:
Please see inventory.

A brief description of the methodology the institution followed to complete the research inventory:
UMass Lowell reviewed descriptions of all active research projects conducted in the past three years within all the University’s research centers by full-time tenured and tenure track faculty, part-time faculty, and full-time and part-time research faculty. Research was considered “sustainability research” if it contributed directly toward solving one or more of the Earth Charter’s major sustainability challenges.

A brief description of notable accomplishments during the previous three years by faculty and/or staff engaged in sustainability research:
1. Science Express represents a collection of research projects that investigate the potential of Out-of-Home-Media (OHM) to foster informal science learning. The investigators have chosen to focus the model of engagement on climate change. Climate Change represents a timely and relevant example for which to identify the strengths and weakness of using OHM to foster science learning. This work led to a $2.2 million public education campaign on global climate change, Professor David Lustick was recognized by the Obama administration as a "champion of change” and was invited to an event in Washington featuring honorees who are "doing extraordinary work to enhance climate education and literacy in classrooms and communities across the country." http://www.lowellsun.com/news/ci_27535600/uml-professors-work-climate-change-honored 2. WindSTAR - WindSTAR is an NSF-funded Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Wind Energy, Science, Technology and Research. A collaboration between UMass Lowell, the University of Texas at Dallas, Iowa State University, Southern Maine Community College, the Maine Wind Industry Alliance, and Kid Wind, the center aims to solve the pressing needs of the wind industry. The partners work together on research and education in areas including composites, foundations, towers, manufacturing and design, structural-health monitoring, non-destructive inspection and testing, control systems, energy storage, offshore wind-energy operations and wind-system planning, siting, operations and maintenance. The Center Director for UMass Lowell is Christopher Niezrecki, Ph.D. of the Mechanical Engineering Department. See website URL for list of involved faculty and current projects. http://www.uml.edu/Research/Centers/Wind-Energy/WindSTAR/about/default.aspx 3. Late Cenozoic Climate and Glacial History of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica – Assistant Professor Kate Swanger Spangler, Climate Change Initiative, led an expedition to Antarctica to investigate how the continent’s glaciers have responded to climate fluctuations in the past. Her work is supported by a three-year $124,070 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). http://faculty.uml.edu/Kate_Swanger/KS/Research.html http://www.uml.edu/News/stories/2014/Swanger-Antarctica-study.aspx 4. Transforming Mental Models of Climate Change Through Simulations, Games, and Systems Thinking - With funding from the National Science Foundation, the UMass Lowell Climate Change Initiative and Climate Interactive are partnering to bring transformative climate change education tools to educators and students. Our approach leverages Climate Interactive’s decision-support simulations in immersive role-playing games that enable students, citizens, and decision-makers to come to their own insights, grounded in current scientific understanding, about the impacts of national and regional climate and energy policies. Juliette Rooney-Varga, Climate Change Initiative, Director.

The website URL where information about sustainability research is available:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
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