Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 36.72
Liaison Lindsey Abernathy
Submission Date July 17, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Mississippi
IN-24: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Lindsey Abernathy
Associate Director
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Student Partnership Fosters Inclusion, Diversity in Conservation

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

In April 2019, students at the University of Mississippi and Rust College, which is a historically black college and university located about 30 miles north of Oxford, created the first two National Audubon Society's Audubon on Campus chapters in the region. The UM and Rust College chapters have formed a unique partnership focused on fostering opportunities for inclusion in the field of conservation in the complex setting of Mississippi. According to an article by the National Audubon Society (linked below), the UM chapter "is dedicated to a specific cause pertinent to their regional and campus climate: creating a more mindful, diverse, and bird-friendly community at the University of Mississippi and surrounding areas."

The two student groups met for the first time in April at Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, located in Holly Springs. Students from Rust College also visited UM in April as part of the university’s Green Week celebration, attending the Earth Day Keynote delivered by Dr. J. Drew Lanham. Lanham is an active board member for the National Audubon Society and Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Master Teacher at Clemson University. Dr. Lanham’s literary works examine the connections among environmentalism, conservation, race, space, and history. Lanham has been featured in National Geographic and is well known for the video “Bird Watching While Black“, which was adapted from his essays, “9 Rules for the Black Birdwatcher.” The Rust College group arrived early and was able to spend time with Lanham before the talk.

National Audubon Society, Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, Rust College and University of Mississippi Office of Sustainability and Environmental Studies Minor will continue to support the student partnership between the two campus groups in the coming academic years as they work toward their goals.


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Campus Engagement
Public Engagement

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
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The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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