Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.09
Liaison Jennifer Andrews
Submission Date Aug. 16, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of New Hampshire
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Tom Kelly
Chief Sustainability Officer
University Office of Sustainability
"---" 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:

Undergraduate and graduate student research in sustainability is strongly encouraged and supported at UNH through the following programs:
1. Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) and Graduate Research Conference (GRC). The URC has just completed its 22nd year in 2021, and continues to be a celebration of academic excellence at the University of New Hampshire. In 2021 the URC’s online format in response to COVID-19, close to 1,600 UNH students from all academic disciplines presented the results of their scholarly and creative research in one or more of over twenty professional and artistic venues campus-wide. Sustainability is a strong focus and cuts across all colleges and presentations. In addition, the 2021 URC launched a sustainability symposium within the conference in which students from all disciplines presented research on a broad range of sustainability challenges – addressing environmental stewardship, social well-being, and economic vitality to meet our present needs while ensuring the ability of future generations to meet their needs – and students were encouraged to use the framework of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as the definition of sustainability. Undergraduates who presented at this Symposium are automatically considered for the new UNH Sustainability Awards program.

Students are mentored by faculty and present their research to the University community and the broader public and are rewarded with awards and scholarships. Students also gain from the tremendous personal experience in presenting their research in a professional setting.
A few specific examples of sustainability student-led research included presentations such as:
• Scottish Marine Renewable Energy: U.S. Approaches for Development of Wave and Tidal Technologies
• Building a Flood-Resilient Kittery: Working Waterfront and Transportation Corridors
• Burt's Bees: An Analysis of the Company’s Sustainability Practices
• Are Electric Vehicles a Viable Solution for Energy Storage in a Microgrid?
• Evaluation of Sustainable Investing by ESG Principles for the UNH Foundation
http://www.unh.edu/urc
https://www.unh.edu/sustainability/sustainability-research-symposium
https://www.gradschool.unh.edu/grc.php
2021 URC Booklet: https://www.unh.edu/urc/2021
2. The Sustainability Awards Program All UNH faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students, including faculty and staff with research or adjunct appointments. Individuals or teams may self-nominate or be nominated by others, via an online form. Please visit the "Nominations Form and Instructions" section for details.
The program seeks to celebrate and incentivize research and scholarship, curriculum development and teaching, campus initiatives and culture, and external engagement activities and achievements that best embody the principles and practices of sustainability. The total number of awards granted is not predetermined and will be based on the caliber of the submissions.
• Platinum: demonstrates exemplary work that explicitly addresses the concept of sustainability or a major sustainability challenge.
• Gold: demonstrates outstanding work that explicitly addresses the concept of sustainability or a major sustainability challenge.
• Silver: demonstrates excellent work that explicitly addresses the concept of sustainability or a major sustainability challenge.
• Bronze: demonstrates emergent or promising work that explicitly addresses the concept of sustainability or a major sustainability challenge.
All awardees will be celebrated at an annual recognition ceremony. Awardees will receive a certificate of recognition and be featured on the Sustainability Institute website.
https://www.unh.edu/sustainability/campus-initiatives/unh-sustainability-awards

3. The Sustainability Institute, the Carsey School of Public Policy, the UNH Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Engagement and Outreach, the UNH Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Research, Economic Engagement and Outreach, and all colleges and institutes offer a variety of support for UNH students working with faculty engaged in sustainability research:
http://www.unh.edu/main/research
http://www.unh.edu/engagement/
https://carsey.unh.edu/
https://sustainableunh.unh.edu/
4. The Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research offers several programs with funding for students to pursue research locally and abroad. The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) supports students with their research and creative projects by funding Undergraduate Research Awards (URAs) and Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURFs). In addition to this research support, UROP offers presentation grants to assist with travel expenses and registration fees associated with students presenting project or research findings at a conference or professional meeting off campus. The Center's International Research Opportunities Program (IROP) funds nine weeks of research in a foreign country during the summer of junior year. Students conduct research under the guidance of a foreign mentor and experience the challenges of designing and executing a research project while living in a different culture.
http://www.unh.edu/undergrad-research/


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:

1. UNH Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Engagement and Outreach (including Research & Engaged Scholars Academy):
http://www.unh.edu/engagement/
http://www.unh.edu/engagement/leadership-team-and-faculty-fellows
http://www.unh.edu/engagement/research/
The Engaged Scholars Academy, which debuted in the fall of 2004, is a faculty development program, designed to enhance faculty success in outreach scholarship within the disciplines. At UNH, engaged scholarship is a mutually-beneficial collaboration between the university and external partners for the purpose of generating and applying relevant knowledge to directly benefit the public. The Academy supports faculty who are developing and engaging in mutually beneficial collaborations with external partners. The Academy's goal is to identify, mentor, and work with faculty from across the institution who are interested in Outreach Scholarship. The principles of Outreach Scholarship (research in service of society, collaboration with external partners, etc.) blend very well with those of sustainability, and much research fostered by the Academy is related to sustainability.
2. UNH Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Research, Economic Engagement and Outreach: http://www.unh.edu/main/research
All of this research support is done under the context of UNH's strategic plan (“The Future of UNH Four Strategic Priorities") including expanding academic and research excellence to “attract increasingly strong and diverse students and faculty from across the country and abroad. The university will be known and respected for the high caliber of teaching, research and advising in its academic programs. Its distinguished research, scholarship and doctoral education will be recognized worldwide, including its contributions to global sustainability challenges.” https://www.unh.edu/main/future-of-unh

Office of Large Center Development: The Office of Large Center Development supports collaborative research activities to expand UNH’s capacity to pursue major multi- and interdisciplinary research initiatives that garner national and international recognition by providing a range of services including: Connect UNH researchers intellectually and develop strategic alliances, Guide the pursuit of new strategic research activities in response to the funding opportunity landscape and new research directions, Coordinate large and complex grant and contract proposal efforts, Implement Collaborative Research Excellence Initiative (CoRE). https://www.unh.edu/research/research/mission-organization/large-center-development

The Collaborative Research Excellence (CoRE) initiative is an annual internal funding competition to support interdisciplinary collaborations across UNH.
https://www.unh.edu/research/collaborative-research-excellence-core-initiative
UNH holds a Deep Commitment to Interdisciplinarity research and academic excellence to address issues facing UNH, our state, region, and beyond. As noted above “expanding academic and research excellence is one of four strategic priorities that emphasizes UNH’s contributions to global sustainability challenges. UNH’s commitment to sustainability research is supported through interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary units such as the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS); the School of Marine Sciences and Ocean Engineering; the Sustainability Institute; and the Carsey School of Public Policy, as well as through funding opportunities such as the the Collaborative Research Excellence (CoRE) Initiative. To date, the CoRE initiative To-date, CoRE projects have engaged over 3,000 participants from academia, industry, and the community and stimulated over $35M in additional external funding to support world-class research and scholarship. CoRE is funded through the Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Research, Economic Engagement, and Outreach.

The Sustainability Awards Program All UNH faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students, including faculty and staff with research or adjunct appointments. Individuals or teams may self-nominate or be nominated by others, via an online form.
The program seeks to celebrate and incentivize research and scholarship, curriculum development and teaching, campus initiatives and culture, and external engagement activities and achievements that best embody the principles and practices of sustainability. The total number of awards granted is not predetermined and will be based on the caliber of the submissions.
• Platinum: demonstrates exemplary work that explicitly addresses the concept of sustainability or a major sustainability challenge.
• Gold: demonstrates outstanding work that explicitly addresses the concept of sustainability or a major sustainability challenge.
• Silver: demonstrates excellent work that explicitly addresses the concept of sustainability or a major sustainability challenge.
• Bronze: demonstrates emergent or promising work that explicitly addresses the concept of sustainability or a major sustainability challenge.
All awardees will be celebrated at an annual recognition ceremony. Awardees will receive a certificate of recognition and be featured on the Sustainability Institute website.
https://www.unh.edu/sustainability/campus-initiatives/unh-sustainability-awards
3. The Sustainability Institute supports faculty through a range of programing focused on sustainability challenges as well as through two professorships focused on the climate crisis and sustainable food systems: https://www.unh.edu/sustainability/research https://www.unh.edu/sustainability/community-engagement
4. The UNH Carsey School of Public Policy and its focus on rural communities, families and development: https://carsey.unh.edu/


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:
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The promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:

UNH holds a deep commitment to interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research and its four strategic priorities weave this commitment together through, for example, ensuring
• that all students are engaged and ethical global citizens
• that its research, scholarship, and doctoral education are “recognized worldwide including contribute to global sustainability challenges
• UNH will build collaborations that support New Hampshire’s economy and quality of life, sustainability and resilience and will be a trusted, valuable and consistent partner.
• Building financial strength including sustainable investing and becoming more accessible and affordable for students.
It also includes Sustainability as one of its 9 metrics to track progress on its strategic priorities to assesses our education, research and practices in supporting environmental, fiscal and social responsibility and uses its STARS score as the metric.
UNH Vision & Values: https://www.unh.edu/main/future-of-unh

All UNH Colleges give positive recognition of interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching with regards to appointments, tenure, and promotion. For example, the College of Health and Human Services states that “Applied research undertaken by our faculty and staff reaches across disciplines and affects communities and schools, providers of healthcare and human services, and researchers around the world. UNH research creates new knowledge for understanding and dealing with long-term care policy, adolescent and child development, cardiac rehabilitation, suicide prevention, and other issues of critical importance to communities.” And the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture states that “we will nurture creativity and provide an environment that fosters rigorous scientific inquiry and actively engaged learning in an interdisciplinary environment.”

Here are some examples of language from various UNH departmental policies on research and academic values:

Department of Political Sciences states: “Highly effective scholarship is a necessary condition for satisfactory performance towards tenure. Research and publication activities within the discipline or related interdisciplinary areas represent a major component of the evaluation of faculty performance within the Department of Political Science. As faculty progress, they are required to demonstrate continued scholarly progress with a coherent agenda for further research. The Department encourages collaboration; however, the candidate must provide documentation of a significant and original contribution to such endeavors. Fundamental scholarship activities include engaging in disciplinary or cross disciplinary research projects, the product of which is formally shared with others and is subject to review.

Department of Classics, Humanities, and Italian Studies states: “The department recognizes that the fields of Classics, Humanities, and Italian Studies encompass areas including, but not limited to, Literary History and Criticism, Literary Theory, Pedagogy, Technology and Media, Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, Translation, Cultural History, Cultural Studies, Film Studies, Philology, and other interdisciplinary fields, regardless of the medium in which they are presented.”
The Natural Resources and the Environment Department document states: “Expectations of research output must be flexible and geared towards an evaluation process that recognizes differences in research specialty areas, including interdisciplinary research or that which focuses on applied problem solving.”

The Department of Biological Sciences document similarly states: “Assessment of research productivity must be flexible to recognize difference in specialty areas, including interdisciplinary research or theoretical or applied problem solving.”
Computer Science states: “Interdisciplinary collaborations are valued, and the department will solicit appropriate input to evaluate the interdisciplinary contribution of the candidate as part of the promotion and tenure process.”

Earth Sciences states: “Both disciplinary and interdisciplinary research is valued,” and that “Faculty members may also be engaged in scholarship activities in which they apply their expertise to address specific societal issues in the earth and environmental sciences.
Examples of Positive Outcomes in last 3 years:
Building on a decade of interdisciplinary cluster tenure track faculty hiring in the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture (COLSA) A new department Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems was established in 2017 and in 2018 hired Penn State Distinguished Professor David Mortensen as the department chair and has begun interdisciplinary hires including a sociologist focusing on the development of sustainable livelihood strategies for New England farmers and Values-Based Food Supply Chains designed to increase equity, transparency and resilience in the food system.
In what’s being hailed as the largest single research contract ever awarded to UNH by NASA researchers will receive $107.9 million to develop a space-based instrument to study coastal ecosystems near the Gulf of Mexico. The interdisciplinary project team includes numerous UNH space scientists and is led by research associate professor of Earth sciences Joseph Salisbury. Together, they will develop the Geosynchronous Littoral Imaging and Monitoring Radiometer (GLIMR) instrument to observe ocean biology, chemistry and ecology throughout the Gulf of Mexico, the southeastern U.S. coastline and Amazon River plume that stretches to the Atlantic Ocean.
The UNH Sustainability Institute named Karen Spiller the Thomas W. Haas Professor in Sustainable Food Systems. s the Thomas W. Haas Professor in Sustainable Food Systems at University of New Hampshire (UNH), Durham, NH, Karen’s primary responsibility is to connect the community-engaged, transdisciplinary work of Food Solutions New England (FSNE), and in particular, its racial equity work, to students, faculty, and staff at UNH through lectures, workshops, and collaborative scholarship. The Haas Professorship was established to deepen the ties between UNH and the New England food system; by serving as a “Professor of Practice”, Karen brings unique community and practitioner perspectives into the UNH sustainable learning community.


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:

Over the past 3 years, the library has introduced the concept of sustainability in library collections to the UNH campus. This effort has included educating our community about unchecked inflation in the pricing of library materials from commercial publishers, and the mismatch between stagnating library budgets and growing campus needs for a wide array of research materials across subjects, disciplines, and format. In our quest for sustainable collecting, we’re exploring alternative content delivery models and advocating more strongly for the development of robust open access publishing options. The library has shifted from a general research support model to embedded subject librarianship, where librarians have the deep discipline expertise necessary to support the collecting, instruction, and research needs of campus programs. With more in depth of knowledge about the domains in which they are engaged, the librarians are better able to collaborate with one another on supporting interdisciplinary inquiry, and can better advise faculty and students on undertaking research that crosses traditional disciplinary boundaries.

The Library Sustainability Resource Guide is at: http://libraryguides.unh.edu/sustainabilty

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
http://unh.edu/undergrad-research/programs

The library has research specialists in the areas of research data management, data reuse, data sharing, academic publishing, evaluation metrics, and alternative publishing models, and promotes open access publishing and open science in the UNH community.

Related links:

https://libraryguides.unh.edu/datamanagement
https://libraryguides.unh.edu/openaccess
Example presentation: https://scholars.unh.edu/library_pub/125/


Website URL where information about the institution’s support for sustainability research is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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