Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.28
Liaison Geory Kurtzhals
Submission Date Jan. 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Notre Dame
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Geory Kurtzhals
Sr. Director
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?:

A brief description of the student sustainability research program:

Fellowships provide funding to support stipends, research supplies, and travel for students to present their research at national conferences and meetings. These include the Vincent P. Slatt Endowment for Undergraduate Research in Energy Systems and Processes, the Forgash Fellowship for Solar Energy Research, and the Patrick and Jana Eilers Graduate Student Fellowship for Energy Related Research. The Energy Studies Minor (ESM) is open to undergraduate students in all majors and colleges at the University of Notre Dame. This minor is intended to prepare students to become successful leaders who understand the complexities of the world's energy challenges.

The University hosts the Undergraduate Sustainability Expo to connect students with career and research opportunities. Some of the groups and organizations represented in the past have been Bertrand Farm, Environmental Change Initiative, Environmental Radiochemistry/Actinide Chemistry Research Laboratory, Food Rescue US, Fund for the Public Interest, Go Research Laboratory, Great Lakes Project, GreeND, GreenScale Research Project, Kellogg and Kroc Institutes, Master of Global Affairs, Minor in Sustainability, Molecular-level Energy and Mass Transport (MEMT) Research Laboratory, ND Energy – Energy Studies Minor, Student Energy Board, and Slatt Research Fellowships, Notre Dame Career Center, Prairie Winds Nature Farm, Regional Environmental Action Network of IU South Bend, Reilly Center and GLOBES Program, Student Government, UNDERC, Urban Forestry Sustainability, and W.A.T.E.R. Research Laboratory ND-LEEF Graduate Student Research Grants: $1,500 to support research at ND-LEEF (aquatic or terrestrial) ND-ECI Undergraduate Fellowships: Up to $1,000 for stipend or supplies to support undergraduate environmental change research (land use, climate, biodiversity, hydrology, etc.). UND Environmental Research Center offers two 10 week summer field courses through the University of Notre Dame Department of Biological Sciences targeted at undergraduate students who are considering graduate school in ecology. Courses take place either in the area between Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula in Vilas County (Wisconsin) and Gogebic County (Michigan) or in western Montana on the Flathead Reservation. As part of each course, students conduct an independent research project under the direction of a faculty or graduate student mentor. The Environmental Change Initiative offers undergraduate research fellowships with up to $1,000 for stipend and supplies. These fellowships are open to students in all undergraduate colleges and there are also opportunities to receive academic credit.

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:

The Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative (ND-ECI) is pleased to announce that it will continue to grow the ND postdoctoral community under the broad umbrella of environmental change, including efforts with distinct interdisciplinary linkages. Now in its third year, the goal of the ND-ECI Partial Postdoctoral Fellowship (PPF) program is to support postdoctoral research and scholarship that helps grow collaborative bridges between science and engineering, as well as the social sciences and humanities through interdisciplinary training.

ND-ECI currently houses a “Postdoc Supergroup” and with the PPF funding opportunity, we will continue to expand this engagement. We invite applications that would take advantage of a cost-share model to maximize this group of scholars; for successful applicants, ND-ECI funding would cover 40% of the annual salary plus a meeting travel stipend for year one, with an optional second year at 25% of the annual salary. All proposed research conducted by PPF Scholars must synergize with the research of an ND-ECI Affiliated Faculty Member who will act as the primary postdoctoral mentor.

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:

The Computational Molecular Science and Engineering Laboratory (CoMSEL) provides
world-class expertise in classical and quantum mechanical simulations. It is designed to provide a unique, high quality, cross-college computational research and collaborative space for both scientists and engineers. The multidisciplinary CoMSEL labs include space for up to 50 graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, spaces for large and small group seminars, supergroup meetings, and visiting researchers. At the Environmental Change Initiative, researchers from science, engineering, social science and other disciplines work with policymakers, corporations, resource managers and the nonprofit community to pursue environmental change research that is translational. The Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative (ND-GAIN) is a practical solution to the world’s
climate problem. We promote adaptation by identifying the places most vulnerable to the changing climate and identifying real-world solutions that can prevent these changes from becoming disasters. A laboratory provides scientists with a predictable and controlled setting for conducting experiments. However, research in the environmental sciences also needs to be tested at a more realistic scale, in a whole lake or stream for instance. The Notre Dame Linked Experimental Ecosystem Facility, or ND-LEEF, provides scientists with a place to do these large-scale experiments without the challenges of field research, where controlling and replicating experiments can be problematic. The Geospatial Analysis Laboratory (GAL) was established by the Center for Research Computing (CRC) in collaboration with the Environmental Change Initiative to connect the Notre Dame community to Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing (GIS/RS) technology and resources. The GAL lab offers geospatial computing and consulting services, partnering with clients in multidisciplinary research to find geospatial solutions. The team provides GIS and RS technical support, including map creation/analysis, data generation, editing/transformation, remotely sensed data analysis, spatial analysis and geostatistics, and interactive map design. Proposal writing support is also available. Center for Environmental Science and Technology is a cooperative effort between Notre Dame’s Colleges of Science and Engineering, fostering interdisciplinary environmental research and education by providing cutting-edge analytical technologies needed to address complex environmental problems. The Minor in Sustainability is open to Notre Dame students in all majors and colleges. Through a multidisciplinary approach, the minor prepares students to serve as leaders in their
communities - local, national, and international - by making constructive and substantive contributions to the development of more sustainable practices for the benefit of their own personal and professional lives, the lives of others, and the lives of future generations. Core facilities are readily available to students, faculty, and staff for sustainability and environmental research. These include, to name a few, the Notre Dame Linked Experimental Ecosystem Facility, the Nanofabrication Facility, and the Magnetic Resonance Research Center.

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 Hesburgh Library houses multiple subject librarians to assist with undergraduate sustainability research, with specialties including Environmental Sciences, Earth Sciences, and Environmental Engineering Digital subject guides for sustainability-related study provide students and faculty with access to valuable resources, including GeoRef and Web of Science. Frequent research instruction and workshops provide students and faculty with resources and best practices as to properly conduct, present, and publish their research.

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.