Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.40
Liaison Madeline Schuh
Submission Date Feb. 21, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Pennsylvania
AC-10: Support for Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Madeline Schuh
Sustainability Analyst
Facilities and Real Estate Services
"---" 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 research in sustainability? :
Yes

A brief description of the student research program, including the incentives provided and any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

"Climate Action Plan Research Grants" enable selected undergraduates to participate in summer research projects in sustainability field work under the guidance of a Penn faculty member. Past research project topics ranged from nonprofit sustainability management models to the study of relative sea level on the Georgia coast. https://www.curf.upenn.edu/content/penn-undergraduate-climate-action-grant
The Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum (ISAC) Program was established in 2012 to help Penn faculty introduce environmental sustainability into existing and new courses. Faculty participants explore sustainability concepts at a one-day workshop in the late spring, and then are partnered with an undergraduate student research assistant to work over the summer integrating sustainability into the course syllabi, lectures, assignments, reading material, and tests. The research assistants work 40 hours a week for eight weeks starting in June. https://www.sustainability.upenn.edu/get-involved/integrating-sustainability-across-curriculum


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

A brief description of the faculty research program, including the incentives provided and any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

"Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum" (ISAC) Program was established in 2012 to help Penn faculty introduce environmental sustainability into existing and new courses. Faculty participants explore sustainability concepts at a one-day workshop in the late spring, and then are partnered with an undergraduate student research assistant to work over the summer integrating sustainability into the course.
http://www.upenn.edu/sustainability/programs/integrating-sustainability-across-curriculum

The Benjamin Franklin Scholars Course Design Grants provide funding for faculty to develop and launch new undergraduate seminar programs, targeted to a select cohort of scholars each year. Four new seminars are launched each year by the Provost. Since the launch of the Climate Action Plan, at least one of the four seminars has been focused on environmental sustainability. The funding is used to pay undergraduate and graduate students to help develop the course theme, syllabus, and reading list. Interdisciplinary courses are preferred. https://www.sustainability.upenn.edu/news/call-proposals-ben-franklin-scholars-course-design-grants-0


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 brief description of the institution’s support for interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research, including any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

Just months after being inaugurated as Penn’s president in October 2004, Amy Gutmann launched Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) with a $10 million anonymous gift. This faculty initiative had a bold, ambitious agenda: to recruit to Penn renowned scholars whose work draws from two or more academic disciplines and whose achievements demonstrate an ability to thrive at the intersection of multiple fields.
Now, a decade later, 18 of the world’s most accomplished and unique interdisciplinary scholars call Penn home. Distinguished by the diversity of their research and teaching, each of these academic pioneers shares two things: a drive to solve complex, real-world problems and a commitment to working across disciplinary boundaries to find solutions. Each day, these collaborators move across schools and departments. As they pursue their path-breaking work, they widen and deepen Penn's rich tradition of cross-disciplinary scholarship and learning. See https://pikprofessors.upenn.edu/about-pik


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, including any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

The University of Pennsylvania library system has a number of different initiatives, including providing support for courses and research. As an example, professors can request books to be ordered and held on reserve, reducing the financial burden for students and making courses accessible to all students. In addition, the library provides research guides for a number of different departments and programs at Penn, including those with a sustainability focus: Earth and Environmental Studies, City and Regional Planning, Urban Studies, and many more.
Information held at the library related to Philadelphia Studies provides data related to the City of Philadelphia to support research. The information includes Community Health Database, Data & GIS, Esri Data & Maps, Federal Populations Schedules, Statistics, History, and many other data sets.

The library also provides faculty resources for instructional and teaching support through access services, instructional materials and technology, and curriculum support through a number of different programs and resources.

The Penn Center for Teaching and Learning (see https://www.ctl.upenn.edu) works to help instructors at Penn excel in their teaching, to enhance the culture of teaching at the university, and, in turn, to increase the quality of education at Penn.

For more information, see https://guides.library.upenn.edu/hometabs


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The University of Pennsylvania is a major research institution, with over 3000 degrees granted annually from twelve professional and academic schools at the Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate levels. Penn is committed to teaching environmental sustainability, with a goal to make climate change and sustainability part of the curriculum and educational experience available to all Penn students. (Penn's 2009 Climate Action Plan.). This submission documents Penn's efforts during the FY17 year and compares them to the FY14 baseline year which corresponds with the University's Climate Action Plan. 2.0. The submission relies on information related to the main, academic, West Philadelphia campus, but to more fully document efforts across the Penn system, information related to the Morris Arboretum and New Bolton has also been referenced and noted as outside the boundary in descriptions. The information is used to enrich examples of University efforts and is not intended to be the primary justification for credits.

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