Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.68
Liaison Mei May
Submission Date Nov. 22, 2023

STARS v2.2

University of Texas at San Antonio
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 4.00 Mei L May
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:

The UTSA Office of Sustainability, the Sustainable Energy Research Institute and the UTSA Council on Sustainability all encourage research and have supported individual student research projects. Numerous projects have been presented at local and national conferences.

The "Supporting UTSA Sustainability Through Action, Initiatives and Narratives" (SUSTAIN) grant by the Office of Sustainability, is offered every Spring semester awards up to $10,000 to students to conduct research or carry out initiatives regarding sustainability.

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:

UTSA has several research programs providing funding for interdisciplinary research in sustainability-related areas.

These include:

1) Connect Program; Connecting through Research Partnerships
The Connecting through Research Partnerships (Connect) program, sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research, Economic Development, and Knowledge Enterprise (VPREDKE) at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and the Office of the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (EVP & COO) at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), is a grant opportunity offered to enhance greater scientific collaboration between the two institutions and to
increase both UTSA’s and SwRI’s research-funding base with cross-campus collaborative programs. The program encourages interaction between investigators in support of the acquisitions of established extramural, peer-reviewed research funding. This agreement provides unprecedented opportunities for researchers to work together in addressing issues of mutual interest and need. Priority funding given to multiple disciplines including alternate and sustainable energy.

Priority Target areas identified by the funding institutions:

a) Human Performance (i.e., aging, athletic performance, injury assessment, rehabilitation)
b) Urban Challenges (i.e., renewable energy, emergency resilience. alternative fuels, climate justice, connected infrastructure, circular economy)

2) Office of Sustainability has an ongoing program to fund faculty and staff for programs, projects, initiatives or research. Some funding opportunities provided to Faculty Researchers in the last 3 years include:

a) Undergraduate Research in Pollinators
Due to Covid-19, the 3 year program to support undergraduate research in Pollinators was put on hold until FY21. The Environmental Science Department mentors undergraduates to gain experience in field work and experimentation. The Office of Sustainability provided $8,690.00 to Dr. Jessica Beckham for Epi pens, signage, bee protection, conference attendance and travel. This opportunity gives undergraduates the confidence and experience to go on to graduate studies.

b) Baseline Assessment Research Study and Paper
UTSA's transportation graduate students participated in the research team, which analyzed transportation issues related to these changes under the campus improvement projects. The project included a student survey and baseline assessment to inform a travel demand report. The research was funded by a TXDOT grant secured by the Office of Sustainability.

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:

Does the institution have ongoing library support for sustainability research and learning?:

A brief description of the institution’s library support for sustainability research:

All library systems include vast interlinked resources allowing unlimited potential for sustainability research. UTSA membership in national and international database and geodatabase data files allow extraordinary research potential. Library staff includes full service research assistants providing easy access to all available resources.

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.