Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 58.55
Liaison Amy Brunvand
Submission Date April 5, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Utah
IN-24: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Amy Brunvand
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Global Change and Sustainability Center Reorganization (2015)

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:

The Global Change and Sustainability Center (GCSC), provides a hub to coordinate, promote, and accelerate interdisciplinary research and training on issues related to the environment and sustainability, from local to global scales. GCSC is a source of funding to support sustainability engagement, and a home for interdisciplinary graduate-level curriculum. All tenured, tenure-track, adjunct, and research faculty at the University of Utah are eligible for GCSC membership.

GCSC, originally founded in 2009 as the "Global Change and Ecosystem Center," was re-organized in 2015 from the College of Science and moved under the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the umbrella of the Sustainability Office and a new GCSC director was appointed. The Center was originally funded on returned overhead from interdisciplinary research grants, but along with the organizational move, GCSC has been given a permanent operational budget and currently receives financial support from the budgets of eight colleges.
This reorganization represents the institutional evolution of an idea that originated to support faculty research, as well as a significant new commitment to sustainability on the part of campus administration. Since 2009, the role of GCSC has expanded to include graduate studies and campus engagement. Moving out of the College of Science has encouraged new faculty affiliates from social sciences, arts and humanities, expanding possibilities for interdisciplinary collaboration. GCSC offers financial support for graduate students, organizes an annual research symposium to highlight student work, and hosts the Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Sustainability, a 16-credit program launched in 2012 that pairs disciplinary expertise with opportunities to collaborate on innovative projects with students from across campus. Two core courses for the certificate (SUST 6800: Seminar Series; SUST 6000: Global Changes & Society) are offered through different departments, but affiliated with GCSC, and the project-based SUST 6000 has generated sustainable change both on campus and in the community addressing topics such as daylighting Red Butte Creek, green commuting and the campus sustainability culture.

GCSC programs include:
--Support for Faculty, including interdisciplinary engagement, travel funds, mentoring, and staff coordination and accounting assistance for large, multi-investigator research.
--Support for Graduate Students, including Graduate Fellowship Program, grants for research and travel.
--Courses, including Graduate Certificate in Sustainability, SUST 6800 (Seminar Series); SUST 6000 (Global Changes & Society)
--The University of Utah launched the new Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Sustainability in January 2015, a collaboration between the Global Change and Sustainability Center and the Graduate School.
--Events, including a seminar series, annual research symposium for student research, --Annual workshop and retreat and faculty think tanks.

--Annual Reports from 2012, 2013 describe the activities of the Center.
---As of May 2017, the center included 129 faculty affiliates from 9 different colleges.
--As of May 2017, the center funded 53 graduate fellows from 8 different colleges.
--The center has facilitated the submission of 27 multi-investigator grant proposals on research related to the environment and sustainability, of which 8 have been funded by USAID, NSF and NOAA.

Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Coordination & Planning

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


It’s All in the Teamwork: Global Change and Sustainability at the University of Utah
Global U Stories: Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Bowen Named Director of U's Sustainability Research Center. Sustainable U [blog]
June 15, 2015
URL: sustainableutah.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/bowen-named-director-of-us-sustainability-research-center/

Walsh, Thomas C., Olivia L. Miller, Brenda Bowen, Zacharia A. Levine, and James R. Ehleringer. "Sphere of sustainability: lessons from the University of Utah’s Global Changes and Society course." Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management 141, no. 12 (2015).

GCSC 2013 Annual Report:
URL: http://daqy2hvnfszx3.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2016/12/07102327/UUAnnualReport2013web.pdf

GCSC 2012 Annual Report:
URL: http://daqy2hvnfszx3.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2016/12/07102313/2012-annual-report-web.pdf

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