Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.48
Liaison Amy Brunvand
Submission Date Oct. 21, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Utah
AC-10: Support for Sustainability Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 4.00 Brenda Bowen
Global Change & Sustainability Center
"---" 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:

Global Change and Sustainability Center (GCSC) hosts three programs that promote interdisciplinary sustainability related research:
1) GCSC Student Research Grant program
Applications for research funding are solicited biannually and a rotating interdisciplinary faculty committee reviews and selects awardees. Projects are required to be interdisciplinary and relate to sustainability and/or global change.

2) GCSC Travel Grant program
Funds to help support student travel to professional meetings to present their sustainability research. Since 2013, the GCSC has awarded $201,650 in sustainability student research funding to 205 students from 16 different departments. Awardees are required to present their work at an annual Environment and Sustainability Research Symposium held at the University of Utah.

3) GCSC Graduate Fellowship program.
Aimed at recurring outstanding and diverse graduate students to the University of Utah whose research focuses on sustainability themes. From 2011-2017, the GCSC funded 52 graduate fellows.
URL: Student Research and Travel Funding: http://environment.utah.edu/programs-projects/student-funding/

Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources & the Environment (S.J. Quinney College of Law)
Offers an array of awards and fellowships to students in Environmental and Natural Resources Law.
URL: http://www.law.utah.edu/research/stegner/stegner-awards-and-fellowships/

U.S.-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Water at the University of Utah (USPCASW, UU)
A world class education and applied research center dedicated to resolving Pakistan’s water crises through applied research, developing specialist human resource and technologies; academia-industry collaboration; and policy formulation.
URL: http://water.utah.edu/

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)
The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) provides undergraduate students and faculty members the opportunity to work together on research or creative projects. UROP provides assistantships up to $1,200 for students who assist with a faculty member’s research or creative project, or who carryout a project of their own under the supervision of a faculty member. A sustainability UROP supplemental grant program began in 2016.
URL: http://envst.utah.edu/research/

Sustainability Leadership Awards
Awards are presented annually for excellence in fostering leadership and commitment to the health of our community and our planet through an understanding of, and actions to enhance, the stability, resilience, and diversity of our intertwined natural, social, economic, and cultural systems at the U of U. The Craig B. Forster Campus as a Living Lab Award recognizes a student (graduate or undergraduate) who completes an outstanding project or initiative that makes the U more sustainable.


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:

Global Change and Sustainability Center (GCSC) Programs
The GCSC provides a cross-college community for faculty and students pursuing interdisciplinary research and training related to the environment and sustainability from local to global scales. The GCSC provides a hub to help promote, facilitate, and accelerate interdisciplinary research and training on issues related to the environment and sustainability. The GCSC does this through various inclusive programs designed to help to promote faculty success, enhance student engagement, provide student scholarships and fellowships, build relationships across traditionally “siloed” campus communities, and promote utilization of the campus as a living laboratory. The GCSC provides incentives to facilitate, promote, and accelerate interdisciplinary faculty research. These includes include funding for students (as described above), as well as faculty support for grant preparation. The GCSC hosts informal and formal meetings and events to gather interdisciplinary faculty and to facilitate research endeavors around sustainability themes (e.g., air quality, built environment and communities, climate change, ecological and environmental change, energy, food systems, justice equity and diversity, nature and culture, and water). Additionally, the GCSC provides seed funds to faculty to help launch new interdisciplinary research initiatives, and works with the campus and community to facilitate new sustainability research. Examples of positive outcomes include multiple very large (>$10M) interdisciplinary grants focused on sustainability themes including local water sustainability and global water security. Several other large interdisciplinary grants (>$1M) have been awarded around the themes of sustainable land use, energy, air quality and health, global ecological change, environmental education, and more.

Water Center
The University of Utah Water Center (which is embedded as a part of the GCSC) is dedicated to improving lives through interdisciplinary research that promotes the security of the Earth’s water systems. The Water Center serves as a hub bridging the traditional divides between the fields of engineering, economics, biology, public health, law and public policy. The Water Center fosters a collaborative, systems-based approach to knowledge creation, and believes that by bringing together scholars, professionals, and communities from different backgrounds and perspectives we can develop new ways of approaching and solving the world's water security challenges.
URL: https://water.utah.edu/

Center for Ecological Planning and Design
The goal of ecological planning and design is to create human habitat that is ecologically integrated, reflects local natural assets and community values, and enhances social, economic and ecological well-being. The Center for Ecological Planning and Design’s (which is embedded as a part of the GCSC) mission is to draw on multiple disciplines to understand and shape our environment by interweaving research and practice in human, biophysical, and built systems – people, place and design. By integrating planning and design processes with research, we seek to build in parallel both places and knowledge. In so doing, we strive to create communities that are adaptive to place, socially and ecologically just, and have high quality of life.
URL: http://cepd.cap.utah.edu/

Society Water & Climate Faculty Cluster
The University of Utah has created a new, interdisciplinary faculty cluster focusing on areas of Society, Water, and Climate (SWC). This transformative cluster connects research on hydrology, air quality, climate change, societal response, and policy, seeking to meld multiple scientific perspectives to lead society towards sustainable water solutions in a changing world.
URL: https://climate.utah.edu/

Sustaining Biodiversity Faculty Cluster
The University of Utah and the Natural History Museum of Utah announce the establishment of a new faculty cluster focused on Sustaining Biodiversity, where biodiversity research is combined with learning research for a novel interdisciplinary emphasis that strongly supports the University’s commitment to sustainability. This new research emphasis will combine science, practical applications and learning science in the areas of genomics, conservation biology, paleoecology, digital visualization, and informal learning. It will complement and build on current, related research at the Natural History Museum of Utah, in the departments of Anthropology, Biology, Educational Psychology, Geography, Geology & Geophysics, and at the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute.
URL: https://nhmu.utah.edu/sustaining-biodiversity

Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources & the Environment, Research Fellows Program (S. J. Quinney College of Law)
The Stegner Center’s Research Program was established to provide objective legal and policy analysis relating to Western public lands and the natural resources they contain. Our legal and policy analysis combines with option-centered advice to inform a wide range of public land management decisions.
URL: http://www.law.utah.edu/research/stegner/

Created in 2018, the INterdisciplinary EXchange for Utah Science (NEXUS) is an interdisciplinary research institute at the University of Utah. NEXUS welcomes researchers across the University of Utah who desire to collaborate on research projects concerning society's grand challenges, including (1) social disparities & physical / mental health, (2) climate change, the environment and well-being (3) communicating science to the community (4) suicide/violence (5) families and health and (6) opioids. At NEXUS, collaborations will be sparked through joint research resources, faculty exchange programs, faculty mentoring programs, interdisciplinary summer workshops, interdisciplinary conferences, pilot grant program and graduate and undergraduate training programs. NEXUS provides an environment at the University of Utah for interdisciplinary collaborations that spans departments and colleges, providing training in a wide variety of research methods and innovating new statistics and methods across diverse research fields.
URL: https://nexus.utah.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?:

A copy of the promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:

The promotion or tenure guidelines or policies:

No. Published promotion or tenure guidelines or policies that give explicit positive recognition to interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and/or multidisciplinary research have not been quantified.

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

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

Librarian Subject Specialists
URL: https://lib.utah.edu/collections/subject-specialists.php
Librarians at the J. Willard Marriott Library are assigned as liaisons to each academic department so that each sustainability-focused program has its own librarian to select materials and offer information literacy instruction and research assistance. In addition, an academic librarian has been embedded in the Sustainability Office since 2016 in order to offer transdisciplinary information support for using Campus as a Living Laboratory.

Research Databases & Journals
URL: https://databases.tools.lib.utah.edu/index.php?subjID=20&typeID=
Campus Libraries purchase a number of research databases including many that support sustainability research. The “database of databases” includes a subject category to list databases for “Environmental & Sustainability Studies.” Many of these link to full-text articles from sustainability research journals. The S. J. Quinney Law Library offers access to databases such as Environmental Law Reporter and Greenwire that support research in environmental and resource Law.

SustainabilityU, USpace Institutional Repository Sub-Collection
URL: https://lib.utah.edu/digital-scholarship/sustainability-U.php
In 2016 the Marriott Library created a "SustainabilityU" sub-collection within the USpace institutional Repository. This digital library is used to preserve information that supports Campus as a Living Laboratory by preserving student sustainability research and hyper-local information generated by project-oriented sustainability courses and co-curricular activities associated with the Sustainability Office. The Institutional Repository also archives posters from the annual Sustainability Symposium hosted by GCSC.

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


Global Change & Sustainability Center
URL: http://environment.utah.edu/

Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources & the Environment
URL: http://www.law.utah.edu/research/stegner/

Sustainability U (USpace Sub-collection)
URL: http://www.lib.utah.edu/digital-scholarship/sustainability-U.php


Green Task Force. Recommendations for Greening the J. Willard Marriott Library (2008)

Brunvand, Amy; Breiman, Jessica; Bullough, Emily; Lenart, Joshua; Regan, Alison. University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library: Sustainability Collection Development Policy Report. 2012. Released, 10/31/2012.
URL: https://content.lib.utah.edu/utils/getfile/collection/sustain/id/0/filename/3.pdf

Brunvand, Amy; Breiman, Jessica; Bulluough, Emily; Lenart, Joshua B.; & Regan, Alision. (2014) Building an Academic Library Collection to Support Sustainability. Focus on Educating for Sustainability: a Toolkit for Academic Librarians. Maria A. Jankowska, ed.: Library Juice Press,. Published, 02/2014.

SustainRT, DANS, U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development. Call to Action (2015)
URL: http://dans.aashe.org/#librarians

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