Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.35
Liaison Gioia Thompson
Submission Date March 19, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

University of Vermont
ER-18: Sustainability Research Incentives

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 6.00 / 6.00 Gioia Thompson
Sustainability Strategist
UVM Office of Sustainability
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Does the institution have a program to encourage student sustainability research that meets the criteria for this credit?:

A brief description of the institution’s program(s) to encourage student research in sustainability:

The UVM Transportation Research Center (TRC) is a hub for innovative and interdisciplinary research, education and outreach on sustainable transportation system solutions. The TRC focuses on risk and resiliency as they relate to transportation systems, particularly in northern, rural, exurban and micropolitan contexts. Since its founding in 2006, the TRC has
funded 109 graduates students with full research assistantships. http://www.uvm.edu/~transctr/?Page=about/about_default.html

The Clean Energy Fund, funded by a self-imposed student fee, supports student research about sustainable energy. Extensive outreach results in dozens of ideas being submitted for funding. A student-led committee advises on the choice and implementation of projects, emphasizing student involvement in all projects. http://www.uvm.edu/sustain/cef

The UVM Office of Sustainability aims to foster sustainable development and promote environmental responsibility at the University of Vermont by strategically bridging the academic activities of teaching, research, and outreach with the operations of the University. The office supports five or more graduate Fellows, all of whom actively pursue sustainability research.

See also IGERT: In 2011, a $3M federal grant to UVM launched our Integrated Graduate Education, Research and Training (IGERT) program in Smart Grid, Human Behavior, and Policy. With the slogan “Earn a PhD focused on sustainable energy for the future,” the IGERT program supports students earning graduate degrees at UVM who are focused on ESH/sustainability issues. Smart Grid and Food Systems research described under Faculty Research Incentives, below. http://www.uvm.edu/smartgrid/the-program/prospective-students/

Numerous other programs exist at the departmental level, including Environmental Studies, Rubenstein School of Environment & Natural Resources.

The website URL where information about the student research program is available:
Does the institution have a program to encourage faculty sustainability research that meets the criteria for this credit?:

A brief description of the institution’s program(s) to encourage faculty research in sustainability:

Based at the University of Vermont, the Vermont EPSCoR program has been successful in developing and encouraging multidisciplinary sustainability research – specifically around climate change, environmental complexity, and watershed management – throughout UVM faculty as well as faculty in state colleges and other EPSCoR partner institutions throughout Vermont. The current EPSCoR grant – Research on Adaption to Climate Change (RACC) – has connected 17 UVM faculty and other Vermont researchers to over $20M in federal funds. http://www.uvm.edu/~epscor/new02/

Transdisciplinary Research Initiative/ Food Systems Initiative: In 2009 the University embarked on an effort to support transdisciplinary research. Launched formally by the University of Vermont as one of three, university-wide “Transdisciplinary Research Initiatives,” or TRIs, in 2011 – continues to support sustainability research applied to “our local, regional, national and global food systems as they, in turn, affect soil and water quality, human health and nutrition, global economics, packaging and transportation interests, and overall food and energy security.” Per the 2013 Board of Trustees presentation on the TRIs, over $36M in awarded grants have been identified as related to Food Systems by UVM faculty since FY11.. http://www.uvm.edu/~tri/?Page=foodsys.php

Sustainability Faculty Fellows: The Office of the Provost, together with the Office of Sustainability, UVM Environmental Program, UVM Center for Teaching and Learning, and Greenhouse Residential Learning Community -- and in partnership with Shelburne Farms -- has an annual UVM Sustainability Faculty Fellows program. The program seeks to develop a learning community—a multidisciplinary faculty cohort engaged in a yearlong exploration of sustainability, the scholarship of teaching, learning, collaboration, and community building

Other research initiatives related to sustainability include the Transportation Research Center. The UVM TRC has made its focus “mobility, sustainability, and livability” and has provided research grants under these themes with funding exceeding $16M over the past seven years

The website URL where information about the faculty research program is available:

Other sustainability-focused research arenas include:
IGERT:Smart Grid research

The Integrative Graduate Education and Training (IGERT) program is the National Science Foundation’s flagship interdisciplinary training program, educating U.S. Ph.D. scientists and engineers by building on the foundations of their disciplinary knowledge with interdisciplinary training. The IGERT program spans science, technology, engineering, mathematics and social sciences. The University of Vermont Smart Grid IGERT program consists of a partnership between the University of Vermont and Sandia National Laboratories. Our vision is to create a new generation of scholars who can navigate the complex socio-technical terrain required for creating a secure, efficient, and sustainable electric power system for the future. This program seeks to develop the research workforce necessary to allow intelligent development of smart grids in order to provide reliable, sustainable and efficient power delivery in keeping with consumer and society needs.

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