Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 51.72
Liaison Alex Frank
Submission Date Aug. 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Wisconsin-Madison
AC-10: Support for Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 4.00 Alex Frank
Sustainability Analyst
Office of Sustainability
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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:

Many funding opportunities exist for undergraduate and graduate students to conduct research.
Those exclusively focused on sustainability include:
- Arthur B. Sacks Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Environmental Studies and Sustainability: This award supports students who are exploring the relation of environmental studies to the concept and practice of sustainability (https://www.nelson.wisc.edu/undergraduate/scholarships.php)
- Community Environmental Scholars Program (CESP): This cohort-based scholarship program is designed for students who want to link their passion for the environment with a commitment to the community. All CESP students work with community-based environmental organizations, some of which involve research projects that can continue over several semesters (https://www.nelson.wisc.edu/undergraduate/scholarships.php)
- Linda Wernecke Marshall Graduate Award in Environmental Studies: This scholarship award provides financial support to graduate students in the Nelson Institute to work in areas of transformative education, public environmental literacy, or outreach to diverse stakeholder groups (e.g., agricultural or business leadership) related to environmental issues in the United States or Canada
(https://www.nelson.wisc.edu/undergraduate/scholarships.php)
- Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS) Mini-Grants: CIAS supports innovative graduate student research addressing the challenges faced by small- and medium-sized farms and food businesses. Awarded annually, CIAS competitive mini-grants aid students as they initiate their research in sustainable agriculture and food systems (https://www.cias.wisc.edu/cias-mini-grants-support-graduate-student-research-in-sustainable-agriculture/)


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:

In 1998, the Cluster Hiring Initiative (https://facstaff.provost.wisc.edu/cluster-hiring-initiative/) was launched to foster collaborative research, education, and outreach by creating new interdisciplinary areas of knowledge that cross the boundaries of existing academic departments. The goals include (1) enabling the campus to devote a critical mass of faculty to areas of knowledge that can only be addressed across existing departmental structures, (2) providing new research tracks and collaborative opportunities, and (3) addressing difficult contemporary problems.

Current cluster hires that address sustainability include:
- Freshwater Sustainability: Freshwater is central to the geography, economy and culture of Wisconsin and is emerging as the most globally important resource challenge of the 21st century. Research and training in water sustainability will yield a host of other benefits to society, the state and the UW–Madison water community. Water management problems operate at the local, regional, national and global levels. At the same time, water issues span rural and urban regions, affect topics as diverse as human health and agricultural productivity, and are salient in people’s day-to-day lives. Many constituencies will benefit from and appreciate the work on water problems from this cluster.

- The Emerging Polar Regions: Earth’s polar regions are at the frontier of profound global change. The changes will have profound global effects through melting ice that triggers sea level rise and destabilizes ocean circulation, and via emissions of greenhouse gases (methane and carbon dioxide) from thawing permafrost. Our global society is struggling to adjust to rapid changes in loss of ice at sea and on land, rise of sea level, and emergence of new ecosystems developing where cryosphere processes once dominated. The cluster will address key research and education needs in anticipation of new physical, biological and societal challenges and opportunities in the emerging polar regions.


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?:
No

A brief description of the institution’s support for interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research, including any positive outcomes during the previous three years:
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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 37 UW-Madison libraries (https://www.library.wisc.edu/) host a large collection of sustainability-related resources, including books, films, databases, journals, and on-line research guides. Available to all students, faculty, and staff, the library collection is searchable, with many resources available on-line. Users can select specific categories of research guides that address issues of sustainability, including environment, natural resources, urban planning, and climate studies.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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