Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.76
Liaison Mark Klapatch
Submission Date Feb. 21, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Wisconsin-River Falls
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 4.00 Mark Klapatch
Sustainability and Custodial Supervisor
Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution conduct an assessment of the sustainability literacy of its students (i.e. an assessment focused on student knowledge of sustainability topics and challenges)?:
Yes

Which of the following best describes the literacy assessment? The assessment is administered to::
A subset of students or a sample that may not be representative of the predominant student body

Which of the following best describes the structure of the assessment? The assessment is administered as a::
Pre- and post-assessment to the same cohort or to representative samples in both a pre- and post-test

A copy of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment(s):
A sample of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment or the website URL where the assessment tool may be found:

Choose the best definition for sustainability:
a. Reserving land and resources for preservation so they can never be used
b. Development that meets the needs of the present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs
c. Reducing your personal carbon footprint and use of Earth’s natural resources
d. Reaching a standard of living that allows a person to afford their needs

In sustainability we often refer to the “Triple Bottom Line” when defining what makes something sustainable. What are three components of the triple bottom line?
a. Land, Labor, Capital
b. People, Planet, Profit
c. Profit, Profit, Profit
d. Income, Expense, Profit

Which of the following statements best describes the relationship between social justice and sustainability?
a. There is no relationship between social justice and sustainability
b. All people deserve access to healthy environments but the burdens of pollution and other forms of environmental risk are shared unequally across lines of race, class, and ethnicity
c. Environmental pollution causes social injustice because it was created by corporations but affects people
d. Poor people are less likely to care about nature because they have more pressing financial concerns, while wealthy people can more easily afford to purchase organic food and make other sustainable lifestyle choices
e. Don’t know/not sure

Which of the following statements best describes the relationship between environmental issues and sustainability?
a. Environmental issues and sustainability issues are not related
b. Environmental issues and sustainability issues are basically the same things
c. When humans learn to take better care of nature, sustainability issues will be resolved
d. The environment is in a state of crisis because of human-caused problems and this crisis frames the social, economic, and ecological aspects of sustainability
e. Don’t know/not sure

Which of the following statements best describes the relationship between economic issues and sustainability?
a. Economic issues and sustainability issues are not related
b. Economic issues and sustainability issues are basically the same thing
c. Sustainable economies will allow us to maintain current standards of living without worrying about environmental impacts
d. Because economics have been a central component of creating sustainable problems, economics needs to be part of sustainability solutions.
e. Don’t know/not sure

In your time here at UW-River Falls, in general, have your classes taught or referenced the concepts or three pillars of sustainability – economic, environment, and social?
a. This is my first semester at UWRF so this question is not applicable for me yet
b. No, sustainability concepts have not been taught in any of my classes
c. One or two classes have covered sustainability
d. Yes, several of my classes have covered sustainability

What federal agency is supposed to oversee environmental regulations?
a. Department of Agriculture
b. Council on Environmental Quality
c. Environmental Protection Agency
d. Department of Natural Resources
e. Department of Health and Human Resources

The United States represents 5% of the world’s population. How much of the world’s resources does the United States consume?
a. 50%
b. 15%
c. 29%
d. 5%

Approximately 3 billion people, about half the world, live on less than $2/day. If the poor populations of this world were to live, consume, and develop like the Western part of the world in order to gain similar living standards, it is estimated the world would need _______ more planet Earths in order to produce the necessary resources and absorb our high levels of waste.
a. 1
b. 5
c. 2
d. 6

The Jesse H. Ames Suites residence hall on campus is LEED gold certified. The UC and Falcon Center were built to LEED standards, but are not certified. What does LEED certification mean?
a. The building is fully insured for all natural disasters
b. The building is built with fair-trade building supplies and is free of lead and asbestos
c. The building was built by certified contractors
d. The building maximizes operational efficiency and minimizes the environmental impact

Fracking is a process that involves drilling vertically into the Earth’s surface and releasing natural gas through the breaking of shale. The shale is broken by releasing fluid at high pressures into the ground. Chemicals that are released through fracking can have long term exposure effects on human health and include chemicals like benzene, toluene, and methane. What environmental impacts are associated with fracking?
a. Methane contaminated groundwater
b. Groundwater depletion
c. Fracking induced earthquakes
d. All of the above

Coal is a fossil fuel used to generate electricity. When it is burned it releases dangerous chemicals such as carbon dioxide, sulfer dioxide, and mercury. The mining, cleaning, and transportation of coal generates additional health and environmental hazards. What percentage of electricity in WI comes from this form of energy as of 2016?
a. 22
b. 49
c. 62
d. 84

Livestock and their byproducts account for 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. They also consume a large amount of the world’s freshwater. How many gallons of water does it take to produce one pound of beef?
a. 512
b. 1002
c. 1847
d. 3582

As the climate warms, we see a general trend in glacial retreat. In Glacier National Park in Montana, the last glacier is estimated to disappear by the year 2030. Studies have shown that glaciers all over the world are thinning at an average loss of 0.31 m/yr. As we lose glacial mass, what greenhouse gas are we most worried about being released?
a. Carbon dioxide
b. Water vapor
c. Methane
d. Nitrous oxide
e. Ozone

What do you believe to be the biggest contributor to global climate change?
a. A natural shift in climate
b. The release of fossil fuels, particularly carbon dioxide
c. Deforestation of forests around the world
d. Developing countries
e. I do not believe global climate change is happening


A brief description of how the literacy assessment was developed and/or when it was adopted:

This sustainability literacy assessment was created for an Honor's 190 course on campus where sustainability is one of the five core competencies. The survey was fist completed in Fall 2017 as a pilot project in one course. It is anticipated that all sections of the course will complete the assessment at the beginning and end of each semester in 2018. It has also been shared with other faculty who may look to incorporate it into their courses in the future.


A brief description of how a representative sample was reached (if applicable) and how the assessment(s) were administered :

Not applicable


A brief summary of results from the literacy assessment(s), including a description of any measurable changes over time:

Because the assessment has only occurred for a one semester as a pilot project, there are no measurable changes at this time. Expanding the assessment out to more courses will hopefully demonstrate an increased overall sustainability literacy among our students over time.


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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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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.