Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.00
Liaison Micah Kenfield
Submission Date March 15, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Vassar College
AC-7: Incentives for Developing Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Alistair Hall
Sustainability Assistant
Dean of Strategic Planning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an ongoing program or programs that offer incentives for faculty in multiple disciplines or departments to develop new sustainability courses and/or incorporate sustainability into existing courses?:
Yes

A brief description of the program(s), including positive outcomes during the previous three years (e.g. descriptions of new courses or course content resulting from the program):

The Vassar Environmental Research Institute provides financial support for faculty research on Earth’s environmental systems and human interactions with those systems through the Class of 1942 (Collins) Faculty Research Fund. Ecological, evolutionary, geological, chemical, anthropological or behavioral research projects are funded on a competitive basis, with grant proposals solicited twice a year, with due dates generally immediately after October Break and Spring Break.

Since 2015, ERI has issued a grant RFP annually for projects on Climate Change, clean energy, and sustainability. "As part of its mission to promote research and teaching in environmental science at Vassar, the Environmental Research Institute is calling for proposals for projects involving research and/or teaching that contribute to a more sustainable future for Vassar College, with particular attention to energy issues and to climate change impacts. We have allocated funds to solicit and prioritize projects that explicitly pursue alternative energy futures for the college and its community, or that examine problems of climate change. Projects that cross traditional disciplinary and divisional boundaries are encouraged: for example, proposals might explore integration of humanities and sciences for communicating energy alternatives, or exploration of cultural factors in technology adoption. In general we anticipate funding projects in the range of $500-$5,000."

As a result of this request for proposals, an Environmental Studies/Physics course will study renewable energy systems, energy efficient buildings, and spend spring break in Germany visiting wind farms.

Similar funding sources have also encouraged faculty in Geography, Political Science, Biology, and Chemistry to include course modules on sustainability issues in China as of spring 2016.


A brief description of the incentives that faculty members who participate in the program(s) receive:

Faculty are awarded funding to pursue resources that strengthen their understanding the material. This could include attend conferences on the topic, purchasing potential course textbooks, meeting with experts, and hosting conversation lunches with other faculty.


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