1. Education and Research
(1) Peer to peer sustainability outreach programs: The interface of education and behavior change
Erickson, Christina, Doctorate degree in Natural Resources at the University of Vermont, In Progress.
The current climate change crisis demands immediate and creative approaches for systemic shifts in our culture and actions. In the past several decades, education has played a role in bringing awareness regarding environmental issues, but has not necessarily resulted in the needed behavior changes. The disconnect between awareness and action is a common critique of interventions based on education alone. A newer approach in sustainability education combines psychological theories with outreach and marketing techniques. This is the rationale behind a new kind of campus activism, peer to peer sustainability outreach programs.
With a goal of shifting student culture regarding pro-environmental behaviors, these residentially-based programs emerged less than a decade ago as an attempt to extend outreach to a broader student audience. These programs aim to connect peer education with behavior change but it has yet to be determined if this is an effective approach. (Working Abstract)
(2) Environmental sustainability 'inreach' : How the campus community informs itself about environmental issues
Townsend, Becky J., Master's degree in Natural Resources at North Carolina State University, 2005.
As many higher education institutions join in the sustainability challenge, several studies recently have emerged that examine the experiences of these institutions in greening their campuses. These studies have identified numerous factors that correlate with sustainability success. One common suggestion has been identified as a crucial measure for achieving success: raising environmental awareness within the campus community. Yet few data are available in the literature regarding what universities are doing to reach out to their campus communities about sustainability issues (for simplicity purposes, this will be referred to as ‘inreach’).
Despite the valuable benefits that inreach can accomplish, from publicizing existing campus sustainability efforts to increase compliance to raising general environmental awareness, little is known about the extent to which universities are using this strategy or about the program structures, methods, or success of inreach efforts. To address this gap, a survey was designed to (1) explore the strategies and providers that institutions of higher education are using to inform their campuses about environmental and sustainability topics; (2) determine factors associated with environmental sustainability inreach success; and (3) ascertain ways that inreach could be improved. The survey targeted all 188 higher education institutions in North and South Carolina and prompted 79 institutions to respond. Results show that the majority of institutions are still in the beginning stage of providing inreach, that facilities offices are important sources for providing inreach; and that inreach success is significantly associated with structure for inreach programs, institutional commitment to campus sustainability, larger enrollments, and greater operations spending. Suggestions for improving inreach programs include dedicating funding and resources, establishing a central inreach source, and making a commitment to campus sustainability.
(3) From principle to product: Exploring process through the Solar Decathlon
Williams, Brittany Loanne, Master's degree from the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at the University of Maryland,
College Park, 2008.
The premise of this thesis is to examine the process and development of the evolution of words into built form. The abstract principle followed through the design process is the inspiration of nature as seen in the University of Maryland's Solar Decathlon entry LEAFHouse. This abstract design principle guided the team to design and build a cohesive and inspired house.
The maturation process and development of this principle is studied in all aspects of the house from schematic design to materiality to detailing of the windows and doors. These elements combine to create an experience where this principle is evident in the final built form. These experiential and perceptive qualities are examined and documented.
(1) Integration of the concepts of sustainability into teaching at post-secondary institutions
Davis, Sara Allison, Doctorate degree at University of Mississippi, 2001.
The purpose of this study was to examine the incorporation of the concepts of sustainability into teaching at two post-secondary public education residential institutions, Northern Arizona University (NAU) and the University of South Carolina (USC). A total of 17 faculty members, six administrators, and 31 students were interviewed in the study. An individual case record for each participating institution was developed. The two case records were then qualitatively cross-case analyzed to derive crosscutting themes and patterns at the two participating institutions.
Based on the findings of this study, several major themes emerged across the two post-secondary public institutions. Sustainability was consistently viewed by faculty members, administrators, and students as a very broad term. While faculty members and administrators differentiated between the ecological, economic, and social dimensions of sustainability, students commonly associated sustainability more narrowly with an ecological meaning. Several common factors that influenced faculty members' and administrators' understanding of sustainability included literature, campus-wide training, personal influences, and professional networking. Common methods used by faculty to incorporate the concepts of sustainability into teaching included assigned readings, class discussions, and class projects. Key benefits of incorporating the concepts of sustainability into teaching included increased student awareness, collaboration, vision development, and social implications, while key challenges included time, support, assessment, student understanding, and more realistic classroom experiences. Key driving forces for faculty members and administrators for incorporating the concepts of sustainability into teaching were the initiatives specifically developed at the institutions.
Based on the common themes at the two institutions studied, it is recommended that post-secondary institutions desiring to deploy the concepts of sustainability into teaching include the multiple dimensions of sustainability in their campus-wide initiatives, faculty and student development, and policies. In addition, it is recommended that campus-wide sustainability initiatives emphasize the key benefits of increased student awareness, collaboration, social implications, and vision development, and that they consider the challenges of time, support, assessment, and student understanding, while rewarding faculty members for their efforts to incorporate the concepts of sustainability into teaching.
(2) Issues regarding sustainable agriculture as perceived by upper level undergraduate students involved in a student managed
farm at Iowa State University Dollisso
Awoke Desta, Doctorate degree in Agricultural Extension Education at Iowa State University, 2002.
The purpose of this study was to identify the perceptions of agriculture students regarding sustainable agriculture practices, issues related to sustainable agriculture and learning/teaching processes. These students were enrolled in a capstone course that involved managing a 2000-acre operation. Fifty-seven students participated in this census study. Participants completed a survey questionnaire and a select group of students answered questions in a focus group interview.
The participants in this study perceived that the sustainable agriculture movement promotes environmental concerns about farming more than economic concerns. The participants were mildly interested in learning more about practicing sustainable agriculture practices and how to use them. The participants in this study were most concerned about expansion of large farms, urban use of farmland, soil erosion, and dependence on seed and chemical companies. Overall, the participants in this study were concerned about economic, environmental and social aspects of agriculture. Participants in this study indicated that they had long-term experiences using crop rotation practices while frequently using cultivation, leguminous plants and integrated pest management practices on their farms.
Participants in this study perceived that hands-on activities represent the most effective teaching and learning method. Demonstrations, field visits, face-to-face consultations and discussion represent effective methods for teaching and learning. Using a variety of teaching methods was considered effective. Family members and relatives were considered primary sources for agricultural information. Magazines, colleagues, seed and chemical companies and the Internet were frequently used sources for agricultural information. The Extension service was not perceived as a primary source of agricultural information for these respondents. Magazines were the second most frequently used source of agricultural information for the respondents. Younger respondents tended to use the Internet, magazines, seed and chemical companies and family members more for agricultural information than older participants in the study do.
Overall, the participants in this study were concerned about economic, environmental and social aspects of sustainable agriculture, and they like to see equal emphasis be given to all aspects of sustainable agriculture. Agricultural educators should give equal emphasis to the economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainable agriculture curriculum design and delivery. Educators should also use hands-on teaching/learning methods and new computer technologies to enhance learning opportunities for students.
(3) Sustainable living and learning: The connection among paradigms, educational theories, and praxis
Good, Robin LeeAnn, Doctorate degree in Education Policy Studies at Pennsylvania State University, 1998.
This doctoral dissertation explores and critically analyzes the theoretical concepts and the pragmatic applications of "sustainable" living and learning. I move from macrocosm to microcosm. The first section of this dissertation discusses sustainable thought and action in American society at large. Discussed firstly are the Anglo-American historical "roots" of ecology and "sustainability." Discussed secondly are three commonly-held definitions or perspectives of sustainable living: the "astronaut's" perspective, the "contest" perspective, and the "home" perspective. Discussed thirdly are two conceptual frameworks or paradigms--the modern developmental paradigm and the post-modern constructivist paradigm. I examine how the definition of sustainability changes depending upon from which paradigmatic framework the definition arises. I close the first section by depicting how different paradigms and different definitions of sustainability shape the epistemology, philosophy of education, curriculum, and pedagogies of educational programs which are oriented around sustainable living and learning.
The second section of this dissertation discusses sustainable living and learning at the microcosmic level. I describe and critically analyze sustainable theories and pragmatic applications as they are being conceptualized and practiced at two universities, the Pennsylvania State University at University Park, Pennsylvania, and Slippery Rock University at Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania. My central focus at these two universities was to see how individual and collective faculty members' definitions of "sustainability" and their underlying paradigmatic frameworks are translated into concrete educational programs (or, in the case of the Pennsylvania State University, a "vision" of a concrete program).
What also emerged from this feminist qualitative naturalistic research are six key issues, issues which are present at both universities. I critically analyze these issues and offer this analysis to these universities and others as a form of catalyst, with the aim of stimulating thought, discussion, critical review, possibly action regarding any sustainable living educational program's philosophy of education, curriculum, pedagogies, and administration. Educational institutions can act as transformative agents, as role models, helping to move modern societies towards less damaging, "sustainable" living patterns.
(4) The relationship of pedagogy and students' understanding of environment in environmental education
Laughland, Anthony Francis, Doctorate from Faculty of Education at the University of Technology, Sydney, 2006.
Environmental education is a relatively young area that can trace its roots back to the global environmental crises of the late 1960s and 1970s. Research in environmental education since this time has established the justification for its existence in the formal curriculum of schools. Less research has been conducted on the actual pedagogy of environmental education. This forms one part of the justification for this research study. The other justification for this research study is school students' objectification of the environment evidenced from the findings of a large survey of NSW school students. The objectification of the environment finding referred to students' responses that suggested that the environment was separate from them in contrast to a minority of students' responses that referred to a relational view (Loughland, Reid, Walker & Petocz, 2003). The two foci of pedagogy and students' understandings of the environment come together in the research question of this thesis, what is the relation between pedagogy and representations of the environment in environmental education? A Bernsteinian model of pedagogy, the pedagogical device, underpins the theoretical analysis of the pedagogy of environmental education in this study (Bernstein, 1990). A particular aspect of this device, the pedagogic recontextualising field, is used as a framework of analysis for the exposition of the major influences on the development of pedagogy of environmental education in NSW. Another theory of pedagogy, the NSW Quality Teaching Framework, is used to offer a performative angle on pedagogy to provide theoretical triangulation for the study. The pedagogy of environmental education was examined through a classroom ethnography with the researcher acting as a participant observer. The data were in the form of field notes, curriculum materials including children's literature, transcripts of classroom learning and products of students' learning. The analysis of the data was conducted using a variety of methods of analysis. The data were initially coded for themes that were the different representations of the environment in the pedagogy of this classroom. Further, the NSW Quality Teaching Framework (NSW DET 2003) was used as a theoretical framework of analysis in order to examine the data from the perspective of student performance in relation to current understandings of what constitutes good pedagogical practice. Next, Bernstein's model of the pedagogic device (1990) was used to analyse the data in the larger context of the social construction of knowledge in the school curriculum. This analysis incorporated Bernstein's original notions of pedagogical classification and framing (1971). This study has two main findings. First, the pedagogy of environmental education has strong classification and framing (after Bernstein 1971) that supports the objectification of the environment. Second, there is also some weak framing of the pedagogy of environmental education that generally does not support the objectification of the environment. The implications for these findings for practice are that environmental educators should be aware of deterministic curriculum that seeks to impose one view of the environment onto students. This curriculum positions the environment as an object that needs to be saved through human intervention. Further research into the pedagogy of environmental education that explores the relation of students' understandings of the environment and their relation to the epistemological and theoretical bases of pedagogy is warranted as a result of this study.
(5) Recreating the university from within: Sustainability and transformation in higher education
Moore, Janet Lynne, Doctorate degree of Curriculum Studies from the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia, 2004.
Universities around the globe have signed international declarations and agreements that recognize the importance of higher education in creating a more sustainable future. These agreements oblige universities to integrate sustainability programs into the teaching, research and community frameworks of higher education. In 1997, the University of British Columbia (UBC) adopted a Sustainable Development Policy that states the campus will adhere to sustainable practices in ALL of its actions and mandates. It also states that all students who attend UBC will be educated about sustainability.
This dissertation reports on an in-depth case study of the University of British Columbia to examine how the educational component of the Sustainable Development Policy is being addressed. I investigated the role of sustainability in current undergraduate programs and the barriers to move sustainability education forward at the university level. Using an integration of activist oriented research (participatory action research and collaborative inquiry) I investigated current practices and identified possible pathways for institutional transformation. The study includes voices from a range of decision-makers, faculty, staff and students who contemplate sustainability education. I utilized a range of techniques to engage the university community in a dialogue about sustainability education by engaging myself in a series of projects including a collaborative writing project, faculty and student workshops and in-depth interviews.
The results are presented as a series of seven articles that have either been published or submitted to journals. I identified a number of barriers to creating sustainability education programs, which included the competitive and disciplinary environment of the institution, unclear priorities and decision-making structures and misdirected criteria for evaluating progress. Recommendations included promoting collaborative models for teaching and research, promoting transdisciplinarity, integrating research, teaching and service, and coordinating planning, decision-making and evaluation. Other recommendations included infusing sustainability into university plans and priorities, focusing on personal and social sustainability and creating space for pedagogical transformation.
(6) Goal setting for sustainability: a new method of environmental education
Sheehy, Lucy A., Master's degree from the School of Environmental Science at Murdoch University, Western Australia, 2005.
If current environmental problems are to be addressed and future environmental problems are to be prevented, significant changes are needed in the way people live. Environmental education has been identified as an important tool for encouraging people to make the changes needed for sustainability. However, environmental education has been largely ineffective in doing this. Education about the environment is being achieved, but education that creates the skills and motivation for action is not.
The purpose of this research was to investigate the potential of goal setting to be used in environmental education programs to develop the skills and motivation required to change environmental behaviour and create positive environmental outcomes. Goal setting is one of the most replicable and reliable of psychology theories, with extensive evidence of its benefits for increasing performance and changing behaviour. The premise of this research was to take an already proven and well-established behaviour change theory and apply it within environmental education programs.
The first step was to develop a framework, which enabled goal setting to be incorporated into a program. To do this the environmental behaviour change literature was reviewed and the components of successful environmental education were identified and incorporated into the framework. The goal setting literature was also reviewed to determine the characteristics of an effective goal and how goal setting could be facilitated to create greater goal achievement. As there has been little research on the community’s attitudes towards goal setting a questionnaire was developed to determine if the Perth community uses goals, the characteristics of those goals and how those goals may be linked to behaviour. The survey indicated that most people were already using goals in their daily lives and the majority of people would respond positively to the use of goal setting in an environmental education program. Thus, a new environmental education framework was developed which included providing action knowledge, teaching goal setting skills, setting goals and providing continued feedback and support. The proposed environmental education framework was then implemented and evaluated through two environmental education programs, Green Houses and Living Smart.
The Green Houses program assessed the effectiveness of the framework for reducing household energy consumption and the effectiveness of different communication methods for delivering the framework. Personal communication through the workshop was the most effective method for changing behaviour, with workshop participants reducing their energy consumption by 17%. The website and booklet approach also had reductions in energy consumption (7% & 8%, respectively). The schools group was the only group not to achieve a reduction, suggesting that what the students learnt about energy saving was not being transferred to the home environment or impacting on their parent’s behaviour. The groups that set goals reduced their energy consumption by an additional 5% compared to the corresponding control groups and maintained those savings for a significantly longer period of time.
The Living Smart program then assessed the effectiveness of the framework for creating behaviour change across a range of sustainability topics. As a result of the program, participants significantly increased both their environmental knowledge and sustainable behaviours. A control group that received the same environmental information as the Living Smart group, but no goal setting skills, only increased their environmental knowledge. This demonstrated that environmental information alone is not sufficient for changing behaviour. The qualitative evaluation identified that goal setting facilitated behaviour change in participants because it gave them direction and strategy and increased their motivation and commitment to changing their behaviour. Importantly, the goal setting process worked equally well across all the sustainability topics, suggesting that the tool works for a variety of behaviours, not just energy conservation.
In conclusion, the goal setting process and framework created effective behaviour change that was maintained longer than when goal setting is not used. The goal setting process and framework can be delivered effectively through a range of communication strategies and can be applied effectively to a range of environmental behaviours. Therefore, goal setting is an effective and valuable behaviour change tool that has great potential across a range of environmental education programs to create positive environmental outcomes in, for and about the environment.
(7) Expanding on architecture: A new School of Architecture Planning and Preservation, UMCP
Talbott, John Michael Jr., Master's degree from the School of Architecture at the University of Maryland, College Park, 2007.
This thesis explores the limits of the architectural design process by proposing continuous and evolving vision of space and form as a dynamic and adaptive response to changes in context. The document defines a restructured framework of architecture in time. The theory prescribes a dynamic architecture, able to evolve and transform over the course of its life for the good of ecological and functional sustainability. The result demonstrates the benefits and challenges of a dynamic design process applied to the future expansion of the University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.
This thesis evaluates the current condition of the school, identifies the opportunities and issues, and designs the architectural interventions and additions necessary to satisfy the current and future needs of the school. The result addresses any identified programmatic issues in a series of sequential architectural propositions over the next 8 years. The effort focuses on the following question: How can architecture be designed to better adapt to contextual changes over time to create more efficient, more functional, and more beautiful architecture and that avoids obsolescence and environmental degradation?
(8) Sustainability and architectural education: Transforming the culture of architectural education in the United States
Woodward, Amanda S., Doctorate degree in Design and Planning, at the University of Colorado at Denver, 2007.
Concepts of sustainability have emerged since the last major reform initiative in architectural education. These concepts have powerfully reshaped discussions within many disciplines, yet they have had little impact on the pedagogy, curriculum, and espoused values of architectural education across the United States. This dissertation examines efforts to implement sustainability initiatives in architectural education through a case study of Ball State University's Architecture Program. The period of study is from the early 1990s, when transformative activities occurred there, through 2005.
By examining this richly complex case, I clarify ways in which efforts around sustainability are understood and advanced. I also identify resistance and constraints that these efforts encounter. I focus on cultural factors as a level of analysis and build an argument emphasizing the importance of culture for explaining change, and resistance to change, in architectural education. Data have been collected from interviews, artifacts, and observation.
Barriers to sustainability initiatives include a poor fit of mutual values, unresolved ambiguity around defining sustainability principles, and inattention by all but the most invested faculty and students. Efforts often lack linkage to one another, indicate different conceptualizations of sustainability and exemplify an individual mindset prevalent in the culture of architectural education. Successful advancement of sustainability initiatives were the result of individual efforts, collaboration with faculty from allied disciplines, mentoring, and support from related centers.
This dissertation challenges the notion that initial efforts to implement sustainability should be directed to curriculum reform. Early efforts to produce sustainability curriculum for architectural education have borrowed heavily from other disciplines--a situation that architecture faculty have resisted in the past. Without coming from within a discipline and resulting from internalized conceptions, this strategy lacks legitimacy and is likely to face continued resistance.
Opportunities to further advance initiatives have been identified in changing conditions within the academy and profession. These include the need to replace numerous retiring faculty members, financial constraints at public universities that increasingly mandate fundable research agendas for faculty, and increasing demand within society and the profession for people who can address issues of sustainability.
(1) Education for sustainable development at the university level: Interactions of the need for community, fear of indoctrination,
and the demands of work
Qablan, Ahmad, Doctorate degree in the Department of Middle and Secondary Education at The Florida State University, 2005.
The goal of this study was to describe the factors that influence education for sustainable development (ESD) in American universities. Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) was employed as the theoretical lens to analyze the activity of ESD (Engestrom & Miettinen 1999). Data were collected by focusing on two university professors through a series of interviews, classroom observations, and artifacts. The findings of the study demonstrated that both professors encountered serious contradictions in their activity of ESD. These contradictions were both contextual and personal in origin and caused the professors to reshape the object of their teaching activity.
The contextual contradictions originated from rules of the professors' institution, their inner and outer communities, and the division of labor in their work environment. The thematic analysis of the data revealed that the contextual contradictions included demanding work responsibilities, emphasis on research over teaching, and lack of community to consider teaching in general and specifically for ESD.
The personal contradictions arose from the professors' personal philosophies, perspectives, and visions of sustainable development. Again the thematic analysis revealed the personal contradictions arose from the professors' conceptions of teaching and learning, fear of indoctrination, and again lack of community to support the consideration of teaching.
Due to these contradictions in their activity systems, both professors narrowed their sustainability objects to address only one side of sustainability paradigm (the science component), changing the outcomes of their teaching activity to that of preparing environmentally informed citizens. While one professor focused on his new object of delivering environmental knowledge, the other professor adopted a mitigation strategy of focusing on the dual object of sustainability and delivering environmental knowledge.
The study offers several strategies to resolve the personal and contextual contradictions identified in this study. Specifically addressed are strategies to alleviate their fear of indoctrination and to access surrounding teaching communities. It also offers strategies focusing on contextual contradictions: establishing ESD communities inside the university and changing faculty incentive and reward structures within the university.
(1) Global citizenship as a function of higher education: The demographic and institutional determinates in a graduate student
Winn, Jade G., Doctorate degree from the School of Education at the University of San Diego, 2005.
Over the last twenty years, the explosive growth in information technologies, combined with the globalization and easy access to other cultures, has allowed people to think of themselves more as citizens of the world than of a particular nation. Although the notion of "global citizenship" is often discussed in the popular press, little scholarly attention has been devoted to its measurement. Less attention has been paid to the role higher education plays in creating global citizens. To address these problems, a survey instrument was created to measure three facets of global citizenship: environmentalism, social justice, and civic responsibility, and was administered to 217 graduate students at two California universities. Two analytic techniques were applied to the data--factor analysis to construct indices for each of the facets as well as for the overall construct, and regression analysis to decompose the variation in global citizenship scores into both demographic and institutional components.
The results of the study suggest that significant variation exists regarding the level of global citizenship among the participants, with scores ranging from 32 to 59 on the (60 point) global citizenship scale. More importantly, this variation extended to file three facets of global citizenship, and when regression analysis was used to identify the determinants of each component, both demographic and institutional variables were found to be predictors of global citizenship. Specifically, higher levels of global citizenship were found to occur among older individuals, those fluent in more than one language, those with strong feelings regarding the sustainability of our planet's resources, and those individuals that attended undergraduate institutions with large percentages of minority students.
(1) A campus environmental sustainability assessment for Miami University
Buaer, Marcy J., Master's degree of Environmental Sciences at Miami University, 2005.
In order to assess the state of Miami’s environmental stewardship this author coordinated a Campus Environmental Sustainability Assessment of Miami University’s operations. The assessment featured 13 indicators in three categories: operational, institutional, and community outreach. The indicators were selected for their relevance to Miami’s environmental impact and responsibilities, and to larger environmental issues. The results were organized into the report that follows, including inventories of sustainability initiatives, peer institution comparisons, highlighted opportunities for improvement, and recommendations designed to take advantage of those opportunities.
(2) Measuring institutional sustainability: The ecological footprint of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
Kogan, Linda, Master's degree in Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, 2004.
The world is approaching a crisis in global sustainability characterized by environmental degradation, loss of biodiversity, dwindling renewable resources, and gross inequities in intra- and inter-national wealth. Institutes of higher education influence millions of future consumers and creators of waste, and therefore contribute to the ecological sustainability of the planet. The current paradigm is un-sustainability, unrecognized yet effectively conveyed through curricula and by how campuses are managed. There is an urgent need to utilize and develop quantitative indicators of sustainability suited to modifying technology and behavior within these institutional incubators for future leaders. Ecological Footprint Analysis (EFA) is a tool to measure the consumption and assimilated waste of an entity (nation, city, organization) and assign a specific amount of biologically productive area necessary to sustain that entity. EFA operates under the recognition of finite biophysical resources available on earth and highlights global inequities in consumption and waste production. In this study an EFA measuring energy, transportation, food, paper, water, and solid waste was conducted for the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to assess the sustainability of the institution.
The ecological footprint of UCCS indicates the university requires 34,543 acres, an area 67 times larger than the campus, to supply necessary resources and assimilate waste on an annual basis. This footprint, similar to other colleges and universities, indicates that the institute is a net importer of biocapacity, dependent on a vast hinterland for its operation and is currently unsustainable. Transportation and energy contributed most significantly to the footprint followed by waste and paper consumption. A transition to wind power, implementation of demand management transportation plans, and the development of a comprehensive recycling plan are three strategies that may significantly reduce the university’s footprint.
The most significant part of a university’s ecological footprint may not be energy use, but rather the failure to teach students about ecological limits. An additional part of this study involved integration of an EFA of the university within the curricula of a human geography class. The results indicated EFA is an effective heuristic tool to teach about sustainability, enhance student stewardship, and increase ecological literacy.
(3) Reaching beyond compliance: Obstacles to integrating sustainability into decision-making processes in an institution of
Newman, Julie, Doctorate degree in Natural Resources at the University of New Hampshire, 2004.
There are emerging opportunities for institutions of higher education to respond to current environmental and public health crises. By setting institutional examples and modeling for others how to prioritize sustainability as a grounding framework for decision-making, institutions of higher education have an opportunity to facilitate society's transition to a more sustainable future. Sustainability principles stem from an international consensus that the pursuit of economic viability as an end in itself, conditioned by a neo-classical model of economics, does not maintain or enhance ecological health and human well-being. There are a number of universities worldwide who are making an effort to evaluate current policies and embrace sustainability however, there are no universities that could be characterized as 'sustainable'.
This study examines two interrelated points of debate with respect to the obstacles to integrating sustainability into the decision-making process in an institution of higher education. These are: (a) What parameters characterize the current decision-making process? What within the process obstructs the integration of sustainability principles? (b) What influences a decision-makers construction of a rationale for embracing or rejecting sustainability in everyday decisions? As entry points into the university decision-making process, this study focuses on operational policy with a comparative analysis of food services, purchasing and waste management. The data was collected and analyzed with the application of a grounded theory methodology.
The study illustrates how the conventional decision-making process integrates three dominant parameters, which shape decision outcomes: fiscal constraint, academic and operational divisions, and institutional values. These three factors are further influenced by the system of communication within the university. The study extends the analysis through a constructivist framework to examine the factors that influence an individual's understanding of the concept of sustainability and how that understanding is reflected in ones rationale as a decision-maker. The results of this study point to areas of future research that include the development of systems of knowledge-distribution for sustainability and the pursuit of institutional capacity to meet the needs of a sustainable society.
(4) Sustainability of Western Kentucky University: An examination of environmental policy, performance, and potential for
Ryan-Downing, Christian N., Master's degree in Biology at Western Kentucky University, 2007.
Institutions of higher learning are in a pivotal position to address the environmental problems that global society faces now, but response to this challenge requires transformation in priorities and practices. Recognizing the impacts that universities have on the environment and the social and economic costs associated with these impacts, institutions of higher learning are changing policies and management to become more sustainable. Sustainability is defined by the World Commission on Environment and Development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (1987).
To evaluate the environmental impacts and level of sustainability at Western Kentucky University, ten indicators were assessed: Building Design, Energy, Water, Land, Air, Solid Waste, Purchasing, Transportation, Food and Dining, and Environmental Literacy. Average annual energy consumption for each campus community member is 4,139 kWh of electricity, 527 pounds of coal, 3,600 cf of natural gas, totaling over 22 million Btus, costing $317 and emitting 3.34 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, 14,244 gallons of water are used, and 248 pounds of solid waste are generated per campus community member annually.
(5) Campus ecology: Bridging the gap between campus sustainability efforts and urban ecology
Savanick, Suzanne, Doctorate degree from University of Minnesota, 2004.
Over the last 15 years, the field of campus sustainability efforts has made great strides in addressing resource use, sustainability education and in developing environmental and sustainability policies at higher education institutions. Concurrently, ecologists have begun to develop the field of urban ecology, the ecology of urban human-dominated areas. This research draws together these two fields by proposing that higher education institutions are small urban areas and should display the properties developed in urban ecology. First, I describe in detail urban ecology and campus sustainability and propose that an urban nitrogen budget is appropriate for the university campus by developing a conceptual campus nitrogen budget and describing how informational feedback loops could be developed. This model was then calibrated using data from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus. Nitrogen inputs were 575,804 kg and nitrogen outputs were 544,393 kg, showing a 5% nitrogen sink. On the campus, the largest nitrogen emissions were energy use for heat, electricity, commuter transportation to campus, airline travel, and travel by campus buses and cars. I then develop the proposition that a campus nitrogen assessment can be an effective tool for education and civic engagement. I follow that with developing the idea that campus sustainability projects can be an effective tool specifically for conservation biology education. Finally, I offer an example of how to put together a campus sustainability project, based upon the University of Minnesota's Sustainable Campus Initiative, a collective of faculty, students and facilities staff that have accepted a mission of improving the campus environment while increasing teaching opportunities. Overall, I show that university campuses can be described as small urban sites, using an urban nitrogen cycle to build that argument. Viewing a campus as a dynamic ecological system can be an effective tool for environmental education and civic engagement within a campus sustainability effort.
(6) Sustainability in higher education
Scheck, Susan, Master's from Stony Brook University, 2007.
Sustainability is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, according to one definition from the United Nations. This paper explores how universities are promoting, teaching, and modeling sustainability. It gives a history of the sustainability movement and a survey of existing university programs in the United States, and reports on sustainability at Stony Brook University.
Several international documents were written between the 1970s and the 1990s to define what sustainability in higher education should look like. They include several common points:
• Mission statements and other written materials must contain a concern and dedication to sustainable development.
• Sustainability should be incorporated into all academic disciplines and professional education requirements, as well as into faculty
and student research.
• The university’s impact on surrounding social and ecological systems should be measured and recognized.
• The university demonstrates a commitment to sustainability in hiring, tenure, and promotion.
• The institution is aware of its “ecological footprint,” has a commitment to sustainability in its production and consumption, and
integrates sustainable practices in all its activities.
• Institutional and student life services should emphasize sustainability.
• The university is engaged in community outreach, both locally and globally, to promote sustainability.
Although there is a consensus that universities in general can be leaders in sustainability, changing the culture of individual universities has proved problematic. Researchers agree that when presidents and other top administrators “buy in” to promoting sustainability, there is a much higher degree of success at these institutions.
There are also compelling reasons why university presidents choose not to get involved. While sustainable campuses usually take 20 to 40 years to create, presidential tenures are usually much shorter than that, so shorter-term goals are favored. University presidents also are extremely busy, and sustainability may not make it onto the top of their agendas, or other projects may have stronger backing from faculty and staff.
Making a university’s physical plant sustainable is a large part of the effort. Greening includes, but is not limited to, high-efficiency buildings, clean/renewable energy use, Organic/locally sourced food, and recycling and waste management.
Usually, but not always, campus reform begins with an investigation of the university’s ecological impact through ecological footprint analysis (a physical measure of resource use vs. resource replenishment in the university’s local areas) and sustainability indicators (a list of best practices that the university measures itself against). Sustainability is subjective and difficult to measure; due to this and the newness of the science there is no one set of principles that has been universally established to measure it.
It is widely acknowledged that, like sustainability itself, teaching sustainability must be interdisciplinary and experiential. Lectures and classroom-based learning alone will not foster the critical thinking and teamwork required to solve existing and future environmental and social problems and ultimately, to live sustainably.
Some universities have developed new bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs, as well as opening sustainability centers and adding a sustainability component to existing programs. Some have created undergraduate minors and certificate programs, or a special concentration within existing master’s degree programs.
Stony Brook University has made notable strides towards sustainability, beginning modestly with a recycling program in 1987, and continuing until the present with the Earthstock celebration; the opening of Stony Brook Southampton, an entire campus devoted to modeling and teaching sustainability. The main responsibility for assessing and performing sustainability-related activities lies with the Division of Facilities and Services. The Division is comprised of the Departments of Environmental Stewardship and Recycling and Resource Management. These departments run the recycling and compost programs and determine how to make the university more energy efficient.
(1) Development of a database methodology for compliance with regionally available materials standards of LEED(TM) Green
Building Rating System
Das, Sadiq, Master's degree of Construction Management at Michigan State University, 2005.
Green building design is increasingly being considered by designers and builders across the United States. One strategy of green or sustainable design can be to use local or regionally manufactured and extracted materials for construction. The benefits of use of local materials are minimizing environmental and economic costs of transportation and supporting the local economy. This research developed a methodology for creating a database of regionally available materials which is applicable to universities and other large institutional owners and is targeted towards compliance with the "Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design" Green Building Rating System (LEED®). LEED is a sustainable design based system which entails certification processes for "green" buildings. LEED addresses regionally manufactured and extracted materials as well as numerous other sustainable practices. This methodology for development of a database is centered on compliance with the regionally available materials standards of LEED.
The researcher conducted interviews with LEED Accredited Professionals and construction managers, developed a building case study, created a sample database and created a framework outlining the process of developing a database. Additionally, the researcher outlined the process of complying with the regionally available materials standards of LEED and identified high-impact materials for typical institutional buildings.
(2) Survey of LEED Water Efficiency Credits and Strategies in the Southeastern United States(University of South Carolina’s
West Quad used as case study)
Durr, Elaine R., Master's degree of Earth and Environmental Resources Management in the School of the Environment, 2006.
Sustainable building design is growing in popularity partly due to the success of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Rating System. LEED is becoming more common in the southeastern United States; however, much of the currently available literature focuses on LEED buildings in the western United States. At the same time water conservation is becoming an important objective as freshwater sources decline and water costs rise. LEED encourages building owners to incorporate water efficiency into buildings by offering five credits under the category “water efficiency.” The purpose of this study is to assist future LEED project managers in the southeast, to identify the appropriate water efficiency credits to seek, and to determine the most efficient strategies by which to achieve them; as well as to provide a real building example of how such strategies reduce water consumption and costs.
A survey was created and distributed to all certified and registered LEED projects in EPA Region 4 (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee) via e-mail contact. The results were compiled and analyzed using descriptive statistics and the following statistical tests (using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences – SPSS) where appropriate: paired t-test with Bonferroni adjustment, crosstabs, and analyses of variance. The survey response rate was only 16%, but noteworthy information was obtained. Water Efficiency Credits 1.1- Water Efficient Landscaping (requiring a 50% reduction in potable water use for irrigation) and 3.1-Water Use Reduction requiring a 20% reduction in potable water use) were the most commonly achieved/sought credits. High efficiency plumbing fixtures were used by nearly every project surveyed. The survey results also revealed with statistical significance (p-values < 0.001) that financial benefit is the most important reason project managers decide to use particular water efficiency strategies.
The University of South Carolina’s West Quad was used as a LEED project case study to provide a real-building example of how water efficiency strategies can save water and money. West Quad incorporated five of the eight water efficiency strategies and received two water efficiency credits. West Quad’s water usage data confirmed that its water systems are operating as designed, which in-turn is providing a financial benefit of $3,959.28 per academic school year. Perhaps the most interesting aspect about West Quad is the low-flow plumbing fixtures used to make it more water efficient actually cost $4,204.30 lessthan traditional ones.
(3) Development of a framework to assist owners in deciding to use sustainable site design practices for institutional buildings
Khosla, Niti Gautam, Master's degree in the Construction Management Program at Michigan State University, 2007.
This research incorporated the AHP Multi-Attribute Model developed by Herkert et al to Pearce et al's Sustainability Decision Support System Conceptual Framework in order to develop a new decision-making framework for aiding institutional owners as they consider use of specific LEED-NC 2.2 Sustainable Sites (SS) and Water Efficiency (WE) credits for their projects.
The researcher has conducted literature review to identify existing decision-making frameworks for sustainable development as well as recent studies addressing environmental, community and economic issues of U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credits with emphasis on SS and WE credits. The researcher identified decision-making attributes, which influence a decision whether or not to use specific LEED SS and WE credits, through existing data collected at a collaborative work session of design professionals, held at Michigan State University, and interviews of four case study projects, to address use of SS and WE credits of LEED. The researcher identified and presented these attributes, relevant to each credit, and finally, a new framework based on Herkert and Pearce's work was developed for institutional owners for helping them to decide whether or not to pursue individual LEED SS and WE credits for their projects.
(4) Energy efficiency at the University of Toronto: An investigation of four case study buildings
Kiang, Sandy, Master's degree from the Department of Geography, and Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Toronto,
This thesis examines the dominating factors, process and tools that affect the consideration and implementation of new buildings at the University of Toronto. It approaches the topic from three different theoretical viewpoints: diffusion of innovation theory, social factors affecting diffusion of energy efficiency, and process and tools (such as the integrated design process and building energy simulation tools). Four recently constructed campus buildings are used as practical case studies. By using a building checklist, taking a tour, and conducting interviews, the results illustrate some extent of energy efficiency consideration. However, for U of T to be truly innovative, several improvements must be made to the overall building design process, the hired architects and consultants, and the extent of the university's commitment and leadership.
(5) A university's responsibility to campus sustainability: An analysis of the social and fiduciary responsibilities associated with
McClure, Rachelle, Master's degree from the Department of Interior Design at Florida State University, 2008.
This study deals with a university’s responsibility to adopt sustainable practices in both education and building. The study places emphasis on both the social and fiduciary responsibilities that affect students, faculty and universities alike. The objective is to address universities and companies that have taken leadership positions in identifying the positive benefits, such as increased performance from students and staff, reduced environmental impact and reduced costs associated with energy and maintenance fees. Field research was conducted to seek out leaders in the architecture and design industry that are carving new paths in financing, documenting and building green buildings. The culmination of research from the review of literature and field interviews led the way to a project that analyzed the costs and benefits of a conventional university classroom building versus a sustainable one. The purpose is to design a general use classroom building that incorporates attributes that improve productivity and learning such as increased ventilation control, temperature control, lighting control as well as an increase in daylighting and use of non-toxic materials and surfaces. The project aims to analyze the costs from a net present value standpoint, in contrast to initial costs, to show that sustainable building not only increases student and staff success but also benefits the financial bottom line.
(6) Simulating energy efficiency in laboratory buildings
Milbrandt, Robert Marcel, Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University, 2008.
Today's laboratory buildings are large consumers of energy. The ventilation requirements of these buildings mandate that large quantities of outside air be brought into the building. The advent of air-to-air heat recovery systems has been proven to significantly decrease the energy input needed to condition outside air. This project is a detailed energy simulation of a laboratory building on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. Using Trane TRACE 700 software, a detailed model of the building was created, and energy efficient measures were simulated. These simulations include the proper control of outside air flow rates, the installation of enthalpy wheels, and recovery of heat from fume hood exhaust. With each simulation, detailed energy and cost savings numbers were tabulated. It was found that through these simulations, a total of 15 percent energy savings could be achieved.
(7) A water conservation plan for the University of Manitoba
Parbery, David, Master's degree at University of Manitoba, 1994.
The University of Manitoba (U of M) is the single largest water user in the City of Winnipeg. It used over 1,000,000 m$\sp3$ of water in 1993-1994, at a cost of almost $950,000. Although water use has been fairly constant over the last several years, water costs have risen due to City of Winnipeg water rate increases. Water rates for industrial/institutional users, such as the U of M, have increased 13 percent this year (1994/95 fiscal year). This is more than double the average rate increase of the last five years and will amount to an increase of approximately $123,000 in water utility charges to the University of Manitoba's 1994/95 water bill (assuming the amount of water used will be the same as in 1993/94). Based on these findings, a Water Conservation Plan, consisting of defined goals with realistic objectives that are supported by a proactive and practicable policy, is developed. The Water Conservation Plan is based on: (1) water conservation techniques and strategies described in the literature; (2) other institutions' and municipalities' water conservation experiences; and (3) on-site studies of water uses on the UMFGC.
The Water Conservation Plan developed for the University of Manitoba, Fort Garry Campus, will aid in reducing future water utility costs, promote sustainability of a vital natural resource, and help to ensure that the University is seen to be an environmentally and economically responsible public institution.
(8) Feasibility of Green Building at WPI
Peyser, Suzanne M. Master of Science in Civil Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, April 30, 2008.
College campuses, with significant numbers of older facilities, have the opportunity to lead the green building movement while reaping economic, health, environmental, educational, and marketing benefits. This project assessed the current status of green building programs at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), the costs and benefits of building green, and the costs and benefits of LEED certification to make the business case for LEED-certified buildings. This project also proposed a strategic plan for green building programs at WPI to promote and measure green building improvements to new and existing facilities. Lastly, this project assessed the feasibility of certifying existing facilities with the LEED Existing Building rating system. By evaluating all of the costs and the major benefits, the results of this project demonstrate that the benefits of building green and LEED certification outweigh the costs and that through strategic planning WPI can become a leader among colleges implementing green building programs.
(9) Architectural permeability: Sustainable design as a global consideration. A sustainable student residence on the University of
Sruhlmiller, Keir Noelle, Master's degree in Architecture in Environmental Design at the University of Calgary, 2002.
This design thesis explores sustainable design through the International House Residential complex for graduate students on the University of Alberta campus in Edmonton, Alberta. This project uses sustainable, on-site energy resources to explore architectural design as an infill process, re-articulating the surrounding context, rather than as an individual object. A climate control strategy is applied to the project, using an external skin to completely encapsulate the residence. This skin mitigates the extreme climate of Edmonton and allows for increased flexibility, in both the physical structural and functional capabilities of the internal buildings and atrium spaces. The moderated interior focuses on the function of the personal spaces. The controlling skin becomes an architectural expression of the functions which provide sustainable and efficient energy use. Using the existing urban fabric--the contextual and climatic conditions--drives the sustainable strategy of the architecture. The student residence program is significant to the architectural-strategy as it requires a balanced presence of both unified and separated relationships between the private and public International House spaces.
(10) Design of energy efficient building with radiant slab cooling
Tian, Zhen, Doctorate degree from the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary, 2007. (Study of University of Calgary
Air-conditioning comprises a substantial fraction of commercial building energy use because of compressor-driven refrigeration and fan-driven air circulation. Core regions of large buildings require year-round cooling due to heat gains from people, lights and equipment. Negative environmental impacts include CO 2 emissions from electric generation and leakage of ozone-depleting refrigerants. Some argue that radiant cooling simultaneously improves building efficiency and occupant thermal comfort, and that current thermal comfort models fail to reflect occupant experience with radiant thermal control systems. There is little field evidence to test these claims.
The University of Calgary's Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Building, is a pioneering radiant slab cooling installation in North America. Thermal comfort and energy performance were evaluated. Measurements included: (1) heating and cooling energy use, (2) electrical energy use for lighting and equipment, and (3) indoor temperatures. Accuracy of a whole building energy simulation model was evaluated with these data. Simulation was then used to compare the radiant slab design with a conventional (variable air volume) system. The radiant system energy performance was found to be poorer mainly due to: (1) simultaneous cooling by the slab and heating by other systems, (2) omission of low-exergy (e.g., groundwater) cooling possible with the high cooling water temperatures possible with radiant slabs and (3) excessive solar gain and conductive heat loss due to the wall and fenestration design.
Occupant thermal comfort was evaluated through questionnaires and concurrent measurement of workstation comfort parameters. Analysis of 116 sets of data from 82 occupants showed that occupant assessment was consistent with estimates based on current thermal comfort models. The main thermal comfort improvements were reductions in (1) local discomfort from draft and (2) vertical air temperature stratification. P The analysis showed that integrated architectural and mechanical design is required to achieve the potential benefits of radiant slab cooling, including: (1) reduction of peak solar gain via windows through (a) avoiding large window-to-wall ratios and/or (b) exterior shading of windows, (2) use of low-quality cooling sources such as cooling towers and ground water, especially in cold, dry climates, and (3) coordination of system control to avoid simultaneous heating and cooling.
(1) Evergreen’s Comprehensive Greenhouse Gas Inventory
Pumilio, John, Master's degree in Environmental Studies at The Evergreen State College, 2007.
This study provides the results of The Evergreen State College’s comprehensive greenhouse gas inventory. In light of the latest scientific research on the issue of global warming and in response to recommendations made by the Sustainability Task Force, The Evergreen State College committed to carbon neutrality by 2020 as specified in the 2006 updated Strategic Plan. Furthermore, in January 2007, Evergreen President Les Purce joined the Leadership Circle of the Presidents Climate Commitment agreeing to achieve “climate neutrality as soon as possible.” I conducted Evergreen’s comprehensive greenhouse gas inventory as an essential step of these new climate policies in order to begin the process of tracking Evergreen’s emissions over time. I followed the protocol established by the Clean Air-Cool Planet Campus Carbon Calculator. Evergreen’s gross greenhouse gas emissions were 19,870, 21,671 and 22,112 metric tonnes for the years 2004, 2005, and 2006, respectively. In all three years, Evergreen’s single largest source of emissions came from purchased electricity. Electricity use combined with space heating and commuter habits accounted for over 90% of total emissions for each of the three years. Partially offsetting emissions, Evergreen’s forest ecosystem and composting facility sequesters less than 800 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Based on these results, achieving net-zero emissions (by reducing gross emissions and/or increasing rates of sequestration) is highly improbable in the foreseeable future without the purchase of offsets from the retail carbon market. Therefore, I recommend that The Evergreen State College achieve carbon neutrality sooner (by Fiscal Year 2009), rather than later (Fiscal Year 2020) through the purchase of high quality retail carbon offsets. Most importantly, Evergreen should commit to specific and incremental greenhouse gas reduction targets. I recommend the following goals: 1) reduce 2006 emissions 15% by 2012; 2) reduce 2006emissions 40% by 2020; and 3) reduce 2006 emissions 80% by 2050.
(2) A greenhouse gas emissions inventory and projection for the University Park Campus of The Pennsylvania State University
Steuer, Christopher John, Master's degree from the Graduate School College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, 2004.
Global consensus that anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions promote global warming has led to international efforts to inventory, project, and ultimately reduce GHG emissions to target levels specified by the Kyoto Protocol. In recent years, international failure to reduce emissions to target levels has prompted local efforts to mitigate emissions. This thesis inventories and projects GHG emissions at the University Park Campus of the Pennsylvania State University (University Park) and proposes actions to reduce emissions. The GHG emissions inventory simplifies international methods originally developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and applies them at the university level. Results of a ten-year inventory indicate that steam and electricity use are the primary sources of University Park’s GHG emissions, leading to a 21.4 percent increase in emissions from 1990-99. Projections, which focus on future demand for these sources, suggest that emissions will increase to 56 percent over 1990 levels by 2012, despite limited mitigation efforts. Continued increases in emissions over the projection period are due to construction of new campus buildings and increased electricity use among faculty, staff, and students.
If University Park attempts to accord with the Kyoto Protocol, the campus must reduce emissions to 312,734 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E) by 2012. To do so, University Park should expand current programs to improve campus buildings’ energy efficiency and investigate the emissions reduction potential of both a campus cogeneration facility and a campus wind farm. Additionally, University Park should pursue secondary mitigation options and include all efforts in a GHG emissions mitigation action plan.
(3) U.S. higher education and global climate change: An exploration of institutional factors that affect greenhouse gas emissions
Zhaurova, Luba, Master's degree in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University, 2008.
In this study, I explored the differences between greenhouse gas emissions of different colleges and universities in the U.S.A. and analyzed some of the factors that might explain these differences. I collected and analyzed a non-representative sample of 96 greenhouse gas emission reports, gross square footage, institutional wealth, and other characteristics of public and private not-for-profit colleges and universities. 84% of these institutions were American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) signatories.
First, I found that both research activity and institutional control of colleges and universities in my sample were strong predictors of the institutional greenhouse gas emissions (Scopes 1 and 2) and were interacting with each other in a complex fashion. Secondly, I found strong positive correlations between total revenues (institutional wealth proxy), gross square footage, and greenhouse gas emissions.
A major limitation of this study was greenhouse gas emissions data accuracy as methodology used to collect and calculate emissions by colleges and universities is not yet standardized.
Higher education institutions have a unique role as learning laboratories and potential climate leaders. Further research could be used to identify and develop case studies from which other institutions (both academic and non-academic) could learn about successful strategies used to move toward the carbon neutrality goal.
(1) The feasibility of implementing a farm-to-college program at the University of Cincinnati
Daly, Frances K., Master's degree of Community Planning in the Department of Planning in the College of Design, Art, Architecture, and
Planning at the University of Cincinnati, 2007.
Some of the major issues confronting environmental planners today are affected by the modern system of food production, distribution, and consumption. The major contributing factor to this relationship is movement away from traditional food systems. When civilizations first began, fresh produce traveled a short distance from the field to the kitchen table; today it travels an average of 1,300 miles. Increases in technology have lead to an increase in production and distribution. Unfortunately, this unprecedented yield increase has resulted in myriad ecological and socio-economic consequences. Fortunately, a paradigm shift is beginning to occur in agriculture. This paradigm shift is focused on concepts of sustainability instead of increases in production. One initiative to promote sustainability is the farm-to-college program. This program encourages campus cafeterias or other food service operations to purchase local farm products instead of buying from nationwide food service vendors. This program can benefit universities, students, farmers, and the environment. The intent of this thesis was to initiate a sustainable food system on campus. As such, it sought to determine the feasibility of implementing a farm-to-college program at the University of Cincinnati’s main campus dining facilities. The results of the study showed that the current food service operation and logistical structure could support a farm-to-college program as long as the contracted food service company could find a local food distributor that offers competitive prices, meets food safety regulations, supply the high quantity of product demand, and provide reliable delivery of goods. The UC food service department administration and students were interested and supportive of having more locally grown produce incorporated into the campus dining halls. The thesis concludes that it is feasible to implement a farm-to-college program at the University of Cincinnati’s main campus dining facilities. The final section of this thesis provides additional information about how to continue the feasibility study with regard to the off-campus areas of focus. This additional research, with the information presented in this thesis, could be used to the implement a farm-to-college program at UC.
(1) A sense of power: an energy analysis of the University of Cincinnati’s west campus
Delambre, Jason, Master's degree of Community Planning in the Department of Planning in the College of Design, Art, Architecture, and
Planning at the University of Cincinnati, 2007.
This study consists of an energy analysis of UC’s west campus. The central component of this thesis examines the Aronoff Center, analyzing its design and function in relation to its energy usage. Once the Aronoff Center’s energy usages have been identified, proposals are made to improve the building’s energy performance. This process leads to the development of an idealized energy model which can be applied to other buildings throughout UC’s west campus. The implementation of these strategies will allow UC to significantly reduce its energy costs.
(2) Lighting efficiency feasibility study of three Ohio university buildings
Kariyeva, Jahan, Master's degree in Environmental Studies at Ohio University, 2006.
This thesis aims to evaluate the lighting efficiency of three Ohio University campus buildings. The primary research question is: What are the short- versus long-term costs and benefits to Ohio University of renovating the lighting systems of these older buildings? The research was conducted as a case study with examination of two subquestions: What types of lighting fixtures are currently being used and how efficient are they? How efficient can proposed lighting fixtures be? Results indicate that the cost of installing more energy-efficient lighting fixtures can be quickly recaptured in older buildings. With replacing the present lighting fixtures Ohio University would pay approximately 2.5 times less than it pays currently for the lighting utilities cost of the case study buildings. With these energy savings it would take 3 to 4 years to reclaim the money spent for reinstallation of the energy-efficient lighting fixtures.
(3) Conceptual database modeling for integrated energy management in institutional buildings
Malhotra, Karun, Master's degree in Agriculture and Engineering at Michigan State University, 2001.
One of the important aspects in achieving energy efficiency is identification and characterization of the information required for making energy policy and management decisions. The area of focus of this research is to develop a conceptual database model to help improve energy efficiency in institutional buildings by effective management of information and resources. The conceptual database model developed was based on the data collected by an email survey of energy administrators of Division I Research Universities. Entity Relationship (ER) diagramming method was used for the development of the model. The proof of concept for the database model was done by presentation of the model to energy administrators of two representative Division I Research Universities, and collecting data on the potential feasibility and benefits of the model as a whole and in their current university settings.
(4) Integrated energy planning for institutional buildings
Navvab, Mojtaba, Doctorate degree at the University of Michigan, 1994.
Buildings are the largest component of an institution's capital budget; their maintenance and operation require a significant portion of annual operating revenues. Nearly 50 million dollars are spent annually on energy bills at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor campus. This dissertation integrates various programs that exist at the university through a new Integrated Energy Planning process; IEP has three objectives: increase efficiency; maximize savings; and extend the life of assets.
Data about physical facilities has been limited because project information is stored in various forms using differing data standards; existing departments are highly specialized and have fragmented relationships. To achieve IEP, a comprehensive Facility Management Information Systems (FMIS) is developed. This dissertation explores three aspects of FMIS: (1) Acquisition and storage of information on building design and management; (2) Software tools and FMIS-based analytical techniques; and, (3) technology, modeling, information systems, and policy analysis techniques.
Energy use in 71 buildings are evaluated to observe differences due to building retrofit designs, and/or system management changes. The impact of new technologies within system (HVAC, lighting) controls on total energy cost as a strategy to reduce electrical and cooling loads is estimated. Two hypothetical scenarios are modeled: individual decentralized management of buildings and a centralized management strategy. To combat the tendency to postpone retrofit expenditures, a new method of funding through strategic data planning has been developed.
The simulations developed during this research have resulted in the generation of control strategies and management options. Over 70 buildings have been simulated; all building characteristics, historical trends, and renovation costs are identified. Quantitative estimates of the effect of university policies on equipment procurement and building energy management options are determined. The proposed methods demonstrate the IEP guidelines are more effective in energy efficiency implementation than state energy code compliance in accordance to IESNA and ASHRAE standards for buildings. The methodology developed in this dissertation is applicable to other institutions.
(1) A community-based social marketing campaign to green the offices at Pacific University: Recycling, paper reduction and
environmentally preferable purchasing
Cole, Elaine Janet, Doctorate degree in Leadership and Change Program at Antioch University (Ohio), 2007
This study describes a community-based social marketing (CBSM) research project to bring awareness and behavior change around paper reduction, recycling, and purchasing of environmentally preferred products (EPP) at a small liberal arts university in the Pacific Northwest. A university-wide green office campaign was designed and implemented over a semester. Components of the multiple methods research study were pre-post surveys, purchasing reports, a recycling study, and a waste audit. The results provide examples and insights into specific community-based social marketing tools that helped foster environmental behavior change. The paper also presents suggestions for future CBSM sustainability efforts at other universities.
(1) Bicycle friendly university communities
Fields, Kristina M., Doctorate degree in Civil Engineering at Michigan Technological University, 2006.
Many U.S. universities are realizing an increase in the number of single occupancy vehicles coming to campus. Their campus planners wonder how they will provide parking for all of these automobiles. Instead of focusing their transportation planning only on the automobile, some universities are concentrating on alternative ways for students and employees to travel to and from campus. One of these alternatives is bicycle transportation.
This research looks at ten bicycle friendly university communities to find out what components have made these places bicycle friendly. Their successful components are presented along with five tools that help create bicycle friendly campus communities; (1) a financial analysis tool that calculates the benefits and costs of bicycle transportation compared to providing automobile parking for the same number of users, (2) a questionnaire to help university transportation planners determine if bicycle transportation will work at their university, (3) a checklist of advice for universities who are starting the process of improving bicycle transportation in their campus community, (4) a checklist to help analyze how bicycle friendly the campus currently is, (5) a bicycle connections layout tool to help identify origins and destinations within a campus community for determining important transportation links/corridors in that community. To help show how the tools are used, an application is made to Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan.
(2) Sustainable transportation and land use planning at Simon Fraser University: A case study of the Burnaby Mountain Campus
MacDonald, Robert Andrew, Master degree in Resource Management at Simon Fraser University, 2001.
This study examines the feasibility of developing a Sustainable Transportation Plan that aims to reduce single-occupant vehicle (SOV) trips to and from Simon Fraser University's (SFU) Burnaby Mountain Campus by a minimum of 20%. \
The STP focuses on improving the efficiency of the transportation and land use system by influencing how people travel (i.e. modal choice), where they travel (i.e. how far they travel to reach their desired destination), and when they travel (i.e. peak versus off-peak). To develop sustainable transportation and land use policies and a Sustainable Transportation Plan for SFU, a 'sustainability-planning' framework was developed. This framework identified appropriate categories, goals, objectives, indicators, and targets for this study's overall objective of reducing SOV travel by 20%. It thus acts as the foundation and template for policy formation. Furthermore, an examination of transportation demand management (TDM) measures and sustainable transportation and land use indicators (Indicators Menu)--identified through an extensive literature review--was completed and integrated into the development of the Sustainable Transportation and Land Use Planning Framework.
(3) Campus commuting: Barriers to walking and bicycling use in a university town
Miller, Benjamin Grant, Master's degree in City and Regional Planning at Clemson University, 2007.
Amongst the growing calls for environmental sustainability comes the frequently-expressed desire to increase the use of non-motorized modes of transportation for commuting. However, walking and bicycling are only viable commuting modes if people live within acceptable distances of their destination and transportation networks can safely accommodate pedestrians or bicyclists.
This research explores the potential for non-motorized modes to substitute for private-vehicle commuting for travelers to a large employment and activity center; in this case, the area surrounding Clemson University. This methodology uses a combination of stated maximum-acceptable commute times for walking and bicycling and an assessment of the suitability of the transportation network to develop walking and bicycling commute catchments from which a person could be reasonably expected to commute to a destination by walking or bicycling. Identifying commute catchments such as these then allowed analysis of deficient infrastructure that presents barriers to non-motorized commuters, as well as an examination of local land-use policy related to the commuting catchments.
The resulting methodology can be transferred to other major employment and activity centers to inform policy makers in terms of identifying unsuitable road segments that serve as major barriers to non-motorized forms of commuting. The results also help depict appropriate land use policies for areas that have the potential to generate a large amount of walking or bicycling traffic.
(1) A community-based social marketing campaign to green the offices at Pacific University: Recycling, paper reduction and
environmentally preferable purchasing
Cole, Elaine Janet, Doctorate degree in Leadership and Change Program at Antioch University (Ohio), 2007.
This study describes a community-based social marketing (CBSM) research project to bring awareness and behavior change around paper reduction, recycling, and purchasing of environmentally preferred products (EPP) at a small liberal arts university in the Pacific Northwest. A university-wide green office campaign was designed and implemented over a semester. Components of the multiple methods research study were pre-post surveys, purchasing reports, a recycling study, and a waste audit. The results provide examples and insights into specific community-based social marketing tools that helped foster environmental behavior change. The paper also presents suggestions for future CBSM sustainability efforts at other universities.
(2) Students' attitudes and behaviors toward residence hall recycling
Navarro, Robert L. Jr., Doctorate degree from the Department of Educational Administration and Foundations at Illinois State University,
Due to increasing state mandates, morecolleges and universities have implemented campus recycling initiatives. Students and their impact on the environment have been a focus of attitudinal and behavioral research. On residential campuses, residence hall students make up a significant portion of the campus population. Therefore, understanding the changing student population and its attitudes and behaviors toward campus recycling initiatives assists the college administrator not only in implementing a plan for student participation in residence hall recycling but, also, in designing effective residence hall recycling program initiatives.
An assessment instrument was utilized to assess attitudes and behaviors of students relative to a residence hall recycling program. Survey items included demographic information, precollege recycling disposition, residence hall recycling participation, commodities currently recycled, commodities that should be recycled, and general attitude and behavior questions. Data collected in 2001 were compared to results of a study conducted in 1995.
The results of the study indicated that, for the 2001 sample, students who participated in recycling efforts prior to college were more likely to participate in a residence hall recycling program. For the 2001 sample, the number of students who reported recycling prior to college but not participating in a residence hall recycling program was proportionally higher than in 1995. In 2001 and in 1995, there were positive relationships between students' attitudes and behaviors. Additionally, suggestions for student participation in a residence hall recycling program and for implementation of an effective residence hall recycling program are presented.
13. Administrative and Finance
(1) Environmental management accounting within universities: current state and future potential
Chang, Huei-Chun, Doctorate of Philosophy from the School of Accounting and Law at RMIT University, 2007.
Environmental management accounting (EMA) is attracting increased recognition as a management tool that assists in improving financial and environmental performance through enhanced environmental accountability. Various industries have been included in EMA-related research and study, but universities have typically failed to be the focus of the attention. This research studied the experiences of key managers from five universities to explore potential factors influencing the decision to adopt, or not to adopt, EMA within the higher education sector. For the purpose of this study, EMA is defined as the generation, analysis, and use of monetary (or financial) and physical (or non-financial) environment-related information in order to improve organisational financial and environmental performance.
(2) Sustainability in United States higher education: Organizational factors influencing campus environmental performance and
Shriberg, Michael Philip, Doctorate degree in Natural Resources and Environment at The University of Michigan, 2002.
Despite activists’ calls for higher education to lead society on a sustainable path, there is little systematic guidance available for campus sustainability advocates and scholars. To address this research deficiency, this study identifies organizational factors which determine why and how some campuses are emerging as sustainability leaders while most campuses lag. To develop this framework, this study surveys U.S. (four-year) colleges and universities which have signed the Talloires Declaration on Sustainability (as of April 2001), compares environmental efforts at two public Midwestern universities, and assesses the University of Michigan’s sustainability initiatives. The results indicate that collaborative decision making structures, progressive/liberal political orientation, a collegial atmosphere, and image-seeking behavior represent strong positive conditions for success in campus sustainability. Initiatives are most successful when driven by diverse stakeholders – with the support of top leaders – acting in a coordinated manner and capitalizing on or creating a “spark”. Change agents are most effective by appealing to personal ethics at low levels in the organizational hierarchy while appealing to institutional strategic positioning (e.g., reputational and recruitment benefits) at higher levels. Campus sustainability initiatives encounter many barriers, most of which are linked to the low priority of environmental issues on the campus agenda and are compounded by a lack of coordination between and among advocates and key constituencies. Current efforts tend to be initial and piecemeal, but strong efforts in the future will need to be coordinated, comprehensive and institutionalized. The concept and term “sustainability” has the potential to motivate stakeholders toward this long-term, systemic approach. However, the current usage of “sustainability” is largely restricted to ecological issues (thus neglecting interrelated social and economic issues), and is often controversial and confusing. This study – which is designed to form a theoretical and empirical basis for the 5field of campus sustainability – points to many areas for future research, including systems modeling of environmental organizational change and the influence of external conditions, leadership and interpersonal relations on campus environmentalism. The implications are limited by social desirability bias, nonresponse bias, an “insider” approach to campus sustainability, and the nonrandom and limited institutional sample used in surveying and case studies.
(1) Environmental sustainability plan for the University of Southern California
Becker, John Edward, Doctorate degree from the School of Policy, Planning and Development at the University of Southern California,
The purpose of this project was to compare the characteristics of environmental sustainability programs at leading institutions with those already in place, while not formalized, at the University of Southern California (USC). The comparisons led to recommendations for campus sustainability within ten primary areas of university operations as well as a collection of baseline values that could be used to chart progress once a formal program is established at the institution.
In order to help understand the potential impact of sustainability initiatives on the environment, this paper initially distinguishes between environmental sustainability, and social or economic sustainability. Furthermore, it explores the links that universities have to the cities with respect to housing, transportation, waste generation, land use, energy use, and various other operational activities. In addition, the connection is made regarding academic goals of training future leaders while serving as working laboratories to test green technologies and policies.
Following the review of best practices, processes and practices were identified at USC which could be considered sustainable or on which larger initiatives could be based. Finally, a three year plan is presented as a roadmap for developing a formal sustainability program at USC which would capitalize on the academic and administrative programs already in place at the university.
(2) Prototyping a campus sustainability management system
Claybaugh, Erin; Hock, Dawn; Jewel, Amy, Master's degree from the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at
the University of California Santa Barbara, 2007.
A growing number of cities and universities have created sustainability plans that include specific environmental, social, and economic performance goals. Sustainability metrics or indicators are often used to track progress towards these goals. However, compiling, monitoring, and reporting performance information for large organizations is highly complex. Therefore, sustainability reports often include aggregated data that is not specific enough to reveal spatial and temporal trends. In conjunction with the Sustainability Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), this project created a prototype of a campus-wide environmental sustainability management system (ESMS) to collect and store indicator data at designated spatial and temporal scales.
The ESMS includes a database that can be used with spreadsheet and Geographic Information System (GIS) software. To demonstrate the usefulness of the database, we populated the system with data relevant to three environmental indicators in the areas of energy, water, and solid waste/recycling. Our analysis of the indicator data helped identify buildings whose environmental performance could be improved.
The database is a straightforward, effective tool for storing and managing campus sustainability performance data, as well as generating sustainability reports. The system can also be used to better understand specific environmental performance of buildings on campus, which can help campus decision makers make educated decisions linked to sustainability goals.
(3) Toward a greener campus : Experiments with sustainable resource management at one Mexican university and two United
Coffie, Randall Gregory Jesus, Master's degree from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at Massachusetts Institute of
Modern society faces a range of difficult resource management problem like climate change, acid rain and soil depletion. To confront problems like these successfully, educational institutions, along with all other public and private entities, must do their part. Universities, in particular, need to reflect on whether they are managing their campus environments in a sustainable fashion, since the professionals they seek to train will be influenced as much by the everyday practice of campus management as by what they are taught in the classroom. The main objective of this study is to generate proposals for the implementation of a sustainable resource management program at the Guadalajara campus of the "Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey" system (ITESM) in Mexico. ITESM is well known as an innovative institution. Its thirty-two-campus system made a commitment to greater sustainability in 2004. Subsequently, while efforts have been made to transform resource management practices at ITESM, there is still a lot to be learned before a truly sustainable resource management program can be put in place. To help generate ideas for ITESM, an analysis of efforts to promote sustainability at two prestigious American universities -- MIT and Harvard - has been generated. Both campuses have had to confront, and are still confronting, obstacles of various kinds including confusion about what is and is not sustainable, resistance to change, and concern that investments in sustainability are not recoverably. Harvard has designed an integrated approach to all the "green initiatives" on its campus (i.e. the Harvard Green Campus Initiative). MIT has pursued a series of independent and opportunistic projects.
Practical ideas that would complement efforts already underway on the Guadalajara campus can be drawn from both American campuses. What is essential to effective sustainable resource management at any university, regardless of its size, financial power or prestige, is the commitment of its core staff and administration to continuous quality improvement. This must be undertaken in collaboration with all stakeholders on the campus and involve extensive outreach that facilitates widespread involvement and public learning. Other important preconditions for sustainable resource management are a comprehensive audit that can help to benchmark existing conditions and careful consistent monitoring.
(4) Sustainable universities around the world: "A model for fostering sustainable university programs effectiveness"
Velazquez , Luis Eduardo Contreras, Doctorate degree from the Faculty of the Work Environment Department at the University of
Massachusetts Lowell, 2003.
Trying to speed up the progress to sustainability, this doctoral dissertation is aimed at developing a state of the art model that offers a highly structured framework for visualizing the sustainable university system. This model shall assist universities to improve the effectiveness of their potential or current sustainability initiatives through the identification of strategies, opportunities, and institutional barriers in universities.
To ensure that the sustainable university model is connected to the real world of those who will later have to implement and enjoy sustainability, findings on this dissertation are not derived from general concepts, but rather elicited from empirical data raised from eighty higher education institutions around the world.
A Mexican model for sustainability education and the ISO 14,001 framework are analyzed as two potential strategies for establishing and maintaining the sustainable university model. The discussion is based on each of the essential elements in both structures, which are reviewed in detail in order to expand our knowledge of how better to reach sustainability in higher education institutions.
Early experiences on campuses have demonstrated many opportunities, but also many problems to the successful implementation of sustainability programs. For that reason, this doctoral dissertation also focuses on the issues that are preventing sustainability in higher education institutions.
The sustainable university model provides a clear orientation on exactly what a sustainable university is about by the conduction of a systematic analysis to understand the development of sustainability in higher education institutions.
(1) In search of green campuses: An investigation of Canadian universities' environmental initiatives and implications for
Bakker, Deborah Ellen, Master's degree in the School for Resource and Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University, 2000.
In light of current environmental and sustainability problems, environmental responsibility makes eminent sense at universities--institutions responsible involved in research, developing new technologies, and educating future leaders and citizens. In Canada and around the world, universities have responded in some ways to the challenge that campuses become models of sustainability.
The research study was motivated by five goals: (1) to follow up on previous research conducted on the state of environmental management at Canadian universities and identify changes in this that have occurred since 1994; (2) to provide empirical evidence of the effectiveness of the Talloires Declaration; (3) to (4) to identify critical incentives and barriers underlying institutional greening at universities in Canada; and (5) to provide a national context for Dalhousie University's environmental initiatives and to provide informed recommendations for improvement.
The methodology consisted of self administered questionnaires distributed to 63 universities across Canada, and was supplemented by a review of the literature, documentary research, interviews and personal communications with individuals in Canada, the United States and Europe. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)
(2) Sustaining Campus Sustainability: Factors Leading to Success of Environmental Sustainability Initiatives in Higher Education
Eimers, Katie. Master of Science in Education at Northwestern University, August 2008. [Full Text]
What factors lead to the successful implementation and ongoing success of environmental sustainability programs and policies on college campuses? To find out, one may examine institutions' self-reported successful environmental sustainability initiatives. Data were collected through surveys and interviews with sustainability officers at colleges and universities in North America. Forty-four sustainability officers participated in a 21-question survey. Five officials at five higher education institutions participated in 25-question interviews that lasted between 45 minutes and one hour.
Sustainability officers face a range of obstacles. Most (53.8%) report their budgets are inadequate and their offices understaffed; clerical support, in particular, is lacking. Middle level managers may resist the changes to administration and budget associated with implementing sustainability initiatives. Involving stakeholders in planning processes creates greater willingness to implement changes. While there was no correlation between type of stakeholder group and the amount of support for sustainability initiatives, students tend to provide unconditional support. Finally, involvement from upper level administrators positively correlates with self-reported success.
Sustainability officers must be effective change agents and must have the ability to visualize, verbalize, and set into motion clear, focused action plans. Because changing the status quo often results in resistance, perseverance and maintaining a positive attitude are vital characteristics of successful sustainability officers. Campus sustainability officers and offices act as hubs of communication across campus departments, disciplines, and units. Communication leads to greater collaboration, collaboration leads to wide, diverse support, and support from all parts of the institution is often necessary for initiatives to success.
(3) Leadership for sustainability in business, education, and community
Hardman, John, Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership at Florida Atlantic University, In Progress.
This study will examine and compare the experiential development of leaders who have successfully developed their capacities to commit to and maintain an integrated vision for sustainability or sustainable development over time in themselves and with others in their business organizations, educational institutions and communities. Through systematic comparative analysis of the data using grounded theory, it is the researcher’s intention to generate a substantive theory of leadership grounded in the findings that is appropriate to the new realities that challenge leaders in their particular domains, and how this theory may be applied to address similar issues more widely.
Issues Related to Service Learning (per sustainability)
(1) Community partner indicators of engagement: An action research study on campus-community partnership
Creighton, Sean J., Doctorate of Philosophy in Leadership and Change at Antioch University, 2006. [Full Text]
The central purpose of this research study was to develop common indicators of engagement for civic initiatives between institutions of higher education and their community organization partners. The unique aspect of this study was that the indicators were generated by the community organizations participating as stakeholders in campus-community partnerships. Using an action research methodology that involved eleven community organization participants from the health and wellness sector, the study advocated for research that provided a deeper understanding of the perspectives of community organizations. Findings suggested that significant divides existed in core civic areas dealing with service-learning, relevance of academic research, and equitable treatment of community partners. The study produced a formal set of community partner indicators of engagement that were developed by the participants in the study and disseminated to higher education leaders. The indicators illustrated the expectations of community partners that engaged in civic partnerships with higher education. Additionally, the study provided an analysis of the literature on civic engagement, identifying a lack of empirical research concerned with the perspectives of community organization partners.
(2) Community organization staff perceptions about the importance of selected practices in building effective community-
university service and learning partnerships
Shaffett, Bobbie Ruth Dixon, Doctorate of Philosophy in the School of Human Resource Education and Workforce Development at
Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, 2002.
The purpose of this study was to explore community organization staff perceptions about the importance of selected practices in building effective community-university service and learning partnerships. The target population was community organization staff members who were current or potential partners for community-university service and learning partnerships. The accessible population was community organization staff members listed with a southern metropolitan volunteer placement organization in a an area served by several universities, one large Research I Land-grant university, a historically Black Land-grant university, and at least two other state universities.
The researcher designed a mail survey questionnaire based on scholarly and practitioner literature asking demographic information about interest and experience in community-university partnerships, as well as current staff position or role. Respondents were also asked to indicate perceived levels of importance and levels of frequency with which 52 partnership practices had been observed on a two-part anchored scale (0 – 4). Data from 261 usable surveys were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS).
Principle component analysis of mean importance levels was used to reduce 52 partnership practice items to seven primary factors or constructs: University Institutional Context, Community Organization Context, Preparation/ Training, Community Partner Roles, Faculty Partner Roles, Relationship/ Communication, and Evaluation/ Outcomes. The researcher synthesized a COMparre Model for planning, evaluating and reporting community-university partnerships from research findings and the literature: C for the partnership context, including organizational missions and purpose; O for outcomes or results; and M for mechanisms or processes involved in the partnership, including preparation, action, relationship, reflection and evaluation.
Multiple regression analyses identified experiences that explained statistically significant portions of the variance in perceived importance including: (a) the total amount of experience with community university service and learning partnership as measured by seven selected types of experience; (b) a particular type of experience, service-learning training for community partners; (c) experience making decisions about whether or not to use university students to fulfill community service goals; and (d) experience in a combination of specific positions or roles played at their organization, volunteer placement coordinator combined with direct service supervisor.
(1) Environmental sustainability programs in higher education: Policies, practices and curriculum strategies
Brodie, Carol Ann, Doctorate degree from Bernard School of Education at the University of the Pacific, 2007.
The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to describe and analyze the policies and practices at selected universities in response to the environmental sustainability movement, as defined by the Talloires Declaration. A survey was conducted of sustainability coordinators at 26 institutions of higher education. Interviews were then conducted at three selected schools in the Western United States. From the data many themes emerged, including the region where the schools reside, culture, people that help or hinder, factors about the sustainability movement, regulations and mandates, financial considerations, physical characteristics of the schools, school atmosphere and politics, tactics used to implement environmental sustainability, and personality characteristics.
The importance of leadership was a key finding in this study, as was the commitment of resources, regional culture, and communications.
(2) Assessing sustainability on Canadian university campuses: Development of a campus sustainability assessment framework
Cole, Lindsay Rae, Master's degree of Environment and Management at Royal Roads University, 2003.
This project used a participatory action research approach to design a framework for assessing sustainability on Canadian university campuses. It represented the efforts of one graduate student, a team of fifteen co-researchers, and an ad-hoc advisory group. This team worked together to create a working definition of a "sustainable campus," and to define a set of research and action objectives to guide our work. A series of existing sustainability assessment methodologies, indicator selection criteria, and performance benchmarking tools from government, business, education and community organizations were reviewed. These were critically examined in light of the research and action objectives developed by our team. We built our own sustainability assessment methodology using these other tools as launching points. Our methodology included a set of over 175 indicators, short- and long-term performance benchmarks for each indicator, and an aggregation process leading to a campus sustainability index.
Our resulting methodology was called the Campus Sustainability Assessment Framework (CSAF), and was the primary outcome of this research and action project.
(3) Is achieving sustainability possible through institutions of higher learning? A case study of world learning
Garrard, Amber, Master's degree from SIT Graduate Institute, 2008.
As issues of environmental sustainability become increasingly important, there is a need to look deeply at what “sustainability” actually means, and how it can benefit society. This report consists of three parts: research on the field of campus sustainability, an analysis of policy options to improve campus sustainability at World Learning, whose headquarters are based in Brattleboro, Vermont, and a look at specific advocacy efforts used to promote this policy within the organization.
There are many challenges to understanding the concepts of environmental sustainability and applying them in a context that could effectively address the problems brought on by global climate change. These challenges are deeply rooted in the philosophical and epistemological belief systems of Western society. This paper explores how a re-conceptualization of the dominant worldview is necessary to bring about social, environmental and economic justice. How can a culture of sustainability be promoted at and through institutions of higher education in order to teach about sustainability and to integrate these concepts into society at large?
World Learning, an international NGO and institution of higher education that promotes social justice and global citizenship, should take a leadership role in promoting sustainability. As efforts from students, staff and faculty attempt to advance these ideas, the deep roots of the dominant social paradigm within the organization have become apparent. An advocacy campaign was launched to address the resulting challenges and to make sustainability an institutional priority. This case study outlines those advocacy efforts and evaluates their effectiveness over the course of two years.
(4) Introduction of environmental auditing as an environmental management tool for the University of Calgary
Van Bakel, Serena, Master's degree from Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary, 1994.
Taken together, the results of this study suggest that although both institutional and demographic variables were significant predictors of global citizenship, when broken down into the individual facets, institutionally manipulated variables explained more of the variation than did demographic variables. As such, institutions and researchers are encouraged to use this newly created measure of global citizenship to both measure the extent of global citizenship among students and to determine the extent to which the findings of this study are generalizable.
(5) Policy, change and environmental sustainability in the university
Wright, Tarah Sharon Alexandra, Doctorate degree from the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Alberta, 2002.
Using a Multiple Paper Format, this dissertation explored issues related to environmental sustainability within a university context. The first paper examined national and international sustainability declarations and institutional sustainability policies related to higher education. The analysis of these documents revealed emerging patterns in how universities are framing the central task of becoming sustainable and how higher education views sustainability. The second paper explored the challenges and barriers for universities attempting to become more sustainable. Using examples from both European and Canadian case studies, this paper confirmed the literature which lists governance, advocacy and leadership, communication, economics and policy issues as potential barriers to institutional environmental change within universities. The third paper examined the extent to which the international environmental sustainability declaration, The Halifax Declaration, was implemented within Canadian signatory universities and the extent to which the Declaration challenged signatories to re-think and reconstruct their environmental policies and practices. The study found that the majority of signatory universities were unable to implement the Halifax Declaration within their institutions and suggested how declarations could be improved based on the case study. The fourth paper reported on a study conducted at Dalhousie University that used the Delphi Technique to consult with key representatives of the university community in order to gain an understanding of stakeholder views and ideas as to the most desirable and feasible ways to incorporate an environmental policy into the activities and structure of the institution. This study was part of a larger project initiated by the Dalhousie University Senate Environmental Committee Environmental Implementation Plan Sub-committee, to create an Implementation Plan for the university's new draft Environmental Policy. The dissertation concludes with a discussion of how the document as a whole contributes to the body of knowledge in sustainability and higher education.
(1) Creating a Green Community: Understanding Student Environmental Behaviors for Increased Campus Participation at
Hasegawa, Nika. Master of Science in Education at Northwestern University, August 2008.
Today, the world is facing a crisis the likes of which has not been seen before. The onset of global warming in recent times has initiated the growth of environmental sustainability initiatives in organizations across the world. Higher education is the ideal place to initiate sustainable practices as these institutions are all generally based on the mission of providing education, research, and public service in and to society. Moreover, colleges and universities have a historically moral imperative to better society through both research and practice.
This study will assess the environmental climate and effectiveness of sustainability initiatives at Northwestern University, focusing on one of the major campus stakeholder groups – students. Through the use of surveys, interviews, and observations, this study serves to determine the environmental awareness and responsiveness of Northwestern students through their environmental behaviors as well as discover ways to increase and improve such environmental practices on campus.
(2) Towards regenerative development: A methodology for university campuses to become more sustainable, with a focus on
theUniversity of South Florida
McDonald, Richard K. III. Master's degree in Environmental Science and Policy at the Universtiy of South Florida, Tampa, 2008.
The administrations of several universities have developed strategies to reduce the negative environmental effects created by their institutions. Because no single, comprehensive methodology to guide institutions to sustainability exists, these strategies range widely in scope. As well, the definition of “sustainability” differs for these various institutions, resulting in strategies ranging from small-scale recycling programs to major initiatives to incorporate green building and revamping curricula. This study attempts to create the first comprehensive methodology to guide university campuses and processes to become regenerative. Regenerative systems “produce more resources than needed, provide resources for other projects, and enhance [the] environment” (Bernheim 2003), and are synonymous with the “triple top line” of sustainability presented by Braungart and McDonough (2002).
Sustainability plans of other universities were reviewed to determine what strategies have been successful for these institutions. These data were synthesized to create the comprehensive methodology. The methodology is incremental to allow time for institutions to adjust their financial plans and facilities management practices. Subsequently, the University of South Florida’s Tampa campus (USF) served as a case study. Buildings and other infrastructure were reviewed, as were the curricula, buying practices, food service, and other university processes. Finally, a survey was presented to the primary decision-makers for USF to identify obstacles to implementation of the sustainability methodology. Recommendations for overcoming these obstacles were then devised, incorporating solutions developed at other institutions as well as novel ideas.
(1) Organizational networks as catalysts for strategic sustainable development
Doyle, Molly; Hikisch, Dermot; Westcott, Shawn, Master's in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability at Blekinge Institute of
In an increasingly connected and interdependent world, the global sustainability challenge needs to be addressed by organizational networks from a whole-systems perspective. This study explores organizations through the lens of network theory and the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development, with a special focus on networks already considering sustainability issues. The purpose of the research was to identify key factors critical to the success of an organizational network in the sustainability field, as well as define specific barriers to success for these networks. These specific factors and barriers to success are identified and explored across: Academic, Business, and Non-Profit sectors, with the ultimate objective of increasing the performance of Emerging Sustainability Networks (ESNs), removing barriers in the field, and planning strategically to achieve success in the sustainability movement.
(2) The Campus Sustainability Movement: A strategic perspective
Henson, Michael; Missimer, Merlina; Muzzy, Stephen, Master's degree in Strategic Leadership Towards Sustainability in the School of
Engineering at the Blekinge Institute of Technology, 2007.
Society is facing a crisis of un-sustainability. The sector of higher education is well poised to support transition to a sustainable society. This thesis assesses the efforts of the Campus Sustainability Movement (CSM) in the US and Canada relative to a Strategic Sustainable Development Framework. Key findings indicate that the CSM is utilizing tools and engaging in a variety of actions towards sustainability. However, it is largely failing to use systems thinking to understand the complex interrelationships of its actions. Most efforts lack a strategy, and when strategy is present, it follows more from barriers than from a long-term goal. Current efforts mostly focus on environmental sustainability. The authors present a backcasting from principles of sustainability approach as one means to improve the strategy of the CSM. They also propose a vision for higher education that incorporates sustainability principles and fundamental human needs in an attempt to bring some concreteness to both the environmental and social aspects of sustainability in higher education.
(1) Sustainable assessment in Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) campus.
Saadatian, Omidreza, Doctorate degree from the Faculty of Design and Architecture at the Universiti of Putra Malaysia, In Progress.
Scientists, politicians and public have always considered sustainability in higher education for its importance. From Talloires declaration in 1990 and Halifax declaration, 1991, up to present, having a sustainable campus, has been a hot issue in the world of academic. In order to have the sustainable campus, goal and priority have to be set and the progress should be assessed. Campuses are small urban areas, which have the characteristic of an active city and as much as sustainable development is important for a city, it is important for a campus. In the realm of sustainability, several methods assess sustainability in microscope (building) and mega scope (city) level. However, in Malaysia, there is not any popular, easy and comprehensive assessment method in local level (campus), which the local expertise perception and their satisfaction are included. As topics related to ecosystem and environment is closely interlinked with thought of people and their culture, this research intends to adapt a new suitable method of assessment in campus for Malaysia. It will adapt some existing indicators relevant to campus sustainability assessment. In retrospect of first world country experiences, it was found out some frameworks has already been invented to assess the sustainability. The most popular one is CSAF. It is widely being used in Canadian Higher Education in different aspects. This dissertation by using their experience is trying to adapt an assessment method in community aspect for Malaysian campuses. UPM campus as a case study with the tropical climate has been chosen to examine the method. Based on this research findings and results, by applying some amendment in the case study, quality of life will increase. In addition, rate of public awareness will go up. Also by generalizing the finding, several other universities inside Malaysia or in the neighboring country can use the framework to lift up their level of sustainability. Finally, UPM as laboratory would be a source of new information, which the other universities can, implies those amendments in order to increase their campus sustainability.
(2) The Campus Demotechnic Index (CDI): A comparison of technological energy consumption at colleges and universities
Vance, Leisha, Doctorate degree in Environmental Dynamics at the University of Arkansas, In Progress.
(3) Implementing sustainability in higher educational: A critique of environmental sustainability at historically black college and
Williams, Corrine, Doctorate degree in Higher Educational Leadership at Mercer University, In Progress.
(4) Institutionalizing sustainability in community colleges: The role of the college president
Williams, Peter G., Doctorate degree of Education emphasizing Community College Leadership, In Progress.
The purpose of the proposed research study is to describe and improve understanding of the role that a college president plays in institutionalizing sustainability on a community college campus. Three research questions will form the basis of this study: (a) What does it mean to have sustainability “institutionalized” at community colleges that are judged to be exemplary in this regard?, (b) what are the important barriers and facilitators to achieving institutionalization of sustainability in community colleges?, and (c) what role has the college president played in addressing barriers and mobilizing facilitators to institutionalizing sustainability at community colleges that are exemplary in this regard? The role that a college president plays in institutionalizing sustainability on a community college campus has both practical and scholarly importance to society. There are five reasons for the significance of this study: (a) There is a need to support sustainability initiatives, (b) higher education has a significant role in supporting sustainability, (c) institutionalization is the next challenge in supporting sustainability, (d) presidential leadership is essential to the institutionalization of sustainability, and (e) there is a lack of research on presidents’ role in institutionalizing sustainability in community colleges.