Public Engagement

Introduction

Engagement in community problem-solving is fundamental to sustainability. By engaging with community members and organizations in the governmental, non-profit and for-profit sectors, institutions can help solve sustainability challenges. Community engagement can help students develop leadership skills while deepening their understandings of practical, real-world problems and the process of creating solutions.

1750 resources

Frederick Law Olmsted: Environmental Visionary

  • Garden Writers Association (NY)

A dramatic presentation on the life of the father of Landscape Architecture who created cities out of the American wilderness and began a sustainable conservation movement still challenging the world ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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John Bartram: America's First Botanical Pioneer

  • Garden Writers Association (NY)

America's first and foremost botanist and plant collector is again on the speaking circuit. Close friends with Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington as well as many of ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Academia is a Training Ground: Applying the 6 Pillars of Holistic Sustainability to Build Within and Move Beyond the Campus

  • Sierra Nevada College (NV)

Teachers must foster the role their students play in theorizing sustainability, implementing sustainability lessons, and applying work from their classrooms outside of academic settings. After the celebratory, supportive, and important ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Building Bridges: An Institutional Initiative to Create Dialogue Around Issues of Environmental Justice, on Campus and Beyond

  • Washington University in St. Louis (MO)

The Office of Sustainability is currently seeking to educate, engage, and mobilize the Washington University campus on issues pertaining to environmental justice. In our presentation, we will outline the strategies ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Identifying alignment between common institutional priorities and sustainability objectives: one higher ed network's findings

  • Dartmouth College (NH)
  • Johns Hopkins University (MD)
  • Princeton University (NJ)
  • GreenerU (MA)

As higher education grapples with a shifting landscape of priorities for the 21st Century, common themes across institutions are emerging. Simultaneously, regional or peer-group sustainability networks continue to seek effective ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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The Purdue Recycling Project (PuRe): Developing a Scientific Approach to Study Recycling Signage

  • Keep America Beautiful (CT)
  • Purdue University (IN)

The Purdue Recycling Project (PuRe), funded by Keep America Beautiful, has three major goals: 1) The first goal is to test recycling behaviors in a controlled lab study in which ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Wearing Dual Town-Gown Hats: Catalyzing Ambitious Action as Elected Officials & Sustainability Professionals

  • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (MN)
  • Elected Officials to Protect America

The US and China made history by ratifying the Paris Agreement, signed by 196 countries in December at COP21 (or the Paris 2015 Climate Conference). President Obama said,'our willingness ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Towards Collective Impact: The Role of the University in Facilitating Social Change for Sustainability

  • University of New Hampshire (NH)

UNH's Sustainability Institute has focused significant effort in the past ten years on facilitating collaborative approaches by diverse stakeholders to the complex dynamics of social change for sustainability. Two ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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What the bleep?

  • Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (IL)

This year's conference focuses on solutions in surrounding communities and the world. This assumes that 'higher education (HE) institutions have been modeling sustainable solutions on their campuses for many ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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There's an App for That - CommUniverCity San José's Partnership for Combatting Illegal Dumping

  • San Jose State University (CA)
  • City of San Jose (CA)
  • CommUniverCity San Jose (CA)

The City of San José, California has experienced an increase in both the frequency and volume of illegal dumping. Since 2012, incidences of illegal dumping on public property have increased ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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DC Climathon at GW: University Partners With City to Innovate on Climate Solutions

  • George Washington University (DC)
  • District of Columbia Government (DC)

DC Climathon cultivates social start-ups and provides experiential and collaborative learning to self-identified students, social entrepreneurs, and pioneering professionals to provide climate change solutions for their cities. As part of ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Higher Education Endowments & the Paris Climate Agreement: Investing for a Sustainable Future

  • Intentional Endowments Network (MA)
  • Impax Asset Management
  • Cambridge Associates (VA)
  • Second Nature (MA)
  • Sustainable Endowments Institute (MA)

Higher education has been leading by example on climate change, striving for climate neutrality in campus operations and promoting education, research, and community engagement for climate solutions. In recent years ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Environmental Health and Sustainability: Collaborating with Local Environmental Health Professionals for Sustainable Solutions

  • The University of Findlay (OH)
  • National Environmental Health Association (CO)

Environmental health (EH) professionals have an opportunity to reach out to higher education as the next step to disseminate and implement sustainable solutions in communities. There is not always a ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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From Wisconsin to Utah: Utilizing Deep Engagement and Adaptive Management Strategies for Changing the Driving Culture

  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (WI)
  • Utah State University (UT)

Deep institutional changes in transportation takes a new way of doing things, innovative partnerships throughout the community, and planning that follows through with action. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Utah ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Advances in Greening College Sports to Leverage Campus Sustainability, and White House Support of Sports and Climate Action

  • Seattle University (WA)
  • University of Colorado Boulder (CO)
  • Green Sports Alliance (OR)

This year, AASHE and the Green Sports Alliance jointly developed a comprehensive Collegiate Athletics Sustainability Survey to shed new light on the state of sustainability in collegiate athletics-and how this ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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The Link & Leverage Series: Higher Education + Municipal & Community Stakeholders = Creating the Greenest, Most Resilient Region

  • Moraine Valley Community College (IL)

For 7 years, the South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium has organized stakeholders in higher ed for sustainability. Realizing much success, SMHEC has moved beyond the campus focus into its region ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Building Climate Resilience: A Planning Framework and Early Experiences

  • Western Technical College (WI)
  • Second Nature (MA)

This session will give an overview of the resilience planning framework available through Second Nature Climate Commitments and highlight innovative climate resilience efforts already underway. Institutions across all U.S ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Community-based teaching and research: Sustainability-focused case studies from Portland State University

  • Portland State University (OR)

Portland State University's faculty and students routinely go beyond the campus and put into practice the University's motto, 'Let knowledge serve the city.' This panel examines case studies ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Farm-to-school & school-to-farm!

  • Georgia Southern University (GA)
  • Burke County Public Schools (GA)

This conference session will highlight how collaborations between universities, schools, and farms have been incorporated into Dietetic Internship programs and curriculum to promote farm-to-school and school-to-farm efforts. Panelists will share ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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The Power of Dialogue: The Role of Student-led Initiatives in Shaping Climate Policy

  • Boston University (MA)
  • Macalester College (MN)

On April 4, 2016, college campuses in thirty state capitals across the country engaged in simultaneous open dialogues with state officials on implementing the EPA's Clean Power Plan. While ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Engaging Justice and Sustainability in North Philadelphia: A Campus/Community Collaboration

  • Swarthmore College (PA)

Describes a Campus/Community partnership between community leaders in North Philadelphia and faculty and students at Swarthmore College. The team supports a just transition away from fossil fuels and toward ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Creating Global Partnerships for Sustainability through Middlebury's Schools Abroad

  • Middlebury College (VT)

This panel is about the development and implementation of a new program at Middlebury College to bring sustainability into the programming and curricula at its 17 schools abroad. The program ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Aligning Efforts and Increasing Outreach Through the Sustainable Development Goals

  • Portland Community College (OR)
  • United Nations University
  • KEDGE Business School (Bordeaux)

Sustainability efforts continue to grow around the world; however, achieving a sustainable future requires increasing our collective impact by aligning efforts with broader initiatives and increasing our outreach. This panel ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Student Engagement and Learning at the UN Climate COPs

  • Amherst College (MA)
  • Dickinson College (PA)
  • Macalester College (MN)
  • Texas Southern University (TX)
  • University of Connecticut (CT)

Youth have had a growing presence in recent years at the annual Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. This includes numerous US colleges ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Beyond Cultural Learning: Building Sustainability into the Outcomes of Education Abroad

  • The Education Abroad Network (IL)

How better than through study abroad to teach youthful Homo sapiens the stakes of biodiversity and global sustainability? How can we hope to steward the planet-its fragile flora & fauna ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Ahead of the Curve: Connect with Sustainable Gardening and Landscaping Experts

  • Sustainable Gardening Institute (NJ)
  • Garden Writers Association (NY)
  • North Creek Nurseries (PA)

Searching for professional writers, editors, photographers, landscape design professionals, media personalities, or faculty who can help you gain support for your sustainable gardening and landscaping goals? Want to find out ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Developing and Implementing Innovative Carbon Offset Projects

  • Duke University (NC)
  • Oberlin College (OH)
  • University of Florida (FL)

For universities and colleges with fast approaching climate goals, it is clear that carbon offsets are set to play a crucial role in achieving these goals. More schools are looking ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Creating Cultures of Sustainability and Diversity, On and Off Campus: Stories from Three Institutions

  • Georgia Institute of Technology (GA)
  • Oberlin College (OH)
  • University of Illinois at Chicago (IL)

This session will present stories from three institutions--Georgia Tech, Oberlin College, and University of Illinois at Chicago--that are creating sustainability cultures by building on campus and community assets. Drawn from ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Change Makers: Innovative waste reduction campaigns and beyond

  • Johnson County Community College (KS)
  • Lane Community College (OR)
  • Portland Community College (OR)

This interactive and action-oriented panel will look at 3 different waste reduction behavior change programs in community colleges. The panelists will address some of the specific challenges they face with ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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F#!% Carbon Neutrality: Engaging Higher Education in Climate Policy

  • Auburn University (AL)
  • Bard College (NY)
  • Living Routes, Inc. (MA)
  • CitizensΓÇÖ Climate Lobby (CA)

Since the inception of the campus sustainability movement, the pursuit of carbon neutrality has been the dominant strategy for institutions that have signed the Presidents' Climate Commitment as well as ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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The State of Campus Green Funds in 2016

  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (IL)
  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)
  • University of Minnesota, Morris (MN)

In 2013, AASHE published the How-To Guide: Campus Green Fund Implementation. Green funds have evolved since the original publication, identifying a need to review and discuss new green fund trends ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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PeopleTowels - Engaging Students in Reducing Single Use Paper Towels

  • New Mexico State University (NM)
  • Principia College (IL)
  • University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (WI)
  • PeopleTowels, LLC (NY)

Despite numerous campus sustainability initiatives, paper towel waste still comprises 30-40% of most campus waste streams. This session will reveal the results of a paper towel alternative case study and ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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From Bird Houses to Tiny Houses: Courage Changes Everything!

  • Portland Community College (OR)

A two-term project of building a tiny house for a homeless community produced a community-building learning process for students and local residents, with practical, long-lasting benefits for the City of ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Bridging the Gap: Creating Partnerships to Support Off-Campus Housing Sustainability

  • University of Arizona (AZ)

In 2013, the University of Arizona launched the Undergraduate Off-Campus Housing Sustainability Coordinator (OCHSC) position designed to bring sustainability into the homes of students living off-campus. The OCHSC consults with ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Building Community and University Collaboration on Food Justice in Mississippi: Lessons from the MSU Learn and Grow Garden

  • Mississippi State University (MS)

Mississippi is the most food insecure state in the nation. In 2014, 22% of families reported some level of hunger. However, Mississippi remains an agriculture-focused state with some of the ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Communicating Sustainability Progress in a Busy World

  • University of Maryland, College Park (MD)

The University of Maryland publishes an annual Sustainability Progress Report to keep the campus community informed of overall progress toward the university's sustainability goals. The intended audience, format, structure ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Launching & Sustaining an Educational Partnership for Innovation in Communities (EPIC): PALS at UMD

  • University of Maryland, College Park (MD)

Universities around the country are implementing a powerful learning framework in which students and faculty address local community sustainability issues through adapting current courses to provide real world learning and ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Building Sustainable Communities: an International Collaboration Between Island Communities and Academia

  • College of the Atlantic (ME)

Through community engagement and a plan for economic rejuvenation Samsø¸ Island, Denmark became one of the first carbon negative communities in the world. In 2014, an international partnership between Samsø ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Putting the People First: A look at UT Austin's Sustainability Master Plan

  • University of Texas at Austin (TX)

Sustainability plans often align with traditional university functions: academics, operations and administration. UT Austin took a different approach to their first ever Sustainability Master Plan, resulting in a people-centric plan ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Community Based Teaching - Carbon accounting with local businesses from the Prince George Chamber of Commerce

  • University of Northern British Columbia (BC)

Climate change has given rise to a new generation of opportunities for sustainable business. In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, British Columbia has implemented several policies, including a carbon ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Bridging Formal and Informal Learning Spaces to Accelerate Innovation in Higher Education.

  • SERES (Sacatepequez)

How do we transform our existing institutions and centers of learning at a scale and pace fast enough to prepare young people for the challenges that lie ahead? SERES - winner ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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The Wicked Problems in Sustainability Initiative - Creating and Supporting a Multi-Institution Course Community

  • Engineers for a Sustainable World (DC)

Creation or replication of multidisciplinary courses with real-world context is limited by technical and economic constraints at many institutions. Efforts that connect multiple institutions to multidisciplinary resources can enable success ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Fuelling a Place-Based Sustainability Movement

  • University at Buffalo (NY)

Building a better future by definition is a collective effort, but often at times throughout higher education we focus inward within our own institutions. While this is a practical and ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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More than the environment! The journey to a community-engaged, multi-dimensional sustainability course

  • Macalester College (MN)

In 2014, we began a program called Educating Sustainability Ambassadors (ESA) which aims to broaden the understanding of sustainability on campus and emphasize the interconnections between a healthy natural environment ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Black Hills South Dakota Food Hub

  • Black Hills State University (SD)

Black Hills State University (BHSU) conducted an assessment of cafeteria needs for local foods in the winter of 2015, and we have specific knowledge of which large-quantity food providers have ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Carolina Survivors Initiative: Building Cultures of Inclusivity and Healing in South Carolina

  • University of South Carolina (SC)

Launched in Fall 2015, the Carolina Survivors Initiative (CSI) serves the needs of recently resettled survivors of torture in Columbia, SC. With a goal of bringing global health to the ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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The Process of Progress: Involving Multiple Academic Partners and Disciplines

  • Daemen College (NY)

The East Side of Buffalo represents one of the most neglected neighborhoods within the fourth poorest US city. In 2012, a grassroots coalition began brainstorming ways to improve their community ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Advancing Climate Equity: Urban University-Community Networks

  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (WI)
  • Urban Serving Universities Coalition (DC)

Our presentation will focus on the urban serving university as a critical stakeholder in local sustainability efforts, and in addressing environmental equity as a critical cornerstone of urban sustainability efforts ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Sustainability Education in Northern Appalachia: Connecting Gender, Race and Class in Interdisciplinary Sustainability Studies

  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania (PA)

This case study will address our efforts to connect gender, race and class in an interdisciplinary sustainability program at a university historically tied to the fossil fuel industry. Our efforts ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Student Activism for Community Energy Efficiency: Harnessing ENERGY STAR Activities and Resources for the Public Good

  • American University (DC)

As part of an annual elective course in Sustainable Design, American University (AU) graduate students in the Global Environmental Politics program in the School of International Service undertake a real-world ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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This tab provides access to data collected through AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS). STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS enables meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions using a common set of measurements developed with broad participation from the campus sustainability community. Additional content and advanced benchmarking tools will be added to this tab over time.

Programs and Initiatives

The following links connect to specific Content Displays on the STARS website (AASHE membership and log-in required).

Scores

The following link connects to the Score Display on the STARS website (AASHE membership and log-in required).

Public Engagement Partners

Environmental Association for Universities & Colleges

Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Business Affiliate

Fostering Sustainability

Toronto, ON
Business Affiliate

Global Footprint Network

Oakland, CA
Business Affiliate

Rivanna Natural Designs

Richmond, VA
Business Affiliate
Planet-friendly awards and plaques. FSC-Certified wood, recycled glass