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.

2122 resources

Designing and Conducting a Public Engagement Project Through an Intensive-Semester Course

  • Furman University (SC)

During a May semester course, faculty and students at a liberal arts college conducted a participatory planning process with a local community and county government. Students facilitated a public participation ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Creating a living system for treatment of greywater in a local business

  • Appalachian State University (NC)

In many areas of the world clean water is in limited supply. Most water from a home or business results in waste water known as greywater which contains no sewage ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Verdant, Active, Elder-Centered Climate Resilience: Climate-Hardy Community Building For All, Via Senior Centered Programming

  • Maryville College (TN)

American communities lag in efforts to respond to climate change stressors, with large gaps found in programs targeting a growing, vulnerable population - the elderly. Expected to nearly double in their ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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A Public Engagement Process to Create a Community-Based Vision and Open Space Plan

  • Furman University (SC)

During a three-week public engagement process, a team of faculty and students facilitated community-based public participation to create a vision and open space plan for a 27-acre vacant lot in ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Sustainability in Higher Education: A Model for Nonprofit Organizations?

  • North Cascades Institute (WA)

How can the work toward sustainability in higher education inform the sustainability work of educational nonprofits? This session will explore how one education-oriented nonprofit, North Cascades Institute, has utilized STARS ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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STAR Certified Communities: A Case Study of Reading, PA

  • Albright College (PA)

The STAR Community Rating System was released in October 2012 to address the needs of U.S. cities, towns and counties seeking a common framework for sustainability.The rating system ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Football Fans and Waste: Influencing Behavior

  • University of Missouri (MO)

One of the main factors in waste separation at sporting events is gaining the cooperation of fans to dispose of their waste in the appropriate receptacle (compost, recycling or landfill ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Assessment of Community-Engaged Learning

  • University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (WI)

To ensure that community engagement maximizes its impact on both student understanding of sustainability concepts and the community's adoption of sustainability principles, assessment strategies are needed to evaluate outcomes ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Post-Paris: Climate Commitments in Action Across Higher Ed, Business, and Cities

  • George Washington University (DC)
  • Second Nature (MA)
  • Urban Sustainability Directors Network (IL)
  • Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (VA)

The Paris climate agreement heralded a new form of international governance combining commitments by countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with commitments from many other sectors-including universities, local governments, and ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Learn & Grow - Educational and Community Garden

  • Mississippi State University (MS)

The intent of this project is to work with the Boys & Girls Club to create a project that can be developed and maintained as a way to engage young ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Environmental Education: Youth educating kids about the environment

  • College of William & Mary (VA)

Eco-Schools Leadership Initiative (ESLI) is a student-led organization in which college and high students use interactive activities to teach elementary school students about environmental topics ranging from climate change to ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Team Up With Your Campus Library for Sustainability Education and Outreach

  • Colorado Mountain College (CO)
  • University of Arizona (AZ)

For a winning 'season', add your library to the team to enhance the implementation of sustainability solutions on campus and beyond! In this poster, we will highlight some of the ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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How to Visually Share your Story in the Age of Social Media

  • Texas A&M University (TX)

Do you ever find it challenging to cut through the noise and share your sustainability message? Making outreach visual and branding your material is key to staying relevant in a ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Virginia Power Dialog: Lessons Learned and What's Next in the Commonwealth

  • University of Richmond (VA)
  • Virginia Commonwealth University (VA)

Motivated by the historic international climate agreement reached in Paris in December 2015 and by the adoption of the Clean Power Plan, The Virginia Power Dialog engaged college and university ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Promoting and Assessing Sustainability As A Learning Outcome in Education Abroad

  • The Education Abroad Network (IL)

Drawing upon the definition and content of global learning within the AAC&U Global Learning Rubric, this poster reveals why the issues of sustainability & climate change must result in student ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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To Bee or Not to Bee: A Beekeeping Community

  • Central Community College (NE)

This poster will describe the process Central Community College used to engage its service area in the responsible management of honeybee populations. Starting with a beginner beekeeping course, the college ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Reflections from Within: Investigating the Value of Service-Learning and Community-Based Research for Undergraduate Students

  • Hobart and William Smith Colleges (NY)

This poster will provide a student perspective on the value of participating in service-learning experiences during one's undergraduate education. Reflecting on her recent experience in a sustainable community development ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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The Sustainable Bookstore: Giving New Life to Discarded University Library Books

  • Appalachian State University (NC)

When the Appalachian State University library culled its stacks, close to 80,000 books were slated to be recycled. Many of these books, some dating back to the late 1800s ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Coastal Resiliency Planning: Linking Online Student Research to City Sustainability Planning

  • Arizona State University (AZ)

To address the special challenges of coastal cities, sustainability planning has depends on research from disciplines as diverse as climatology, ecology, social science, economics, political science, and urban planning. While ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Bee Nice: Creating a Community of Beekeepers

  • Central Community College (NE)

Community education departments provide a variety of programs that work to educate the population that a college serves. As concerns related to Colony Collapse Disorder increase awareness of the dangers ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Activities of Campus Sustainability Network in Japan (CAS-Net JAPAN)

  • Fukushima College

In March 2014, the Campus Sustainability Network in Japan whose abbreviation is CAS-Net JAPAN was established. This is the first domestic network on campus sustainability for higher educational institutions in ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Setting the World Aflame: Town-Gown Collaboration through Solar Spring Break

  • University of California, Berkeley (CA)

UC Berkeley partners with GRID Alternatives' Solar Spring Break to engage students during spring break in the installation of solar panels for underrepresented communities. This partnership provides communities with access ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Bikes@Naz: A Sustainable Wellness Program

  • Nazareth College (NY)

Bikes@Naz is one of the best Bike Share programs in the country. With over 60 bicycles, we also have one of the largest programs. Bikes@Naz was founded on ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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How Universities can Create Sustainable Communities: A Place-Based Framework for Research, Planning, and Action

  • Audubon International (NY)

Can the movement for campus sustainability catalyze local governments into creating their own more sustainable futures? With guidance and tools from a national non-profit, sustainability advocates and university researchers are ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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The Heart of the Matter: A Candid Conversation about Campus Sustainability

  • Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (IL)

For the purpose of my research, my grounded theory addressed the intersections of interactions that impact an individual's ability to develop the core beliefs that cultivate environmental ethics and ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Yale University Town-Gown Collaboration on Sustainability

  • Yale University (CT)

Yale University has embarked on its third sustainability strategic planning process with a fresh emphasis on connecting with the City of New Haven community, among additional priorities. Three distinct programs ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Student Leadership & Sustainability Results

  • Agnes Scott College (GA)

At Agnes Scott College, students are at the heart of all sustainability initiatives, whether it is waste diversion or the installation of solar arrays. The Center for Sustainability has a ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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What's a Bioneer and how can it Help my College Connect with Community on a Local, Regional and National Level?

  • McHenry County College (IL)

McHenry County College has found success in bringing people from the community to the college for an annual speaker series through our partnership with the Bioneers (now called the Bioneers ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Achieving the Impossible: How the Millennial Generation is Winning a Just & Sustainable Future in the Age of Climate Change

  • Elected Officials to Protect America (SC)

Outspoken advocate and internationally-recognized former elected official Dominic Frongillo will share his perspective as the youngest-ever councilmember in Caroline, NY, and delegate to UN climate talks on how young people ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Buying and Hiring Local to Foster Sustainable Community Development

  • Johns Hopkins University (MD)
  • Democracy Collaborative (DC)

This plenary will show how campuses are embracing their role as anchor institutions and using their economic power to make significant contributions to building sustainable and equitable local economies. Sarah ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Centers for Sustainability Across the Curriculum Meeting

  • AASHE (PA)

An opportunity to network and plan with other institutions helping to pilot AASHE's Centers for Sustainability Across the Curriculum Program.

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Enhancing sustainability awareness among university students: Effects of facilitated discussion groups and peer-to-peer learning

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)

This presentation will describe and analyze the Climate Knowledge Project, an effort at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to link together climate research, sustainability education, and student engagement programs. Beginning in ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems: National Science Foundation (NSF) Initiative to Examine Critical Issues in Today's World

  • National Science Foundation

At the end of 2015, the NSF put out its first request for proposals for the INFEWS program. Over the next five years the program plans to fund interdisciplinary projects ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Advocacy and Civic Engagement Networking Meeting

  • U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development
  • Citizens' Climate Lobby (CA)

Scientists are in consensus that the world needs to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, and this cannot be accomplished by ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Can carbon offsets be community-based, educational, and affordable? The results of a 4 college collaborative research project.

  • Amherst College (MA)
  • Hampshire College (MA)
  • Smith College (MA)
  • Williams College (MA)

What would be the best carbon offset? Can carbon offsets achieve measurable carbon reductions, as well as support the health and sustainability of our local communities and provide educational and ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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From Student Farm to Rural Semester: The Evolution of An Idea

  • University of Connecticut (CT)

This proposal will explore the evolution of an idea from its initial inception to create an off-campus student farm, to its initial form, to its current practice (UCONN Spring Valley ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Developing Short Animations to Foster Awareness and Environmental Connection to Place

  • Oberlin College (OH)

Systems thinking' skills--the understanding of how relationships, interdependencies, and individual group behavior impact community and ecosystem--are important for environmental sustainability. 'Citywide Dashboard,' a conceptual model of a community animated by ...

  • Posted Nov. 18, 2016
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Sustainable Communities Program

  • Audubon International (NY)

Audubon International’s Sustainable Communities Program is an international, science-based, third-party certification program that guides communities through a customized journey to become healthy and vibrant places in which to live ...


White Paper: Investing in Clean Energy: Campuses and Endowments

  • Intentional Endowments Network (MA)

The Intentional Endowments Network's new report titled “Investing in Clean Energy: Campuses and Endowments” was designed to encourage conversation about the financial and societal benefits of clean energy investments ...

  • Posted Nov. 15, 2016
  • Publications
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Communities of Opportunity: Smart Growth Strategies For Colleges and Universities

  • National Association of College & University Business Officers (NACUBO) (DC)
  • Ayers Saint Gross (MD)

This publication provides an overview of smart growth strategies and the better outcomes that these strategies have yielded when adopted by colleges and universities and communities across the country. It ...


Validating the Need to Include the Economic Returns of Graduates as a Metric of a Higher Education Institutions Level of Sustainability

  • Eastern Michigan University (MI)
  • Technische Universiteit Delft

Higher education institutions play an important role in sustainability, in their own management and operation, in research and education, and in the undergraduate and graduate degrees they deliver. Often ignored ...


UCSB and Campus Sustainability Group Come to Agreement

  • University of California, Santa Barbara (CA)

This article describes an agreement regarding University of California, Santa Barbara's Long Range Development Plan between the University and Sustainable University Now (SUN), a coalition of community organizations). The ...


Harvard to limit greenhouse gas emissions in new Allston construction

  • Harvard University (MA)

This article describes Harvard University's agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new buildings constructed on its Allston campus. The agreement between the University and the Executive Office of ...


Combining forces: Fostering sustainability collaboration between the city of Vancouver and the University of British Columbia

  • University of British Columbia (BC)

Purpose - This paper describes the sustainability partnership between the City of Vancouver and the University of British Columbia (UBC) and, in particular, the co-curricular Greenest City Scholars graduate student internship ...


Can Urban University Expansion and Sustainable Development Co-Exist?: A Case Study in Progress on Columbia University

  • Albany Law School of Union University (NY)
  • Columbia University (NY)

This article uses the expansion of Columbia University as a case study to demonstrate the difficulty in labeling projects as "sustainable" or "unsustainable" when key stakeholders view the process and ...

  • Posted Oct. 31, 2016
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Columbia Announces Deal on Its 17-Acre Expansion Plan

  • Columbia University (NY)

This article describes an agreement relating to the Columbia University's plans to expand its campus in Harlem. Among other things, the university committed to contribute $20 million to start ...

  • Posted Oct. 31, 2016
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A Nearly Carbon-Neutral Conference Model: White Paper & Practical Guide

  • University of California, Santa Barbara (CA)

This document was created to help stage nearly carbon-neutral (NCN) conferences based on a model first implemented at UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) in May of 2016. Compared to fly-in conferences ...

  • Posted Oct. 28, 2016
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From Ecocity To Ecocampus: Sustainability Policies In University Campuses

  • Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (Madrid)

Cities generate environmental impacts that have focused the global interest of scientists and authorities on the search for environment-friendly alternatives. The ‘Ecocity’ concept provides an innovative and sustainable vision of ...

  • Posted Oct. 26, 2016
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The Anchor Dashboard: Aligning Institutional Practice to Meet Low-Income Community Needs

  • University of Maryland, College Park (MD)
  • Democracy Collaborative (DC)

Anchor institutions are place-based entities such as universities and hospitals that are tied to their surroundings by mission, invested capital or relationships to customers, employees and vendors. This study seeks ...

  • Posted Oct. 20, 2016
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A Guide for Applied Sustainability Learning Projects: Advancing sustainability outcomes on campus and in the community

  • Arizona State University (AZ)
  • Portland State University (OR)
  • AASHE (PA)

This guide provides a step-by-step framework for how a new or existing applied learning for sustainability program can be systematically designed, built and scaled around two interconnected goals:

  1. Providing students ...

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