Research

Introduction

Conducting research is a major function of many colleges and universities. By researching sustainability issues and refining theories and concepts, higher education institutions can continue to help the world understand sustainability challenges and develop new technologies, strategies, and approaches to address those challenges.

840 resources

Princeton University Vertical Farming Project

  • Princeton University (NJ)

The Princeton University Vertical Farming Project, led by Dr. Paul Gauthier, uses a hydroponic and artificial lighting growing system to study the viability of feeding a rapidly growing world population ...


Washington Youth Summit on the Environment

  • George Mason University (VA)

Students conduct fish sampling survey in the Potomac River off the shores of Leesylvania State Park.


Resilient Cities Initiative

  • California State University, Chico (CA)

The Resilient Cities Initiative (RCI) is an interdisciplinary applied research think-tank for cities established by the Institute for Sustainable Development at California State University, Chico in 2016. The RCI connects ...


Accelerating Change through the President’s Sustainability Research Program

  • Swarthmore College (PA)
  • AASHE (PA)

This webinar describes the President’s Sustainability Research Fellowship (PSRF) model, an innovative program at Swarthmore College that matches motivated students with staff and faculty mentors to research, develop, and ...

  • Posted Aug. 2, 2018
  • Videos & Webinars
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Indirect Water Footprint Illustration

  • University of Virginia (VA)

University of Virginia is the first institution to document an indirect/virtual water footprint for the water impact of products purchased by the institution. A recent study calculated the UVA ...


Nitrogen Footprint Network Workshop

  • University of Virginia (VA)

Fifth annual Nitrogen Footprint Network meeting, hosted by the University of Virginia.


Energy Research: Sustainability @ Dickinson

  • Dickinson College (PA)

Dickinson students and faculty conduct research that contributes to creating sustainable solutions to pressing problems of our times. Our research encompasses a wide range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches, ranging ...


Dickinson Farm

  • Dickinson College (PA)

Located just a few miles from campus, the Dickinson College Farm is a 50-acre, USDA-certified organic farm and living laboratory where students can gain distinctive, hands-on learning experiences. With 12 ...


Campus Engagement: Sustainability @ Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA

  • Dickinson College (PA)

The Hive, Dickinson's beekeeping cooperative, is our newest living laboratory. The Hive engages students, staff, and faculty in learning about sustainability problems and solutions through the direct experience of ...


Mexican Grey Wolf Research and Annual Count

  • Arizona State University (AZ)
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

(landscape) Cyrenea Piper, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, stands near a Mexican gray wolf during the agency’s annual count. (Photo by Jenna Miller/Cronkite ...


Binghamton University's Neighborhood Heritage and Sustainability Project

  • Binghamton University (NY)

Local residents decorate pumpkins at Binghamton University's Fall Festival, held at Walnut Street Park. This event is part of the Neighborhood Heritage and Sustainability project supported by Binghamton University ...


Envirome Institute

  • University of Louisville (KY)

The Envirome Institute pioneers a new, interdependent vision of health, supports research on the effects of the environment on health, and promotes holistic scholarship, locally and globally.

Within the University ...

  • Posted July 13, 2018
  • Research Centers & Institutes
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Collaborative Research Program in Environment and Sustainability

  • Western University (ON)

The Collaborative Program in Environment and Sustainability is an interdisciplinary enrichment program designed for current WU graduate students (MSc/MA/MESc or PhD) who wish to become specialists in specific ...

  • Posted July 5, 2018
  • Academic Programs
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Planetary Opportunities: A Social Contract for Global Change Science to Contribute to a Sustainable Future

  • University of Oxford

The global change research community needs to renew its social contract with society by moving beyond a focus on biophysical limits and toward solution-oriented research to provide realistic, context-specific pathways ...

  • Posted June 29, 2018
  • Publications
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Carbon brainprint – An estimate of the intellectual contribution of research institutions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions

  • Cranfield School of Management

Research and innovation have considerable, currently unquantified potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by, for example, increasing energy efficiency. Furthermore, the process of knowledge transfer in itself can have a ...

  • Posted June 29, 2018
  • Publications
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Envisioning futures for environmental and sustainability education

  • Wageningen University

This edited collection invites educational practitioners and theorists to speculate on - and craft visions for - the future of environmental and sustainability education. It explores what educational methods and practices might ...

  • Posted June 28, 2018
  • Publications
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Narratives of Educating for Sustainability in Unsustainable Environments

  • University of North Carolina, Pembroke (NC)

Through pedagogical narratives, literary analyses, reflective essays, and collaborative dialogues, this book explores the professional and intellectual tensions of curricula, pedagogies, and personal practices that honor the relationships of interspecies ...

  • Posted June 28, 2018
  • Publications
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Integrative Approaches to Sustainable Development at University Level

  • Hamburg University of Applied Sciences
  • University of Beira Interior
  • University of Passo Fundo
  • Manchester Metropolitan University

Integrative Approaches to Sustainable Development at University Level compares various colleges around the world, focusing on sustainable development. This book is intended for those who are either practitioners or researchers ...

  • Posted June 28, 2018
  • Publications
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Promoting Participation in a Culture of Sustainability Web Survey

  • University of Michigan (MI)

The Sustainability Cultural Indicators Program (SCIP) at the University of Michigan is designed to measure and track the university’s progress (Callewaert and Marans 2017) in moving the campus community ...

  • Posted June 28, 2018
  • Publications
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Making Your Campus A Bee Campus USA Affiliate

  • University of North Carolina, Asheville (NC)
  • University of Connecticut (CT)
  • AASHE (PA)
  • Portland Community College, Rock Creek Campus (OR)
  • Bee City USA (NC)

While pollinators are imperative for the reproduction of 90% of the world’s wild plant species and three-quarters of crops, announcements of their national and global staggering declines seem relentless ...

  • Posted June 21, 2018
  • Videos & Webinars
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Interdisciplinary Environmental and Sustainability Education and Research: Institutes and Centers at U.S. Research Universities

  • Tufts University (MA)
  • National Council for Science & the Environment (DC)

Interdisciplinary environmental and sustainability focused institutes and centers (IESICs) serve a crucial role in bridging the knowledge needs of society and the knowledge production capabilities of universities. They facilitate research ...

  • Posted June 20, 2018
  • Publications
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Academic Research in the 21st Century: Maintaining Scientific Integrity in a Climate of Perverse Incentives and Hypercompetition

  • Virginia Tech (VA)

Over the last 50 years, we argue that incentives for academic scientists have become increasingly perverse in terms of competition for research funding, development of quantitative metrics to measure performance ...

  • Posted June 20, 2018
  • Publications
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There is No Such Thing as Free Higher Education: A Global Perspective on the (Many) Realities of Free Systems

In the past few years, many countries around the world have debated the financing of higher education. Increasingly, claims emerge that higher education should be free. This article analyses the ...


Project Delta

  • University of Texas at El Paso (TX)
  • Engineers for a Sustainable World (CO)

Project Delta was created by ESW-UTEP to evaluate and enhance The University of Texas at El Paso's (UTEP's) current recycling system. This project is expected to be finalized ...


Analyzing Ecological Integrity: An Assessment of Princeton University’s Natural Areas

  • Princeton University (NJ)

How can aerial images be used to interpret land use-changes? What can lake sedimentation tell us about erosion patterns? To what extent do forest patches act as stream buffers? How ...


Campus Mapping Project

  • Florida Gulf Coast University (FL)

Florida Gulf Coast University is located on over 300 acres of wetland and upland preserves. Our unique location has led to the values of environmental stewardship, literacy, and service to ...


Stanford R&DE's Student Living Laboratory

  • Stanford University (CA)

Stanford University’s Residential & Dining Enterprises in partnership with students and academic departments have transformed its facilities in to a living laboratory by performing cutting edge research on student ...


Integrating problem- and project-based learning opportunities: assessing outcomes of a field course in environment and sustainability

  • University of Saskatchewan (SK)

Improving student competencies to address sustainability challenges has been a subject of significant debate in higher education. Problem- and project-based learning have been widely celebrated as course models that support ...


Mississippi State Community Garden

  • Mississippi State University (MS)

In the spring of 2017, the Student Association at Mississippi State University secured funding to further sustainability on campus. This funding was used in part to hold a proposal competition ...


RU Sustainable event series

  • Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick Campus (NJ)

RU Sustainable events are designed with the purpose of bringing together faculty, students, and staff to engage with the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). As described on the ...


Sustainable Nation Podcast

  • Swarthmore College (PA)
  • University of California, Office of the President (CA)
  • University of California, Los Angeles (CA)

This podcast releases three new episodes every week, consisting of interviews with global sustainability leaders in higher education, business and government. This can be a great resource for any sustainability ...


The Applied Student Research Toolkit

  • McGill University (QC)

This Applied Student Research (ASR) toolkit is designed to help students complete an impactful ASR project. ASR related to sustainability is an opportunity for students to address the needs of ...


Cultivating the Globally Sustainable Self Summit Series - Advancing Education for Sustainable Development Through Research and Practice

  • James Madison University (VA)

The Cultivating the Globally Sustainable Self Summit Series is a multi-year, multi-institution initiative that promotes transformative teaching, training, and learning in research and practice (www.jmu.edu/summitseries). The innovative ...


Designing a Proxy Carbon Price Strategy for Smith College

  • Smith College (MA)

This thesis to Design a Proxy Carbon Price Strategy for Smith College was written to internalize the social cost of carbon emissions into financial decision-making. A proxy carbon price is ...


The Meat of the Matter: Behavioral Science Nudges for a More Sustainable Diet

  • Princeton University (NJ)

Current levels of global population growth and meat consumption are putting unprecedented demand on agriculture and natural resources. From a sustainability standpoint, the environmental impacts of excess meat consumption, coupled ...


SUNY Polytechnic Institute Campus Forest Carbon Inventory Report and Sequestration Estimates

  • State University of New York Polytechnic Institute (NY)

This report takes initial measurements for existing SUNY Polytechnic Institute campus forest carbon stocks and estimates projections for annual rates of carbon sequestration. Establishing a baseline for campus forest carbon ...


The U-Challenge at Texas A&M

  • Texas A&M University (TX)
  • Johnson Controls, Inc (WI)
  • Siemens Industry, Inc. (IL)

The U-Challenge is a semester-long research competition for students that has evolved over the past two years to encompass both graduate and undergraduate teams from all majors. Student teams of ...


Higher Education and the Sustainable Development Goals

  • AASHE (PA)
  • University College London (London)
  • University of London

The challenges the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) present to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) go deeper than did those of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). They require a rethink of the ...

  • Posted May 18, 2018
  • Videos & Webinars
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Mobilization Strategies for Environmental Policy Influence

  • University of Saskatchewan (SK)
  • AASHE (PA)

Those of us who research and teach about sustainability issues are often interested in the potential social impact of our own work, in order to help address environmental challenges of ...

  • Posted May 15, 2018
  • Videos & Webinars
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Dimensions of professional competences for interventions towards sustainability

  • Open University of the Netherlands
  • University of Derby
  • Open University

This paper investigates sustainability competences through the eyes of professional practitioners in the field of sustainability and presents empirical data that have been created using an action research approach. The ...


A scientometric review of global research on sustainability and sustainable development

  • University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)

The concept of sustainable development has gained worldwide attention in recent years which had enhanced its implementation. However, few studies have attempted to map the global research of sustainability. This ...


Building student capacity to lead sustainability transitions in the food system through farm-based authentic research modules in sustainability sciences (FARMS)

  • Dartmouth College (NH)
  • Montana State University (MT)

Undergraduate courses provide valuable opportunities to train and empower students with the knowledge, skills, and motivation to advance society in more sustainable directions. This article emphasizes the value of bridging ...


Leveraging Sustainability Reporting in Higher Education Institutions—A Multidimensional Research Agenda

  • University of Hildesheim

Sustainability has become increasingly important to research and practice. In order to determine impacts, identify improvement potential and to disclose efforts towards sustainability, an organization needs appropriate reporting. Thus, sustainability ...


Achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: An enabling role for accounting research

  • University of St Andrews (Scotland)
  • University of London

The purpose of this paper is to establish and advance the role of academic accounting in the pursuit of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are regarded as ...


The Efficacy of Third-Party Certifications and Memberships: Bridge to Institutional Sustainability at Colleges and Universities

  • Messiah College (PA)

This study researches the effects of third-party certifications and memberships on decision-making pertaining to environmental practices at higher education institutions (HEIs). A survey containing up to 22 questions was sent ...


Implementation of a Green Labs Program in Campus Laboratories

  • University of Alabama at Birmingham (AL)

UAB Green Labs Program is an institution-wide, voluntary program designed to reduce the university’s carbon output while simultaneously reducing operation costs of research buildings. The program accomplishes its goals ...


Place-Based Education: Connecting Classrooms and Communities

The most comprehensive review of place-based education – its pedagogy and its practice – yet to appear, by the author of the highly influential book Beyond Ecophobia. Through academic research, practical examples ...



The raise of publications on sustainability—a case study in Germany

  • University of Marburg

The number of scientific publications containing the words “sustainability” or “sustainable” has increased tremendously over the last years, but their origins in Germany are not equally distributed in space. The ...


Going Without: An Exploration of Food and Housing Insecurity Among Undergraduates

  • Temple University (PA)
  • University of Iowa (IA)

The rising price of higher education and its implications for equity and accessibility have been extensively documented, but the material conditions of students’ lives are often overlooked. Data from more ...

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).

Research Partners

Mary Ann Liebert Publishing

New York, NY
Business Affiliate

RRS

Ann Arbor, MI
Business Affiliate
RRS is a sustainability and recycling consulting firm that possess core strengths in recovery, organics and collaborative action development serving both public and private sectors.