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

Interdisciplinary environmental and sustainability education: islands of progress in a sea of dysfunction

  • Brown University (RI)
  • Unity College (ME)

This essay describes the inequity faced by most interdisciplinary environmental and sustainability (IES) degree programs and the impact of that inequity on student and faculty experiences. Despite the urgent need ...


Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation

  • University of California, San Diego (CA)

The Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography exists to promote a holistic, interdisciplinary approach in the education of future leaders in marine biodiversity and conservation ...

  • Posted June 20, 2016
  • Research Centers & Institutes
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Center for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation

  • University of California, San Diego (CA)

Climate change is in motion. If societies do not respond, their populations face water and food shortages and severe economic disruptions. Countless plant and animal species will be at risk ...

  • Posted June 20, 2016
  • Research Centers & Institutes
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Ohio State University Sustainability Goals Project and Campus As A Living Laboratory Digital Archive

  • The Ohio State University (OH)

Undergraduates in the Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability (EEDS) major at The Ohio State University (OSU) complete a capstone course where student research teams analyze specific action priorities of the ...

  • Posted June 16, 2016
  • Case Studies
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First Student Sustainability Symposium

  • Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ)
  • New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability (NJ)

Innovation of Sustainable Communities was a unique symposium organized by students who are passionate about sustainability. Anyone who shares the same passion with them, was welcome to attend! The symposium ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
  • Case Studies
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Roles for university researchers in urban sustainability initiatives: the UK Newcastle Low Carbon Neighbourhoods project

  • Kingston University London

There is considerable debate regarding the contribution to be made by higher education institutions and the researchers they employ in realising environmentally sustainable urban spaces, and the relationship between academic ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
  • Publications
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UTRGV Campus Tree Care Report: Proposal for sustaining a healthy and vibrant campus community forest

  • University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (TX)

The benefits the forest will provide are myriad. Large trees give us a sense of place and belonging by ensuring landmarks for the future, and add aesthetic beauty to the ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
  • Case Studies
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Project Sin Fronteras

  • University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (TX)

Project Sin Fronteras is a project without borders, crossing institutional boundaries, and transforming sustainability concepts and practices into enriched curriculum and research. It provides a two-pronged approach to education for ...

  • Posted June 10, 2016
  • Case Studies
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Student participation in the co-creation of knowledge and social experiments for advancing sustainability: experiences from the University of Tokyo

  • Clark University (MA)
  • University of Tokyo
  • University College London (London)

Universities around the world are increasingly engaging in multi-stakeholder collaborations for the co-creation of knowledge, tools and experiments with social and technical systems for advancing societal sustainability. With much of ...


Encouraging a Culture of Laboratory Sustainability: A Case Study from the University of Texas at Austin

  • University of Texas at Austin (TX)

Labs comprise about 20% of the floor area at the University of Texas at Austin but account for an estimated 30% of the campus energy consumption. Furthermore, they generate large ...


Quantifying the components of the mass and energy balance of a black soldier fly (BSF) food waste composting system

  • Rochester Institute of Technology (NY)

Project Description:

An academic institution represents a constrained system that generates a consistent amount of waste. Bioconversion of organic food waste with Black solider fly (Hermetia illucens;Diptera: Stratiomyidae) larave ...


Developing and Validating the Just Sustainability Inventory

  • University of Georgia (GA)

Assessment and evaluation of programs are core components of ethical professional practice for student affairs administrators in higher education. This paper reports on the author’s dissertation research designing and ...


For the Planet Leadership Series: Building Sustainability Leadership in Higher Education

  • University of North Texas (TX)

The “For the Planet Leadership Series” is a five-week professional development course planned, researched, and taught by Senior Alyssa Wolverton at the University of North Texas. Her goal was to ...


Map More, Waste Less: A Study in How GIS Helps Texas A&M Prevent Waste

  • Texas A&M University (TX)

Introduction:

During the Spring of 2016, the Texas A&M Geography Society, a student organization that performs undergraduate Geographic Information Systems (GIS) research, set out to help SSC Services for Education ...


PhD Thesis: Sustainability reporting as a tool for management control and organisational change in higher education

The pursuit for a sustainable society has received increased attention over the last decades, due to global problems the world has been confronted with, such as population growth, climate change ...


Seeking learning outcomes appropriate for ‘education for sustainable development’ and for higher education

  • University of Otago

This article shares and extends research-based developments at the University of Otago, New Zealand, that seek to explore how students’ worldviews change as they experience higher education with us. We ...


Water Conservation at the University of Houston

  • University of Houston (TX)

A group of University of Houston students enrolled in Energy & Sustainability with similar interests in water conservation investigated a potential water-saving solution for the University of Houston.

Their research ...


The Contribution of Social Sciences to Sustainable Development at Universities

This volume presents contemporary, state-of-the-art examples of how social science theories, models, and findings can advance all aspects of campus sustainability, an area that has so far been largely neglected ...


Campus greenhouse for local and sustainable tropical food production and education at Bellairs Research Institute

  • McGill University (QC)

The Bellairs facility is located at Folkestone, Barbados. It hosts many students and scientists from McGill and around the world for field courses, workshops and research projects. This project's ...


Renewable Energy at Harvey Mudd: The Design, Construction and Life Cycle Analysis of a Solar-Powered ParaSOL

  • Harvey Mudd College (CA)

Colleges across the country are beginning to integrate renewable technologies on their campuses. Privately and publicly funded projects have brought large solar arrays to parking lots and rooftops, but have ...


Study to Reduce Peak Electrical Demand Charges for the John C. Hodges Library

  • University of Tennessee at Knoxville (TN)

The goal of this project is to design electrical and thermal storage systems that will reduce electrical consumption during periods of peak demand and thereby save the University money in ...


Report on the Study Group on Climate Change Participatory Workshop

  • Smith College (MA)

New England’s climate is projected to experience signifiant changes in the near future, including warmer temperatures, varied precipitation and extended periods of drought, with more extreme rainfall and snowfall ...


The role of students in the co-creation of transformational knowledge and sustainability experiments: Experiences from Sweden, Japan and the USA

  • Clark University (MA)
  • Oberlin College (OH)
  • University of Tokyo
  • Lund University

Accompanying realizations that engagement of multiple societal sectors (academia, industry, government, citizenry) and disciplines are required for formulating effective responses to complex sustainability challenges, calls for new forms of knowledge ...


Sustainability reporting in higher education: a comprehensive review of the recent literature and paths for further research

Over the last decade, sustainability reporting (SR) has gained importance in both profit and non-profit environments. In spite of the slowly emerging trend of SR in higher education, it is ...


Future sustainability scenarios for universities: moving beyond the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development

As achievements of the completed United Nations Decade (2005-2014) of Education for Sustainable Development are contemplated globally, along with potential steps forward for the future, Member States have urged that ...


Netter Center for Community Partnerships

  • University of Pennsylvania (PA)

Founded in 1992, the Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships is Penn’s primary vehicle for bringing to bear the broad range of human knowledge needed to solve ...

  • Posted May 23, 2016
  • Research Centers & Institutes
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Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems

  • Sterling College (VT)

Recognizing that building a healthy and just food system is among the most critical challenges facing humanity in the 21st century, the Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food ...

  • Posted May 20, 2016
  • Research Centers & Institutes
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Center for Sustainable Business Practices

  • University of Oregon (OR)

Part of the Business Innovation Institute at the Lundquist College of Business and housed in one of the nation's most environmentally friendly business school facilities, the Center for Sustainable ...

  • Posted May 20, 2016
  • Research Centers & Institutes
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A Strategy for Energy Performance Analysis at the Early Design Stage: Predicted vs. Actual Building Energy Performance

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst (MA)

Developments in information technology are providing methods to improve current design practices, where uncertainties about various design elements can be simulated and studied from the design inception. Energy and thermal ...


Center for Education on Social Responsibility

  • University of Colorado Boulder (CO)

The purpose of the Center for Education on Social Responsibility (CESR) is to advance the Leeds School of Business’ commitment to preparing future leaders to confront social, environmental, economic, and ...

  • Posted May 19, 2016
  • Research Centers & Institutes
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Prairie Climate Atlas

  • University of Winnipeg (MB)

The new Prairie Climate Atlas is an interactive, online tool that uses climate data, geovisualizations and multimedia to map the dramatic changes predicted for the Canadian Prairies. The Atlas is ...


How We Came to Inhabit These Spaces: Reflections on the Role of Place in Our Individual and Collective Journeys as Emerging Sustainability Scholars

  • University of Saskatchewan (SK)

This paper provides a descriptive analysis of the experience of four doctoral students engaged in a collective project of place exploration at a mid sized Canadian university. Under the methodological ...


The methodology and results of using life cycle assessment to measure and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions footprint of Major Events at the University of Arizona

  • Michigan Technological University (MI)
  • University of Arizona (AZ)

In 2012 and 2013, the University of Arizona’s Office of Sustainability conducted environmental life cycle assessments of two Homecoming events that drew 60,000 attendees each. Based on reviews ...


An Economical Analysis of the USFSP Solar Parking Garage

  • University of South Florida St. Petersburg (FL)

This undergraduate student paper was accepted without revision as an oral presentation at the ICES 2016: 18th International Conference on Energy held in Paris. The topic is an economical analysis ...


A Statistical Analysis of the USFSP Solar Parking Garage

  • University of South Florida St. Petersburg (FL)

This undergraduate student paper was accepted without revision as an oral presentation at the ICES 2016 : 18th International Conference on Energy held in Paris. The topic is a statistical analysis ...


Monash Sustainable Development Institute

  • Monash University (VIC)

The Monash Sustainable Development Institute tackles sustainability challenges head on with distinctive interdisciplinary approach. It pulls together scientists, lawyers, economists, psychologists, biologists, engineers, health professionals, training experts and more to ...

  • Posted May 13, 2016
  • Research Centers & Institutes
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Centre for Sustainability Management

  • Leuphana University of Lüneburg

The Centre for Sustainability Management (CSM) conducts research, teaching and continuous education in the fields of entrepreneurial sustainability management, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and social entrepreneurship. With a strong focus ...

  • Posted May 12, 2016
  • Research Centers & Institutes
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Academic Jet-Setting in a Time of Climate Destabilization: Ecological Privilege and Professional Geographic Travel

  • Vassar College (NY)

This article analyzes the interrelationship among resource consumption, sociospatial justice, and what is popularly known as global warming by interrogating the ecological footprint of professional geographers, especially in terms of ...


The Carbon Footprint of Conference Papers

The action required to stem the environmental and social implications of climate change depends crucially on how humankind shapes technology, economy, lifestyle and policy. With transport CO2 emissions accounting for ...


Sustainable Science? Reducing the Carbon Impact of Scientific Mega-Meetings

  • University of California, Santa Barbara (CA)
  • University of North Texas (TX)

Scientists across the globe recognize the importance of reducing carbon emissions to combat climate change. At the same time, we have increased our carbon footprint through air travel to the ...


Responsible academia: optimizing conference locations to minimize greenhouse gas emissions

  • Florida International University (FL)

The greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions attributable to many scientists, including ecologists and conservation biologists, are often much greater than those attributable to average non-scientists (Fox et al. 2009, Synolakis and ...


Carbon footprint of science: More than flying

  • University of Leuven

Previous efforts to evaluate the climate change impact of researchers have focused mainly on transport related impact of conference attendance, and infrastructure. Because these represent only a part of the ...


Academic mobility in the Anthropocene era: a comparative study of university policy at three New Zealand institutions

  • University of Otago
  • University of Auckland

Anthropogenic climate change is a wicked problem, requiring fundamental behavioural and technological responses now, in the Anthropocene, a term denoting the current era of human dominance of biological, chemical and ...


Integrating environmental sustainability into universities

  • Monash University (VIC)

Universities play a fundamental role in addressing global environmental challenges as their education, research and community involvement can produce long-lasting environmental effects and societal change. By demonstrating best practice in ...


The Sustainable University: Progress and prospects

  • University of Plymouth (Devon)

The direction of higher education is at a crossroads against a background of mounting sustainability-related issues and uncertainties. This book seeks to inspire positive change in higher education by exploring ...


Examining the Literature: A Bibliometric Study of ESD Journal Articles in the Education Resources Information Center Database

  • Dalhousie University (NS)

Using the tool of bibliometry, this study examines journal articles related to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in academic journals from 1990 to 2005. It offers a statistical description of ...


Institute for Democracy and Higher Education

  • Tufts University (MA)

The Institute for Democracy and Higher Education (IDHE) is dedicated to shifting college and university priorities, practices, and culture to strengthen democracy and advance social and political equity. The Institute ...

  • Posted May 6, 2016
  • Research Centers & Institutes
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Greening the Ivory Tower: A Review of Educational Research on Sustainability in Post-Secondary Education

  • University of Saskatchewan (SK)
  • Dalhousie University (NS)

There is a deficit of multi-site studies examining the integration of sustainability in the policies and practices of post-secondary institutions. This paper reviews what comparative empirical research has been undertaken ...


The Essential and Growing Role of Legal Education in Achieving Sustainability

  • Widener University (PA)

This article suggests that law schools need to play a leading role in the national and global effort to achieve sustainability, including the effort to address climate change. The article ...


Legal Education for Sustainability: A Report on US Progress

  • Widener University (PA)

This article is an overview of sustainability efforts in US law schools. It describes two sets of drivers for these efforts—inside and outside the legal profession. Drivers from within ...

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.