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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 57.22
Liaison Roxane Beigel-Coryell
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Southern Oregon University
AC-10: Support for Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Roxane Beigel-Coryell
Sustainability & Recycling Coordinator
Facilities Management & Planning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an ongoing program to encourage students in multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct research in sustainability? :
Yes

A brief description of the student research program, including the incentives provided and any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

Southern Oregon University's student Green Fund reserves one-third of the total fund for student sustainability research projects. In the 2013 fiscal year, the Fund provided approximately $35,000 for student sustainability research. In following years, the Fund had more than $50,000 for student sustainability research projects each year.

Student sustainability research projects funded by the program include research on composting agricultural waste, sustainable mycology harvesting, and natural building.


Does the institution have a program to encourage faculty from multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct research in sustainability topics?:
Yes

A brief description of the faculty research program, including the incentives provided and any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

SOU's Green Fund is also available to faculty working on sustainability research projects with students. During the first year that the Green Fund allowed requests for sustainability research funding, Environmental Studies and Sociology faculty members worked with several students to research developing a farm and sustainability center for campus, with support from the SOU Green Fund.


Has the institution published written policies and procedures that give positive recognition to interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research during faculty promotion and/or tenure decisions?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s support for interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research, including any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

At SOU, faculty are evaluated on their scholarly activity involving interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research, often through collaborations between and among faculty across disciplines as demonstrated through the following various achievements:
· Artistic Performances
· Books
· Encyclopedia entries
· Gallery Exhibits
· Grants
· Invited book chapters
· Journal Articles
· Monographs
· Patents
· Presentations
· Published poems, plays, recordings, stories, and similar creative works
· Software Development

Scholarly activity is measured using several criteria including meaningfulness. To demonstrate scholarly activity is meaningful, achievements must contribute to the profession or the public good. Contributing to the profession may include, but is not limited to, looking at how work is cited or used by other scholars. Contributions may also be measured by how they build new knowledge within the discipline, integrate disciplinary knowledge into a multidisciplinary context, apply disciplinary knowledge in new ways to meet needs in the public or private sector, or convey disciplinary knowledge in new and creative ways to others.


Does the institution have ongoing library support for sustainability research and learning?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s library support for sustainability research, including any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

Hannon Library provides considerable information resources, services, and instruction that provide ongoing support for sustainability research and learning at Southern Oregon University.

BOOKS
Currently Hannon Library’s collection of 346,857 print books (as of 7/1/14) supports sustainability research. The print collection is supplemented by our subscription to ebrary’s Academic Complete, a growing e-book collection that contains nearly 80,000 monographic titles with recent imprint dates. Additionally, Hannon Library is a participant in an Orbis Cascade Alliance consortial project to provide e-books based on patron selection (demand-driven acquisitions).

Keyword searches in our library catalog relating to sustainability education reveal the following strengths:
• Sustainable business – 1,046 electronic and physical books, 690 published 2010 or later
• Sustainable development – 2.512 physical and electronic books, 1,288 published 2010 or later
• Environmental or Ecology – 4,629 physical and electronic books, 352 published 2010 or later
• Global warming/Climate change – 524 physical and electronic books, 41 published 2010 or later
• Alternative energy – 544 physical and electronic books, 247 published 2010 or later

Students and faculty also have the opportunity to request print books at no cost from our consortium which includes 37 academic libraries in Oregon and Washington. Summit, the union catalog of the Orbis Cascade Consortium, contains over 10 million titles representing 30 million items. Materials are picked up and delivered daily via a courier system, with a delivery turnaround time of three to five business days.

Subject specialist librarians select books to support the university’s academic programs including Biology, Environmental Education, and other disciplines relevant to sustainability research. During 2012-2013 additional funds were allocated to purchase books to support the Green House first year curriculum focused on “Food, Water and Garbage.” More funds to support the Green House curriculum were specially allocated and spent during 2013-2014.

FILMS
In addition to Hannon’s Library’s extensive collection of VHS and DVD film recordings, Hannon Library purchased the online Filmmakers Library of over 1,000 films in streaming video. All films have been added to the library catalog and content includes films relating to environmental issues. Streaming video films can also be accessed at the Filmmakers Library website and browsed by subject headings.

JOURNALS
Hannon Library provides access to more than 1,500 print and electronic journals that deal with aspects of sustainability and environmental sciences. The majority are accessible as full-text online content in the sources listed below.

DATABASES AND ONLINE JOURNALS
Hannon Library provides online access to electronic resources that are useful for sustainability research. These include:
• Academic OneFile – suitable for University Seminar, Green House, and lower division research
• Academic Search Complete – suitable for University Seminar, Green House, and lower division research
• Academic Universe LexisNexis – suitable for lower and upper division research requiring news and legal materials
• Agricola – suitable for lower and upper division research drawing on applied life sciences
• American Chemical Society journals – suitable for lower and especially upper division research for students with a background in chemistry
• BioOne - suitable for lower and upper division research on sustainability in life sciences
• CQ Researcher – suitable for University Seminar research on public policy issues
• EconLit – suitable for lower and upper division research in economic aspects
• Environmental Studies and Policy Collection – suitable for lower and upper division research
• GreenFILE – suitable for lower and upper division research drawing on life sciences and government sources
• GREENR – suitable for lower and upper division on emerging green technologies
• JSTOR Arts & Sciences I, II, and III – suitable for lower and upper division recent and historical research
• Opposing Viewpoints - suitable for first year research on sustainability issues
• Sage Journals Online – suitable for lower and especially upper division research in social science and scientific aspects
• SpringerLink – suitable for lower and upper division research drawing on life sciences
• Wiley Online Library - suitable for lower and especially upper division research in science and social science aspects

RESEARCH GUIDES
Librarians at SOU create research guides (LibGuides) for academic programs. Research guides that will support sustainability research include those created for Biology, Chemistry, Environment, Geography, Green House, and so on.

INSTRUCTION AND RESEARCH ASSISTANCE
Subject librarians provide instructional sessions to classes in all academic programs as requested. Additional subject librarians meet with students for detailed research consultations and conduct research instruction in the classroom in their subject areas. Those most involved in instruction, in class on individually, for topics in sustainability include:
• Jim Rible – Biology, Chemistry, Green House
• Kate Cleland-Sipfle – Environmental Studies, Green House, Geography, International Studies
• Dorothy Ormes, Government information research, Political Science, University Seminar
• Connie Anderson – Business
• Dale Vidmar – University Studies, Website/Internet research

All librarians staffing the Reference Desk are prepared to field questions in sustainability studies. Referrals are made to subject specialists as needed or appropriate.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.