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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 Gold
Overall Score 68.58
Liaison Mary Ellen Mallia
Submission Date Jan. 15, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University at Albany
AC-10: Support for Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 4.00 Mary Ellen Mallia
Director of Environmental Sustainability
Finance and Business
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a program to encourage student sustainability research that meets the criteria for this credit?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s program(s) to encourage student research in sustainability:

UAlbany strives to be a world class research university. As such, there are several programs to encourage graduate level research. In addition, a special focus on providing avenues for undergraduate research has taken hold in the last few years. The Vice President for Research's office provides a warehouse of support resources for students. http://www.albany.edu/research/research-students.php. Additionally, the University at Albany's Foundation runs a research program specific to undergraduate students. http://www.albany.edu/giving/Undergraduate-Student-Research-Program-Brochure.pdf
These programs do not focus specifically on sustainability but are described here in order to show the campus-wide commitment to supporting student research. The Office of Sustainability has built upon these resources to develop programs which provide encouragement for research centered on sustainability. These include a providing small grants and a recognition program with regards to research on sustainability. The Sustainability Innovation Grants program awards small grants for academically related activities. Student can apply for these grants to provide for research expenses or to attend conferences which might aid in their research. This grant program is also open to faculty for research or activities that augment their classes. The second way sustainability research is encouraged is via our poster session that occurs in conjunction with our Earth and Wellness Day event. An open call goes out in early spring for students to participate in the poster session. Students submit their sustainability related research project and the Office of Sustainability funds the cost of printing their poster, organizes the poster session and advertises it to the campus community. The students are given the opportunity to display and discuss their research during the event which usually attracts approximately 300 campus members.
The Office of Sustainability also offers credit bearing opportunities for students to conduct sustainability research via our university wide internship program (UNI390) or community service program (RSSW credit). These opportunities are based on individual interest. One such example is a UNI390 Internship undertaken by a student who developed a new beverage made from the Chaga mushroom. He explored the possibility of bringing his product to market as his research project.


The website URL where information about the student research program is available:
Does the institution have a program to encourage faculty sustainability research that meets the criteria for this credit?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s program(s) to encourage faculty research in sustainability:

SUNY and the Research Foundation for SUNY (RF) have created the SUNY/RF Networks of Excellence to facilitate system-wide collaboration. The networks bring together professors and harness institutional expertise from across campuses to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems. Each network assembles scientists and scholars from varied campuses to engage in a joint program of research on a specific topic. By bringing together the varied expertise distributed across campuses into a collective network, SUNY can better position itself to become a national and international scientific leader, compete for research grants, and educate the next-generation workforce.

The vision of the Network of Excellence in Energy, Environment, Education and Economics (SUNY 4E) is to identify and bring together faculty and facilities across SUNY in partnership with key academic institutions, the private sector and national labs, in unparalleled trans-disciplinary teams that lead the nation and the world in key transformative research areas that have a broad, positive and lasting impact on society. The 4E Network of Excellence will focus on research areas related to energy and the environment with associated economic considerations and the enhancement of educational opportunities across the SUNY system and beyond. http://sunynetworksofexcellence.org/suny-4e

UAlbany has received several of these grants, a list of which is below.
1. From NY to the Amazon: Exploring fish nutrients as modifiers of health effects
PI: Beth J. Feingold, University at Albany (UAlbany)
Co-PIs: Roxanne Karimi, Stony Brook University (SBU); David O. Carpenter, UAlbany; Jaymie Meliker, SBU
2. Investigation of Multiscale Water Cycle Processes in the Hudson River Watershed in Support of DOE Energy-Water Nexus Initiative
PI: Qilong Min, University at Albany (UAlbany)
Co-PIs: Everette Joseph, UAlbany; Minghua Zhang, Stony Brook University; Martin Schoonen, Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL); Yangang Liu, BNL
3. Aphid-Like Biosensors for Ecosystem Studies: NANAPHID Proof of Concept
PI: Andrei Lapenas, University at Albany
Co-PIs: George Robinson, University at Albany; Ruth Yanai, Syracuse University; James Castracane, University at Albany; Mohamed Trebak, University at Albany; Natalya Tokranova, University at Albany; Maurizio Mencuccini, University of Edinburgh; Adam Wild, Syracuse University
4. Climate Change and Extreme Weather in NY State and its Impact on Inland and Coastal Flooding
PI: Christopher Thorncroft, University at Albany
Co-PIs: Lance Bosart, University at Albany; Aiguo Dai, University at Albany; Henry Bokuniewicz, Stony Brook University; Brian Colle, Stony Brook University; Minghua Zhang, Stony Brook University
5. Joint Theoretical-Experimental Quest for Novel Carbon-Based Materials for Energy-Related Applications
PI: Marina Petrukhina, University at Albany
Co-PIs: Artem Oganov, Stony Brook University; Roxana Margine, Binghamton University
6. I-SEES-Institute for Smart Energy & Environmental Sustainability
PI: Omowunmi Sadik, Binghamton University
Co-PI: Catherine Lawson, University at Albany
7. Homeland Security Outside the Beltway
PI: James Fossett, University at Albany
Co-PIs: Kathryn Bryk Friedman, University at Buffalo; Christopher Thorncroft, University at Albany; Richard Perez, University at Albany


The website URL where information about the faculty research program is available:
Has the institution formally adopted policies and procedures that give positive recognition to interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research during faculty promotion and/or tenure decisions?:
No

A brief description or the text of the institution’s policy regarding interdisciplinary research:
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The website URL where information about the treatment of interdisciplinary research is available:
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Does the institution provide ongoing library support for sustainability research and learning that meets the criteria for this credit?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution's library support for sustainability research and learning:

There are numerous databases that cover topics related to sustainability. A few of the most important databases related to sustainability include:
Environment Complete, EBSCO Academic Complete, Sociological Abstracts, ScienceDirect, Social Sciences Full Text, Energy and Power Source and the Energy Citations Database.GreenFILE is a bibliographic database containing nearly 300,000 records covering information about environmental concerns.

The University has prepared several LibGuides on environmental topics including the following links:
http://library.albany.edu/dewey/blog/2014/11/resources-renewable-energy
http://library.albany.edu/subject/atsci.htm
http://libguides.library.albany.edu/content.php?pid=113139&sid=852563
http://libguides.library.albany.edu/content.php?pid=151374&sid=1348053
http://libguides.library.albany.edu/content.php?pid=128599&sid=1193642
http://libguides.library.albany.edu/content.php?pid=151373&sid=1287085
http://libguides.library.albany.edu/content.php?pid=148181&sid=1259072
Special Collections has a number of primary resources, for example:
http://library.albany.edu/speccoll/findaids/eresources/findingaids/apap197.html
http://library.albany.edu/speccoll/findaids/apap130.htm
http://library.albany.edu/speccoll/findaids/apap197.htm
http://library.albany.edu/speccoll/findaids/apap192.htm

Mike Knee and Sue Kaczor are the subject specialists in the Sciences and Mary Van Ullen is the Associate Director for Collections. They help oversee and maintain the library resources.
The Libraries have undertaken a Pinterest board: Go Green, Danes! https://www.pinterest.com/ualibraries/go-green-danes/ to encourage sustainability literacy awareness.


The website URL where information about the institution's library support for sustainability is available:
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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.