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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 Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Ryan Buchholdt
Submission Date Aug. 12, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Alaska Anchorage
OP-11: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Paula Williams
Sustainability Director
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution own or manage land that includes or is adjacent to legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance?:
Yes

A brief description of any legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and/or regions of conservation importance on institution owned or managed land:

The Anchorage Wetland Management Plan classifies the
wetlands as follows:
• Class A wetlands have the highest biological and
hydrological functions and values. These wetlands are
generally not to be developed, cleared or otherwise
altered unless the action would restore or enhance a site’s
functions and values.
• Class B wetlands typically have a mixture of higher
and lower values and functions. The intent of the B
designation is to conserve and maintain a site’s key
functions and values by limited and minimizing fills and
development to less critical zones while retaining higher
value areas.
• Class C wetlands have the lowest value and are generally
suitable for development to support community
expansion and infilling.


Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify endangered and vulnerable species with habitats on institution-owned or –managed land?:
Yes

Has the institution conducted an assessment or assessments to identify environmentally sensitive areas on institution-owned or –managed land?:
Yes

The methodology(-ies) used to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or environmentally sensitive areas and any ongoing assessment and monitoring mechanisms:

One of the premier assets on the UAA campus is the Chester Creek riparian zone that meanders under the pedestrian Spine through the heart of campus. The creek, an anadromous fish stream (Stream Number 247-50-10050), is home to Coho Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) and also supports rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykis) and Dolly Varden char (Savelinus malma)


A brief description of identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:

The UAA main campus consists of 384 acres. Of that, only 149 acres have been developed. The remaining acres consist of forest and wetlands that contain unpaved trails, and are otherwise undeveloped. Additionally, we have a designated Class A wetland (Mosquito Lake) on campus which is protected for bird habitat and breeding. Moose, fox, coyote and the occasional black bear and beaver also have habitat at UAA. The stream (south fork of Chester Creek) that crosses UAA also has returning salmon and a healthy trout population.

“TREErific Anchorage has chosen UAA as one of three local establishments to be recognized for exceptional use of landscaping and/or preservation of natural vegetation. The University is recognized for its preservation of existing natural vegetation on the campus and for enhancing it with the largest variety of tree species in south-central Alaska, and for having a certified arborist on staff.”


A brief description of plans or programs in place to protect or positively affect identified species, habitats and/or environmentally sensitive areas:

The Anchorage Wetlands Management Plan also requires setbacks and buffers from waterbodies, streams, and wetlands to protect wildlife corridors, sensitive riparian zones, and water quality. Setbacks and buffers generally range from 25 feet to 100 feet. All three wetland types within the campus have soil characteristics that are challenging for development due to shallow depths to the water table, areas of topography relief, or organically rich soil.


The website URL where information about the institution’s biodiversity policies and programs(s) is available:

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.