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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 51.71
Liaison Jeffrey Severin
Submission Date July 17, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Kansas
AC-9: Academic Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 9.69 / 12.00 Kim Criner
Education & Outreach Coordinator
Center for Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Number of the institution’s faculty and/or staff engaged in sustainability research:
220

Total number of the institution’s faculty and/or staff engaged in research:
415

Number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that include at least one faculty or staff member that conducts sustainability research:
54

The total number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that conduct research:
117

A copy of the sustainability research inventory that includes the names and department affiliations of faculty and staff engaged in sustainability research:
Names and department affiliations of faculty and staff engaged in sustainability research:

Akin,Becci SW Social Welfare
Alexander,Helen KBS KS Biological Survey
Allen,Christopher TRC Transportation Rsch Center
Atchley,Paul TRC Transportation Rsch Center
Atchley,Paul PSYC Psychology
Atchley,Ruth PSYC Psychology
Baggett,Kathleen BCR Bureau of Child Research
Baker,Debra KBS KS Biological Survey
Baker,Debra EEB Ecology & Evol Biology
Bergman,Ted Leo ME Mechanical Engineering
Bigelow,Kathryn M. BCR Bureau of Child Research
Billings,Sharon KBS KS Biological Survey
Bobkowski,Piotr Szymon AAI CPPR CEOP
Bode,Claudia Janelle CEBC Ctr Enviro Benefical Cata
Bohling,Geoffrey C. KGS Data Manager/Wilson
Bortolato,Marco BCR Bureau of Child Research
Bourque,Katherine Shirley BCR Bureau of Child Research
Bowman-James,Kristin RSCH NSF EPSCoR
Braaten,David CRESIS Ctr Rem Sens Ice Sheets
Brady,Nancy BCR Bureau of Child Research
Britton,Hannah IPSR Inst for Policy & Soc Res
Brook,Joanna SW Social Welfare
Brookfield,Andrea Elizabeth KGS Research & Dev/Brookfield
Brown,Rafe KBS KS Biological Survey
Brown,Rafe BI Biodiversity Institute
Brunsell,Nathaniel KGS Research & Dev/Brookfield
Bulgren,Janis Ann BCR Bureau of Child Research
Busby,William KBS KS Biological Survey
Butler Jr,James Johnson KGS Data Manager/Wilson
Butler Jr,James Johnson KGS Research & Develop/Butler
Butler Jr,James Johnson KGS Research & Dev/Brookfield
Buzhardt Jr,Joseph BCR Bureau of Child Research
Byers,Kaela Danielle SW Social Welfare
Cai,Hongyi TRC Transportation Rsch Center
Campbell,Janet S. KPR KANU Radio
Carter Jr,Ray E. TRC Transportation Rsch Center
Chakrabarti,Swapan ITTC
Chaudhari,Raghunath Vitthal CEBC Ctr Enviro Benefical Cata
Cheatham,Gregory SPED Personnel Preparation
Chen,Yi Chun JOUR Journalism
Coffey,Margaret AEC Applied English Center
Collie-Akers,Vicki Lynn ARCH Arch, Design & Planning
Collie-Akers,Vicki Lynn BCR Bureau of Child Research
Comer,William J. SLAV Slavic Languages & Lit
Counts,Jacqueline AAI CPPR CEOP
Cregg,Gina CED Continuing Education Admin
Criss,Shannon ARCH Arch, Design & Planning
Cronin,Katherine Jane IPSR Inst for Policy & Soc Res
Daley,Dorothy Marie IPSR Inst for Policy & Soc Res
Darby,Derrick IPSR Inst for Policy & Soc Res
Delisle,Jennifer Marie KBS KS Biological Survey
Denning,G SLAV Slavic Languages & Lit
Denoyelles Jr,Frank KBS KS Biological Survey
Depcik,Christopher D TRC Transportation Rsch Center
Deshler,Donald CRL Demonstration Misc
Devlin,John GEOL Geology
Dhar,Prajnaparamita ENGR Bioengineering Res Center
Dobbs,Kevin KBS KS Biological Survey
Dunham,John W. KGS Res & Develop/Ludvigson
Durham,Tammara L VPSA Student Affairs Vice Prov
Dvorak,Marcia AAI CPPR CEOP
Eason,Becky AAI CPPR CEOP
Egbert,Stephen KBS KS Biological Survey
Egbert,Stephen KBS KS Applied Remote Sensing
Farokhi,Saeed TRC Transportation Rsch Center
Fitzsimmons,Eric TRC Transportation Rsch Center
Foster,Bryan KBS KS Biological Survey
Fowle,David Allan KGS Sr Sci Fellow/Whittemore
Freeman,Rachel BCR Bureau of Child Research
Fry,Mary AAI CPPR CEOP
Fu,Xin ITTC
Fukui,Sadaaki SW Social Welfare
Garcia,Heidi Michelle SHS Student Health Svcs
Garstka,Teri AAI CPPR CEOP
Gaumer Erickson,Amy CRL Demonstration Misc
Gavosto,Estela HBC Higuchi Biosciences Center
Geana,Mugur TRC Transportation Rsch Center
Geana,Mugur JOUR Journalism
Gehrke,Stevin Henry ENGR Bioengineering Res Center
Gillispie,William M BCR Bureau of Child Research
Ginther,Donna K IPSR Inst for Policy & Soc Res
Gogineni,Sivaprasad CRESIS Ctr Rem Sens Ice Sheets
Goodyear,Marilu ARCH Arch, Design & Planning
Gore,Nils ARCH Arch, Design & Planning
Goscha,Rick SW Social Welfare
Gracy,Janine Louise AAI CPPR CEOP
Graner,Patricia Gail CRL Demonstration Misc
Greene,J. HSES Health,Sport,&Exercise Sc
Greene,Jacqueline Megan EAS Center for East Asian Std
Greene,Jacqueline Megan SLAV Slavic Languages & Lit
Gross,Judith M Staudenmaier BCR Bureau of Child Research
Hale,Richard CRESIS Ctr Rem Sens Ice Sheets
Hale,Richard TRC Transportation Rsch Center
Hall II,Arthur BUS Business
Hall,Amber BCR Bureau of Child Research
Hall,Jean P CRL Demonstration Misc
Han,Jie TRC Transportation Rsch Center
Hansen,David AAI CPPR CEOP
Hanson,Paul HBC Higuchi Biosciences Center
Hatfield,Virginia L BI Biodiversity Institute
Hileman,Lena Catherine EEB Ecology & Evol Biology
Hine,Kathleen M BCR Bureau of Child Research
Hirmas,Daniel KBS KS Biological Survey
Hirmas,Daniel ARCH Architecture Program
Ho,Alfred IPSR Inst for Policy & Soc Res
Holmes,Cheryl SW Social Welfare
Horn,Eva BCR Bureau of Child Research
Horn,Eva SPED Personnel Preparation
Houts,Michael Edmund KBS KS Biological Survey
Huggins,Donald KBS KS Biological Survey
Huggins,Donald EEB Ecology & Evol Biology
Hunsinger,Keith L KGS DASC/Iqbal
Ilardi,Stephen SW Social Welfare
Ingram,Rick SW Social Welfare
Iqbal,Asif KGS DASC/Iqbal
Iqbal,Asif KGS DASC/Nelson
Ivanov,Julian Metodiev KGS Seismic Research/Miller
Jackson,Yolanda ARCH Arch, Design & Planning
Jakubauskas,Mark KBS KS Biological Survey
Johnson,David BCR Bureau of Child Research
Johnson,William GEOG Geography
Johnson,William KGS Res & Develop/Ludvigson
Kamatuka,Ngondi AAI CPPR CEOP
Kamps,Debra Maureen Pearce BCR Bureau of Child Research
Kandybowicz,Jason T LING Linguistics
Kapp,Stephen SW Social Welfare
Kastens,Jude H. KBS KS Biological Survey
Kastens,Jude H. KBS KS Applied Remote Sensing
Kerr,Barbara IPSR Inst for Policy & Soc Res
Keshmiri,Shawn Shahriar TRC Transportation Rsch Center
Kettle,Dean KBS KS Biological Survey
Kim,Changhwan IPSR Inst for Policy & Soc Res
Kindscher,Kelly KBS KS Biological Survey
Kingston,Neal AAI CETE ATS
Knight,Leigh Anne Taylor IPSR Inst for Policy & Soc Res
Kowalchuk,Liz ARCH Arch, Design & Planning
Kraus,Chad ARCH Architecture Program
Kuhnheim,Jill LAA Latin Amer &Caribbean Stds
Laird,Brian CEBC Ctr Enviro Benefical Cata
Leuschen,Carlton CRESIS Ctr Rem Sens Ice Sheets
Levy,Michelle Marie SW Social Welfare
Li,Jilu CRESIS Ctr Rem Sens Ice Sheets
Lieberman,Alice SW Social Welfare
Lindeman,David P. SW Social Welfare
Lindeman,David P. BCR Bureau of Child Research
Little,Todd BCR Bureau of Child Research
Liu,Gaisheng KGS Data Manager/Wilson
Ludvigson,Gregory A KGS Res & Develop/Ludvigson
MacGonagle,Elizabeth Lee KASC KS African Studies Center
Mack,Beverly KASC KS African Studies Center
Macpherson,Gwendolyn KGS Sr Sci Fellow/Whittemore
Mandel,Rolfe David KGS Res & Develop/Ludvigson
Martinko,Edward KBS KS Biological Survey
Mason,Rose BCR Bureau of Child Research
McCart,Amy BCR Bureau of Child Research
McDonald,Thomas P. SW Social Welfare
McEnroe,Bruce TRC Transportation Rsch Center
Mendenhall,Amy SW Social Welfare
Meyer Jr,Wallace TRC Transportation Rsch Center
Miller,Richard D. KGS Seismic Research/Miller
Moore,Keith BCR Bureau of Child Research
Moore,Terry Dale SW Social Welfare
Morningstar,Mary CRL Ctr for Research on Learni
Morningstar,Mary CRL Demonstration Misc
Moyle,Robert BI Biodiversity Institute
Nagel,Joane RSCH NSF EPSCoR
Nagel,Joane EEB Ecology & Evol Biology
Nary,Dorothy E. BCR Bureau of Child Research
Nelson,Kenneth A. KGS DASC/Nelson
Newell,Kerry D. KGS Res & Develop/Ludvigson
Nguyen,Trung Van TRC Transportation Rsch Center
Nguyen,Trung Van C&PE Chemical & Petroleum Engr
Noonan,Patricia CRL Demonstration Misc
OBrien,Megan SW Social Welfare
O'Lear,Shannon Renee Maziar IPSR Inst for Policy & Soc Res
Omelicheva,Maria Yevgenyevna REES Russian/E Euro/Eurasian
Omelicheva,Maria Yevgenyevna IPSR Inst for Policy & Soc Res
Orr,James HBC Higuchi Biosciences Center
Paden,John Drysdale CRESIS Ctr Rem Sens Ice Sheets
Parr,Alfred TRC Transportation Rsch Center
Parsons,Robert TRC Transportation Rsch Center
Pea Fite,Paula SW Social Welfare
Peltier,Edward TRC Transportation Rsch Center
Perie,Marianne AAI CETE ATS
Peterson,Andrew BI Biodiversity Institute
Phillips,Jean Kathryn Gilles LAW School General
Phipps,Barbara J. AAI CPPR CEOP
Rauscher,Emily IPSR Inst for Policy & Soc Res
Rea,Jerry A. BCR Bureau of Child Research
Reed,Derek SHS Student Health Svcs
Rhine,Kathryn A HALL Center for the Humanities
Rice,Mabel BCR Bureau of Child Research
Roberts,Jennifer ARCH Architecture Program
Rodriguez-Morales,Fernando CRESIS Ctr Rem Sens Ice Sheets
Rosenbloom,Joshua IPSR Inst for Policy & Soc Res
Rury III,John IPSR Inst for Policy & Soc Res
Sack,Sara BCR Bureau of Child Research
Saint Onge,Jarron Michael SOC Sociology
Saving,Shawn C KGS DASC/Nelson
Sawin,Robert S. KGS Res & Develop/Ludvigson
Schrock,Steven TRC Transportation Rsch Center
Schultz,Jerry A. BCR Bureau of Child Research
Scouffas,Anthea LIED Lied Center
Severson,Margaret Egenberger SW Social Welfare
Shogren,Karrie BCR Bureau of Child Research
Short,Andrew EEB Ecology & Evol Biology
Smith,Jon KGS Res & Develop/Ludvigson
Smith,Val KBS KS Biological Survey
Stearns,Leigh GEOL Geology
Steele Jr,Ric BCR Bureau of Child Research
Stotler,Randy L KGS Res & Develop/Ludvigson
Subramaniam,Bala CEBC Ctr Enviro Benefical Cata
Summers,Jean BCR Bureau of Child Research
Taghavi,Ray Rahmat TRC Transportation Rsch Center
Takeyama,Akiko IPSR Inst for Policy & Soc Res
Taylor Jr,Orley R. EEB Ecology & Evol Biology
Thomas,Gregory TRC Transportation Rsch Center
Thompson,Barbara SPED Personnel Preparation
Thompson,Jomella BCR Bureau of Child Research
Thompson,Ward H CEBC Ctr Enviro Benefical Cata
Thorp III,James KBS KS Biological Survey
Timmermann,Barbara HBC Higuchi Biosciences Center
Torrence,William Harold LING Linguistics
Tunge,Jon CEBC Ctr Enviro Benefical Cata
Van Leer,Timothy M LIED Lied Center
Vernberg,Eric ABSC Applied Behavioral Scienc
Walker,Dale BCR Bureau of Child Research
Ward,Joy EEB Ecology & Evol Biology
Weaver,Patricia TRC Transportation Rsch Center
Wehmeyer,Michael BCR Bureau of Child Research
West,Dixie Lee BI Biodiversity Institute
Whittemore,Donald O. KGS Data Manager/Wilson
Whittemore,Donald O. KGS Sr Sci Fellow/Whittemore
Williams,Susan CEBC Ctr Enviro Benefical Cata
Williams,Susan TRC Transportation Rsch Center
Williford,Anne SW Social Welfare
Wills,Howard BCR Bureau of Child Research
Wilson,Blake B KGS Research & Dev/Brookfield
Wilson,Blake B KGS Data Manager/Wilson
Witczak,Andrea ARCH Arch, Design & Planning
Yan,Jie CRESIS Ctr Rem Sens Ice Sheets
Yoon,Jiso POLS Political Science
Young,Christopher TRC Transportation Rsch Center


A brief description of the methodology the institution followed to complete the research inventory:

In order to complete the research inventory for faculty and staff participating in sustainability related research, individuals in the Center for Sustainability contacted the KU Office of Research, which provided an inventory of all registered research projects receiving outside funding - this was the best option to inventory current research - that were active during the reporting period of FY14. Center staff reviewed the list of 584 total projects and identified 226 projects that related to sustainability based on their descriptive titles and the Principal Investigator's recorded research areas. The inventory also identified the faculty researchers and departments for each project.


A brief description of notable accomplishments during the previous three years by faculty and/or staff engaged in sustainability research:

Kansas Biological Survey signs $2M contract to support lesser prairie chicken habitat mitigation plan

Physicists at the University of Kansas have fabricated an innovative substance from two different atomic sheets that interlock much like Lego toy bricks. The researchers said the new material — made of a layer of graphene and a layer of tungsten disulfide — could be used in solar cells and flexible electronics.

Every minute in the United States, power plants that generate electricity use nearly triple the amount of water that surges over Niagara Falls during that same time, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. In an era of drought and diminishing aquifers, freshwater sources are an ever-more-precious resource — and power plants’ use of freshwater has become a critical issue. One researcher at the University of Kansas is investigating new ways to cool plants more efficiently with technology used in everyday laptop computers.

This fall the Kansas Biological Survey created and launched the online Kansas Lakes and Reservoirs Data Repository Portal — with funding from the Kansas Water Office and the Kansas GIS Policy Board — to bring together data from a variety of sources, making it free and readily available to the public.

An environmental and earth science data project, led by a multi-university team including KU’s Biodiversity Institute, has been awarded $15 million by the National Science Foundation to continue to discover and aggregate data for scientists and policymakers alike.

Researchers at the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets based at the University of Kansas have unlocked important new details below the ice in key areas of Greenland and Antarctica that will reshape how scientists forecast changes to sea level. Data collected through radar systems created at KU provide the first-ever detailed maps of the subsurface conditions on prominent and scientifically important glaciers on opposite sides of the Earth.

A University of Kansas law professor has authored a study and will argue before the Supreme Court on a water rights case via a method that can be thought of as a more civil version of civil war.

The University of Kansas Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies (CREES) has been awarded a major grant from the U.S. Department of State as part of the U.S.-Russia Peer-to-Peer Dialogue Program. The grant calls for CREES, working with the Center for Transboundary Cooperation in St. Petersburg, Russia, to identify, train and connect eco-reps from the Midwest with their counterparts in Russia. These eco-reps will design and enact projects with the goal of raising awareness and educating about sustainability, and creating positive environmental, social and economic effects in their schools, communities and small businesses.

The Bioscience & Technology Business Center at the University of Kansas has earned a major federal grant for its role as a business accelerator and economic engine for northeast Kansas. The BTBC at KU has been awarded $50,000 by the U.S. Small Business Administration through the agency’s inaugural Growth Accelerator Fund competition, which is designed to support the development of outstanding business accelerators, incubators and other entrepreneurial ecosystem models that are playing major roles in their region.

Four University of Kansas students have been selected for prestigious Fulbright awards for research and study for the 2014-15 academic year.

A researcher at the University of Kansas has earned an Army Research Office Young Investigator Award grant to conduct research on cutting-edge photovoltaic technology intended to give American forces tactical advantages in the field.

Jilu Li, assistant research professor with the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) at the University of Kansas, received a three-year $299,178 grant through NASA’s New Investigator Program to provide a complete subsurface map at the point where the ice meets bedrock for Greenland and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Li’s team will utilize ice sheet data collected by CReSIS and KU researchers over the past two decades to piece together the maps.

The American Council of Learned Societies has awarded three University of Kansas faculty members fellowships for humanities research to be undertaken in academic year 2014-15. The council, one of the premier humanities-focused granting agencies, is a private, nonprofit federation of 71 national scholarly organizations that supports scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences.

Mayor Sly James, Kansas City, Mo., announced last month the new WE Women’s Empowerment initiative to get more women into leadership roles, whether it’s on city boards, task forces and commissions or in business settings. University of Kansas research will play a crucial role in the initiative through a $23,000 research grant awarded from the Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

A section of Antarctica now bears the name of a University of Kansas professor and alumnus. The U.S. Board on Geographic Names announced it has registered the “Gogineni Subglacial Trench,” which acknowledges the contributions of School of Engineering Distinguished Professor Prasad Gogineni. The subglacial trench sits in proximity to landmarks with highly recognized names such as the Darwin Mountains and the Queen Elizabeth Mountain Range.

A researcher at the University of Kansas is part of a team to uncover strong evidence of brood-care parenting strategy in 450-million-year-old crustaceans — the oldest verification of ovarian-to-juvenile brood care in the fossil record. The new species of ostracod exhibiting brood care, which the team named Luprisca incuba, are held at Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History and were collected in central New York state.

inding renewable energy sources to sustain the environment and the economy is one of the major challenges of the 21st century. Wai-Lun Chan, assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, has received a prestigious award from the National Science Foundation to fund research that could help find such viable low-cost renewable energy, while teaching children and adults about the importance of renewable energy.

A team of researchers from the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) at the University of Kansas has received a grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation to develop technology that better maps and tracks the conditions within glaciers and at the bottom of fast-flowing ice sheets.

The Environmental Studies Program at the University of Kansas has entered into a partnership with Instituto Sustentar, a nongovernmental organization based in Brazil headed by KU alumnus Douglas Trent. The arrangement will facilitate travel, study and research in Brazil by investigators and students from KU, and also help to educate local residents and a generation of Brazilian schoolchildren about the significance of the environment of the Pantanal

The Kansas Geological Survey at the University of Kansas has been awarded a $650,000 grant from the company XRI Geophysics to improve on technologies used to detect underground voids and faults, to determine the fitness of earthen dams and levees, and in other endeavors.

A hidden aquifer the size of Ireland recently discovered within the ice layers of a glacier in Greenland could hold the key to better understanding how annual melting at the ice surface could affect sea level rise. The Dec. 22 issue of the prestigious scientific journal Nature details the existence of a significant amount of melt water stored in old compacted snow, known as firn. Radar technology developed by researchers at the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) at the University of Kansas played a key role in identifying and confirming the previously undetected pool of water within the ice sheet.

Land use by past generations of humans imprints a legacy on the landscape, even decades after an ecosystem may appear to have recovered. Now, Sharon Billings, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Kansas, has earned a five-year, $545,520 grant from the National Science Foundation to participate in the establishment of a “Critical Zone Observatory” in Union, S.C., to study how an ecosystem that once was transformed for agricultural production continues to be influenced by that usage long after the activity has ceased. The work will take place at the Calhoun Experimental Forest.

Researchers at the Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis (CEBC) at the University of Kansas recently received a four-year, $4.4 million federal grant as part of the Networks for Sustainable Molecular Design and Synthesis program. It is one of only four such awards made this year by the National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Kansas Geological Survey (KGS) at the University of Kansas has received a $46,000 grant to preserve at-risk drilling records and rock cuttings that hold valuable information about oil and gas deposits in Kansas and clues to the Earth’s geologic history. Funded by the U.S. Geological Survey National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program, the grant will be used to process and electronically archive oil and gas records in the Data Resources Library at the main KGS office in Lawrence and to archive sample cuttings — bits of underground rock broken up during drilling and flushed up to the surface — at the KGS’s Wichita Well Sample Library.

University of Kansas geologists have synthesized the mineral dolomite at a low temperature without the aid of microorganisms — a feat that scientists have been trying to accomplish for almost a century. Announced in a paper published today in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), this work will eventually provide researchers with more accurate tools for understanding climate change and give geologists better methods for finding new sources of petroleum, said Jennifer Roberts, associate professor of geology and lead author of the paper.

A graduate student at the University of Kansas is the lead author on a recently published description of a new bird species, the Junin Tapaculo, found in the remote Andes Mountains of central Peru.

A three-year, $90,000 NASA fellowship will allow a University of Kansas School of Engineering graduate student to design tools that will help more precisely predict future sea level rise based on the impact of climate change on the polar ice sheets.


The website URL where information about sustainability research is available:
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Research inventory did not include the Med Center, as it was not included in the campus geographical footprint.

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.