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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 Platinum
Overall Score 85.51
Liaison Jennifer Andrews
Submission Date July 27, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of New Hampshire
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Miriam Nelson
Director
Sustainability Institute
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the municipal/local level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the municipal/local level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

In 2016 and 2017, UNH acted as an intervener regarding the electric utility, Eversource's, proposed "Seacoast Reliability Project"—an initiative to run new transmission lines through the campus, town, and—using a relatively unusual underwater drilling technique called "jet-plowing"—underneath the Great Bay. UNH, working in close partnership with local officials, has pressed Eversource to ensure that it is undertaking the project in a way that will have no negative ecological impact but will improve the overall stability and capacity of the local grid. For more see http://www.fosters.com/news/20160616/durham-unh-seek-key-role-in-energy-project , https://www.eversource.com/Content/nh/about/major-projects-infrastructure/new-hampshire-transmission-projects/seacoast-reliability-project and https://www.ci.durham.nh.us/administration/eversource-seacoast-reliability-project

In addition, UNH contributed to and endorsed the findings of the New Hampshire Coastal Hazards and Risk Commission's Science and Technical Advisory Report, which makes the case that state and local officials must take action immediately to prepare for and adapt to future climate change impacts in coastal New Hampshire, and lays out 35 recommendations and associated actions for municipalities, state agencies, and state legislators to use for planning guidance. For example, it states "A building or facility with an anticipated lifespan beyond 2050 should be constructed today: 1) for the highest sea-level rise scenario of 6.6 feet (the most protective approach); or 2) for 2 feet of future sea-level rise—but designed to allow modifications sometime in the future to protect against 3.9 or 6.6 feet of sea-level rise.

UNH also helps to coordinate the Natural Resources Outreach Coalition (NROC) and Climate Adaptation Work-group (CAW) two regional (coastal watershed towns) community assistance programs partnering with state and federal conservation and environmental agencies (NH Coastal Program, NH DES, EPA Region 1, Great Bay NEER, NH F&G), regional planning commissions, and NGOs (Nature Conservancy, PREP, land trusts) to advocate for and promote greater local climate preparedness.

Finally, UNH is part of a committee coordinated by the Department of Resources and Economic Development focused on helping to develop an aerospace cluster in the Seacoast. This is the municipal counterpart to the New Hampshire Aerospace Defense Consortium (which consists of industry representatives).


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

When the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission was considering changes to New Hampshire's net metering laws in 2016 and 2017, UNH provided testimony to argue for the continuation and expansion of progressive energy policies that would incentivize more adoption of distributed generation by organizations as well as individuals across the state. (See meeting notes from Feb 2016 at https://sustainableunh.unh.edu/energy-task-force-meetings)

In addition, as representatives of UNH, faculty and staff participate in numerous advocacy or policy-related initiatives to promote the adoption of policies that will increase sustainability outcomes across the state. The following are examples of state level initiatives with significant UNH engagement:

• Mike Sciabarrasi contributes current use values for agriculture to the NH Current Use Board, NH Department of Revenue Administration.

• Alan Eaton is on the NH Arbovirus Task Force, headed by NH Department of Health and Human Services.

• Michal Lunak and Steve Turaj serve on NH Dairy Practices Committee, which is under the auspices of the NH Department of Agriculture.

• Cheryl Smith serves on the Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS) Committee with NH Department of Agriculture, Plant Industry Division.

• John Porter serves on the NH Milk Sanitation Board, NH Department of Public Health.

• George Hamilton serves on the NH Department of Environmental Services Drought Management Committee.

• George Hamilton and Alan Eaton serve on the Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS) Committee with NH Department of Agriculture, Plant Industry Division.

• Sarah Smith serves on the Governor’s Economic Development Advisory Committee.

• Charlie French serves on the New Hampshire Rural Affairs Commission, whose charge is two identify strategies and resources for improving the economy and the rural parts of the state. The commission was formed in 2015 by an act of legislation and the bill was signed by the Governor.

• Carolyn Sweet and Molly Donovan are leading the stakeholder engagement efforts for the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Committee for Sullivan County. This is for the development of and economic development district, which requires the creation of a plan that is submitted to the US Economic Development Administration.

• Karen Bennett represents UNHCE on the NH State Forestry Leadership Team, Division of Forests and Lands, Department of Resources and Economic Development. She also serves on the NH Forestry Advisory Board for that same agency: Authorized under RSA 227-I:5, the New Hampshire Forest Advisory Board (FAB) advises the Division of Forests and Lands on "factors affecting the use, ownership, and management of forest resources." Karen is also is state coordinator of the NH Forest Stewardship Program and the Natural Resources Conservation Program under USDA Forest Service.

• Dode (Glen) Gladders is UNH’s CE representative on the multiagency (NH DES, NH Dept of Ag, USFW, USDA NRCS) NH Invasive Species Council.

• Mary Tebo Davis sits on the Community Forestry Council. The mission of the New Hampshire Community Forestry Program is to promote the stewardship of urban and rural forest landscapes to enhance the quality of life in New Hampshire communities. It is a subcommittee of the NH FAB listed above coordinated under the NH Division of Forests and Lands.

• Andy Fast is the UNH and UNH CE representative to the NH Prescribed Fire Council made up of NH state agencies (NH DES, NH DFL), NH Dept of Safety, federal (USDA FS, US EPA, USDA NRCS), NGO (Nature Conservancy, SPNHF) and local firefighters. The Council’s mission is to encourage and coordinate efforts for the use of prescribed fires to maintain biodiversity, protect unique and endangered species and optimize critical wildlife habitat.

• Shane Bradt serves on the NH Lakes and Rivers Advisory Committee representing UNH coordinated by NH Forestry the NH Department of Environmental Services. He also serves on the New England Regional Cyanobacteria Monitoring Program lead by EPA New England (Region 1) that is coordinating federal, state, academic and citizen science efforts to monitor blue green bacteria blooms and water quality conditions.

• Erik Chapman is integral to the NH Department of Fish and Game’s Tern Restoration Program Advisory Group. Erik also is consistently working on projects and representing UNH that has him closely working with the National Marine Fishery Service (NMFS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the national level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the national level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

UNH leadership signed on to the ad hoc coalition of institutions concerned about Federal funding for the Geosciences (NSF, NOAA, and NASA). Similar to 2015, many expect federal funding for Geosciences research and education to be subjected to harsh budget reductions in the context of the FY 2018 Executive Branch and Congressional budget process. In an effort to inform policymakers on Capitol Hill, a small ad hoc group has developed testimony that will be submitted to the House and Senate Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittees. We elected to focus on three themes: national security, economic competitiveness, and public safety. We used examples from information collected via colleagues, NAS reports, agency documentation, and from other sources.

US Senator Shaheen and President Huddleston wrote an op-ed about the importance of federal research funding and concerns over Trump’s budget which would cut R+D http://www.unionleader.com/Another-View-Jeanne-Shaheen-and-Mark-Huddleston-Trumps-budget-would-threaten-innovation-in-NH-05282017

UNH President Huddleston and Provost Targett signed on to Truth Seeking, Democracy, and Freedom of Thought and Expression - A Statement by Robert P. George and Cornel West http://jmp.princeton.edu/statement

Over the past year, UNH supported APLU’s position and public statements on DACA. UNH issued this statement supporting DACA http://www.unh.edu/main/university-statement-daca-executive-order

In addition, as representatives of UNH, leadership, faculty, and staff participate in numerous advocacy or policy related initiatives. The following are examples of national level initiatives with significant UNH engagement:

• George Hamilton serves on USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Technical Committee and the USDA Farm Service Agency Committee (representing NH).

• Seth Wilner and Olivia Saunders are NH State Professional Development Coordinators on the USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Professional Development Committee.

• Amy Ouellette serves the Extension Director Representative on the USDA Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Administrative Council. She also serves on the Executive Committee.

• Charlie French is Outgoing Chair of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development (which is one of 4 USDA-funded Regional Rural Development Centers).

• Tim Fleury is our UNH CE representative to the Cost-Share and Technical Service Provider Training Committee of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

• Jeff Schloss serves on the National Water Quality Monitoring Council, appointed by the Secretary of the Interior. The council is co-lead by the US Geological Survey and US Environmental Protection Agency and encourages coordination of state, regional, and national water monitoring efforts from government, academia, NGOs and citizen scientists and to encourage collaborative state and regional monitoring councils. He also serves as UNH’s representative on the Nutrient Standards Subcommittee of the NH Water Quality Advisory Board coordinated by NH DES.

• Fred Borman is a member of the USDA Forest Service Urban Forest Strike Team at the regional and national level that trains urban arborists and foresters on how to plan and respond to natural and human caused catastrophes (hurricanes, tornadoes, intense storms, etc).

• Alyson Eberhardt represents NH on the Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel that includes federal (US ACE, US FW, US EPA) and state agency representation. Their mission is to protect the marine and freshwater resources of the Northeast from invasive aquatic nuisance species.

• Larry Mayer is on numerous policy boards, including the U.S. Arctic Research Commission—advising the President on Arctic research issues; Task Force Ocean, advising CNO, CNR, and Oceanographer of Navy; Ocean Research Advisory Panel, advising Secretary of Defense and National Ocean Council on ocean related issues; Hydrographic Services Review Panel, advising NOAA Administrator on Hydrographic issues; and, the Ocean Studies Board (chair), advising National Academy of Sciences on ocean-related issues.


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the international level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the international level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

In 2017 UNH signed on to the #WeAreStillIn commitment, which calls for the preservation of US participation in the international Paris Climate Accords.

To express concerns over President Trump’s immigration travel ban, UNH signed on to this letter (https://acenet.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_7QCBp3ERNVJkytD). UNH then shared this letter and our concerns with the NH Congressional Delegation. UNH also issued a statement to the campus on the travel ban (https://www.unh.edu/main/president-provost-address-new-executive-order-immigration) and held a campus forum to discuss the topic with representatives from all four NH Congressional offices in attendance.

In addition, as representatives of UNH, leadership, faculty, and staff participate in numerous advocacy or policy related initiatives. The following are examples of international level initiatives with significant UNH engagement:

• UNH President Huddleston has signed Second Nature’s President’s Climate Leadership Commitment. http://secondnature.org/climate-guidance/the-commitments/. President Huddleston also signed onto the Climate Reality Project with a commitment to use 100% renewable energy for electricity by 2020. https://www.climaterealityproject.org/

• Larry Mayer co-chairs NOAA's Ocean Exploration Advisory Working Group and chairs the National Academy of Sciences Ocean Studies Board. Among many tasks, the commission makes recommendations to the Interagency Committee to develop international scientific cooperation in the Arctic.

• Chris Glass leads the World Wildlife Foundation committee to save endangered Vaquita. His appointment, announced by Mexico’s National Institute of Fisheries and the World Wildlife Fund, follows a bilateral agreement by President Obama and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to protect the Vaquita.

• David Burdick recently served on a National Academy of Sciences panel that recommended best practices for monitoring and evaluating ecological restoration activities in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years (if applicable):
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A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):

UNH does not make any.


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.