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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 Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Gioia Thompson
Submission Date March 19, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

University of Vermont
IN-1: Innovation 1

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Walter Poleman
Associate Director
Field Naturalist Program
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome :

The Ecological Design Collaboratory is a new initiative at GreenHouse Residential Learning Community, jointly funded by the Henry David Thoreau Foundation and the Rubenstein School of Environment & Natural Resources at the University of Vermont. At the heart of this initiative is the goal of providing several hundred undergraduates from a diversity of majors with an introduction to place-based ecological design and opportunities to practice the hands-on skills needed to bring their projects to fruition. Through mentorship by UVM faculty members, upper-level students, and community partners, students acquire the skills needed to design projects and initiatives that feature the local resources—both natural and cultural—of Burlington and the Lake Champlain Basin.

A seminal element of the Ecological Design Collaboratory is the The LivingPlace Design Competition: "Creating a Crossroads for Community Ecological Design." This design competition invited participants from around the world to create place-based ecological designs for one of three different sites in Burlington, VT around the themes of Food, Water, and People. The three sites chosen for the design competition were the Burlington Waterfront, Burlington High School, and University of Vermont Greenhouse Residential Learning Community. The competition was created by students in the UVM course Catalyzing Ecological Design, co-instructed by architects Diane Gayer and Tyler Kobick. LivingPlace encouraged the linkage of student-initiated projects with the sustainability needs of the Burlington community. Competitors were tasked with creating a holistic design submission that integrated storm-water management, sustainable food production, and community engagement. In the end, 52 teams from around the world representing over 200 people participated in the design competition. On February 22, 2014 the top three winners were announced after careful consideration by a jury of architects, ecological designers, ecologists, and land managers.


A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
The website URL where information about the innovation 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.