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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating Systemâ„¢ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 48.18
Liaison Alistair Hall
Submission Date July 27, 2011
President's Letter Download

STARS v1.0

Vassar College
PAE-20: Inter-Campus Collaboration on Sustainability

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Jeff Walker
College Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution collaborate with other colleges and universities to support and help build the campus sustainability community?:
Yes

A brief summary of papers, guides, presentations, and other resources the institution has developed to share their sustainability experience with other institutions:

2010 "Sustainability and the Farm at Vassar College." Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences Annual Meeting. Portland Oregon, June 16-20 (presentation).

2010 "The Independent Dutchess Energy Alliance." Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences Annual Meeting. Portland Oregon, June 16-20 (presentation).

2008 Lucy Johnson, Connie Kustas, Larry O'Connell, Zywia Wojnar. "Hudson Valley Mitigation and Adaptation Module," Environmental Consortium Conference, January 25 (presentation).

2008 Jeff Walker, SWAPR - Stopping Waste and Promoting Recycling, NECSC meeting, Princeton University, October 8.


The names of local, state, regional, national, and other campus sustainability organizations or consortia in which the institution participates and/or is a member:

NYCSHE (New York Coalition for Sustainability in Higher Education)
Environmental Consortium of Hudson Valley Colleges and Universities
Hudson River Environmental Society
CEDD (Conference of Environmental Deans and Directors)
AESS (Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences)
AASHE
NECSC (Northeast Consortium for Campus Sustainability)


A brief summary of additional ways the institution collaborates with other campuses to advance sustainability :

Vassar College collaborates with other colleges and universities to help build campus sustainability through the New York Coalition for Sustainability in Higher Education (which we helped to start), the Environmental Consortium of Hudson Valley Colleges and Universities, the Mellon grant, and through single visits by our sustainability coordinator and our faculty to other campuses to share information about best practices.

New York Coalition for Sustainability in Higher Education (NYCSHE) began with a small meeting at Vassar of sustainability coordinators from nearby institutions, but has grown to include over 50 sustainability coordinators from across the state. We meet in person once a year, and by conference phone call approximately two other times. Our meetings often include a tour of sustainability projects at the host institution, and then roundtable discussions about sustainability best practices at each institution. At our last meeting NYCSHE adopted a charter and Jeff Walker, Vassar College Sustainability Coordinator, was elected as one of the directors. NYCSHE is looking forward to helping host the NECSC meeting in New York State in 2013 (see below).

Vassar faculty were instrumental in establishing the Environmental Consortium of Hudson Valley Colleges and Universities, and have been active in its governance. The consortium coordinates environmental programs and interests at over 50 higher education institutions in the Hudson River Watershed and its annual conferences often focus on sustainability issues, such as Greening the Campus: Exploring Practices, Curriculum, and Management in Higher Education 4th Annual Conference November 16-17, 2006 and Advancing Our Regional Foodshed: The Role of Higher Education 7th Annual Meeting October 15-16, 2010. Both Vassar faculty and students have served and are serving on the Consortium’s Steering Committee, and a Vassar faculty member is currently chair of the steering committee.
The website for the Environmental Consortium is http://environmentalconsortium.org/

Vassar faculty member Mary Ann Cunningham was one of the primary organizers of a traveling seminar on sustainability in Denmark and Germany in June, 2011. The purpose of this seminar is to observe and learn about sustainability initiatives in Europe, and to develop conversations and collaboration among institutions, as we explore how our institutions and our classes can learn from those examples. The trip included 18 faculty members drawn from the 7 schools in the eight-institution cluster, and was funded by the Faculty Career Enhancement Project of Mellon Foundation.

Vassar's sustainability coordinator has made several visits to local colleges (Hamilton College, Bard College) to learn about sustainability practices at those institutions. After both visits the coordinator invited a representative from the college to visit Vassar to tour our facilities and to give a presentation about their college's programs. The coordinator attended the NECSC (Northeast Consortium for Campus Sustainability) meeting at Princeton University in October, 2008 and presented on our end-of-the-year material collection program (SWAPR; see OP credit 8). He also attended the NECSC meeting at McGill University in October, 2010, attending a tour of the power plant and utility corridors of the university during which he was able to compare notes with counterparts from McGill as well as several New England institutions.

Members of the Sustainability Committee have also been active in inter-campus collaborations through presentations they have made. A particularly active member, Lucy Johnson, reports the following activities:

2010 "Sustainability and the Farm at Vassar College." Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences Annual Meeting. Portland Oregon, June 16-20 (presentation).

2010 "The Independent Dutchess Energy Alliance." Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences Annual Meeting. Portland Oregon, June 16-20 (presentation).

2008 Lucy Johnson, Connie Kustas, Larry O'Connell, Zywia Wojnar. "Hudson Valley Mitigation and Adaptation Module," Environmental Consortium Conference, January 25 (presentation).

Lucy Johnson is also Chair of the Board of the Hudson River Environmental Society, and Chair of the Steering Committee of the Environmental Consortium. She attended the AASHE (American Association for Sustainability in Higher Education) Workshop on Introducing Sustainability into the Curriculum, Jan. 9-11, '08 with Kathleen Hart, and the NCSE (National Council for Science and the Environment) and CEDD (Conference of Environmental Deans and Directors) Meetings in Washington, D. C., January 16-18, 2010 as Vassar's official representative. At that time she helped initiate CEDD's Curricular Collaboration Committee (CCC). In July, 2011 she attended the CEDD and CCC Meetings, Portland, OR. Lucy attended the Mellon Consortium Workshop on "Sustainability in the Curriculum," at Pomona College, June 28-29, 2010, and, with Candice Lowe Swift, co-organized a Mellon Faculty Conversation entitled "Thinking about Food." during Spring, 2010, and the 2010-2011 academic year.


The website URL where information about cross-campus collaboration is available:
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The information presented here is self-reported and has not been verified by AASHE or a third party. If you believe any of this information is erroneous, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Accuracy Inquiry Form.