Log In
  • 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 Silver
Overall Score 55.50
Liaison Alistair Hall
Submission Date July 22, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Vassar College
OP-11: Biodiversity

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Keri VanCamp
Farm Manager
Biology
"---" 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 mission of the Vassar Ecological Preserve, a 532-acre site adjacent to campus, is to protect and preserve the ecological diversity of the land to ensure that its educational value will be maintained in perpetuity. The Vassar Ecological Preserve promotes increased understanding and appreciation of the natural systems on the preserve through field-based education and research.


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:

We survey vegetation at 20 points in four habitat types on the preserve every 5 years. We also monitor birds (1998, 2011) and amphibians (2010). The Waterman Bird Club conducts annual bird counts. Hudsonia and the NYSDEC have also conducted assessments at our site.


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

Our preserve contains a number of wetlands that adjoin the Casperkill. We have identified calcaroius meadows, wet meadows, and forested wetlands. The calcarious meadows contain calcicoles, calcium loving plants. Upland meadows are in decline throughout the northeast. We have over 40 acres of this important grassland bird habitat. The NYSDEC has identified protected plants and threatened birds on our property.


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

The Vassar College Farm and Ecological Preserve is a 532 acre nature preserve.
On Campus, a wetland was restored along Casperkill behind Wimpfheimer Nursery School. The Patricia Bullet Collins ’42 boardwalk runs through a wetland beside the Fonteynkill and work is ongoing to remove invasive species and support the introduction of threatened species.


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.