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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 Silver
Overall Score 58.11
Liaison Jennifer Kleindienst
Submission Date Dec. 1, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Wesleyan University
AC-10: Support for Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 4.00 Jennifer Kleindienst
Sustainability Coordinator
Finance and Administration
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an ongoing program to encourage students in multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct research in sustainability? :
Yes

A brief description of the student research program, including the incentives provided and any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

The College of the Environment offers internships for students to do research on projects directly concerned with Environmental Studies under the guidance of a faculty mentor during the summer, fall, and spring semesters . These internships are available to students across the entire University. The internship awards $4000 to successful applicants. Summer internships can be awarded to students doing research off campus and outside the Middletown area as long as there is a well-developed plan for faculty mentorship. In 2016, 20 summer grants were awarded; 16 of those were for on-campus research.

Earth & Environmental Sciences is a strong proponent for undergraduate research. Many students carry out research during both the academic year and the summer. They can receive academic credit for the research during the academic year. Oftentimes, research during the summer leads to a Senior Thesis the following academic year. Field work is emphasized throughout the department. Students also carry out smaller research projects in many of our classes (unusual to the Wesleyan sciences, many of our upper-level courses have associated labs, which allow for the time needed to do research). And all of our majors are required to take Senior Seminar, where they design original, field-based research projects. Over January break the whole class travels to some place warm to the collect the data needed for these projects (we have been going to Puerto Rico and Hawaii). And then students analyze, interpret, and present their projects during the spring semester. Some of the best projects over the years have been published in the Puerto Rican journal Acta Cientifica.


Does the institution have a program to encourage faculty from multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct research in sustainability topics?:
Yes

A brief description of the faculty research program, including the incentives provided and any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

Each year, the College of the Environment gathers a group of Wesleyan faculty, scholars of prominence from outside Wesleyan, and undergraduate students into a year-long academic Think Tank on a critical environmental issue. The aim of the Think Tank is not only to generate a deeper understanding of the thematic issue, but also to produce scholarly works that will influence national/international thinking and action on the issue. The Think Tank serves as a focal point for the global intellectual community concerned with the environment. Scholars and students in the think tank produce scholarly works by the end of the academic year.

Academic Affairs awards internal project grants to faculty for research. While these are not specifically environmentally-related, they have and continue to be awarded to faculty for sustainability projects.


Has the institution published written policies and procedures that give positive recognition to interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research during faculty promotion and/or tenure decisions?:
No

A brief description of the institution’s support for interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research, including any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

Wesleyan acknowledges and values interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research, but does not have formal policies that reflect this. Wesleyan prioritizes teaching, scholarship, and colleagueship. Individual departments determine tenure and promotion expectations. In addition, Wesleyan has prioritized the creation of multidisciplinary programs and colleges over the past decade.


Does the institution have ongoing library support for sustainability research and learning?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s library support for sustainability research, including any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

Wesleyan's Olin Library does not specifically collect resources on sustainability, it supports the research and teaching of Earth and Environmental Sciences and other departments that have sustainability as part of their discipline. Resources include:
- Guide to resources in E&ES: http://libguides.wesleyan.edu/content.php?pid=26790&sid=193665
- Indexes and Databases for E&ES:
http://libguides.wesleyan.edu/az.php?s=80975
- E&ES journals: http://wd5ka5yq6f.search.serialssolutions.com/?V=1.0&L=WD5KA5YQ6F&S=SC&C=11

In addition, Wesleyan's Science Library provides research and reference support for sustainability research, including library instruction and personal research sessions to students engaged in researching sustainable options.


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.