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University Sustainability Programs Survey

Policy makers at all levels of governance increasingly look to scientists and engineers to provide guidance in creating sustainable societies. In response, the science and engineering communities are undertaking practical, place-based research to provide decision-support for addressing sustainability challenges. Within academia, this research is increasingly emerging as its own field of study: Science and Technology for Sustainability, or Sustainability Science. There seems to be, however, little coherence in the development of this field across institutions and international borders. Whether a program is well established and funded or just being conceived, all of these sustainability science programs have faced, or are facing, challenges and barriers to success. Sharing experiences with these barriers and possible approaches for overcoming them is a critical prerequisite for large-scale development of this field.

To help encourage this dialogue, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is calling on its international, multidisciplinary network of scientists and engineers who are engaged in sustainability science at the university-level. Through gathering empirical data about the nature of these programs, and convening focused discussions, we hope to stimulate a dialogue on how university based programs might develop and interact, not only in the U.S., but globally.

Since November 2006, directors from 49 programs have participated. Their survey responses are available on the Forum on Science and Innovation for Sustainable Development. These responses also formed the basis for a Roundtable session at the AAAS 2007 Annual Meeting, where participants discussed approaches to tackling common challenges that plague these programs.

Please assist us in this continuing effort by completing the form below. Most fields are optional, but we encourage you to provide as much information as possible.

If you'd like more information on this or other AAAS sustainability efforts, please email us at .

Please enter primary contact information into the below fields. We will use this information to correspond with you about your submission. Those fields marked with a red asterik are required.
1. Title
2. First Name*
3. Last Name*
4. Department
5. University
6. Mailing Address
7. Phone
8. Email*
The below section seeks to gather key information on the scope and breadth of University based programs in existence. Note that even small programs are encouraged to submit information and indications of programmatic size are for reference purposes only.
9. Program Title
10. Program Type
11. Duration
12. Program URL #1
13. Program URL #2
14. Program URL #3
15. Students Enrolled Since Inception
16. Students Currently Enrolled
17. Methodology
The below text boxes are designed to accept formatted text and hyperlinks from Web pages and word processors documents. Please feel free to copy and paste any existing programmatic information into these boxes as appropriate.

18. General Description
What is the standard description of this program?

19. University
For collaborative programs, what is the primary host University?

20. Department
What is the primary Department or Departments that oversee this program?

21. Other Departments
What other Departments (if any) are involved?

22. Description of Academic Goals
What academic goals does this program seek to meet? Are these goals specific to the University, drawn from broader guidelines (for example the Millennium Development Goals), or some combination?

23. Description of Funding Sources
In general terms, is this program funded by private funds or government grants? Has funding been adequate, a struggle, or somewhere in between?

24. Description of Challenges
What are the primary challenges of this program? Methodological? Financial? Other?

25. Description of Successes
What are some of the greatest successes of the program thus far? Has it contributed to significant improvements in sustainability, either from a policy or research perspective?

26. Description of Collaborations
What are some of the primary collaborations at work within this program? Are these collaborations within the institution or with other institutions? Is the collaboration primarily domestic or international?

27. Near-term goal
Is there a near-term (five years, one year, other?) goal for this effort? If so, what is the goal?

28. Wished-for Partners
Are their certain collaborations, other than with funders, that could perhaps greatly increase the effectiveness of the program?