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Inspired by AASHE in the Steel City

When I first found out that we were going to Pittsburgh for the (now) annual Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) conference, several thoughts crossed my mind.  First, as always, I was excited to check out a new city.  Second, I thought that there might not be much to check out.  Visions of a ghost town caused by the abandonment of the steel industry (and now facing the threat of hydrofracking for natural gas), similar to towns in MI abandoned by car industry, flooded my mind. 

by Anna Mika, M.S., Ph.D., 2009-2012 Performance Tracking Fellow

Planning, Administration & Engagement

The Planning, Administration & Engagement (PAE) section of STARS covers the policy side of sustainability efforts on campus.  This includes: coordination and planning, diversity and affordability; human resources; investment; and public engagement.

The students in the CDAE 295 Sustainable Development Polciy class in the spring 2010 semester helped fill out most of the information for this section of STARS for their Service-Learning project.  The class was taught by Dr. Asim Zia.


This sub-category of STARS deals with the day-to-day activities at the University.  This includes: the building and operation of buildings; energy use including greenhouse gas emissions; dining services; ground work such as landscaping and snow removal; purchasing policies or guidelines; transportation to/from campus as well as on-campus; waste generation and composting; and water use.

Campus Sustainability Course (ENVS 187)

The Campus Sustainability course has been offered since spring 2005 through the Environmental Program.  First taught as a special topics course by various UVM staff and faculty members, it received a permanent course code of ENVS 187 in 2011.

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