BOONE - Recently Appalachian State University was awarded the Climate Leadership Award, a recognition given by Second Nature and the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Center for Green Schools.
Second Nature Climate Leadership Award recognized Appalachian as innovative and advanced in our leadership efforts towards sustainability, climate mitigation, and resiliency based on advances in innovation, opportunities for sustainability and student preparedness "with relation to sustainability and climate action".
This is no mean feat, considering the size of Appalachian and the extremely comprehensive criteria set by the awarding institutions. It is interesting to note that Appalachian also received one of the highest rankings on sustainability by the STARS report, or the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™, established by AASHE, a non-profit whose mission is to encourage universities to act as global leaders in sustainability.
At Appalachian, sustainability is infused throughout programs of study, extracurricular experiences, and perhaps, even in the pre-existing values of students who choose to come here.
The College of Arts and Sciences has a number of sustainably oriented degrees and projects throughout all twenty-one of the academic units. To demonstrate and track this, the College of Arts and Sciences put together a list of sustainably oriented programs of study throughout the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural and Mathematical Sciences.
Within the Humanities, the Department of Anthropology boasts a concentration in Social Practice and Sustainability. The History Department addresses environmentalism and sustainable practice with a focus on cultural sustainability, and even the Philosophy and Religion Department incorporates environmental justice, economic justice and social justice within its curriculum.
The Appalachian Atmospheric Interdisciplinary Research Program (AppalAIR) is an interdisciplinary air quality and climate research initiative comprising faculty members from the College of Arts and Sciences, including Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geology, Geography and Planning, and Computer Science. Their work involves subjects such as air pollution formation and transport, the relationship of pollution and natural aerosol sources to a changing climate, and their impacts on regional ecosystems, weather, and climate.
Not all modes of study incorporating sustainability at Appalachian can be expounded upon, but clearly, Appalachian and the College of Arts and Sciences has a serious dedication to sustainability. It's wonderful that the rest of the nation is finally taking notice.