The College of Arts and Sciences and Sustainability
The College of Arts and Sciences upholds a standard of sustainability in a variety of ways. Our faculty and students pursue an active and interdisciplinary approach to sustainability research. Below are ways in which our college is engaging with sustainable initiatives in their research and work. For more information about how each department is involved with sustainability please see individual tabs to the left.
In the first of four podcasts on sustainability at Appalachian State University, Drs. Shea Tuberty, Todd Cherry and Dinesh Paudel, each engaged in research and teaching around economics, equity or environmental issues, share opinions on what’s hopeful—and what’s not—for our university, the Boone community, our state and our world.
Gary Pandolifi's research involves assessing the impacts of human driven land-use modifications and climate change on the critically endangered Appalachian Elktoe mussel (Alasmidonta raveneliana). He is employing legacy land use and water quality data obtained from state and federally agencies to assess significant changes in these parameters over the past 30 years.
The Integrated Climate Research and Education: Central Andes Precipitation Project (ICECAP) is a five-year project that was started in the Spring of 2014 with funding from National Science Foundation CAREER grant program awarded to Dr. Baker Perry from the Department of Geography and Planning. ICECAP promotes collaborative interdisciplinary research, education, and outreach activities designed to advance scientific understanding of the multi-scale atmospheric processes responsible for precipitation delivery in the tropical Andes Mountains.
"I want to be in environmental science, because I care very much about the world we live in and I want to do everything I can to alleviate our pressures on it." - Steven '19, B.S. Environmental Science, minor Geology
The protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), also known as the Bakken Pipeline, led by citizens of the Standing Rock Lakota Sioux Tribe, presented Appalachian State University’s Dr. Dana Powell with an unexpected opportunity to further her research around indigenous land claims and energy infrastructure during fall 2016. Due in large part to the protests, the United States Army Corps of Engineers decided Dec. 4 to block, for now, the building of an oil pipeline near the reservation.
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) campus index for 2017 was released. The Sustainable Campus Index recognizes top-performing colleges and universities overall by institution type and in 17 sustainability impact areas, as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). The Index also highlights innovative and high-impact initiatives from institutions that submitted STARS reports.
Appalachian State University ranked number two in curriculum as one of the top performers at equipping students to lead society to a sustainable future by conducting faculty development in sustainability and offering courses, degree programs and other learning opportunities in sustainability such as living laboratory initiatives, immersive experiences and sustainability literacy.
Appalachian tied at number 3 with California State University, Sacramento in Buildings, which covers maintenance and operations of existing buildings as well as new building design and construction.
Appalachian also ranked number one overall for masters level institutions, which includes colleges and universities that award at least 50 master’s degrees and fewer than 20 doctoral degrees annually.
To view this report, visit AASHE.
"Our presence on this planet will leave the smallest impact and be the most successful, long and short term, if we can work as communities towards energy and agricultural sustainability, while working to sustain each other by promoting physical/emotional health and through positive communication." - Hannah, '17 B.S. Geology, Quantitative Geoscience
During the month of June, the Department of Mathematical Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences at Appalachian State University welcomed faculty from around the world to Reconnect, a conference designed to evaluate mathematical and computational tools for energy efficiency and reliability of data centers.
How does a team like this get started?
Student-led and student-driven, Team Sunergy describes itself as a “joint venture between the Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment in the College of Fine and Applied Arts and the Department of Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences.” The majors of the 12 team members fall predominantly into these two areas, but there are also team members from the Hayes School of Music and the Walker College of Business and the project has benefitted from every college at Appalachian.