"Mount Mercy's sustainability initiatives continue to thrive on campus, and we are proud to be a part of this next stage as we continue our efforts in creating a campus that is dedicated to one of the critical concerns of the Sisters of Mercy," says Colette Atkins, chair of the Sustainability Committee and assistant dean of adult accelerated programs.
AASHE enables higher education institutions to meet their sustainability goals by providing specialized resources, professional development, and a network of peer support. Membership covers every individual at an institution, so the entire campus community can take advantage of member benefits.
"We are delighted to have Mount Mercy University on board and participating in the campus sustainability community," said Paul Rowland, executive director of AASHE. "This shows a real commitment to playing a leadership role in some of the biggest challenges of our time, and provides the campus community with access to thousands of examples of best practices in campus sustainability."
AASHE hosts the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), a comprehensive campus sustainability rating system that enables institutions to measure their progress and learn from others. Utilizing STARS, Mount Mercy can select meaningful and appropriate pathways to sustainability while conserving valuable resources, combating global warming, and building healthier communities. AASHE also offers extensive online resources and discussion forums for professional development and sharing knowledge.
AASHE is one of two supporting organizations for the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment, of which Mount Mercy President Christopher Blake is a member.
In addition to this new initiative, Mount Mercy also recently named two first-ever Educating for Sustainability Fellows, Professor of Biology Neil Bernstein, Ph.D., and Professor of English Joy Ochs, Ph.D. As sustainability fellows, Bernstein and Ochs will work to implement several environmentally-aligned strategies for campus, including providing professional resources for faculty, organizing discussions that foster an awareness of environmental issues, and creating workshops and other learning opportunities focused on infusing sustainability components into Mount Mercy's curriculum.
For more information on Mount Mercy sustainability initiatives and other resources, follow Mount Mercy Sustainability on Twitter, @GreenMMU.