by Travis Hendryx, Office of Public Relations

SPOKANE, Washington- Betsy Evans and Dr. Bibiana Gutierrez recently spoke during presentations at the annual Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) conference held October 27 in Spokane, Washington.

Evans, Education and Outreach Librarian, and Gutierrez, Assistant Professor of Psychology, discussed Advancing Sustainability in Conservative Climates: Top-Down and Bottom-Up Approaches during a joint presentation.

Evans then presented Using Sustainability Principles to Impact Library Education: Information Literacy, Resources and Services during the poster session at this year’s conference.

“I was grateful to attend and for the opportunity to meet sustainability professionals at different types of higher ed institutions,” said Evans. “We were able to connect with some Texans who will be integral in providing support as we move forward with setting goals for sustainability at Sul Ross.”

“I look forward to keeping those connections open as we work on our strategic planning third-year targets,” she said.

Sustainability, as defined by environmentalscience.org, is the study of how natural systems function, remain diverse and produce everything they need for the ecology to remain in balance.

According to its sustainability mission, Sul Ross State University became a member of the AASHE in 2017 “in order to embark on the path of implementing a sustainability performance measurement framework for the university.”

The Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System, or STARS, is a rubric created by AASHE to effectively evaluate institutions’ sustainability efforts.

“STARS is a transparent framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance,” said Dr. Jeanne Qvarnstrom, Assistant Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness.

“It serves as an in-depth reporting tool that helps us to strategically identify and prioritize the environment, social and economic benefits of sustainable practices at Sul Ross,” she said.

For more information on the conference, contact Evans at (432) 837-8312/betsy.evans@sulross.edu or Gutierrez at (432) 837-8163/bibiana.gutierrez@sulross.edu.

For more information on sustainability at Sul Ross State University, visit blogs.sulross.edu/sustainability/.