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Research & Reports

2015 College of Charleston Zero Waste Report (Fall 2016)

Authors: Jennifer Jones, M.S.; Craig Bennett, MPA (pending); Emma Bush, B.S.

The Zero Waste Report details the progress that the College of Charleston has made towards achieving its Zero Waste goal. Contained within it is information on the initiatives that the Office of Sustainability has undertaken to reach this goal, as well as an update on where the college currently stands on its material diversion rates. 

Suggested Citation: Jennifer Jones, Craig Bennett, and Emma Bush (2015). College of Charleston Zero Waste Report. Charleston, SC: Office of Sustainability.

2014 College of Charleston Campus Emissions Report (Spring 2015)

Authors: P. Brian Fisher, PhD; Jennifer Jones, M.S., and Lydia Nickolas, B.S.

This is a report of the College's emission footprint based on FY2013 data. This complies with the ACUPCC (President's Climate Commitment) in establishing a transparent and comprehensive audit of the College's footprint. The final section suggests strategic priorities for taking action to reduce this footprint.

Suggested Citation: Fisher, P. Brian, Jennifer Jones and Lydia Nickolas (2014). College of Charleston 2014 Campus Emissions Report. Charleston, SC: Office of Sustainability.

Gaps in Sustainability Education: The impact of Higher Education Coursework on Perceptions of Sustainability (Fall 2015)

Authors: P. Brian Fisher, PhD; Erin McAdams PhD

This paper aims to examine how both the amount and type of coursework impact students’ conceptualizations of sustainability. Previous research demonstrates that academic coursework influences students’ environmental attitudes, yet few studies have examined the impact of coursework on how students conceptualize “sustainability”.

Suggested Citation: P. Brian Fisher Erin McAdams , (2015),"Gaps in sustainability education", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 16 Iss 4 pp. 407 - 423

Developing Whole-Systems Competency in Higher Education to Meet Emerging Market Demand and Societal Sustainability (Spring 2014)

Authors: P. Brian Fisher, PhD

We live in an age of increasing complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity, which poses formidable challenges across the breadth of human societies. These challenges can be seen as three interlocking crises: 1.) unsustainable systems that lead to increasingly complex societal needs; 2.) business and organizational changes that result in new demand for specific skills; and 3.) a rigid, linear model for higher education. This article suggests that because the crises are synergistically interconnected, reform in higher education will also help address the other challenges. An approach to education based on whole-systems competency (WSC) as an integrated platform to general education and traditional disciplinary training, would promote building the skills necessary to meet growing market demands (employability), which can concomitantly meet increasing societal needs (sustainability). Based on this premise, the College of Charleston surveyed local organizations in Charleston, South Carolina, to test organizational behavior on sustainability. Original survey data indicated that recent college graduates are deficient in specific skills that are increasingly demanded by employers. Based on the results of this research, the Office of Sustainability (OOS) at the College of Charleston created a program to enhance professional development and leadership to address some of the skill deficiencies revealed by the survey. While such programs can augment needed critical skills, integrating WSC as a systemic part of the educational process will require additional program changes and broader institutional support.

Suggested Citation: P. Brian Fisher. Sustainability: The Journal of Record. February 2014, 7(1): 54-62. doi:10.1089/SUS.2014.9816.

2012 College of Charleston Campus Emissions Report (Spring 2012)

Authors: P. Brian Fisher, PhD; Jennifer Jones, M.S., and Brett Taysom, M.S.

This is a report of the College's emission footprint based on FY2011 data. This complies with the ACUPCC (President's Climate Commitment) in establishing a transparent and comprehensive audit of the College's footprint. The final section suggests strategic priorities for taking action to reduce this footprint.

Suggested Citation: Fisher, P. Brian, Jen Jones and Brett Taysom (2012). College of Charleston 2012 Campus Emissions Report. Charleston, SC: Office of Sustainability.

2011 Campus Transportation Study: Analysis of Commuting Habits and Recommendations (September 2011)

Authors: P. Brian Fisher, PhD; Erin McAdams, PhD

Transportation and commuting are significant aspects of both the logistics of campus life and in attempting to transition toward sustainability. This report examines the attitudes and behavior guiding those who commute to the College of Charleston, based on data gathered from a campus‐wide survey conducted in spring 2011 for the Campus Greenhouse Gas Audit. We analyze the data to explain trends in commuting behavior at CofC, from which we propose policy recomendations.

Suggested Citation: Fisher, P. Brian and Erin McAdams (2011). College of Charleston 2011 Campus Transportation Study: Analysis of Commuting Habits and Recommendations. Charleston, SC: Office of Sustainability.