The Sustainability Awards program at UNH seeks to celebrate and incentivize research and scholarship, curriculum development and teaching, campus initiatives and culture, and external engagement activities and achievements that best embody the principles and practices of sustainability. UNH is a national leader in sustainability and recognizes and raises the visibility of individuals and teams who are addressing sustainability issues across and beyond the university. From small and emergent, to large and complex, the Sustainability Awards shines a light on the full spectrum of actions that contribute to sustainability at and beyond UNH.
- Platinum: demonstrates exemplary work that explicitly addresses the concept of sustainability or a major sustainability challenge
- Gold: demonstrates outstanding work that explicitly addresses the concept of sustainability or a major sustainability challenge
- Silver: demonstrates excellent work that explicitly addresses the concept of sustainability or a major sustainability challenge
- Bronze: demonstrates emergent or promising work that explicitly addresses the concept of sustainability or a major sustainability challenge
- Lifetime Achievement: Recognizes significant multi-year body of work
- Recognizes staff nominees for their work in advancing sustainability
Ross Hansen, Director of Facilities and Planning, Shoals Marine Laboratory (SML)
Ross Hansen has been a champion of SML sustainability for well over a decade, having led the development of both the sustainability infrastructure on Shoals Island campus and developed sustainability engineering training programs. Under his leadership, the lab has reduced diesel use by 90%, decreased propane use by 60%, increased recycling and reduced energy use through dozens of power-saving projects across the center.
Institute on Disability
Through their work over more than three decades to improve knowledge, policy and practices related to the lives of people with disabilities and their families, the Institute on Disability has furthered sustainability outcomes such as reduced inequality, good health and well-being, infrastructure, and quality education. The IOD has demonstrated ongoing leadership, courage and persistence, for example with innovations like the new UNH-4U program, which is set to fundamentally change the trajectory of the lives of young people with intellectual disabilities, improving gainful competitive and integrated employment outcomes. IOD is making communities—including our own UNH community—more inclusive and welcoming places, where education and opportunity is available to all.
Staff Campus Culture and Operations Awards
Basic Needs Food Programs
Swipe it Forward, Cats' Cupboard, and Food Repurposing Project
Basic Needs Food Programs at UNH have been established to support UNH students and their academic success and well-being. These include "Swipe it Forward" meals through the dining halls, a food repurposing partnership with Gather, and most recently, the Cats' Cupboard, which is available to all UNH students, offering food and hygiene products.
Associate Field Specialist, Cooperative Extension
Olivia Saunders is a key leader in the NH FRSANS project (Farm & Ranch Stress Assistance Network) which aims to address the root causes of farmer stress and farmer suicide. The program connects farmers with mental health services while working to destigmatize mental health and mental wellbeing within agriculture. As part of this project, she has helped form peer-to-peer support networks including a BIPOC Farmer Network and a Queer Farmer Network in New Hampshire. Saunders has been a dedicated voice for equity and inclusion throughout UNH Extension, consistently highlighting the importance of this work in communications to the public as well as within the Extension organization itself.
Executive Director of Engagement and Faculty Development
Over the last several years, Dr. Couse has partnered with the UNH Sustainability Institute to ensure that all faculty, especially new faculty, are introduced to the concepts of sustainability and encouraged to integrate these concepts into their scholarship and teaching. Dr. Couse’s leadership of UNH’s Postdoctoral Diversity and Innovation Scholars program is helping to address the lack of diverse faculty, not only at UNH, but around the country by building a pipeline of future faculty which opens a pathway to the professoriate for highly talented, underrepresented postdoctoral scholars.
Educational Program Coordinator, Art and Art History, College of Liberal Arts
Ciara Wright is currently researching and building three machines for a new Plastics Design Lab which will create re-moldable flakes from cleaned and sorted plastic bottles, plates, and silverware. Wright’s concerns as an artist relate to the relationship between humans and the environment—how humans shape the environment and how in turn, the environment shapes human behavior.
Staff Engagement Awards
Executive Director of The Institute for Student Success
In addition to her day-to-day work advancing educational access and success for underrepresented student groups in her role as Executive Director of The Institute for Student Success, Dr. Pérez is serving as a spring 2022 SITC@UNH mentor for a student whose special project is organizing a World Climate Simulation Day to be hosted by TRIO Scholars (SSS) and the Sustainability Institute. Facilitated by Professor Cameron Wake, Josephine A. Lamprey Professor in Climate and Sustainability, and with community support from WM (Waste Management) and Climate Action NH! (LCV), the event will provide an invaluable high-impact sustainability learning opportunity.
Coastwise and Fellowship Program Leader, NH Sea Grant / UNH School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering
Lindsey has taught a groundbreaking course in Sustainable Fisheries for several years, each summer at Shoals Marine Laboratory. This unique experiential field class explores the theory and practice of fisheries sustainability through unique interactions with local fishermen and practitioners working in the Gulf of Maine.
COLSA Food Drive Challenge
Curtis Johnson, COLSA Finish Carpenter; Wendy Rose, Academic Department Program Manager, Natural Resources and the Environment; Jen Surina, Academic Department Program Manager, Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems; Kim Babbitt, Associate Dean, Natural Resources and the Environment; with support from Bob Mooney, Instrumentation Scientist Emeritus, Molecular, Cellular, and Biomedical Sciences and Kylie Hughes, Executive Assistant to the COLSA Dean.
For the second year in a row COLSA held a Food Drive Challenge at UNH to address food insecurity within our community by driving food and monetary donations to the New Hampshire Food Bank totaling the equivalent of 26,285 meals for food insecure individuals and families in the Granite State.
Campus Energy Outreach Initiative
UNH’s energy and utilities team, and specifically Matt L’Heureux and Dave Bowley, have gone above their typical responsibilities of maintaining a reliable, cost-effective and climate friendly energy system at UNH to tackle the challenge of more effectively engaging the University community in energy issues. Through training and mentorship of an undergraduate student, L’Heureux and Bowley have supported the implementation of an outreach and communications strategy focused on UNH’s energy systems and climate goals.
Staff Nominees: Sustainability Champions
Director, Environmental Health and Safety
Under Andy Glode’s leadership, UNH’s Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) office has begun moving UNH away from the use of “tracer guest tests” for lab commissioning at UNH. This is an innovation that will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions and institutional costs; it has the potential to do a better job in protecting the health of researchers—and to shift best practices across higher education for a significant long-term impact.
Associate Vice President for Facilities and Operations
Bill Janelle has served as chair of the UNH Energy Task Force (ETF) since arriving to UNH in 2015, and as co-chair of the Sustainability Task Force (STF) since its inception, stewarding UNH’s achievement of the third-ever AASHE STARS "Platinum" rating for any campus. With Janelle’s leadership and pragmatic, collaborative, solutions-oriented approach, the university met its first greenhouse gas reduction goal a year early.
In addition to frontline teams working to divert usable items from landfill via the Trash 2 Treasure program or recycling, Residential Housekeepers and Building Service Workers undertook a process to streamline supply inventory and organization to reduce or eliminate waste. Importantly, they are also the "eyes and ears" in buildings, often the first to see and report issues that directly contribute to the University's sustainability goals.
Marketing Events & Project Manager, Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics
Eileen Laskoski seeks out ways to make Paul College events more sustainable, including reducing paper waste and repurposing materials. Laskoski embodies the criteria of sustainability leadership in helping students, staff and faculty to consider sustainable ways of doing things, instead of sticking with the status quo.
Coordinator, Women’s and Gender Studies and the Global Racial and Social Inequality Lab
Avary Thorne is engaged by the most pressing issues facing us as a campus and a larger community. She brings creativity and collaboration to her efforts to promote interdisciplinary programming and initiatives. A prime example of this is her leadership of the Women’s and Gender Studies Social Justice Leadership cohort, work which led to improvements in UNH’s support for addressing student food insecurity.
Led by Angela Sweet and Rebecca Wintringer, the creation of a partnership between Housing, students and community partner Waysmeet Center, has led to the diversion of edible food normally thrown out during move out times, to be sent as donations to Waysmeet with the bonus of assisting students leaving UNH to think differently about food “waste”.
Expanding NH Green SnowPro Training to Provide Sustainable Winter Maintenance Education to NH’s Public Works Teams
As a "Green SnowPro (GSP)” Salt Applicator Certification program training partner with NH Department of Environmental Services (NHDES), the UNH Technology Transfer Center (T2) champions innovative salt reduction practices that prioritize public safety while mitigating chloride usage. T2 accomplishments include the development of workshops for local highway agencies, a Digital Badge campaign to build public awareness of local highway practitioners’ efforts to maintain their communities’ roadways’ effectively and responsibly and the development of a salt usage reporting database (Roadsalt.unh.edu).