UNH Sustainability Awards

UNH Sustainability Awards
UNH campus arial


recognizing the innovative work of faculty, staff, students and alumni


of environmental stewardship, social well-being and economic vitality



driven and informed by the needs and challenges in the community/world

What are the UNH Sustainability Awards?

Seeking nominations of student, faculty and staff leaders! 2021 Nominations are OPEN!

UNH is a national leader in sustainability and is recognizing, celebrating and raising the visibility of individuals and teams who are champions of, and addressing sustainability issues through important research, teaching and curriculum development, campus initiatives and culture, and external engagement work across and beyond the university. 

UNH defines sustainability broadly, that’s why the UNH Sustainability Awards program embraces the framework of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the definition of sustainability. The SDGs embrace a collective commitment to human dignity for all people and ecological integrity in all places, and emphasize the inextricable links between human dignity, ecological health, participatory democracy and intergenerational equity. It balances environmental stewardship, social well-being, and economic vitality to meet our present needs, while ensuring the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

Sustainability is a university-wide effort – students, staff and faculty from UNH, UNH Manchester and UNH Law School who are leaders in advancing sustainability in all areas of university life are eligible. You can nominate others, or yourself.

Important Dates & Reminders

February 15: Nominations OPEN
See instructions in the dropdowns below.

April 2: Nominations CLOSE 

April 30: Awardees notified

May 7 at 2 p.m. Recognition Ceremony

PLEASE NOTE: Students who participate in the Virtual Undergraduate Research Conference in the NEW University-wide Undergraduate Sustainability Research Symposium event will also be considered for the UNH Sustainability Awards. 

UNH Sustainability Awards Details

All UNH, UNH Manchester, and UNH Law School faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students are eligible, including faculty and staff with research or adjunct appointments. Individuals or teams may self-nominate or be nominated by others, via an online form. Please visit the "Nominations Form and Instructions" section for details.

The program 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. The total number of awards granted is not predetermined and will be based on the caliber of the submissions. 

  • 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.

All awardees will be celebrated at an annual recognition ceremony. Awardees will receive a certificate of recognition and be featured on the Sustainability Institute website.

In addition, all awardees will qualify to be considered for funding to extend the work of their project, research, or curriculum development. See the "Funding" section for more details.

Award criteria

These criteria are reflective of the complexity and reality of sustainability challenges, and the kinds of skills and approaches that sustainability requires. UNH Sustainability Awards recognize work that fulfills the following criteria:

  • Interdisciplinary: sustainability solutions inherently need to bring together a diverse set of backgrounds and perspectives
  • Collaborative: bringing diverse stakeholders together for collective solutions, for example, team-based projects or public/private partnerships
  • Engaged: driven and informed by actual needs and challenges in the community/world
  • Inclusive: representative of diversity in all its forms
  • Innovative: harnessing novel or unique approaches to sustainability solutions
  • Impactful: has or has the potential to have significant impact on sustainability

All awardees will qualify to be considered for funding to extend the work of their project, research, or curriculum development thanks to the generous support of the Responsible Governance and Sustainable Citizenship Project/College of Liberal Arts.

Awardees who express interest in funding will be considered for amounts between $500 and $2,500 that can be used to support approved expenses that enable the awardee to extend or better deliver their work in the future. Please note that funding cannot be used to support past work.

A total of $10,000 will be awarded in 2021, divided by the judging committee based on merit. Funds may pay for any qualified expense (e.g. research assistance, travel, supplemental pay, project costs, etc.) for a predetermined time period.


If you are nominating yourself or your group, you can express your interest in funding through the nomination form

All awardees, regardless of who nominated, will be notified and have the opportunity to submit interest in funding.

Before completing the nomination form, you will need to gather the following information:

  1. Nominee information: 

    • Name, UNH email, University/College affiliation and role (student/staff/faculty/organization) 

  2. Nomination information: 

    • One-sentence summary of the nomination 

    • Summary describing why you are nominating yourself, an individual, or an organization/group, including explaining how this individual/group demonstrates sustainability leadership at UNH and in what ways this sustainability leadership reflects the criteria of the awards (max. 3,000 characters) 

    • Supplemental materials (optional): You will have the option to upload a single PDF file containing any supporting materials you would like considered as part of your nomination (e.g. research paper, syllabus, poster, images). 

    • You will also have the option to share a relevant website link (e.g. a video, webpage) 

  3. If you are nominating yourself or an organization/group

    • You will be asked if you are interested in applying for funding to continue, expand, or enhance your work. If you check yes, you will be able to indicate how much funding you would like to request and to share a brief description of how you would use the funding. (max. 1,500 characters)


Sustainability Awards Steering Committee Membership

  • Sari Bennett, Assistant Vice President, Human Resources
  • Megan Brabec, Coordinator of Civic & Community Engagement
  • Chelsea Cabral, Graduate Student Senate Representative
  • Leslie Couse, Executive Director of Engagement and Faculty Development
  • Susan Entz, Associate Vice President, Alumni Relations
  • Michael Ettlinger, Director, Carsey School of Public Policy
  • Risa Evans, Associate Professor of Legal Skills, Franklin Pierce School of Law
  • Troy Finn, Associate Vice President, Development
  • El Farrell, Project Director, Sustainability Institute
  • Diane Foster, Director, Marine School
  • Kenneth Holmes, Senior Vice Provost for Student Life
  • Ken LaValley, Vice Provost of Outreach and Engagement/Director, UNH Extension
  • Dovev Levine, Assistant Director, Graduate School
  • Nadine Petty, Chief Diversity Officer
  • Karen Spiller, Thomas W. Haas Professor of Sustainable Food Systems, Sustainability Institute
  • Logan Stevens, Representative Undergraduate Student Senate
  • Stephen Trzaskoma, Center Director, Center for the Humanities; Faculty Director Responsible Governance & Sustainable Citizenship Project (RGSCP); Professor Classics, Humanities and Italian Studies
  • Paul Tsang, Faculty Director, Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research; Professor, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Biomedical Sciences, COLSA
  • Cameron Wake, Research Professor at the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space; Josephine A. Lamprey Professor of Climate & Sustainability, Sustainability Institute
  • Fiona Wilson, Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer