Sustainability Institute Research

Sustainability Institute Research
class at the Portsmouth seawall


The oldest endowed, university-wide sustainability program in US higher education, the Sustainability Institute's faculty and staff lead purpose-driven problem solving that addresses deep scientific questions and societal needs in collaboration with partners from across disciplines and sectors, thereby making collaborative scholarship the norm rather than the exception.

  • The Sustainable Learning Community book on the grass

    The Sustainable Learning Community

    UNH has been a leader in advancing sustainability for two decades; co-authored by the Sustainability Institute's founding executive director Tom Kelly, this book explores all aspects of sustainability in campus life and the development of an integrated approach to teaching, learning, research, and campus operations.

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  • man on bike next to Ziweto sign

    Business Models for Social Change

    The massive growth of commercial franchises like McDonald’s offers inspiration for scaling social impact. Although still very young, social sector franchising is spawning an array of successful enterprises that offer lessons for further expansion. Dr. Fiona Wilson co-authored the recent publication, The Promise of Social Sector Franchising, in Stanford Social Innovation Review.

    Read the paper

  • Karen with Chef Todd at UNH dining hall

    Equity Competencies

    Thomas W. Haas Professor, Karen Spiller's work centers on advancing sustainable agriculture and its aligned issues of equity in food choices, economics, education, nutrition, and well-being. She recently co-authored the published paper, "Toward an equity competency model for sustainable food systems education programs". 

    Read the paper

  • Professor Wake teaching a class

    Municipal adaptation to climate change

    Josephine A. Lamprey Professor of Climate and Sustainability, Dr. Cameron Wake, recently co-authored a published paper that explores how to facilitate the use of climate information by New Hampshire local governments in adapting to climate change. 

    Read the paper


Sustainability Institute Professorships

Endowed professorships in key aspects of sustainability allow us to help faculty leaders strengthen ties between UNH and New England communities. These professorships bring unique perspectives into the UNH sustainable learning community by bridging theory to practice and connecting the community engaged, transdisciplinary work of our community networks to students, faculty, and staff at UNH through lectures, workshops and collaborative scholarship.

The Thomas W. Haas Professor of Sustainable Food Systems

The Thomas W. Haas Professorship advances sustainable agriculture, food choices, nutrition, and economic and social well-being on and off-campus. The Haas Professorship was established to deepen the ties between UNH and the New England food system; by serving as a “Professor of Practice”, Karen Spiller brings unique community and practitioner perspectives into the UNH sustainable learning community.

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Karen A. Spiller

Josephine A. Lamprey Professor of Climate and Sustainability

Thanks to generous support from Josephine Lamprey, in 2011 the Professor of Climate and Sustainability was established as a hybrid model for engaged research and community engagement, the kind of innovative approach that are called for in addressing complex sustainability challenges.  

Dr. Cameron Wake served as the Lamprey Professor from 2011-2023, leading collaborative efforts to educate the next generation of sustainability leaders, to develop and implement a climate action plan to continue to reduce UNH’s greenhouse gas emissions, to help build low-emission and climate resilient communities, and to strengthen networks that connect sustainability practitioners. 

We will be filling this role over the course of the next year. 

Cameron Wake


Sustainability Institute Research

A look at recent published work from our faculty and staff

Climate & Energy

New Hampshire Climate Assessment 2021
MD Lemcke-Stampone, CP Wake, E Burakowski

Undercurrents: Exploring the human dynamics of adaptation to sea-level rise.
CP Wake, J Peterson, CJ Lewis, V Levesque, D Kaye 

NH Ad Hoc Emissions Commission (2020) Final Report
2020 New Hampshire Ad Hoc Emissions Commission

New Hampshire Coastal Flood Risk Summary, Part II: Guidance for Using Scientific Projections. 
NH Coastal Flood Risk Science and Technical Advisory Panel 

Facilitating use of climate information in adaptation actions in small coastal communities. 
V Levesque, CP Wake, J Peterson

Focus on Environmental Footprint Tools for Sustainability
Allison Leach, guest editor




man speaking on panel

Equity & Justice

Towards an equity competency model for sustainable food systems education programs
Will Valley, Erin Betley, Colin Dring, Molly Anderson, Sharon Akabas, Nicole Blackstone Tichenor, Eleanor Sterling, Joanne Burke, Pamela Koch, Karen Spiller


Hands together diversity

Business Models for Social Change


The Promise of Social Sector Franchising
Greg Starbird, Fiona Wilson, E. Hachemi Aliouche

Providing Clean Energy Solutions to India’s Bottom of the Pyramid Population
Jill Howard, Fiona Wilson, E. Hachemi Aliouche

Kidogo: Addressing the Childcare Needs of Low-Income Families in East Africa
Jill Howard, Fiona Wilson, E. Hachemi Aliouche

Increasing Agricultural Sustainability in Malawi Through Business Format Franchising
Ilona Drew, Abraham DeMaio, Fiona Wilson

man on bike next to Ziweto sign