Environmental Sustainability 'Inreach': How the Campus Community Informs Itself About Environmental Issues

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Title: Environmental Sustainability 'Inreach': How the Campus Community Informs Itself About Environmental Issues
Author: Townsend, Becky J.
Advisors: Gary Blank, Committee Co-Chair
Susan Moore, Committee Co-Chair
Toddi Steelman, Committee Member
Larry Nielsen, Committee Member
Abstract: As many higher education institutions join in the sustainability challenge, several studies recently have emerged that examine the experiences of these institutions in greening their campuses. These studies have identified numerous factors that correlate with sustainability success. One common suggestion has been identified as a crucial measure for achieving success: raising environmental awareness within the campus community. Yet few data are available in the literature regarding what universities are doing to reach out to their campus communities about sustainability issues (for simplicity purposes, this will be referred to as 'inreach'). Despite the valuable benefits that inreach can accomplish, from publicizing existing campus sustainability efforts to increase compliance to raising general environmental awareness, little is known about the extent to which universities are using this strategy or about the program structures, methods, or success of inreach efforts. To address this gap, a survey was designed to (1) explore the strategies and providers that institutions of higher education are using to inform their campuses about environmental and sustainability topics; (2) determine factors associated with environmental sustainability inreach success; and (3) ascertain ways that inreach could be improved. The survey targeted all 188 higher education institutions in North and South Carolina and prompted 79 institutions to respond. Results show that the majority of institutions are still in the beginning stage of providing inreach, that facilities offices are important sources for providing inreach; and that inreach success is significantly associated with structure for inreach programs, institutional commitment to campus sustainability, larger enrollments, and greater operations spending. Suggestions for improving inreach programs include dedicating funding and resources, establishing a central inreach source, and making a commitment to campus sustainability.
Date: 2005-07-24
Degree: MS
Discipline: Natural Resources
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/1896

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