This section is devoted to the best available science and analysis that tracks and describes the breadth and depth of sustainability-based performance indicators on campus as well as in the St. Croix Watershed, and region as a whole. A broad range of sustainability indicators across environmental, social, and economic contexts will be tracked both quantitatively and qualitatively. Such indicators define the status of sustainability, or in other words, the carrying capacity of the native ecosystem to provide self-sufficiency in energy, food, water, shelter, transportation, education, health care, recreation, local employment, and commerce (just to name a few), for many generations to follow.
On campus, these indicators / frameworks range from our original Campus Environmental Audit, that was the first in the UW System, to our Campus Carbon Footprint as a charter signatory to the American Colleges and Universities Presidents Climate Commitment, to our newest commitment as a charter signatory to the most comprehensive framework among U.S colleges and universities, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS) hosted by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).
On a regional level, we, the SCISCD, collaborate closely with a variety of organizations, but especially with our UWRF Department of Geography & Mapping Sciences to integrate faculty and student Geographic Information System (GIS) expertise in the form of a St. Croix Sustainability GIS Database initiative. We are very grateful to the St. Croix Valley Foundation for the start-up grant that funded this initiative.