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A new Sustainability Institute for Regional Transformations (SIRT) at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has the goal of engaging stakeholders from throughout the state and beyond to build healthy communities, inclusive economies, and ecologically sound environments through inquiry, education and action.

As part of the 2017 Earth Charter Community Summit, which runs Oct. 16 through Oct. 20, the SIRT will be formally announced. A launch event and reception will be held at 12:40 p.m. Oct. 16 in Sage Hall 4234.

“I’m very excited to be leading the University’s latest efforts in sustainability, building on our successes to engage with the community beyond the university borders,” said Kevin Crawford, director of the SIRT at UW Oshkosh.

Crawford, a chemistry professor, will co-lead the SIRT with Associate Director Elizabeth Barron, assistant professor of geography and environmental studies.

“As a campus community we have done a great job with sustainability for many years, especially in terms of our facilities, operations and curriculum. Now we are in a position to go further, to research, learn and attempt to live out the idea that long-term environmental sustainability actually is dependent on economic and social conditions that support people and the planet,” Barron said. “Sustainability is the challenge and the aspiration.”

“The Sustainability Institute for Regional Transformations brings focus to our teaching, research, and work in all pillars and dimensions of sustainability: environmental, social, economic and political. This will help our campus community and the external world best engage with academic programs, the facilities and the expertise we have to offer at UW Oshkosh,” UW Oshkosh Chancellor Andrew Leavitt said.

The SIRT will generate, educate, inspire and support by:

  • Direct efforts to strengthen the University’s sustainability curriculum by working in conjunction with the University Studies Program to support the efforts of faculty, staff and students.
  • Serve as a hub for sustainability research and discussions on campus and beyond.
  • Support the work of the Campus Sustainability Office to develop, maintain, and promote one of the most sustainable college campuses in Wisconsin and the nation.
  • Engage with the greater community and our region to build a culture of sustainability. In the 2017-2018 academic year Earth Charter Community Summit and Earth Week events will be coordinated by the SIRT.


“We have committed to the institute because it is such a foundational and strategic element of our mission and overall identity at UW Oshkosh—and we will be looking forward to the strides the SIRT will make and the ways it will help further advance sustainability in ways we can’t even imagine at UW Oshkosh,” Leavitt said.

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