How Do We Measure Up? Assessing Campus Sustainability Literacy, Attitudes and Behaviors on a University Campus

Authors: Alice Mulder*, Weber State University
Topics: Human-Environment Geography, Higher Education, Environmental Perception
Keywords: sustainability, environment, place, campus
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 5:55 PM
Room: Virtual 46
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Colleges and universities have a vital role in advancing sustainability both in the communities where they are located and in regional, national and global contexts. They have the potential to shape, through curricular and co-curricular content/opportunities and their own operations, individuals’ knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, skills and engagement with respect to sustainability. This paper presents on a western U.S. state university's first effort to assess sustainability knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of its campus community. One aim of this assessment is to create a baseline from which recurrent assessments can be gauged. While it is common for sustainability literacy/culture surveys to focus only on students, this survey was administered to a representative sample of students, faculty and staff, all of whom are important members of the campus community. In order to allow comparisons with other areas of the country, the survey instrument includes questions from the Assessment of Sustainability Knowledge and Sustainability Attitudes Scale developed by Adam Zwickle and others (Zwickle & Jones , 2018), which cover the three pillars of sustainability. Comparisons between the case study and other available, place-based results from the country will be shared. This paper will be useful to anyone interested in assessing sustainability literacy and culture in their own institutional contexts.

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