The Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability (OESS) is a department in the Access and Enrollment Management Division that is charged with institutionalizing environmental stewardship. The OESS is responsible for facilitating implementation of JMU’s 18th defining characteristic, “The University will be an environmentally literate community whose members think critically and act, individually and collectively, as model stewards of the natural world.” The OESS has a role in carrying out the mission and vision of the university with regard to environmental stewardship.
To further collective efforts of the institution, the OESS:These definitions are drawn from Merriam Webster's online dictionary at www.merriam-webster.com
- tracks, assesses, reports progress on environmental stewardship.
- coordinates with other offices on tracking and reporting of campus sustainability initiatives.
- develops and disseminates information and tools that promote best practices.
- recommends policies and practices that advance institutional environmental stewardship.
- facilitates strategic planning related to environmental stewardship.
- coordinates special projects. Example: East Campus Hillside Naturalization, Campus Energy Assessment, and Combined Heat and Power Feasibility studies.
- builds resources and partnerships that enhance environmental stewardship capacity.
- represents JMU’s environmental stewardship and sustainability efforts externally.
- coordinates the Institute for Stewardship of the Natural World (ISNW). The ISNW is divided into four committees with over 100 stakeholders who advance environmental stewardship via annual recommendations and via programs that advocate for best environmental practices.
To further individual and departmental/unit efforts, the OESS:
- organizes, co-sponsors, and participates in a rich array of experiences that challenge individuals to be environmentally literate citizens, critical thinkers, and environmental stewards.
- provides scientific and analytical support to JMU individuals and small groups engaged in environmental stewardship.
- processes requests for information on institutional environmental stewardship efforts.
- compiles citizen suggestions and recommendations for annual consideration by the ISNW.