Global Climate Change Week


Global Climate Change Week aims to encourage academic communities – including academics, students, and non-academic staff at universities in all disciplines and countries – to engage with each other, their communities, and policy makers on climate change action and solutions.


Harrisonburg Solar Home Tour


The JMU Center for the Advancement of Sustainable Energy (CASE) joins the nonprofits American Solar Energy Society (ASES) and Solar United Neighbors (SUN) to showcase solar-powered homes in the Harrisonburg area and across North America for the 25th Annual National Solar Tour, the world’s largest grassroots solar event.

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JMU's signature on the Talloires Declaration commits the university to incorporating sustainability and environmental literacy in teaching, research, operations, and outreach. Responsibility for environmental sustainability is not housed in one university unit, but is shared university-wide through environmental citizenship at all levels, including senior leaders, administrators, faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Personal and institutional actions have cumulative and long-term consequences. Our environmental sustainability achievements can be attributed to the past and current efforts of staff, faculty and students in many areas, commonly in collaboration. 

The purpose of this website is to provide information and tools that inspire you to help JMU become an environmentally literate community whose members think critically and act, individually and collectively, as model stewards of the natural world. Further, this website provides a brief overview of environmental stewardship and sustainability; describes how environmental stewardship is incorporated across JMU; presents JMU's commitments, plans, and policies; and highlights accomplishments. We also provide information about the Institute for Stewardship of the Natural World (ISNW), which coordinates the collaborative efforts of the university to promote cultural change for environmental stewardship and sustainability and a great sense of citizenship, and include links to Facilities Management and our many other partners on campus.


Below are links to campus-wide environmental stewardship and sustainability resources that our stakeholders frequently inquire about. Please note that most of these link will take you to other JMU websites because the programs listed are organized by other units.

Through education and research, our students are learning about sustainability challenges and developing solutions.

Through public engagement and community partnerships, our students are engaging in environmental stewardship.

Through operations, we are addressing our campus' impact on the environment and creating student learning opportunities.


The table below provides further on details some of the ways sustainability and environmental stewardship are incorporated at JMU in academics, engagement, operations, and planning/administration. Use the search box to search by key word or department/unit. To read more about the unit's sustainability efforts, click on the green plus sign (+) in the table, and a description will appear.

Resources that incorporate sustainability at JMU
Resource Website
Strategic Plan  Sustainability appears in the Outstanding Programs Core Quality, under Goal 1A ( qualities/core-quality-1.shtml) and the Fiscal and Facility Resources Core Quality, under Goal 7B (
Master Plan
Sustainability is included in Section VI: Future Campus Requirements and Preferences, p. 62.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan
Sustainable campus mobility for on and off campus transportation is part of the vision of the plan, p. iii.
JMU has policies on alternative work schedules, telecommuting, sustainable procurement, sustainable construction, energy use, health and safety, and recycling. 
1310: Alternative Work Schedules
1332: Telecommuting
1701: Sustainable Procurement
1703: Sustainable Construction
1704: Energy Use
3108: Health and Safety
4305: Recycling
JMU maintains a list of many recent sustainability-focused courses and other courses that are inclusive of sustainability.  Courses that meet General Education Cluster 3 requirements are among the courses offered.  Most academic units offer at least one sustainability-related course, and many units offer numerous courses.
Concentrations  Environmental concentrations are included in multiple majors at JMU. Concentrations encourage a deeper understanding and enhance relevant skills.
Minors  JMU offers five environmental minors. Minors may broaden a student’s educational experience and expand professional skills.
Community Service-Learning (CS-L)  Community Service-Learning is dedicated to educating students about environmental and sustainability issues and inspiring student action. Their Alternative Breaks partner with community organizations locally, nationally, and internationally to explore the effects of topics like climate change, loss of biodiversity, and the imperative to conserve threatened habitats and species and participate in solutions. Students participating in their Service-Learning program enroll in courses designed by JMU faculty members in a wide-range of disciplines.
Center for Global Engagement (CGE)
The Center for Global Engagement offers international experiences where students delve into sustainability challenges and solutions. As a starting point, select study abroad on the CGE website at the link to the left, and search the words “environment” and “energy.”
Career and Academic Planning (CAP)
Career and Academic Planning facilitates exploration of majors, minors, and pre-professional programs offered at JMU as well as their requirements and career opportunities. CAP will have information on all of the concentrations and minors listed previously.
Madison Center for Civic Engagement The Madison Center has facilitated programming led by students to engage in peer-based learning about environmental issues and policies at the campus, state, national and international level. Through their Civic Coffee and Donut Discussions, and their Tent Talks, they can provide a forum for students, faculty and staff to not only discuss and deliberate environmental policies and issues, but also to take individual and policy action to initiate change that for environmental sustainability and justice.
Center for Faculty Innovation (CFI) 
The Center for Faculty Innovation offers resources and programs to support faculty exploring sustainability concepts and principles and incorporating sustainability in their courses.
Office of Residence Life (ORL) 
The Office of Residence Life pursues and environmentally friendly operations and increases students’ understanding of how environmental stewardship is and can be incorporated in their lives.
Student Organizations 
There are 19 environmental student organizations on campus.  Search the student organizations website using the “environmental” category.
Center for the Advancement of Sustainable Energy (CASE) 
The Center for the Advancement of Sustainable Energy (CASE) focuses on research, education, and outreach to advance sustainable energy deployment by providing a range of services to a wide variety of stakeholders including local governments, state agencies, landowners, non-governmental organizations, businesses, and academic communities.  CASE facilities include the Small Wind Training and Testing Facility (SWTTF) and the CISE Solar Energy Plant ( on the JMU campus, both which are used to support education and research.  As described on the websites, these facilities are fully functional and produce clean energy for our campus comparable in magnitude to the total electricity consumed by two to three typical homes.
JMU Libraries 
Library materials relating to sustainability include the following call number ranges: GE 1-350 Environmental sciences; QC 851-999 Meteorology, Climatology; QH 1-199.5 Natural history, including nature conservation, geographical distribution; QH 540-549.5 Ecology; Environmental technology, Sanitary engineering. Database subscriptions include BioOne, the ProQuest Environmental Science Collection, and Environment Complete. Online subject guides are maintained for the following areas: Integrated Science and Technology,, Geographic Science,, Engineering,, and Green Building and Design,
Science and Math Librarian Alyssa Valcourt also maintain an Energy and the Environment guide ( Both Alyssa Valcourt and Kelly Giles are available by appointment to meet with faculty and students and provide assistance with sustainability-related research.
John C. Wells Planetarium 
The John C. Wells Planetarium offers shows and programs, such as Science Explorers Camps, which include learning about Earth and its environment.
Science On a Sphere 
Although used in many disciplines for multiple different purposes, Science On a Sphere is often used for interactive learning activities that increase citizens’ understanding of Earth as a system and the role of humans in the ecosystem.
JMU Farm 
The JMU Farm is a 30-acre property acquired by JMU in 1929 that is used for education, outreach, research, and events.
Edith J. Carrier Arboretum 
The Edith J. Carrier Arboretum, a woodland sanctuary on the James Madison University campus, is a public urban garden and forested green space that preserves native plant species, provides opportunities for research, and promotes knowledge of the botanical and natural world for people of all ages.
East Campus Hillside 
Formerly a traditionally manicured grass area, the East Campus Hillside has been transformed into an outdoor educational ecosystem that provides students and faculty with a learning resource that also demonstrates JMU's commitment to environmental stewardship.
Employee Training 
Since 2009, JMU has offered employee professional development opportunities related to environmental stewardship, including the popular Greening Your Office Workshops. Recently, a Greening Your Event Program has been added.
Professional and Continuing Education 
JMU offers many sustainability learning opportunities for the community, including retirees, children, and professionals, though continuing education.
Virginia Clean Cities 
Virginia Clean Cities advances air quality improvement, economic opportunity, and energy security through deployment of alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure, education programs, and other petroleum reduction activities. The Clean Cities program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy in accordance with the Energy Policy Act of 1992. In 2009, Virginia Clean Cities formed a partnership with James Madison University enabling both organizations to leverage resources, current initiatives, and future opportunities.
Facilities Construction and Engineering 
Facilities Management is committed helping to preserve our natural resources and sustain a healthier environment.
Dining Services 
According to Aramark, who is contracted to run JMU Dining Services, environmental sustainability is a fundamental part of their mission, guiding how they operate. They reduce environmental impact through practices that enrich and support the natural environment. 
JMU offers many tools and programs to support users choosing sustainable transportation options and avoiding driving alone.
JMU has a policy that seeks to support sustainable purchasing across commodity categories institution-wide.  A section on procurement is included in JMU's Greening Your Office Training.
Dimensions of Sustainability

While this website is focused on the environmental dimension of sustainability, JMU is also a signatory of the Campus Compact's 30th Anniversary Statement, which illustrates JMU's engagement with the three interconnected dimensions of sustainability. JMU's 2018 Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) report contains highlights of much of JMU's sustainability progress across the environmental, social, and economic dimensions of sustainability, as used by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, which organizes STARS. Information on JMU’s programs and plans related to the social and economic dimensions of sustainability can be found on numerous JMU websites. A few examples are

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