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Institute for Sustainable Solutions

The Institute for Sustainable Solutions (ISS) is a hub for sustainability at Portland State, supporting interdisciplinary research, curriculum development, student leadership, and meaningful community partnerships that contribute to a just, prosperous, and vibrant future for our region and the world.


ISS is home to the Graduate Certificate in Sustainability, the Research to Action symposia, the Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative, and the Ecosystem Services for Urbanizing Regions Graduate Research Traineeship (IGERT).

ISS administers the 10-year, $25 million challenge grant made to the University by the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation in September 2008, providing catalytic funding to integrate sustainability across the campus and prepare students for change-making careers. 

As a hub for sustainability at Portland State, ISS serves the following roles:

  • Convener: ISS creates University cohesion around sustainability and facilitates connections between community partners working toward shared goals. 
  • Innovator: ISS acts as a catalyst to spark entrepreneurial solutions to vexing problems, carve pathways for interdisciplinary work, and build new models for learning, research, and co-curricular activities. 
  • Steward: ISS helps to increase accessibility to programs, provides resources to maintain or embed programs within the University structure, and creates discrete pathways for students to navigate and benefit from everything sustainability contributes to their PSU education. 

In 2013, staff worked with partners throughout PSU to develop a set of goals and initiatives that became known as the Sustainability Playbook. View the latest draft of that living document here

Learn more about how ISS supports faculty, students, and the broader community through its programs in the Institute’s Annual Report for the 2013-14 academic year here.  

Meet Institute staff and fellows.

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