Iowa State University-Ames Sustainability

Merry Rankin Director of the Office of Sustainability at Iowa State University. In 2010, Iowa State University and the City of Ames collaborated to share the services of Iowa State's sustainability director. Since that time, Iowa State University's Sustainability Director, Merry Rankin, has provided the following sustainability services for the University and the City.

Iowa State University Director of Sustainability:

Assisting and coordinating sustainability initiatives and efforts throughout all campus operations and offering opportunities to students, faculty and staff.

City of Ames Sustainability Coordinator:

Connecting and coordinating sustainability initiatives and programs specifically focused on community awareness, engagement and empowerment.

Though separate responsibilities and requirements are given to and expected related to sustainability services, the result has been a diversity of overlapping opportunities to bring together campus and community. Collectively, this collaboration offers creative perspectives and solutions for the community and relevant problem-solving and critical thinking opportunities for students. This collaboration ensures leadership and coordination for sustainability efforts for the City of Ames while also promoting sustainable community practices.

In 2011, the City of Ames released its long-term sustainability plan toward reducing electrical consumption; this plan was developed through the collaborative efforts of a Sustainability Task Force, composed of members representing seven community sectors (building contractors/developers, business, civic organizations, faith-based organizations, non-city government, residential and schools). The intent of this plan was to develop specific and targeted individual sector plans, as well as an overarching community plan, to reduce electrical consumption. To accompany this plan, the City of Ames Sustainability Coordinator developed an education and awareness survey and compiled results related to increasing and enhancing dissemination efforts toward communicating sustainability opportunities to the public while implementing the long-term plan. The Sustainability Coordinator provides year-end sustainability reports to update the City and Iowa State University of progress toward and accomplishments within sustainability as part of this long-term plan:

Collaborative Initiatives

Multiple sustainability-related resources and opportunities have been created and are being implemented through this collaboration between Iowa State University and the City of Ames. Learn more about each initiative below:

  • Smart Business Challenge
  • Collaborators developed and successfully implemented a sustainability recognition, engagement and empowerment program for community businesses.
  • Collaboration: ISU Office of Sustainability, City of Ames Electric Services department and City of Ames Chamber of Commerce
  • Rummage RAMPage
    • Collaborators developed and successfully implemented an annual waste diversion event focused on offering a reuse outlet for Ames' annual move-out season through a multi-day community garage sale.
      • Collaboration: ISU Office of Sustainability, City of Ames Public Works department and Volunteer Center of Story County