Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.17
Liaison Courtney Stoner
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

American University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Hannah Moskowitz
Sustainability Analyst
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Air & Climate?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Air & Climate:

CP Course in Pollution- student group project focused on indoor air pollution in dorms and conducted research on campus and worked with Housing and Facilities with their questions and recommendations- one of the best group projects in the class

Indoor air/climate (IAQ/IEQ) in AU buildings are constant case study examples (CO2 monitoring, etc.)

Environmental Studies courses focused strongly on climate change, and used the examples below showing how the campus is reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Buildings?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Buildings:

Complex Problems: Food Energy Water Nexus students on a sustainability tour after discussing green infrastructure/buildings in class. Although the primary purpose of the tour was to highlight the green building, we took advantage of the other information presented on the tour that related to our class (e.g. energy credits).

Buildings -- in-class tours of sustainable and unsustainable examples

Environmental studies courses looked at natural lighting, solar panels, overhang shading, rainwater collection in the SIS building. Also green and white roofs and reduced need for summer A/C.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Energy?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Energy:

(AU Scholars) did Sustainability tour with Hannah focused on energy conservation and energy options in preparation for their Sustainable City design project at the end of the semester

Facilities-hosted tours of AU mechanical rooms and systems; study of renewables offsets

Environmental Studies courses discussed the design of AU solar hot water heaters, and the solar PV installation in 505, including how the different orientation of the SIS building panels vs. the rest reflects the sharp drop in panel price. Discussion of efficient LED lighting and use of natural lighting. Reduction in water usage saves energy of pumping (DC water uses more electricity than Metrorail).


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Food & Dining?:
No

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Food & Dining:
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Grounds?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Grounds:

Sustainability and the environment class: Sustainability tour made up of students studying in DC for the semester covered wastewater and runoff issues specific to DC and how AU is mitigating those issues with bioswalls, green roofs, rain gardens, and reduction of impervious pavement

Professors use the campus arboretum to discuss tree species, native species, stormwater management practices on campus, and green space.

AU Scholars ENVS-250 did Arboretum tour focused on green features around campus to also prepare for their Sustainable City design final project.

Grounds-hosted tours of sustainable aspects of the Arboretum

Environmental Studies courses looked at water usage and capture to avoid Chesapeake runoff.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Purchasing?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Purchasing:

Environmental Studies undergraduate students have conducted analyses of AU green purchasing


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Transportation:

Analysis of LEED transportation credits for various campus buildings.

Environmental Studies courses looked at mass transit and AU shuttle; energy consumption per passenger-mile.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Waste:

Environmental Studies: (Nature of Earth Lab) students did a Waste Audit on Campus and a Urban Ecosystem walk on and around campus to collect data on their local environment (light pollution, animals, birds, trash). This semester the lab will also be conducting a Biocube lab on campus where they will explore every living thing in a 1 foot cube sample. In ENVS 572 (Human Wildlife Conflict and Conservation) last semester we placed 3 camera traps on campus as well as 3 in Airlie to observe wildlife in the area.

Worked with Zero Waste office in Facilities with AU Scholars ENVS-250 on reducing waste on campus; also had Zero Waste audit done in my CP Pollution course.

Undergraduate students have done short films about AU waste practices and campus waste infrastructure.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Water?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Water:

Graduate students measured water flows from historical fixtures, for LEED certification efforts; also use campus for stormwater analysis.

Environmental Studies courses looked at reduced use with low flow fixtures, toilets, and rainwater collection in the SIS building.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Coordination & Planning:

A graduate class went over AU East Campus' plans to suggest different sustainability measures and suggestions for re-purposing of old law school building.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
No

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Diversity & Affordability:
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Investment & Finance?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Investment & Finance:

Undergraduate student assignment on why divestment failed at AU; we also discuss the social UN sustainability of AU labor practices.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Public Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Public Engagement:

Campus Beautification Day invites all faculty, staff, students, and some community member to a large scale day of service to improve campus grounds. In past years, this has included planting dozens of trees to contribute to the arboretum. Campus Beautification Day contributes to student learning by providing hands-on experience of advancing sustainability on campus through plantings on green roofs and other water retention sites. Faculty from across campus are invited to bring their classes to participate, environmental science classes participate regularly.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Wellbeing & Work:

Class analysis of issues of well-being related to specific campus spaces; proposals in my Gateway course for campus programs for mental and other health issues support (such as the need for diabetes kits on campus, etc.)


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to other areas (e.g. arts & culture or technology)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to other areas:

Undergraduate class assignments propose arts projects for campus sustainability.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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