Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 87.10
Liaison Alex Davis
Submission Date March 5, 2020

STARS v2.2

Arizona State University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Alex Davis
Program Manager
University Sustainability Practices
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Campus Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Campus Engagement:

ASU Office Sustainability Certification 2.0; completed Summer 2019 as part of the Master of Sustainability Solutions degree program (Student Culminating Experience Project for SOS 593 Applied Project course taught by Paul Prosser (paul.prosser@asu.edu))
Boosting Office Certification Performance – The purpose of this project is to drive and enhance the sustainability behavior of office workers at Arizona State University. Sustainability behavior here is understood to mean behavior that is not solely pro-environmental in nature, but also that which provides clear economic and human benefits to ASU and its employees. Pro-environmental interventions and outcomes, while critical, are just one-third of the holistic sustainability sought by ASU. This project focuses on pro-environmental behavior (PEB), as a driver of overall sustainability. ). The problem for this project is that participation with the ASU Sustainability Certification for Offices is low, and to date, the certification has not enhanced the sustainability of offices at ASU. Surveys, focus groups, and interviews were used to ascertain the attitudes of workers surrounding office culture and sustainability, and to identify barriers to their greater participation in PEB. The project informed a robust set of recommendations that will help overcome key barriers revealed by the research, such as a knowledge gap among ASU office staff about the existence of the office certification.

PAC 12 Changemaker Program; completed Spring 2018 as part of the Master of Sustainability Solutions degree program (Student Culminating Experience Project for SOS 593 Applied Project course taught by Paul Prosser (paul.prosser@asu.edu))
The Pac-12 Changemaker Program was formed around the value proposition of allowing student-athletes to speak up about causes that they are passionate about, and using sustainability as a lens to promote the cause and advocate for systemic change through the university’s social media. A model was formed that could be replicated across multiple campuses, and be flexible enough to take advantage of existing opportunities. The model was piloted on Arizona State University’s (ASU) campus, in conjunction with University Sustainability Practices, the Zero Waste Department, and Sun Devil Athletics. Major outcomes from the pilot include a handbook outlining the model, guidance for engagement, and recommendations for implementation.

Sustainability Games; completed Fall 2017 as part of the Master of Sustainability Solutions degree program (Student Culminating Experience Project for SOS 593 Applied Project course taught by Paul Prosser (paul.prosser@asu.edu))
As an AASHE STARS Gold university, ASU engages its students, with varying success in adopting sustainable behaviors. The Sustainability Games pilot project was developed to make the adoption process both interesting and engaging for students. The project goal was to increase sustainable behaviors in ASU students’ daily lifestyles by demystifying and familiarizing them with such behaviors. Familiarization occurred by getting students out and into their communities practicing eight specific behaviors that reflect ASU’s Sustainability Operations focus areas: climate neutrality, zero waste, active engagement, and principled practice. The project subject was ASU students because human, incentive, and support resources are readily available and attainable to students. The main system complexities were marketing to potential participants and engaging game players throughout the duration of the game. Indicators of success were the number of new behaviors introduced to each participant by the game, and the number of behaviors participants will repeat after the game.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Public Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Public Engagement:

Sonora-Arizona desert workshop with Arizona State University and Tecnologico de Monterrey; spring 2019
A two-day water solutions workshop in Hermosillo, Mexico. The workshop was tailored to 163 engineering students whose objectives were to develop a solution, document the impact it would have and make this accessible to others. Students and faculty scrutinized the arid climate of Sonora and Arizona and how it presents the opportunity to develop water innovations for the agricultural, urban and industrial sectors. With nearly 9 million inhabitants, the Sonora-Arizona megaregion is a fertile ground for emerging technologies that can lead to water conservation and sustainable economic development.
More information: 20190522-students-mobilize-their-research-water-solutions-sonora-arizona-desert

Urban Agriculture’s Bounty: Contributions to Phoenix’s Sustainability Goals; doctoral student research published September 2019
Nazli Uludere Aragon, lead author of the study and a doctoral student in ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, assessed how urban agriculture can help Phoenix meet its sustainability goals. For example, urban agriculture could help eliminate so-called “food deserts” — communities that lack retail grocers. It also can provide green space, as well as energy and CO2 emissions savings from buildings. Overall, the study estimates that nearly 28 square miles (5.4% of city space) are available for urban agriculture in Phoenix. This can supply the city with nearly 183,000 tons of fresh produce per year, allowing for delivery of an assortment of fruits and vegetables to all of Phoenix’s existing food deserts. That means the city’s own urban-agriculture output could meet 90% of the current annual fresh produce consumed by Phoenicians.
More information: https://asunow.asu.edu/20190930-arizona-impact-turning-phoenix-green-urban-agriculture-sustainability

Food Desert Outreach - Students founded Garden of Eden LLC with the goal to turn food deserts into thriving communities and food hubs, where the communities will always have access to fresh, nutritious, affordable, and culturally appropriate food. They secured funding for several aeroponic food growing towers and started producing food. Contact: Carola Grebitus (carola.grebitus@asu.edu)


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Air & Climate?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Air & Climate:

Urban Heat Island Study; AME 494/598: Sensable Heatscapes; spring 2019
Students modeled and observed heat on ASU's Tempe campus and visualized it in an immersive environment (iStage, Synthesis Center) Taught by Ariane Middel (ariane.middel@asu.edu).

Tree Carbon Capture, EPICS project
ASU’s Sustainability Practices is measuring the diameter of tree trunks around the Valley in order to estimate/catalog the amount of carbon being sequestered. However, the measurement of these trees is very time and labor intensive as each currently needs to be measured individually, by hand. The community partner would like the Carbon Capture team to come up with a way of measuring the tree trunks automatically to make data collection more efficient.
More information: https://epics.engineering.asu.edu/asu-tree-carbon-capture/

Note:
EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service program) is a national award-winning social entrepreneurship program based in a sequence of courses that cover feasibility and planning, design and build, and implement and install. Projects generally last a year or more, with teams of 4-5 members.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Buildings?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Buildings:

EnKoat phase-change material testing at ASU Polytechnic; fall 2019
Aashay Arora and Matthew Aguayo, former engineering doctoral students, have turned their research into a student-led startup through several entrepreneurial challenges. They have applied their coating on buildings at ASU's Polytechnic campus to test its effectiveness on commercial buildings.
More information: https://asunow.asu.edu/20191022-solutions-asu-startup-building-coatings-beat-heat

Sustainable Building Construction
Historic Structure Reports were written by several students on ASU buildings. The report examined the history, structural materials and their sustainability, and uses. Contact: Lauren Allsop (lauren.allsopp@asu.edu)


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Energy?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Energy:

Alternative Energy Options for Campus
Microgrid design for Polytechnic Campus. Energy economics evaluation for Tempe campus. Student Course Project for EGR 494/598: Microgrid Design and Operation taught by Nathan Johnson (nathanjohnson@asu.edu)

Waste to Energy
Students are working with ASU, as well as the cities of Mesa and Tempe, to use food wastes to increase biomethane generation at the Mesa Northwest Water Reclamation Facility. Student Course Project for CEE 565 -- Advanced Environmental Biotechnology taught by Bruce Rittmann (Rittmann@asu.edu)


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Food & Dining?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Food & Dining:

Live Well, Eat Well; completed Spring 2019 as part of the Master of Sustainability Solutions degree program. (Student Culminating Experience Project for SOS 593 Applied Project course taught by Paul Prosser (paul.prosser@asu.edu))
ASU's First Major Plant-Based Event and Sustainability – Aramark, a 14.6 billion-dollar Fortune 500 company, runs 72 food operations across Arizona State University's (ASU) campuses. In recognition of the negative environmental effects of animal agriculture, the AASHE guidelines have recently changed, which requires Aramark to source more plant-based products. On March 14th, “Eat Well, Live Well,” ASU’s first large event to celebrate plant-based diets and sustainability was put on at the Student Pavilion. The event had 3 objectives: to educate and excite event-goers about plant-based diets and sustainability, to alter perceptions, and to stimulate behavior change. Before entering the event, event-goers (largely students) were prompted to fill out a survey that measures their perceptions on the benefits and barriers to consuming a plant-based diet. A post-event survey was distributed to measure the same event-goers’ change in knowledge, perceptions, and behavior. The post-event survey results indicate that “Eat Well, Live Well,” motivated 59% of event-goers to reduce their consumption of animal products. The post-event survey results are used to understand whether the event met its objectives. This project took a community based social marketing (CBSM) approach to foster sustainable behavior within the student body and used students’ responses to help Aramark decide which plant-based food items should be offered and promoted on ASU campuses.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Grounds?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Grounds:

PPE 240, Topic: Gardening; offered in both spring and fall semesters on an ongoing basis
This course focuses on hands-on activity in the garden. Students learn how to develop a vegetable garden in the desert climate focusing on soils, location, watering systems, growing seasons, plant choice, composting and organic practices. Learning outcomes include food justice principals and sustainable food systems. Offered at both the Tempe and Polytechnic campuses.

Sustainable Campus Design
Monitoring landscape performance of Student Pavilion at Orange Mall project to assist in compliance with certification for Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) program. This project will be the first SITES certified project in Arizona. Student Course Project for LDE462 Landscape Architecture Studio, LDE521 Advanced Landscape Architecture Studio, MUD590 Advanced Urban Design Studio taught by Chingwen Cheng (Chingwen.Cheng@asu.edu)

On-campus Species Writing Project - English 378, Students write a creative blog, and post it on the Humanities for the Environment website: https://hfe-observatories.org/ https://hfe-observatories.org/projects/life-overlooked/ Students are asked to consider the campus as a "lab" and blog about "life overlooked" or non-charismatic species that may be overlooked when we think about rising rates of extinction. Students have blogged about campus pigeons, starlings, trees, grasses, hummingbirds, etc. They are asked to consider the impacts of cities on the nonhuman life of urban life and draw conclusions about the future of desert cities based on what they observe on the Tempe campus. A recent student posted a video considering the place of the date palm on the Tempe campus: https://hfe-observatories.org/stories/dates/ This project is an example of how SOS incorporates humanities methodologies into its curriculum. Student Course Project for English 378, Environmental Creative Nonfiction taught by Joni Adamson. (Joni.Adamson@asu.edu)


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Purchasing?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Purchasing:

Campus purchasing practices; 2018-2019
ASU Staff Council partnered with faculty and PhD students from the Sustainable Purchasing Research Initiative (part of School of Sustainability and School of Public Affairs) to design, administer and analyze a survey on current purchasing practices at ASU, knowledge of ASU's sustainable purchasing guidelines, and interest in learning more on sustainable purchasing. Results have been used to inform engagement/ training for business staff in the future. Contact: Nicole Darnall (ndarnall@asu.edu)


IIs the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Transportation:

ASU Electric Vehicle Program; completed Spring 2019 as part of the Master of Sustainability Solutions degree program. (Student Culminating Experience Project for SOS 593 Applied Project course taught by Paul Prosser (paul.prosser@asu.edu))
To encourage the adoption of EVs, this project pushed to overcome a few of the traditional barriers to adoption – initial cost, charging station infrastructure, and education about EVs. First, charging infrastructure was installed on all four ASU campuses. Then, to discover the biggest barriers to EV adoption, a literature review was conducted to develop a general understanding of barriers that guided the creation of survey questions. This survey was distributed to all staff and faculty at ASU (over 9,500 individuals) and received over 1,400 responses. To begin building the EV program at ASU, other universities with EV programs were interviewed to learn best practices and to understand what is most effective in encouraging EV adoption on campus. The responses determined that ASU needs to: 1. Install more charging stations on campus; 2. Offer premium parking for EV/hybrid users or a discounted parking pass or free charging; 3. Add charging stations to ASU interactive map; and 4. Develop an incentive program with EV dealerships. The project built partnerships with EV dealerships to lower the initial costs associated with buying and leasing EVs. Finally, to increase awareness of EVs, the dealership partners brought EVs to campus for a demonstration day paired with Earth Day.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Waste:

Recycling Route Optimization, EPICS project
Through this project, the primary objective is to formulate a model based on route mapping and optimization algorithms for the ASU campus to find a desirable solution according to the Zero Waste community partner organization. In collaboration with this partner, the appropriate variable(s) will be identified which we will want to optimize with regard to the problem. The plan of action is to determine which variables to consider optimizing according to community partner goals and develop a model by which this can be achieved. A model is expected to be created based on researching existing algorithms for solid waste transport analyses. Once a model has been produced, information about ASU waste bin receptacle locations can be supplied in order to find the most efficient route for ASU Grounds teams. This may require the collection of data from around campus depending on current availability of information for the model inputs.
More information: https://epics.engineering.asu.edu/trash-route-optimization/

Lab Glass Recycling, EPICS project
Currently, the problem faced is figuring out a way to recycle old lab glass at ASU. Working with ASU Zero Waste, the challenge is to take the old glass and recycle it with a glass crusher. The proposed solution as of now is to crush the glass and recycle it into concrete. The concrete will be used on ASU campuses including Tempe and Poly.
More information: https://epics.engineering.asu.edu/laboratory-glass-recycling/

Improved Special Recycling Bins, EPICS project
Currently at Arizona State University there is no good solution to solving the recycling issue regarding specific streams of recyclables. There are only two bins on campus that take in E-waste, light bulbs, batteries, and soft plastics. These bins are labeled poorly and not located in optimal locations (Noble Library and the Memorial Union); as a result, the bins have proven to be an insufficient method of disposing of waste. Furthermore, almost always all the streams are contaminated with trash. Our proposed solution is to redesign the bins to have lids to reduce contamination. Furthermore, we plan to have bins placed into the dorms so students will not have to walk across campus to properly recycle. We also will work hard to increase awareness about what can and cannot be recycled through posters and surveys posted around campus. Work to date includes trying to collect data on the prototype that was placed inside the Student Pavilion last spring. In addition, the team will use this information to develop a new model that will be sent to be produced by a manufacturer well before the end of the semester.
More information: https://epics.engineering.asu.edu/improved-waste-systems/

Reduce Coffee Cup Waste - Students researched how the use of single-use coffee cups could be reduced. Through an investigation with Life's principles (Biomimicry 3.8) they are looking into new materials as well as behavioral change. So far they have worked with Starbucks on campus, as well as Charlie's cafe at the Design school. Student Course Project for GRA 622 taught by Michelle Fehler. (mfehler@asu.edu)

Plastic Waste - Worked on a workshop course (graduates and upper-level undergrads) on plastic waste management on campus. Contact: Rimjhim Aggarwal (rimjhim@asu.edu)

Note:
EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service program) is a national award-winning social entrepreneurship program based in a sequence of courses that cover feasibility and planning, design and build, and implement and install. Projects generally last a year or more, with teams of 4-5 members.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Water?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Water:

Campus high-water-use plumbing fixture retrofit, ongoing
This student-driven project resulted in retrofitted 31 toilets and 18 urinals in the Tempe Sun Devil Fitness Complex in FY18. Students were involved in each step of the process from concept development to construction oversight and the project’s financial evaluation. Both Climatec and Sloan additionally embraced this student-driven project and donated all the labor and plumbing materials, totaling more than $37,000 in donations. From this pilot, a larger project emerged to address over 60 buildings with high-water-use plumbing fixtures. Students participated in an assessment that inventoried and evaluated more than 2,000 fixtures for retrofit. A cost-benefit analysis was completed and indicated the financial metrics required for ASU Sustainability Initiatives Revolving Fund financing would be met. Student involvement in this work has come from student clubs, student employees of University Sustainability Practices, and courses (such as SOS 111).

Water Quality Sensor Testing - Ongoing work with Treavor Boyer’s lab in Environmental Engineering related to water quality and urine diversion technology, including ASU Biodesign C water quality sensor testbed. A student RA assisted the research team with ethnographic observation in 2017-2018. Two environmental engineering PhD students in the Boyer lab working on these topics. Contact: Heather Ross (Heather.M.Ross@asu.edu)

Water Disinfection Byproducts - We have ongoing research (Thesis, papers in prep) to investigating disinfection byproducts in drinking water chlorination. A focus is on understanding how treatment chemicals contribute and what can be done to minimize formation while still using the same process. Contact: Pierre Herckes (herckes@asu.edu)

Polymers in Turf to Reduce Water - Research students have worked with the sustainability office at West Campus on various projects such as the new test run of a polymer in turf to reduce water use during irrigation, compost use, etc. Contact: Becky Ball (Becky.Ball@asu.edu)


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Diversity & Affordability:

Social Justice & Equity Goal Recommendations – Students partnered with the university sustainability practices office to generate ideas for the integration of social justice/equity concerns into their official sustainability goals for the university. Students worked in teams to generate possible ways to do this - resulting in a wide range of suggestions across multiple domains of sustainability. Student Course Project for SOS 310 taught by Sonja Klinsky. (Sonja.Klinsky@asu.edu)


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Investment & Finance?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Investment & Finance:

SOS 498, Topic: Sustainability in Investing; offered on an on-going basis as a two-semester course

Under faculty supervision, students manage over $500,000 of the ASU Foundation's assets over the course of the year. Collaboration between students from the School of Sustainability and W.P. Carey School of Business will be leveraged for an interdisciplinary perspective. Students will develop and implement an investment strategy that incorporates Environmental, Social, and Governance considerations. Business students must first learn a sustainability language while the sustainability students must learn a finance language before we can build our strategy. Over the course of the class, students learn about the different types of sustainable investing (most start just thinking of divestment or impact) as well as the nuances of a Foundation’s competing stakeholders. Unlike the other student-managed funds, this ESG one views itself as a catalyst to influence sustainable investing strategy. Students present to our investment committee, which provides them a forum to elevate these ideals to the decision-making body.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Wellbeing & Work:

PHI 407, Environmental Philosophy and Policy; this instance offered spring 2018
The goal of the class is for students to experience nature from not merely a scientific standpoint but from a meditative and poetic relation to nature. That means developing a greater awareness of the natural world and making a deeper emotional connection through waiting and observation. When not in class, students are instructed to keep a journal and go outside in certain spots in the Lake Havasu area for periods of time throughout the semester, to just wait, look around and be. They are to allow nature to minister to them, to nurture their senses and to recreate their spirits.

More information: https://asunow.asu.edu/20190625-discoveries-when-nature-calls%E2%80%A6it%E2%80%99s-wise-listen

Acoustic Impacts on Wellness
The Acoustic Ecology Lab leads weekly Listening Walks, "Soundwalks" conducted by a student team to investigate the acoustic footprint of human-generated sounds on campus. The activity is open to the campus community and the public. Observations are made to assess the acoustic quality of the Tempe campus's many sonic niches and its impact on human and non-human inhabitants' wellbeing. Another project is dedicated to Hearing Loss Awareness, Prevention and Rehabilitation involving students, faculty and the Living Well Community of ASU's Speech and Hearing Science Department. Contact: Sabine Feisst (Sabine.Feisst@asu.edu)


Website URL where information about the institution’s living laboratory program is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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