Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 54.65
Liaison Leslie Raucher
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

Barnard College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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:

A sustainability student intern conducted an experiment to determine if public grading of how well waste stations (including landfill, recycling, and organics collection bins) were sorted would increase diversion rates. The signs included a face without a mouth and several times a week she should inspect the bins and draw a corresponding happy, flat, or sad mouth depending on the level of contamination. This experiment included anyone who used these waste stations and required users to think about where their waste should go to be properly disposed.


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

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

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

A Senior Thesis presented in May 2019 on building airflow. A student researcher released tracers in the basement of Altschul Hall and took air samples throughout the building to detect how air flowed through the building. Her thesis examined concentrations of contaminants, including some associated with bad building syndrome, would affect different offices.


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:

Environmental Science professor Peter M Bower teaches the course Energy Resources, which utilizes the physical plant of Barnard and Columbia to involve students in a semester long real-life policy study that explores the interconnections between energy resources and sustainable energy efficiency. Many students completed projects that related to specific buildings or the management of buildings on campus. One project, for example, focused on the inefficient heating and cooling systems at Barnard, and examined potential solutions for buildings to be better able to regulate their temperatures.


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:

Environmental Science professor Peter M Bower teaches the course Energy Resources, which utilizes the physical plant of Barnard and Columbia to involve students in a semester long real-life policy study that explores the interconnections between energy resources and sustainable energy efficiency. Students work collaboratively as a team and interface with college faculty, administration, staff and student organizations to produce and disseminate a professional level policy report describing existing usage of energy, analyzing where change is needed. One student project included a site and business case proposal for a micro-turbine.


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:

In Peter M. Bower's Waste Management course, a project-oriented course engaging with waste management and policy, students completed final projects in which they studied and provided recommendations for sustainability in Barnard's dining halls. Completed projects related to sustainable and local sourcing and reducing food waste through organics collection. Projects have included a business case for implementing organics collection at major events and redesigning dorm organics informational guides.


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:

Professor Jonathon Snow in the Biological Sciences department houses a colony of bees on the rooftop of a central building on campus. In collaboration with students, Snow studies the cellular stress responses of these bees, in various contexts, in order to understand Colony Collapse Disorder and the environmental factors that cause it. Students work in Snow's lab, during school semesters and summers, and aid with Snow's research, as well as develop their own research projects relating to the bees.


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:

Student groups on campus collaborate with the Office of Sustainability & Climate Action in order to collect unwanted clothing and dorm goods in the spring during move-out, and resell them in the fall, in a program called Give & Go Green. Through this program, students acquire hands-on experience implementing circular economy solutions in order to reduce consumption and waste on campus. Students are responsible for obtaining funding, organizing transportation, moving and storing the goods, and holding the sale in the fall.


IIs the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Transportation?:
No

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

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

Fall semesters, the Environmental Science department offers a course, Waste Management, a project-oriented study of waste management and policy. In this course taught by professor Peter M. Bower, students completed garbology studies and inventories of our waste on campus, determining our diversion rates. They then completed individual and group projects, in collaboration with Facilities and Dining services, proposals for initiatives to increase waste diversion rates. Recent projects included a study into last years green move out program with recommendations and plans for expansion.


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:

In Peter M. Bower's Waste Management course, student projects also engaged with water systems, and how they are impacted by our campus. A student completed her final project on permeable roofs, and recommending to Barnard infrastructure developments that would mitigate water runoff.


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:

Student groups on campus collaborate with the Office of Sustainability & Climate Action in order to collect unwanted clothing and dorm goods in the spring during move-out, and resell them in the fall, in a program called Give & Go Green. Through this program, students acquire hands-on experience implementing circular economy solutions in order to reduce consumption and waste on campus. Students also set pricing of the sale to ensure that it is an equitable option for students of all backgrounds to be able to furnish their dorms. Students are responsible for obtaining funding, organizing transportation, moving and storing the goods, and holding the sale in the fall.


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:

The College has hired student works to research on the college's potential divestment from fossil fuels, in order to help weigh the financial and fiduciary responsibilities of the Board to grow the value of Barnard’s endowment and the moral and ethical issues surrounding Barnard’s responsibility to do its part to address the climate change issue. Students met regularly with high level administrators to go over research.


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

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