Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.83
Liaison Tom Twist
Submission Date June 12, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Bates College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Tom Twist
Sustainability Manager
Facilities
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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:

We have several thesis students doing the number crunching for our carbon inventory and waste CO2e emissions, as well as projecting our emissions reductions over the next five years. We also have students working on the LCA of our new renewable fuel.

The college is also starting a new department, Digital Computational Studies, which will be addressing data management of big data, looking closely at the enormous amount of energy data that we have coming in. Our students have worked with DCS to clean, automate, and visualize large campus energy data sets for our Energy Manager.

We have students working on assessing the carbon sequestration of our slat marsh with Prof. Bev Johnson for a class on Blue Carbon.
https://www.bates.edu/geology/research/current-research-2/


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:

We have a group of students creating DIY data loggers for monitoring our buildings, actually improving the proprietary software that is currently in place. They are using python and D3 to automate the visualization of energy data for the campus.


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:

Several recent Env. Studies capstone courses have worked on projects with the campus Energy Manager regarding energy and REC alternatives. Some research includes landfill diversion and energy efficiency projects. We have recently involved students in a solar energy project, where they installed the solar panels themselves.

https://www.bates.edu/news/2017/11/16/campus-construction-update-shortridge-goes-100-percent-solar/

We are also involving students in the process of a solar PPA which will cover 3/4s of the campus electrical load.


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

A science lab interfaces with Dining each year to view their sustainability efforts and analyze their waste tracking data for the past decade.


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:

We have a Capstone 417 class has researched the creation of a school garden which will provide local food to the dining services. This garden has since come to fruition, and now the faculty are working with the current garden and incorporating it into their classes on soil science, urban planning, food and the land, and nature and literature.


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:

The students and faculty worked together with Dining to alter their purchasing policies around disposable dishware. Today, there are no disposables in our Dining Commons, which alone keeps 750,000 disposable cups out of the landfill every year.

https://www.bates.edu/news/2017/03/30/paper-coffee-cups-soon-to-be-an-un-commons-sight/


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:

There are a group of students researching the promotion of bikes on campus, and creating a walkable campus/city for college students and residents through a city planning course. There are also students researching the deployment of electric car chargers around campus for an Econ class. This last Spring, they worked with our advancement staff to win a grant for a $20,000 electric vehicle charger installation project, and presented a case to Facilities to purchase two electric Nissan Leafs, which they did.

https://www.bates.edu/news/2018/04/10/already-green-bates-sprouts-two-new-leafs/

as well as in contact with zipcar to acquire a plug in electric vehicle for students to use.


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:

We have a group of students tracking our waste - trash, compost, pigs, and recycling. They are tasked with analyzing and coming up with strategies for waste reduction. See also Dining section.

https://www.bates.edu/sustainability/material-flows/

We have students in the art department that have helped with our outreach and signage for recycling and trash on our containers.


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:

Bates is adjacent to the Androscoggin River, which first inspired Ed Muskie to craft the Clean Water Act. Many of our Environmental Studies classes focus around water and how to assess water resources and ensure they are protected, from both a policy and a physical stance. Students are involved in both projects on our main campus, as well as on our satellite campus, which is coastal and adjacent to a salt tidal marsh.

https://www.bates.edu/environment/academics/academic-program/


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:

Students have the ability to apply for sustainability grants, in which they become project managers, and have to complete sustainability projects on campus, navigating all of the constraints etc. of making things happen on a large campus.These grants are administered by a faculty-led committee known as the Committee for Environmental Responsibility. Through this committee, the students are intimately connected with the planning around sustainability on the campus, including our decision to go carbon neutral, and are currently involved in helping to choose our 2030 goals.

https://www.bates.edu/sustainability/get-involved/get-involved-for-faculty-and-staff/committee-on-environmental-reposibility/


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

Our Rhetoric classes each spring work as consultants for different aspects of sustainability, and recently the focus has been on how to increase the diversity and equity of the sustainability movement at the college. The students have conducted research into best practices, and have put together a report on ways in which the sustainability office could better address diversity within its programs.


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:

An Econ class is helping their students work on tangible sustainability projects by engaging them in our process for a Solar PPA at the college. The students are doing the calculations, and projected savings, and putting forth a business case for the college to move forward with the project.


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:

Several of the Capstone courses make it mandatory for students to engage with the local public entities and research a problem which has troubled them for some time, and offer solutions for that community partner to pursue. Also, our Harward Center's mission is to use our local community as a learning center for the students to gain a good understanding of working with community partners.

https://www.bates.edu/harward/


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:

The Purposeful Work effort on campus includes short term classes taught by practitioners, regular guest speakers, and a robust summer internship program. All are focused on the topic of work and academics. We also have a B Well work program -

https://www.bates.edu/b-well/

Lastly, our Bates garden is used as a teaching space, a work space, and a study space. We have set it up so that it encourages a wonderful opportunity to do tangible work in a beautiful space.

https://www.bates.edu/sustainability/the-bates-garden/


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)?:
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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:
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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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