Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 57.92
Liaison Keisha Payson
Submission Date Feb. 25, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Bowdoin College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Keisha Payson
Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainable Bowdoin
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution utilizing the campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in the following areas?:
Yes or No
Air & Climate Yes
Buildings Yes
Dining Services/Food Yes
Energy Yes
Grounds Yes
Purchasing No
Transportation Yes
Waste Yes
Water Yes
Coordination, Planning & Governance Yes
Diversity & Affordability No
Health, Wellbeing & Work No
Investment Yes
Public Engagement Yes
Other ---

A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Air & Climate and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Every spring semester the Perspectives in Environmental Science class does a segment on the atmosphere and carbon sequestration. To better understand these concepts, the class takes a hands-on trip to the Bowdoin Coastal Studies Center to measure the circumference of various trees throughout the land. The students then use the data to analyze the capturing and storing of atmospheric carbon dioxide over the past years. The students' data contribute to a larger research project involving atmospheric carbon in Maine.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Buildings and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Students from the Energy, Physics and Technology class take a trip to Bowdoin's geothermal heating pumps located in two of the first-year residential dorms to better understand the role of heat and energy production.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Dining Services/Food and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The Bowdoin Organic Garden, which is managed by Bowdoin Dining Services, hosts various educational and volunteer opportunities so both students and faculty can be directly exposed to the benefits of locally grown and sustainable food.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Energy and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

In fall 2014, students from the Energy, Physics and Technology class did a group project on wind energy on Bowdoin's campus. The group tested wind speeds from various campus location, and used the data to figure out the most productive and efficient area for a wind turbine. A physics student, Soichi Hirokawa, '14, also used the campus as a living lab for his honors thesis "Yes, Photovoltaics are Effective in Maine: Measuring Power Production Along the Coast". Hirokawa set up a solar panel on Bowdoin's quad to measure solar production as part of his research.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Grounds and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

During the fall 2013 semester, students in the Biogeochemistry class did an independent lab project that examined the nutrient uptake of various plants in the Bowdoin Organic Garden (BOG). The students then presented on the best crop rotation plan for the BOG according to the received data.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Purchasing and the positive outcomes associated with the work:
---

A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Transportation and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

In the winter of 2014 a Bowdoin student wrote a script for, and recorded, an educational video about Bowdoin's new electric Chevy Volt. The vehicle was purchased by Facilities Management for the campus rental fleet. There was some confusion among new drivers of the vehicle about the car's operating system and charging needs, thus the video was created to disseminate to all new drivers of the vehicle. To see the video, click on "Chevy Volt Video" on the right hand navigation list https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lr3_DYzPczA&feature=youtu.be


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Waste and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Each year Bowdoin students conduct a waste audit on campus to determine what items the community is commonly throwing in the garbage that could be recycled as well as what items are ending up in the garbage that we might be able to discourage and eliminate all together. The results are tallied and shared with the campus and used as a basis for outreach and educational programming.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Water and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

In fall 2014, a Bowdoin student conducted research on Bowdoin's storm water management. The research focused on evaluating Bowdoin Mere Brook, an impaired stream identified by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Max calculated Bowdoin's impact on Mere Brook. His research suggests that Bowdoin accounts for roughly 3.5% of watershed areas yet contribute to roughly 3% of the total runoff in the watershed.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Coordination, Planning & Governance and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The Bowdoin Student Government Assembly is the democratically-elected, autonomous body of students that advocate for the student body through issue engagement, programming, and services. BSG staffs six executive committees, one of which is the Facilities and Sustainability Committee. The chair of the committee meets regularly with the Sustainability Office (typically twice per semester) to discuss goals and objectives of the BSG committee and discuss how they can collaborate together on projects of interest to the students. The Chair of the Facilities and Sustainability Committee is also appointed as a liaison to Bowdoin's Sustainability Implementation Committee.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Diversity & Affordability and the positive outcomes associated with the work:
---

A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Health, Wellbeing & Work and the positive outcomes associated with the work:
---

A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Investment and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Students from Bowdoin's Green Alliance host panels, events and discussion groups regarding Bowdoin's investment in fossil fuel companies. In Fall 2014, students presented a divestment case to the Board of Trustees.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Public Engagement and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

In partnership with local agencies, students in community-based courses and independent studies apply the knowledge and analytical skills they learn in the classroom to address environmental, social and cultural issues in the community. As students expand their understanding of a subject or issue, they also foster mutually beneficial ties between the campus and community by sharing their research results with and learning from local organizations. Follow the link for a list of specific courses offered in the 2014-2015 academic year. http://www.bowdoin.edu/mckeen-center/docs/Public%20Engagement%20in%20Courses%20and%20Indepedent%20Study%2014-15.pdf


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory in Other areas and the positive outcomes associated with the work:
---

The website URL where information about the institution’s campus as a living laboratory program or projects is available:
---

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.