Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 62.57
Liaison Kylee Singh
Submission Date Feb. 16, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

California Polytechnic State University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Kylee Singh
Sustainability Coordinator
Energy Utilities and 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:

Over the 2015-16 academic year, Facilities staff partnered with the Cal Poly City and Regional Planning Department (CRP) to create Cal Poly’s first Climate Action Plan. A team of twenty-seven students in the CRP studio, led by Professors Adrienne Greve, Chris Clark, and Billy Riggs performed a comprehensive transportation survey, GHG inventory, vulnerability assessment, and wrote the plan entitled PolyCAP. PolyCAP quantifies the potential GHG reductions from over eighty proposed policies and measures to achieve the goal of climate neutrality and resilience across all sectors: buildings, agriculture, transportation, water, solid waste, campus life, renewable energy, and public private partnership driven development. Students were required to intimately understand the way campus functions, determine all sources of emissions, and propose ideas for reductions.


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:

Since 2008 the Cal Poly Green Campus team has been hosting some version of an energy and water reduction competition in the Red Brick Halls, most recently the competition has been coined the Annual Conservation and Diversion Challenge (ACDC). The competitions focuses on six Red Brick Halls where the Lucid Dashboard system is installed to track energy, water, and waste in each building and provides an opportunity for educational outreach and community engagement. Hosting the ACDC ensures that Red Brick residents are excited to learn about sustainable behaviors by monitoring building resource consumption and adjusting habits to win the competition.


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:

The purpose of the Water, Energy, and Sustainability Training Team (WESTT) is to educate and train students in sustainable water-treatment practices, water-quality analysis, and renewable-energy production through involvement with research on best practices for the Cal Poly campus. The program allows undergraduate students the opportunity to gain professional development and training in the fields of solar energy, clean water, and managing the nitrogen cycle. Students follow a scholar/student model where they receive in-depth training in analytical procedures for testing Cal Poly water quality and renewable energy production and conduct and contribute to research.


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:

Food Day is a national, annual event that encourages the celebration of healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced food products. The Cal Poly Food Day Planning Team, comprised of students, staff, and faculty, work to create such a celebration on Cal Poly campus. The event aims to promote safer, healthier diets, sustainable farming practices, reduce hunger, and support fair working conditions for farm workers in our community. Food Day activities planned by this team include: guest lectures, tours of food and agricultural related resources on campus, and a food festival highlighting the diversity of campus resources in the areas of sustainable food production and cooking. Students from various areas of study are exposed to learning opportunities that showcase the university's commitments to local and sustainable food systems.


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:

A large component of the Cal Poly 2015 Drought Response Plan was not only to implement water efficiency projects but to also support student learning. In response to the water conservation efforts, Landscape Architect students and faculty from various courses have been tasked with teaming up with Facilities staff to design attractive low water use landscapes that can replace the turf removed across campus. Since 2015 two different sites have been planted with new low impact materials designed by Cal Poly students.


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:

Cal Poly Facilities staff have been working with campus partners towards waste collection processes that foster increased recycling and composting practices in order to work towards a goal to become a Zero Waste campus. To do so, Facilities worked with a group of students who used GIS mapping tools to determine waste collection infrastructure and use. The mapping project in turn, facilitated the research of a separate student group who analyzed the data and found necessary proof to renegotiate the waste collection contract ultimately saving the university money. Additionally, various student groups have been working with Campus Dining to analyze food service to-go materials and determine what products can be purchased to best meet the needs and simplify the process for campus to move toward zero waste goals.


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:

The Poly CAP, crafted by students and faculty from the City and Regional Planning department, conducted a transportation survey that provided rich data to understand faculty, staff, and student commuting behavior. In person and digital survey efforts were conducted by students over the course of an academic quarter. From the survey results, it was determined that over 7,200 students currently live on campus and most of the remainder walk, bicycle, or ride the bus to campus. Most faculty and staff however, live in surrounding communities due to the cost of real estate in San Luis Obispo – commuting an average of 17.4 miles each way. Nearly half, 48.8% of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with Cal Poly campus result from daily commuting. Of these emissions, over 60% come from cars, either driven alone or as a carpool.


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:

Funded by a CSU Campus as Living Lab Grant in 2015, Facilities staff worked with students and faculty in the Theater and Dance department to develop a material reuse and recycling program to minimize the waste created by construction and disposal of theatrical sets. Theatre and Dance students designed and constructed the mobile cart that can store and relocate large and heavy set materials for reuse and recycling. Lessons learned will be transferred to the Architecture department, which currently fills three forty yard dumpsters with student project materials at the end of each quarter.


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:

Last quarter a group of engineering students conducted an assessment of campus buildings water and power sources so that Facilities can move forward to install water bottle filling stations on every floor of every campus building. The end goal will be to ensure that water filling stations are abundant so that students in the Zero Waste Club may move forward on a bottled water ban on campus. The project required students to consider building infrastructure capabilities to ensure that water bottling filling station have water and power sources near by and that the location ensures building codes are met.


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:

Just after Earth Day 2016, Cal Poly convened a campus wide Sustainability Charrette to shape Cal Poly’s role in Sustainability and Climate Change. The all-day event brought together over 100 faculty, staff, students, administrators, industry partners, and community leaders. The Charrette inspired ideas to further infuse sustainability and climate change into curriculum, research, and student experience, resulting in a number of proposed initiatives that build on Cal Poly’s strengths and ongoing efforts. A common theme in feedback from staff and faculty who participated was around the high level of attendance and involvement from students. This event allowed an active role for students to shape the decisions to move toward a more sustainable campus community. The Charrette had a variety of outcomes, but ongoing outcomes include creation of four action teams that will continue to bring together students, staff and faculty for further planning and implementation. The four groups will be working to “Solarize” Cal Poly, bring a sustainability themed speaker to campus, incorporate sustainability into the staff and faculty hiring, retention, and promotion process, as well as determining routes to develop a sustainability related graduation requirement and/or assessment.


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:

In Dr. Coleen Carrigan’s "Introduction to Cultural Anthropology" courses students from over forty majors investigate disciplinary cultures on campus, developing research questions, and gathering data through participant observations, semi-structured interviews, visual ethnography and autoethnography. Students analyze the data using qualitative coding techniques and participate in consensus-building exercises to collectively strategize on how to catalyze cultural change at Cal Poly. Guided by students’ data, Dr. Carrigan further investigates cultural phenomenon that may contribute to exclusionary behaviors and disciplinary segregation and strategizes with key stakeholders on effective solutions.


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:

Cal Poly Divest Fossil Fuels is a student-led, student-run initiative that utilizes economic defiance against environmental decay. Their mission is to prevent Cal Poly from investing any further into the fossil fuel industry, and to have the university’s investment portfolio completely fossil-free free within the next five years. Part of a nationwide campaign of over 250 university campuses, CP Divest hopes to use the collective power of our student body to convince Cal Poly to pull their investments from companies that are direct contributors to climate change and environmental destruction.


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:

An interdisciplinary team of Cal Poly students from architecture, economics, finance, city and regional planning, and construction management have designed and developed the comprehensive proposal to build community housing for veterans in San Luis Obispo. The team partnered with more than seventeen community groups including People’s Self Help Housing, the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo, and Supportive Services for Veteran Families. Dozens of veterans and veterans’ service professionals gave direct feedback on what was needed for a development to be a successful community for veterans. The project was designed around six key pillars specific to the veteran community: a veteran population, independence, support, camaraderie, connectivity and sustainability. The project combined innovative architectural and planning practices, including LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification, pet-friendly amenities, and fully accessible floor plans for residents with disabilities.

http://www.cob.calpoly.edu/newsevents/veteran-housing


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:

Crafted by two Dairy Science majors as a senior project, Cal Poly Dairy: Injury, Illness and Prevention Program Safety Manual purpose was to create a safety manual that was tailored specifically for the Cal Poly Dairy. This safety manual was created to replace an old and outdated manual. By generating a new safety manual that included proper up to date information and safety procedures, it is anticipated that all student employees and management at the Cal Poly Dairy will be able to sustain a higher level of safety while employed there.


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)?:
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 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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