Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.82
Liaison Holli Fajack
Submission Date Jan. 29, 2021

STARS v2.2

California State University, Long Beach
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Holli Fajack
Sustainability Coordinator
Physical Planning and Facilities Management
"---" 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:

As part of the Campus as a Living Laboratory (CALL) program, students have participated in multiple campus engagement events, including the annual Sustainability Month, Earth Week, Fall Mixer, and Green Generation Mixer events. Students are responsible for spreading awareness of the campus’ sustainability programs and initiatives at these events by staffing the Office of Sustainability table, assisting with planning and coordination, and encouraging students to participate in different calls to action. Every year, students also submit sustainability-focused projects that relate to their own discipline for the Sustainability Project Showcase as part of applied student learning projects for their courses.

During the fall 2020 semester, students in the POSC 401: Women in Political Theory course worked with the Office of Sustainability to create short videos on various sustainability-related topics and solutions that encouraged viewers to adopt sustainable behaviors and practices. Topics included a sustainable holiday gift guide, zero-waste crafts, and tips on how to adopt a plant-based diet. Students also worked on social media campaigns with sample post captions to market the videos in a way that would maximize student engagement.


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:

The 2018 Resilience Charrette was a day-long event co-hosted on March 2, 2018 by the CSULB Office of Sustainability and the Center for Community Engagement. The charrette provided a collaborative space that brought together key campus, city, and community stakeholders to identify and prioritize steps to reduce risk and enhance climate resilience across Long Beach.

Ten students from multiple courses were recruited and attended a one-hour training to serve as scribes and facilitators for this event. Over the course of multiple breakout groups during the charrette, students engaged in a facilitated, interactive process to help capture the conversations and ideas discussed by participants. Students also helped ensure that all participants were equally engaged and participated, while also helping move conversations forward when needed. In addition, students in a GIS graduate course helped create the GIS overlay maps used at the event to help inform the identification of the priority areas included in the final Resilience Charrette Report.


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:

In spring 2018, the Office of Sustainability worked with a student from the BIO 459: Conservation Biology course to collect commuter behavior data from students that would be used to complete the annual greenhouse gas emissions inventory. As part of the applied learning assignment, the student-staffed a table to encourage participants to complete the short survey, while also promoting the Office’s communication channels. More than 100 responses were collected by the student during a two-day tabling outreach. This data was then used to update the greenhouse gas emissions inventory, improve accessibility to sustainability programs, and identify sources for reducing the campus’s greenhouse gas emissions.


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:

Design and Construction Services (DCS) worked closely with students on two separate construction projects, including the newly renovated, LEED Gold certified Student Success Center (SSC) in spring 2019 and the future Living Building Challenge certified Parkside Housing and Administration buildings slated to open Fall 2021. Students participated in the finishing and furniture style selection process with the design firms for both projects. One student was part of the initial planning meetings with the Housing project contractor, participating in furniture selection to meet Forest Stewardship Council (FCS) and Ultra Low Emitting Formaldehyde (ULEF) requirements for the Living Building Challenge certification. This included selecting materials that would be made from recycled materials and supporting the design firm throughout the project. Overall, these projects allowed students to be part of the design and planning processes from conception to design completion.

During fall 2020, students from ESP 392: Climate Action & Sustainability course helped research and compile signage and display concepts for the campus’ future Center for Sustainable Future. Over the course of the semester, students identified best practices and examples of signage and interactive displays from other educational centers or museums relating to art or sustainability. Students were also required to consider the cost and feasibility of their proposals. In the end, these students provided a curated digital proposal of signage concepts that embodied the Center’s key goals in a way that will engage students, staff, faculty, and community members.


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:

During the 2019-20 academic year, the Energy and Utilities Manager worked closely with a service-learning student to help develop the campus’s first Energy Information System (EIS) dashboard. The student’s core responsibilities included uploading utility bill data into the EIS and maintaining the utility recharge process. The ultimate goal of the EIS is to help inform the campus’ energy programs and to make them accessible to the general public in the future. In addition, the student was also able to work on various projects such as creating HVAC zone maps for buildings on campus, lighting feasibility studies, and assisting consultants in building retro-commissioning efforts.


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:

Over the past three years, students from the BIO 459: Conservation Biology course worked on a variety of food and dining-related projects with the Office of Sustainability. In spring 2019, a group of students conducted three waste audits at each of the campus’ residential halls and 49er Shops operated dining facilities to assess the need for a three-stream waste diversion system (landfill, recycling, compost). These students also evaluated the placement of pilot compost bins in these food and dining areas to determine the optimal placement, signage, and number of bins needed. In the end, students provided a detailed report and presentation on the waste audit findings and recommendations for zero waste program improvement to Sustainability and 49er Shops staff.

From fall 2019 through spring 2020, BIO 459 students conducted a detailed inventory of all vegetarian and plant-based food items at 49er Shops-operated dining facilities including the Outpost, Nugget, University Dining Plaza, and Chartroom. Using this inventory, students began the process of creating a vegan and vegetarian guide that will serve as a resource for students who want to adopt more of a plant-based diet on campus. The guide will include popular plant-based menu items at each dining location, a list of ingredients to avoid, and other resources offered on- and off-campus (i.e. CalFresh). Unfortunately, the completion of the guide on hold because of service-learning suspensions due to COVID-19, however, the work completed by students to date provides an excellent foundation for future student teams to move forward to completion.


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:

Service-learning students from ESP 392: Climate Action & Sustainability have worked with the campus Landscaping & Grounds department each semester since the course's inception in 2015. Most recently, students utilized the phone app, Canopy Capture, to track tree inventory, and to analyze canopy coverage on campus. This is one of a few datasets that students inputted into the i-Tree software which helps inform forest and canopy structure management on campus. In addition, students tracked light penetration through tree growth and helped quantify the environmental benefits that campus trees provide. The data collected during this project will ultimately aid in applying for Tree Campus USA certification.


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

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

N/A


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:

The Campus Wheel Paths project was designed to provide students with a safe, comfortable, and easy-to-use wayfinding system throughout campus and encourage sustainable methods of transportation. First, Student Affairs created a student committee that observed traffic patterns and reviewed high-congestion areas for more than a year. Second, various students worked hand-in-hand with planners from Beach Building Services to develop clearly marked pathways that made sense and respected pedestrian traffic while making way for cyclists and skateboarders. Additional student responsibilities included measuring spatial placement for the decals, creating the final decal designs, and helping with the installation of the decals.

In 2019, eight electric golf carts in the Beach Building Services vehicle fleet were retrofitted with 800 W solar panels on their roofs to allow for solar charging and to help reduce the overall carbon footprint of the campus fleet. A student graphic designer created engaging signage for the new golf carts to help highlight the campus’s energy sustainability efforts.


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:

Students were meaningfully involved with a variety of waste-related projects led by the Office of Sustainability. For example, students repurposed over 50 copier paper boxes into individual pen recycling boxes that would be collected from different locations on campus and sent to Terracycle at the end of the year. As part of the campus’s zero waste program, Waste Not, students also assisted with assembling and prepping the new zero waste stations and outreach materials. Students who were part of the Building Conversion squad helped with the installation of the zero-waste bins in campus buildings while also serving as ambassadors for the zero-waste program. In spring 2019, a group of students conducted three waste audits at each of the campus’ residential halls and 49er Shops-owned dining facilities to help reduce food waste and to assess the need for a three-stream system (landfill, recycling, compost).


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:

Working closely with the campus Landscaping and Grounds department, students conducted an irrigation audit using a GPS unit to take coordinates for valves and other irrigation equipment. The data was then inputted into ArcGIS to develop a map of our irrigation infrastructure, which will ultimately aid in overall water infrastructure management and water conservation.


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

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

During the 2019-20 academic year, students played an active role in the Campus Master Plan update, serving on an advisory committee that has met several times throughout the year to discuss key priorities and opportunities for the new Campus Master Plan.

Additionally, a student in the fall 2019 POSC 401: Women in Political Theory class helped input all legacy contact information collected from staff, students, faculty, and community members over the past 5 years into Salesforce, a contact management system that will help improve outreach and communication with campus constituents.


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:

Students from the fall 2020 BIO 459: Conservation Biology class contributed to advancing the conversation about the intersection of environmental justice and social justice by researching best practices and providing recommendations for shaping the university’s sustainability definition, messaging, and programs at CSULB. Students compiled a variety of resources including films, books, organizations, and websites to incorporate into a designated social and environmental justice resource page on the CSULB sustainability website. During last year’s Office of Multicultural Affair’s (OMA) monthly Cultural Heritage Month Celebrations, students from POSC 401: Women in Political Theory course also helped staff a booth for the Office of Sustainability to engage with students about sustainability events, people, or accomplishments related to that month’s cultural celebration theme.


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

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

N/A


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:

N/A


Website URL where information about the institution’s living laboratory program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Reporting Period: AY 2018-19; AY 2019-20

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.