Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 52.54
Liaison Becky Haney
Submission Date Feb. 26, 2020

STARS v2.2

Calvin University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Becky Haney
Associate Professor
Economics
"---" 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:

Student Employment -Work the Woods
Our vision is to inspire a new generation of environmental leaders in creation care through on-the-job work experiences. We employ Calvin University students to work in a variety of positions both during the academic school year and in the summer. Student employees of the Calvin Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens gain valuable experience and develop skills that prepare them for future careers in a variety of fields, including: environmental science, education, environmental education, interpretation, biology, recreation, and nonprofit work.

Environmental Education Certification
College students majoring in early childhood, elementary education, secondary education, biology, geology/geography, recreation and/or international studies with interests in science education, environmental education, outdoor recreation, and/or interpretation are invited to attend our environmental education certification workshops.

The workshops will introduce you to national, award-winning, environmental curriculum such as Growing Up WILD and Project Learning Tree. These curriculum guides are used by formal teachers and other educators working with students in pre-K through 12th grade. Earn your certification to use the curriculum materials and guides in your future classrooms, recreation programs, environmental education programs, vacation Bible school classes, etc.

Student Employment: Sustainability Interns
The campus employs three students with the job title 'Sustainability Intern,' tasked with investigating, planning, updating and reporting in the following areas: STARS Sustainability Intern (responsible for collecting and reporting STARS data); SIMAP Sustainability Intern (responsible for conducting and reporting a campus carbon footprint analysis using SIMAP); Kill-a-Watt Sustainability Intern (responsible for planning and overseeing the January sustainability initiative Kill-a-Watt)


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:

Environmental Career Panel – offered each semester by and through the Bunker Interpretive Center, in collaboration with Bunker Staff:
Discover your path! Gain insight into your future career as you hear panelists speak about the journey to his/her current position. Learn about a variety of environmental careers from professionals working in the nonprofit, government and business worlds. Panelists will speak about their current positions, academic and career paths, and will share advice with students wanting to work in the environmental field. These programs are open to all college and high school students.


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:

Introduction: The Calvin Environmental Assessment Program (CEAP) started in 1997 and has been an ongoing initiative where science, engineering, and economics courses assess different aspects of sustainability for the College as class projects.

Each of the areas checked above have had a project in at least one of these classes provide information to improve some aspect of sustainability. The positive outcome for each area is provided, but the information on CEAP will not be repeated. A fuller description of CEAP is found below in this box, and on the link provided at the end of the credit.

Positive Outcome for Air & Climate: Energy reduction through the CERF program has reduced GHG emissions by switching out major lighting systems across campus.

A fuller description of CEAP follows: The CEAP initiative began in 1997 and has been ongoing ever since. It is a collaborative effort of faculty across Calvin’s campus, but mainly in the sciences, whose focus is the understanding of the campus and local ecosystem. The goal is to impact the college and local municipalities as well as individual behavior. In this innovative program, faculty dedicate a regular lab session or project to collecting data that contributes to an overall assessment of the environment of the campus and surrounding area. Classes form working teams related to particular environmental issues. The data forms the basis for recommended changes in campus policies, for programs that target individual behavioral changes, and for identifying issues that involve and impact the adjacent neighborhoods. The program is dramatically increasing natural science faculty and students’ involvement in service-learning. CEAP is developing a model that can be used by other colleges and universities to move faculty to greater engagement with the local community.


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:

Engineering students research projects have provided proposals for using green roofs for new building projects.


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:

The CERF engineering student projects have implements, measured, and assessed energy reduction mechanisms such as motion sensors to reduce energy consumption from lighting. Over $300,000 and 3,000,000 kWh have been saved to date through these student projects which began in 2009 and have continued to be implemented through the present semester.
The latest report can be found at https://calvin.edu/support/energy/images/CERFQuarter3Report2018.pdf?language_id=1


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:

The Calvin Dining Services purchases some of its vegetables from the Calvin community Garden which is itself a lab for ongoing biology student research projects.

Calvin's Food Recovery Network (FRN) is a student-lead organization which recovers unused food from Calvin dining halls and disburses it to local nonprofits who serve those in need. Find there website here: https://calvin.edu/offices-services/student-organizations/food-recovery-network


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:

Students research projects have resulted in some installations of rain gardens and bioswales on campus.


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:
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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:

A class project led to the introduction of composting in the dining prep areas.


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:

The CERF projects installed low-flow shower heads in the dorms and in student apartments in 2013-2015. These have saved water and reduced energy use. The savings from these installations are reported on the Calvin Sustainability Score Card. https://analytics.calvin.edu/views/SustainabilityScorecard2013/Dashboard1?:embed=y&:display_count=no#2


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:

Presidential Fellows?


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

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

Unlearn week?


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 Investor Relations committee of the Board of Trustees is working with the student group, Knight Investment Management (KIM). The students in KIM present evaluate sustainability aspects of companies as part of the process of preparing proposals for the committee.


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:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Information about Bunker Interpretive Center activities for Campus- and Public Engagement came from Jeannette Henderson, Calvin Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens Program Manager.

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.