Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 52.25
Liaison Alex Miller
Submission Date March 20, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Carleton College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Alexandra Miller
Sustainability Program Coordinator
Energy 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:

Carleton students in CHEM 100. Air Pollution and Human Health work with both campus and community members in academic civic engagement projects focused on measuring and assessing local air pollution levels. Furthermore, the course ties into particular aspects of the City of Northfield's efforts to pursue GreenStep Cities certification.


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:

Students in ENTS 262 Applied Projects (hosted in the Physics Dept.) worked on campus-based civic engagement projects including design of a net zero energy warming hut for the campus ice rinks and a season-extension greenhouse for the campus farm.

Students in ECON 267 Behavioral Econ used energy and water data to evaluate effects of projects intended to illicit behavior changes based on subtle cues as defined in the book "Nudge" by Thaler and Sunstein.


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:

Students in ENTS 262 Applied Projects (hosted in the Physics Dept.) worked on campus-based civic engagement projects including design of a net zero energy warming hut for the campus ice rinks and a season-extension greenhouse for the campus farm.

Students in CS 342 Mobile Application Development worked directly with Carleton's wind turbine and energy data to develop a mobile app version of building energy and water consumption graphics plus an instantaneous display showing percent of wind energy at any given time.


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:

Students and dining services staff have worked collaboratively to complete the Real Food Calculator for three years in a row. Data have been used in Statistics and Biology course projects, in responses to AASHE STARS and other external reporting survey questions and to guide purchasing decisions or plan future changes that would increase the percentage of "real food" purchased by Carleton's dining services provider, Bon Appetit.


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:

Students in GEOL 258 Geology of Soils calculated carbon sequestration of Carleton's current campus landscape management practices vs. potential additional carbon sequestration potential if Grounds undertook various changes to how land was managed, especially "alterable land" not currently dedicated to athletics or hardscape.


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

No current examples.


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:

Students in ENTS 395 Senior Seminar which focuses preparing Environmental Studies majors to undertake the senior comprehensive exercise used campus commute survey data to study various methods of organizing and evaluating quantitative and qualitative survey information.

Students in Environmental Studies Research Methods studied local transportation issues and published a report entitled "Transportation at the Northfield Retirement Community" which highlighted current successes and deficiencies. A similar study was conducted relating to elementary and middle school transportation options.


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:

Student waste monitors, employed by the Custodial Services Department, gather data on contamination between landfill, recycling and compost streams during their weekend dorm trash pick-up routes. They then applied these data to a statistics class project which illustrated dorms with the best and worst performance. Results were on display in the dorms and prompted a modest level of friendly competition and behavior change between students.


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:

Environmental studies majors developed a senior comprehensive project around incentives to conserve water, using building water data to test their theories.

Sustainability assistants working in the Sustainability Office developed a feasibility study for a roof rainwater recapture system that could be used to irrigate a central greenspace. Their report was presented to the Capital Funding and Planning Committee and. received enough positive feedback that it will be taken to the next level of development.

Carleton environmental studies seniors produced a senior comprehensive study report entitled "Polycentric Flood Governance: A Case Study of the Greater Northfield Action Arena"


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:

Carleton's 2013-2014 environmental studies seniors produced a senior comprehensive study report entitled "Polycentric Flood Governance: A Case Study of the Greater Northfield Action Arena" and a second report entitled "Wading Through the Muddy Floodwaters: Social Vulnerability to Flooding in Northfield, MN, A Case Study" Both reports focused on policy and technical responses to recent 500-year flood events in the Northfield area.


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

No current examples.


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

No current examples.


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:

Carleton's Center for Community and Civic Engagement (CCCE) includes an Energy and Environment department intended to spur both academic civic engagement and community engagement volunteer opportunities. The CCCE has been instrumental in facilitating many of the projects described above. Furthermore, CCCE funded two summer intern positions to work directly with the City of Northfield on completing various components of the GreenStep Cities matrix, earning an additional "step" for the City through their efforts.


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

No current examples.


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)?:
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 other areas:

Carleton maintains an energy and water meter dashboard, hosted within the Lucid Building OS platform, which provides open access for both students and faculty to study and utilize building-level meter data in their courses and projects. This database also includes data from Carleton's two, utility-scale wind turbines.


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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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.