Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.54
Liaison Alex Miller
Submission Date March 6, 2020
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:

FY18:
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.

FY18:
HIST 100 Environment and Industrialization teach the historical significance of smog during the industrialization of the modern world.

FY19:
HIST 100.06 Soot, Smog, and Satanic Mills: Environment and Industrialization


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.

Geology 120 is an intro-level course with a strong academic and civic engagement component. The most recent project was producing outreach materials that can assist the Sustainability Office to promote the Utility Master Plan, which will rely heavily on geothermal energy to heat and cool campus.

FY19:
PHYS 210: Sustainable Energy Principles and Design, designed small-scale solar in India


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.

The Environmental Ethics course conducted a sensitivity study to see how supportive students would be to product shifts in the dining hall that are more sustainable. This survey was presented to the dining board and the vice president of the college.


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.

GEO 210 Geomorphology and Lab

GEO 270 Tasmania and Natural History


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:

ENTS Environmental Ethics looked into the Real Food Challenge, surveyed the student body on the sensitivity of product shifts.


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.

FOCUS is also a course that was held year-round and focused on the general topic of waste for the 2017-2018 academic year and resulted in a published journal of their findings.

FY18:
CAMS 270 NonFiction Film, made a video for the local landfill on the importance of recycling. https://vimeopro.com/camsss/ace/video/297234844


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"

FY19
HIST 200 Historians for Hire, looking into waste history and sediment


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.

FY19:
FOCUS Colloquium IDSC 298 worked on the City of Northfield's Climate Action Plan


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:

ENTS 215 Environmental Ethics had a thread of affordability and accessibility.
POSC 224 Measuring and Evaluating Social and Ecological Systems talked about social and environmental justice as the main element.
PSYC 260 Health Psychology dealt with environmental justice as it relates to public health.
SOAN 260 Anthropology of Health and Illness used examples like Zika and other global crisis to understand global systems related to human health.

FOCUS is a year-long course that is made up of students of color or underrepresented backgrounds that are interested in the STEM field.


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:

ECON 270 Economics of the Public Sector, Economics of the green movement is a unit of the class, how the government makes decisions.


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.

ENTS 248 and ENTS 310 researched ways that the city of Northfield could be more sustainable. This information was presented to the Climate Action Plan Advisory Board, the Environmental Quality Commission, and city staff.

POSC 333 Global Social Changes and Sustainability used innovative thinking to create an invention or idea that would change the way things are done around the world. An example of this is a mobile solar panel that can be hooked up to the back of a bike. This item was created and actually produced energy by the end of the term.

PHYS 235 Electricity and Magnetism Lab created videos for teachers on environmental physics.

BIO 378 students planned a Mini Science Fair at Greenvale Community School that serves low-income and lantinx communities.

SPAN 211 Welcome to the International Film Forum class hosted the International Film Forum that focused on international films from Latin America and did directly communicated with the Latino community in Northfield to attend and have dialogue. .

A senior did her comps project (senior thesis) on food recovery efforts in Northfield and what the barriers are to increasing recovery efforts. Her research was used to write a grant to transform the community food shelf into a "supershelf" that encourages fresh produce and healthy options for its guests.


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:

CAMS 270 NonFiction Film, Greater Northfield Sustainability Collaborative in Northfield for the health effects of light pollution in a community. https://vimeopro.com/camsss/ace/video/296543107


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.

ENTS 100 Mining and the Environment course takes students up to northern Minnesota to see the impacts of mining near the beloved boundary waters.

HIST and Latin American Studies 173L: Disaster and Society in Latian America, looking at natural disasters.


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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