Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 49.46
Liaison Margaret Bounds
Submission Date March 2, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Connecticut College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.40 / 4.00 Chad Jones
Director of Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
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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:

A student from the Goodwin-Nieriing Center completed a summer internship collecting and analyzing energy use and greenhouse emissions data from the College and working to streamline the process for future data gathering.

Students in an introductory environmental studies course (ES 110) use data from the college to calculate current carbon emissions as well as potential reductions in emissions based on actual proposals the college is considering for on campus energy generation.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Buildings?:
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 Buildings:
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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 an introductory environmental studies course (ES 110) use data from the college to calculate current energy use and carbon emissions as well as potential reductions in emissions based on a actual proposals the college is considering for on campus energy generation.


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:

Several Anthropology and Botany courses use the campus as a living laboratory related to food – connecting to the Sprout Garden (a student run organic garden) and Dining services.

Examples from this academic year include:
ANT 350 Worlds of Food holds a class in the Sprout Garden to talk about the culture of agriculture and how culture shapes plants, using examples from what was growing in the garden. This same class also did and activity foraging in the arboretum that contributed to a larger discussion about constructions of wilderness and what means to eat something 'wild.'

BOT 230 Ecological Agriculture composts with worms and part of their assignment is to scour campus for compostable things that would otherwise be trash. Shredded paper is the big one as it is perfect, but not always easily recyclable. Students have created lists of sources on campus.

ANT 353 Food and the Senses works with dining services on two main projects. First, they developed recipes with Dining Services that drew on the sensory idioms of specific 'ethnic' cuisines. Students cooked the recipes in the main dining hall and served them to fellow students. They also administered a survey at the same time to see if students felt we could improve cultural diversity through food. Second, they did a project inspired by Chef Dan Barber's pop up restaurant WastEd. Students worked with dining services to develop efficient recipes that used ingredients that are often considered waste products (chicken carcasses, vegetable peelings, etc.). Again, students prepared and served the food in the main dining hall.

ANT 354 Sustainable Food Systems is working this semester with Dining Services to relaunch Meatless Monday.


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 two Geographic Information Systems course (ES 312 and 313) each complete an individual mapping project using GIS. Every year some students develop a project related to mapping aspects of the Connecticut College landscape related to sustainability. Recent projects include, mapping patterns of dead and dying landscape trees and environmental factors that may be leading to those patterns, mapping patterns of invasive species on the campus are arboretum grounds, mapping areas for high potential for use as bioswales.


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

The Waste Stream Project, part of the course ANT 112 Material Legacies, explores discard behavior - a domain of behavior that is typically invisible and otherwise naturalized in the context of everyday activities - at Connecticut College. Course participants are required audit their waste stream, a process that entails systematically and rigorously documenting each and every discard event over the course of seven consecutive days. After data collection is complete, students summarize, analyze, and report on their individual waste stream audits as well as an aggregate, anonymized dataset for the entire class. Among other focal questions, participants are asked to consider whether discard practices (and consumption behavior) at Connecticut College evince our commitment to ecological awareness and responsibility and/or serve as a model of a culture of sustainability.


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:

A stormwater detention located in the northern part of campus provides students in ES/GPH 120 Introduction to Environmental Geology a chance to study the problem of runoff with increases in impervious area. The detention basin was redesigned as part of a student individual study to better filter out sediment and dissolved pollutants, which provides a great example to introductory students how their actions can improve campus sustainability.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
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 Coordination & Planning:
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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:
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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:
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Public Engagement?:
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 Public Engagement:
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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:
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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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