Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 52.95
Liaison Chad Carwein
Submission Date Jan. 16, 2020

STARS v2.2

East Carolina University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Chad Carwein
University Sustainability Manager
HSC Facilities Services
"---" 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:

Each semester, I partner with a professor who teaches a Health Education and Promotion capstone course and the students are required to earn 15 hours of service-learning work. I typically have one or two students who want to earn their service-learning experience with the sustainability program so I match them up with a campus department that has expressed interest in the Green Office Program. To date, students from the HLTH 4880 class have helped nearly 10 campus departments earn Green Office certification. It is beneficial for everyone involved because the students are learning and applying various skills needed in the workforce, departments are getting certified and reducing their own impacts, and the Sustainability Manager is able to focus on other duties and responsibilities.


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:

In spring 2017, ECU's Brody School of Medicine Public Health Department hosted a Climate Change and Health Symposium. Graduate assistants played a key role in planning the event (e.g. reserving a venue, ordering and picking up food, securing speakers, setting up the poster exhibit, etc.) and served as great hosts the day our guests arrived. We are in the process of planning a follow up event, which is tentatively scheduled for fall 2020. In addition, I rely heavily on students and organizations like ECO Pirates, Biology Graduate Student Association, The Coastal Society, American Fisheries Society, and ReLeaf to plan, promote, and setup for the monthly Sustainability Film & Discussion Series as well as our annual Earth Week Celebration at ECU.


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 2018, we installed three Purple Air monitoring devices on campus properties at ECU. One is installed on the Health Sciences Campus Student Center, a second was installed near the intramural Blount Recreation Fields, and the third was installed at a bus stop on Main Campus. These devices measure temperature, humidity, and Particulate Matter (PM 2.5-10) and they were provided to the University for free by a nonprofit organization called Clean Air Carolina. Students in the Brody School of Medicine Public Health Department as well as other academic programs utilize these sensors and the dataset in their coursework. In addition, we have graduate and doctoral researchers utilizing other air quality monitors installed on our West Research Campus, which take measurements of PFAS in the ambient air. Students and researchers work with facilities staff to assess potential installation sites and then proceed forward with installing and monitoring the functionality of these devices.


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:

Each year, the Energy Manager for ECU submits a Capstone Project proposal and works as an advisor for a group of Engineering students. In 2018, a group of students did a study looking into potential energy efficiency upgrades in the Flanagan Building and these were their recommendations:

1. Upgrade building automation system
2. Upgrade lighting to LEDs
3. Install thermal window film

In fiscal year 2019, we completed recommendations 2 and 3.


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:

Each year, we work with a GIS class in the Geography Department to map features on campus. In 2018, a group made an entire class project out of mapping external lighting across all campus properties. Over 30 students divided into smaller groups and split Main Campus and Health Sciences Campus into multiple zones. The students plotted the coordinates for each and every light pole on the map in addition to the make, model, light fixture type, and other features related to the light poles. The students did a cost-benefit analysis to determine the payback period for switching out older, less efficient lighting with newer, high-efficiency LEDs and as a result of this project, we have converted all external lighting at ECU to LEDs.


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:

There are multiple students involved with Sustainable Dining initiatives at ECU. We have student interns that work for ECU Dining and Aramark, the University's contracted dining service provider, on several projects such as the raised garden beds behind Todd Dining Hall, the Freight Farm Big Leafy Machine behind Jones Residence Hall, and some who help promote plant-based diets through tabling and larger events. In fall 2019, I partnered with a professor in the School of Hospitality Leadership (SHL) who is teaching a "Cost Controls for Hospitality Operations" course. His class divided up into six groups in order to compile the Food and Beverage Purchasing Inventory for OP-7 Credit in this submission. It is the first time ECU has created such an inventory and establishing this baseline would not have been possible without the students.


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 have helped tremendously when it comes to campus grounds sustainability initiatives. With the help of undergraduate students from the Biology Department, ECU has identified trees, created markers, and published a brochure and online map for both a Campus Arboretum an the ECU Tree Trail. Both of these projects required collaboration between academics and facilities operations staff. In addition, a biology graduate student made her thesis all about creating and planting pollinator-friendly native plant species and her list enabled ECU to earn Bee Campus USA designation in Summer 2019.


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:
---

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:

From March 2018 through May 2019, ECU had a contract with Lime to provide a bikeshare program on campus. That contract has ended and we have not been able to replace the bikeshare program as of yet; however, the program we had provided more than just a fleet of 250 dockless bikes on campus for students, staff, and faculty to use. The bikeshare program also provided an opportunity for students to work with ECU Parking and Transportation Office. Students had access to the back-end software and analytics provided by Lime so they identify the best places to distribute bikes as well as provided a much-needed student perspective when problems would arise. As part of the overall effort to improve safety and infrastructure for bicyclists, the students also did weekly counts of bike rack usage and recorded observational notes on ridership.


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:

Over the past year, the Recycling Coordinator and Sustainability manager for ECU have been working with a group of students from the Honors College to conduct waste audits. They conducted their first large-scale waste audit on the new 220,000 square foot Main Campus Student Center just last spring 2019 and they hope to continue this project each semester for the next few years. In addition, we have also been working with a group of business students and graduate students from various programs on conducting a feasibility study for a Compost Pilot Project. The results were promising and they have secured seed funding, a Facilities Services truck, and space at the local Pitt County Transfer Station. However, they are waiting on the final arrangements to secure a compost demonstration permit from the state before they can begin.


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:

There is a graduate student in the Geology and Integrated Coastal Programs who has won several awards and recognitions for her work on Campus Green Stormwater Infrastructure. She has mapped, photographed, and provided descriptions for all of the stormwater control measures (SCMs formerly referred to as Best Management Practices or BMPs) on ECU property. The goal is to publish a brochure that can be printed and made available to local youth, school teachers, and other college courses to take a "Green Stormwater Infrastructure" tour on campus and in the Uptown Greenville area, which is very prone to flooding. In addition, this student is also in the process of quantifying the stormwater mitigation and retention capacity of some of these SCMs, including the permeable paver installations on Main Campus. We hope this work will aid in establishing a baseline for IN-36: Stormwater Modeling credit.


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:

Greenspace GIS Project


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:
---

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:
---

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:
---

Website URL where information about the institution’s living laboratory program is available:
---

Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

Source: Chad Carwein, University Sustainability 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.