Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 56.09
Liaison Ciara Tennis
Submission Date Nov. 10, 2021

STARS v2.2

Eastern Connecticut State University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Stephen Nathan
Environmental Earth Science Professor
Environmental Earth Science
"---" 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:

In fall 2020, students in the ART 353 Installation Art course created nature-based installations in the woodland setting of Eastern’s Arboretum. The largely biodegradable projects—collectively known as “Into the Woods”—were not permanent or environmentally invasive to the campus nature preserve.
https://www.easternct.edu/news/_stories-and-releases/2020/12-december/into-the-woods-art-students-create-nature-based-installations-in-arboretum.html


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 November 2019, Eastern hosted Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Day. Attendees included government officials, local/regional consulting and engineering firms, professors, and students. The day included a panel from workers in the GIS field along with research presentations, a keynote speaker, and interactive events, which illustrated to students how GIS could be applied to advancing sustainability in multiple job fields.
https://www.easternct.edu/news/_stories-and-releases/2019/11-november/eastern-host-annual-gis-day.html

In April 2021, Connecticut state energy and transportation officials shared climate change plans with Eastern students through a Zoom meeting. The discussion focused on the Transportation and Climate initiative Program (TCI-P), a regional collaboration meant to curb greenhouse gas emissions and fund a more sustainable transportation system. Students from over a half dozen departments participated.
https://www.easternct.edu/news/_stories-and-releases/2021/04-april/state-energy,-transportation-officials-share-climate-change-plans-with-eastern-students.html


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 fall 2019, students in the HIS 253 U.S. Environmental History course read Henry David Thoreau’s Walden then attended a lecture by Dr. Daegan Miller, author of the acclaimed history, This Radical Land: A Natural History of American Dissent (University of Chicago Press, 2018) in Eastern's arboretum. Topics discussed included ethical living and environmentalism.
https://www.easternct.edu/history/highlights/ay2018-2019/history-students-visit-ecsu-arboretum,-meet-textbook-author.html


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

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Buildings:
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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 Energy?:
Yes

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

In fall 2019, students in the HIS 253 U.S. Environmental History course toured the campus power plant and energy facilities to complement their in-class research and discussions.
https://www.easternct.edu/history/highlights/ay2018-2019/history-students-visit-ecsu-arboretum,-meet-textbook-author.html


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:

Students grow food plants in the greenhouse for experiments in the courses BIO 332 Biology of Plants and BIO 438 Plant Physiology.

In fall 2021, an intern with the Horizon/Eastern transition education partnership grew basil in the greenhouse and donated it to the local soup kitchen.

A Biology student studied nitrogen fixation in a legume plant for its applications to replenish soil in farming and shared her poster presentation at the 2021 CREATE Conference. https://www.easternct.edu/create/create-2021/_documents/sullivanposter414_catrina-sullivan.pdf


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:

An Environmental Earth Science student used digital photogrammetry to study multiple cites, including Eastern's arboretum, and analyze change (deposition/erosion) and topography to understand geologic conditions at these sites. Their work was shared at the 2021 CREATE Conference. https://www.easternct.edu/create/create-2021/_documents/whitcomb-poster-ees-pdf-041221_james-hyatt.pdf

During the fall 2021 semester, Biology students periodically identified invasive and native plants on campus grounds. This data will be mapped in GIS and shared with Facilities to help remove invasive species and promote native plants 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?:
Yes

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

In 2019, a student conducted a fleet inventory of all Eastern vehicles to assess their mileage and fuel usage and to identify future opportunities for replacing high-use vehicles with EVs to reduce emissions.


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:

Students throughout 2016-February 2020 have been conducting campus waste audits for trash and recycling for academic and dormitory buildings. Their work is being used to influence waste decisions being made on campus. For example, we have adjusted our waste management contract to fit our actual service and dumpster needs, significantly reducing our collection and disposal costs.


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:

An Environmental Earth Science student used digital photogrammetry to study multiple cites, including Eastern's arboretum, and analyze change (deposition/erosion) and topography to understand geologic conditions at these sites. Their work was shared at the 2021 CREATE Conference. https://www.easternct.edu/create/create-2021/_documents/whitcomb-poster-ees-pdf-041221_james-hyatt.pdf

Three Environmental Earth Science students used ground-based digital photogrammetry at three beaches to create related maps and 3D printed models and analyze change (erosion/deposition) and topographic variations to better understand geologic conditions at these sites. Their work was shared at the 2020 CREATE Conference. https://www.easternct.edu/create/create-2020/_documents/blackwell-cerra-whitcomb-create-james-hyatt.pdf

Two Environmental Earth Science students studied the relationship between current concentrations of arsenic in water wells and potential sources of historical pesticides. Their work was shared at the 2020 CREATE Conference. https://www.easternct.edu/create/create-2020/_documents/create_2020_mjm_meredith-metcalf.pdf


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:
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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 Diversity & Affordability?:
Yes

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

Four students in the Political Science, Philosophy, and Geography Department researched the perceptions of gender inequality amongst college students. Their findings suggest that although the majority of college students are informed on issues of gender inequality, there are discrepancies between men and women’s perceptions about the importance and severity of these issues; this was further impacted by ethnic, racial and political identities. Their project aims to boost awareness of and advocacy for equity between all genders. Their work was presented at the 2019 CREATE Conference. https://www.easternct.edu/create/_documents/create_program_april2019.pdf (see p. 48 of PDF)

A Psychology student studied whether management level would significantly predict levels of experienced social exclusion in the workplace and whether management level would still be a significant predictor of experienced social exclusion after controlling for gender and levels of agreeableness. They found that management level was a significant predictor of workplace social exclusion even after controlling for gender and agreeableness levels, and discussed the implications for diversity training programs. https://www.easternct.edu/create/_documents/create_program_april2019.pdf (see p. 79 of PDF)


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:
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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 Wellbeing & Work?:
Yes

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

In November 2019, Eastern hosted Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Day. Attendees included government officials, consulting and engineering firms, professors, and students. The day included a panel from workers in the GIS field along with research presentations, a keynote speaker, and interactive events, which illustrated to students how GIS could be applied to advancing sustainability in multiple job fields.
https://www.easternct.edu/news/_stories-and-releases/2019/11-november/eastern-host-annual-gis-day.html

Two Health Sciences students studied ankle strength and fatigue among ECSU Women's soccer players for the correlation to ankle sprains and future prevention and shared their poster presentation at the 2021 CREATE Conference. https://www.easternct.edu/create/create-2021/_documents/create-poster-2021-dylan-will-pkc-ankle-socce_paul-canavan.pdf


Website URL where information about the institution’s living laboratory program is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information for this credit was gathered and reviewed by Ciara Tennis, University Assistant at the ISE, and Steve Nathan, Associate Professor and Department Chair of the Environmental Earth Science Department.

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.