Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.28
Liaison Ciara Tennis
Submission Date Nov. 3, 2022

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

In April 2022, youth leaders Sena Wazer and Kimmy Reindl from Sunrise CT gave a virtual presentation titled "Climate Action for Connecticut’s Youth,” and focused on the realities of climate change and ways to get involved with the movement. They discussed strategies for students to get involved on campus and in their communities to promote action and legislation.
https://www.easternct.edu/news/_stories-and-releases/2022/04-april/sunrise-ct-calls-for-students-to-be-climate-activists.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 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

In April 2022, youth leaders Sena Wazer and Kimmy Reindl from Sunrise CT gave a virtual presentation titled "Climate Action for Connecticut’s Youth,” and focused on the realities of climate change and ways to get involved with the movement. They discussed strategies for students to get involved on campus and in their communities to promote action and legislation.
https://www.easternct.edu/news/_stories-and-releases/2022/04-april/sunrise-ct-calls-for-students-to-be-climate-activists.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:

The Environmental Earth Science (EES) Department is preparing students for some of the world’s most pressing challenges and opportunities. Of the four concentrations EES majors can choose from, two in particular — Sustainable Energy Science and Environmental Science — groom them for jobs in a greening economy that seeks to address the existential threat that is climate change. A key part of these concentrations is field applications throughout campus, such as sediment collection in the Arboretum and building electrical models in Eastern's sustainable energy lab.
https://www.easternct.edu/news/_stories-and-releases/2021/03-march/ees-tracks-prepare-students-for-climate-crisis-and-green-economy.html


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:

Three Environmental Earth Science students used photogrammetric modeling from ground and airborne imagery to enable detailed visualization and measurement of topographic data for built and natural environments, noting applications for measuring change through time at a variety of sites. https://www.easternct.edu/create/2022/_documents/posters/coste-and-gamache-and-soulagnet-environmental-earth-science-james-hyatt.pdf


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

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

Three Environmental Earth Science students used photogrammetric modeling from ground and airborne imagery to enable detailed visualization and measurement of topographic data for built and natural environments, noting applications for measuring change through time at a variety of sites. https://www.easternct.edu/create/2022/_documents/posters/coste-and-gamache-and-soulagnet-environmental-earth-science-james-hyatt.pdf


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?:
No

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

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

During fall 2021 and spring 2022, an Honors ran a study that measured group productivity when working on a brainstorming task, with the task involving asking students to brainstorm green improvements for Eastern's campus. These student ideas were shared with sustainability staff and the Green Campus Committee to make the campus more environmentally friendly and sustainable. These student ideas are being used to identify areas where better communication and outreach to students and the campus community is needed and also provide a basis for new initiatives.


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:

A Sociology, Anthropology, Criminology, and Social Work student studied female recruitment in policing and shared a video recording of her presentation at the virtual 2022 CREATE Conference. https://youtu.be/mcxos4jG0fk
https://www.easternct.edu/create/2022/oral-presentations.html

Three students co-authored an article on dual language learners that was published in the May 2022 edition of the “Early Childhood Education Journal.” Their research was conducted at Eastern's Center for Early Childhood Education (CECE). This article includes a link to their published work: https://www.easternct.edu/news/_stories-and-releases/2022/05-may/3-students-co-author-article-on-dual-language-learners.html
https://www.easternct.edu/center-for-early-childhood-education/index.html


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:

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 virtual 2021 CREATE Conference. https://www.easternct.edu/create/2021/_documents/create-poster-2021-dylan-will-pkc-ankle-socce_paul-canavan.pdf

A Psychological Sciences student studied the effect of video conferencing on cognition and shared a video recording of their presentation at the virtual 2022 CREATE Conference. https://youtu.be/S8peS9zJeGY
https://www.easternct.edu/create/2022/oral-presentations.html

A Health Sciences student studied the prevention of hamstring injuries among the Eastern Men's soccer team and their presentation was shared virtually at the 2022 CREATE Conference. https://www.easternct.edu/create/2022/_documents/posters/perkins-health-sciences-paul-canavan.pdf

Three Sociology, Anthropology, Criminology and Social Work students studied relationships between COVID-19, mental health, and nicotine usage among Eastern students, noting implications for Eastern to provide support for students. https://www.easternct.edu/create/2022/_documents/posters/anderson_mechlin_sojo-sacsw-megan-stanton.pdf

Three Sociology, Anthropology, Criminology and Social Work students studied the relationship between levels of stigma, stress, and awareness of mental health resources in Eastern students. https://www.easternct.edu/create/2022/_documents/posters/tartsinis-avci-cables-sacswsarah-nightingale.pdf


Website URL where information about the institution’s living laboratory program is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information for this credit was gathered and reviewed by Ciara Tennis, University Assistant for Climate and Sustainability Initiatives, 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.