Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Ciannat Howett
Submission Date July 25, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Emory University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Peggy Barlett
Goodrich C. White Professor
Anthropology
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution utilizing the campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in the following areas?:
Yes or No
Air & Climate Yes
Buildings Yes
Dining Services/Food Yes
Energy Yes
Grounds Yes
Purchasing Yes
Transportation Yes
Waste Yes
Water Yes
Coordination, Planning & Governance Yes
Diversity & Affordability Yes
Health, Wellbeing & Work Yes
Investment Yes
Public Engagement Yes
Other Yes

A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Air & Climate and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

In a course on “Biophilic and Green Design,” students developed a design for a green facility for Emory.

A graduate student in Environmental Health measured heterogeneity in pulmonary response to a prescribed commute.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student produced a short film correcting common misunderstandings of carbon emissions on campus.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student investigated the potential for Renewable Energy Credits if Emory invested in co-generation technologies, producing both heat and electricity.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student assessed the effectiveness of campus energy conservation competitions.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student studied standby energy and best practices for promoting smart power strips.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student worked with university staff and outside contractors on a new vehicle lease agreement to green the fleet of rental vehicles available on campus.

For the Sustainability Minor Capstone, a student assessed the strengths and weaknesses of natural gas as a vehicle fuel for greening Emory’s fleet.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Buildings and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

In a Sustainable Development course, students chose personal behavioral modification projects using alternative transportation on campus, sustainable food options, energy reduction strategies, and other sustainability-related challenges.

In a course on “Biophilic and Green Design,” students developed a design for a green facility for Emory.

A graduate student in Environmental Health developed a standardized method for the creation of animal area hazard signs at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center.

In an Environmental Policy course, a fieldtrip uses a current construction project on campus to assess sustainability issues.

In an introductory Sociology course, students use the dining hall, residence halls, and college grounds as experimental locations to violate low-level norms and raise a small ruckus to investigate how people might react to norm violation comparatively based on social location, non/participation in student governance, race, class, gender, nation of origin, etc.

In an Environmental Studies course, Oxford students study local county Smart Growth principles and assess their LEED gold residence hall.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a group of students created a survey to investigate how well dorm residents understand the green features in their buildings.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student compiled data from research on green roofs, demonstrating their value in future building retrofits.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student assessed the effectiveness of campus energy conservation competitions.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a group of students investigated whether users are more likely to leave lights on in LEED buildings or older buildings.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student studied standby energy and best practices for promoting smart power strips.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Dining Services/Food and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

As a class project in an Italian course, students volunteer in campus vegetable garden and use a residence hall kitchen for two cooking classes (led by instructor and dining services chef), to explore sustainable food and the culture of Italy.

In a Sustainable Development course, students chose personal behavioral modification projects using alternative transportation on campus, sustainable food options, energy reduction strategies, and other sustainability-related challenges.

As a Sustainability Minor Capstone project, a student mapped all edible plants on campus and created a web-based guide for future gleaners.

In an introductory Sociology course, students use the dining hall, residence halls, and college grounds as experimental locations to violate low-level norms and raise a small ruckus to investigate how people might react to norm violation comparatively based on social location, non/participation in student governance, race, class, gender, nation of origin, etc.

Students in Environmental Studies surveyed the Oxford College campus about the Meatless Monday Program and presented results to a group of stakeholders at the end of the semester.

In a biology class, students complete a food and nutrition unit that includes logging their food intake, then evaluating their diet based a several nutritional guidelines; the unit includes evaluation of the food service offerings and recommendations to the campus food committee for improving these choices.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a group of students surveyed members of the campus community to assess the impact of the Emory Farmer’s Market.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student created a map of edible plants on campus.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student filmed the compost, trash and recycling containers outside a dining facility to determine the most common mistakes and develop a strategy to improve signage.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a group of students investigated the potential for a campus-based hydroponic system.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course , a student researched best practices among universities for promoting plant-based diets.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a group of students assessed potential improvements to a student-operated sustainable coffee cart.

For the Sustainability Minor Capstone, a student constructed a demonstration hydroponic system for a campus dining facility, highlighting its potential for locally sourced food.

For the Sustainability Minor Capstone, a student developed a plan for “Meatless Mondays” in university dining facilities.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a group of students worked with area food banks to develop a process for distributing fresh vegetables from the university’s educational gardens.

For the Sustainability Minor Capstone, a student created a field-guide to edible wild plants on campus, including a printed and online map.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Energy and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

In a Sustainable Development course, students chose personal behavioral modification projects using alternative transportation on campus, sustainable food options, energy reduction strategies, and other sustainability-related challenges.

In a course on “Biophilic and Green Design,” students developed a design for a green facility for Emory.

In an Environmental Policy course, a fieldtrip uses a current construction project on campus to assess sustainability issues.

In an Environmental Studies course, Oxford students study local county Smart Growth principles and assess their LEED gold residence hall.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student produced a short film correcting common misunderstandings of carbon emissions on campus.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a group of students created a survey to investigate how well dorm residents understand the green features in their buildings.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student investigated the potential for Renewable Energy Credits if Emory invested in co-generation technologies, producing both heat and electricity.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student compiled data from research on green roofs, demonstrating their value in future building retrofits.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student assessed the effectiveness of campus energy conservation competitions.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a group of students investigated whether users are more likely to leave lights on in LEED buildings or older buildings.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student studied standby energy and best practices for promoting smart power strips.

For the Sustainability Minor Capstone, a student assessed the strengths and weaknesses of natural gas as a vehicle fuel for greening Emory’s fleet.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Grounds and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

In a “Contemporary Issues in Dance” class, one student final project option is to choreograph a dance on a individually-selected physical site on campus that is evocative of "place" for the individual student (and adhering to guidelines presented on course unit on constructing environmental dance).

In a Sustainable Development course, students chose personal behavioral modification projects using alternative transportation on campus, sustainable food options, energy reduction strategies, and other sustainability-related challenges.

As a Sustainability Minor Capstone project, a student mapped all edible plants on campus and created a web-based guide for future gleaners.

Students in an Environmental Sciences course write reflections on the various aspects of the ecology in the Lullwater campus forest reserve.

In an “Ecology of Emory” course, the class produced a field guide to the plants of campus.

In an interdisciplinary course that involves a written reflection component, students are taken to specific places on the Emory campus and asked to reflect on the historical and biological significance of the place. Darwin's notion of struggle for existence, for example, is discussed. Other topics include: differences between nature and city; traces of urban development in a natural setting; traces of Emory, Atlanta, US, or American history on the place; significance of students’ presences in this place.

A graduate student in Environmental Health developed a commissioning process and computer monitoring system for Emory University past and future cistern systems.

A graduate student in Environmental Health developed a standardized method for the creation of animal area hazard signs at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center.

In an introductory Sociology course, students use the dining hall, residence halls, and college grounds as experimental locations to violate low-level norms and raise a small ruckus to investigate how people might react to norm violation comparatively based on social location, non/participation in student governance, race, class, gender, nation of origin, etc.

In a biology class, students learn (and are tested on) the native trees and shrubs of the Southeast Piedmont region over the seasons, using the campus grounds. Class activities include landscaping, planning and coordination with the campus services staff.

In a biology class, students learn about local invasive species and work on the Oxford College Forest Restoration Team. Students learn about forest systems, biodiversity, the landscaping industry, and the Emory Sustainability Goals for forest restoration. Students also partner with the City of Oxford for Arbor Day to assist with public dialogue around trees and invasive species. The local community was invited to join in learning about invasives and in restoration work.

In an Environmental Studies course, Oxford students study local county Smart Growth principles and assess their LEED gold residence hall.

In an Environmental Studies class, based on historic campus planning documents, a student demonstrated the value of greenspace to the character of the campus.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student created a map of edible plants on campus.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student investigated available technologies for harvesting and storing rainwater runoff from parking structures to be used in irrigating sports fields.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student studied the potential for mitigation banking credits through riparian restoration projects on campus.

For the Sustainability Minor Capstone, a student created a field-guide to edible wild plants on campus, including a printed and online map.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Purchasing and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

In a Sustainable Development course, students chose personal behavioral modification projects using alternative transportation on campus, sustainable food options, energy reduction strategies, and other sustainability-related challenges.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student researched ionized water as a green cleaning product for campus.

For the Sustainability Minor Capstone, a student constructed a demonstration hydroponic system for a campus dining facility, highlighting its potential for locally sourced food.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Transportation and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

In a Sustainable Development course, students chose personal behavioral modification projects using alternative transportation on campus, sustainable food options, energy reduction strategies, and other sustainability-related challenges.

A graduate student in Environmental Health measured heterogeneity in pulmonary response to a prescribed commute.

In an Environmental Studies Class, a group of students gathered data on un-recycled cans and bottles at fraternity parties and proposed strategies for diverting recyclables. The students also highlighted the need for safe, sustainable transportation to after-hours parties at area bars.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student researched the history of race, class, and transportation access in Atlanta to support Emory’s advocacy for a proposed regional sales tax targeting transportation.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, students created a survey to inform changes to shuttle schedules.

For the Sustainability Minor Capstone, following the defeat of a proposed regional sales tax targeting transportation, a student assessed the future of bicycle, pedestrian, and mass transit projects surrounding the university.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student worked with university staff and outside contractors on a new vehicle lease agreement to green the fleet of rental vehicles available on campus.

For the Sustainability Minor Capstone, a student assessed the strengths and weaknesses of natural gas as a vehicle fuel for greening Emory’s fleet.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Waste and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

In an Environmental Policy course, a fieldtrip uses a current construction project on campus to assess sustainability issues.

In an Environmental Studies Class, a group of students gathered data on un-recycled cans and bottles at fraternity parties and proposed strategies for diverting recyclables. The students also highlighted the need for safe, sustainable transportation to after-hours parties at area bars.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student filmed the compost, trash and recycling containers outside a dining facility to determine the most common mistakes and develop a strategy to improve signage.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student investigated the process used to recycle and/or dispose of Emory’s e-waste, assessing the company the university contractor against industry best-practices.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a group of students developed strategies to increase recycling rates at fraternities.

For the Sustainability Minor Capstone, a student re-established a council of sustainability representatives from campus Greek organizations, which sponsored a clothing swap event.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a group of students created a video, “Emory’s Trash Can…,” showing the total value of recyclable and compostable waste on campus.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Water and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Students in an Environmental Sciences course write reflections on the various aspects of the ecology in the Lullwater campus forest reserve.

A graduate student in Environmental Health developed a commissioning process and computer monitoring system for Emory University past and future cistern systems.

In an Environmental Policy course, a fieldtrip uses a current construction project on campus to assess sustainability issues.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a group of students created a survey to investigate how well dorm residents understand the green features in their buildings.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student researched ionized water as a green cleaning product for campus.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student investigated available technologies for harvesting and storing rainwater runoff from parking structures to be used in irrigating sports fields.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a group of students investigated the potential for a campus-based hydroponic system.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student compiled data from research on green roofs, demonstrating their value in future building retrofits.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a group of students compiled potential educational materials for a campus water reclamation project, to be used with elementary school groups.

For the Sustainability Minor Capstone, a student constructed a demonstration hydroponic system for a campus dining facility, highlighting its potential for locally sourced food.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Coordination, Planning & Governance and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

A graduate student in Environmental Health developed a commissioning process and computer monitoring system for Emory University past and future cistern systems.

Students in Environmental Studies surveyed the Oxford College campus about the Meatless Monday Program and presented results to a group of stakeholders at the end of the semester.

In a biology class, students learn (and are tested on) the native trees and shrubs of the Southeast Piedmont region over the seasons, using the campus grounds. Class activities include landscaping, planning and coordination with the campus services staff.

In a biology class, students complete a food and nutrition unit that includes logging their food intake, then evaluating their diet based a several nutritional guidelines; the unit includes evaluation of the food service offerings and recommendations to the campus food committee for improving these choices.

In a biology class, students learn about local invasive species and work on the Oxford College Forest Restoration Team. Students learn about forest systems, biodiversity, the landscaping industry, and the Emory Sustainability Goals for forest restoration. Students also partner with the City of Oxford for Arbor Day to assist with public dialogue around trees and invasive species. The local community was invited to join in learning about invasives and in restoration work.

In an Environmental Studies course, Oxford students study local county Smart Growth principles and assess their LEED gold residence hall.

In an Environmental Studies class, based on historic campus planning documents, a student demonstrated the value of greenspace to the character of the campus.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student investigated the history and management of the Green Fund, created by students to collect voluntary contributions to sustainability projects. After three years, SGA had not in fact collected or distributed any funds.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student developed a social media strategy for promoting campus sustainability initiatives.

For the Sustainability Minor Capstone, a student re-established a council of sustainability representatives from campus Greek organizations, which sponsored a clothing swap event.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a group of students developed a user-friendly e-book compiling information on sustainability initiatives.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Diversity & Affordability and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

In a course on “Biophilic and Green Design,” students developed a design for a green facility for Emory.

In an interdisciplinary course that involves a written reflection component, students are taken to specific places on the Emory campus and asked to reflect on the historical and biological significance of the place. Darwin's notion of struggle for existence, for example, is discussed. Other topics include: differences between nature and city; traces of urban development in a natural setting; traces of Emory, Atlanta, US, or American history on the place; significance of students’ presences in this place.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student researched the history of race, class, and transportation access in Atlanta to support Emory’s advocacy for a proposed regional sales tax targeting transportation.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Health, Wellbeing & Work and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

In a “Contemporary Issues in Dance” class, one student final project option is to choreograph a dance on a individually-selected physical site on campus that is evocative of "place" for the individual student (and adhering to guidelines presented on course unit on constructing environmental dance).

Students in an Environmental Sciences course write reflections on the various aspects of the ecology in the Lullwater campus forest reserve.

In a course on “Biophilic and Green Design,” students developed a design for a green facility for Emory.

A graduate student in Environmental Health measured norovirus and rotavirus prevalence in immunocompromised patients and nosocomial infections in Emory’s Egleston and Scottish Rite Children's Hospitals.

A graduate student in Environmental Health developed a standardized method for the creation of animal area hazard signs at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center.

A graduate student in Environmental Health assessed custodial ergonomics among Campus Services custodial staff.

In a biology class, students complete a food and nutrition unit that includes logging their food intake, then evaluating their diet based a several nutritional guidelines; the unit includes evaluation of the food service offerings and recommendations to the campus food committee for improving these choices.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course , a student researched best practices among universities for promoting plant-based diets.

For the Sustainability Minor Capstone, a student constructed a demonstration hydroponic system for a campus dining facility, highlighting its potential for locally sourced food.

For the Sustainability Minor Capstone, a student developed a plan for “Meatless Mondays” in university dining facilities.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a group of students worked with area food banks to develop a process for distributing fresh vegetables from the university’s educational gardens.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Investment and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

In a course on “Biophilic and Green Design,” students developed a design for a green facility for Emory.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Public Engagement and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Students in Environmental Studies surveyed the Oxford College campus about the Meatless Monday Program and presented results to a group of stakeholders at the end of the semester.

In a biology class, students learn about local invasive species and work on the Oxford College Forest Restoration Team. Students learn about forest systems, biodiversity, the landscaping industry, and the Emory Sustainability Goals for forest restoration. Students also partner with the City of Oxford for Arbor Day to assist with public dialogue around trees and invasive species. The local community was invited to join in learning about invasives and in restoration work.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a group of students created a survey to investigate how well dorm residents understand the green features in their buildings.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student researched the history of race, class, and transportation access in Atlanta to support Emory’s advocacy for a proposed regional sales tax targeting transportation.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a group of students compiled potential educational materials for a campus water reclamation project, to be used with elementary school groups.

For the Sustainability Minor Capstone, following the defeat of a proposed regional sales tax targeting transportation, a student assessed the future of bicycle, pedestrian, and mass transit projects surrounding the university.

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a group of students worked with area food banks to develop a process for distributing fresh vegetables from the university’s educational gardens.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory in Other areas and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

In a biology class, students learn (and are tested on) the native trees and shrubs of the Southeast Piedmont region over the seasons, using the campus grounds. Class activities include landscaping, planning and coordination with the campus services staff. (Biodiversity)

In a biology class, students learn about local invasive species and work on the Oxford College Forest Restoration Team. Students learn about forest systems, biodiversity, the landscaping industry, and the Emory Sustainability Goals for forest restoration. Students also partner with the City of Oxford for Arbor Day to assist with public dialogue around trees and invasive species. The local community was invited to join in learning about invasives and in restoration work. (Biodiversity)

In the Foundations of Sustainability course , a student researched best practices among universities for promoting plant-based diets. (Education)

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student produced a short film correcting common misunderstandings of carbon emissions on campus. (Education)

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a student developed a social media strategy for promoting campus sustainability initiatives. (Education)

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a group of students compiled potential educational materials for a campus water reclamation project, to be used with elementary school groups. (Education)

For the Sustainability Minor Capstone, a student constructed a demonstration hydroponic system for a campus dining facility, highlighting its potential for locally sourced food. (Education)

For the Sustainability Minor Capstone, a student developed a plan for “Meatless Mondays” in university dining facilities. (Education)

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a group of students developed a user-friendly e-book compiling information on sustainability initiatives. (Education)

In the Foundations of Sustainability course, a group of students created a video, “Emory’s Trash Can…,” showing the total value of recyclable and compostable waste on campus. (Education)

In the Foundations of Sustainability course , a group of students developed a proposal for “green dollars,” a local currency supporting green businesses and campus-based initiatives. (Funding)

For the Sustainability Minor Capstone, a student created a field-guide to edible wild plants on campus, including a printed and online map. (Education)


The website URL where information about the institution’s campus as a living laboratory program or projects is available:
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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.