Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Kathleen Crawford
Submission Date July 28, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Florida Gulf Coast University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Katie Leone
Sustainability Coordinator
Environmental Health & Safety
"---" 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
+ Date Revised: Sept. 25, 2014
Dining Services/Food Yes
Energy Yes
Grounds Yes
Purchasing ---
Transportation Yes
Waste Yes
Water Yes
Coordination, Planning & Governance ---
Diversity & Affordability Yes
Health, Wellbeing & Work Yes
Investment ---
Public Engagement Yes
+ Date Revised: Sept. 25, 2014
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:

Florida Gulf Coast University has developed a model for undergraduate education whereby the university campus serves as a focus for the study of the entire watershed within which it is situated, from its freshwater origins downstream to the Gulf of Mexico.

The Campus Ecosystem Model (CEM) draws attention to the exchange of information between organisms and their environment tracks matter and energy through the campus ecosystem explores the linkages that exist between the campus and other ecosystems via the import and export of the above properties.

http://www.fgcu.edu/CAS/CEM/index.html

Additionally, the Environmental Health & Safety Department has a student worker that contributes to the university’s greenhouse gas report, which informs FGCU’s climate action planning.

+ Date Revised: Sept. 25, 2014

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:
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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:

During the Spring 2014 semester, Matt Neubek’s coordinated his students to complete a “One Class, One Project” for their Colloquium service learning assignment. The class worked together to build a kiosk for FGCU’s Food Forest. One positive learning outcome of the project was an increased sense of student pride in their campus. Additionally the finished kiosk serves as a community space where people can share information about what is happening in the Food Forest as well as other sustainability-related campus happenings. Future classes and food foresters will also use the kiosk for rain catchment which will serve as a learning tool and a backup water system.

+ Date Revised: Sept. 25, 2014

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:

For an Environmental Engineering Senior Design class (ENV 4891C) project, student Alex Erlenbach designed a Solar Charging Table for Personal Electronic Devices at FGCU. The goal of his project was, “to provide not only an environmentally friendly alternative to electronics charging, but also educate students in the grand potential that renewable energy has for future power usage”.

Dr. Joe Simmons wrote a received a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to fund project completed by senior Environmental Engineering student Alex Erlenbach. The project began in 2013 and was completed over the summer of 2014. Alex built an aerobic food waste digester that turns food waste into methane. A larger scale version of this project could theoretically be used as a source of energy on FGCU’s campus. See the feature in Eagle News on Alex’s project: http://www.fgcu.edu/UndergraduateStudies/ecofgcu.html

+ Date Revised: Sept. 25, 2014

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:

During the spring of 2014, Dr. Margaret Banyon’s Land use Planning class (USP5312) produced a Small Area Report for the Buckingham property which made recommendations for the future use of that site.

+ Date Revised: Sept. 25, 2014

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:
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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:

The FGCU Environmental Health and Safety department's student ambassador gives presentations and works with new students at orientation discussing FGCU's RIDE2FGCU carpooling service for staff and students and the Enterprise Carshare program (an affordable rental service for occasional car use).

+ Date Revised: Sept. 25, 2014

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:

During the spring of 2014, Professor Sasha Wohlpart’s Environmental Geology Civic Engagement class (GLY 2030C) partnered with Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida and the Office of Housing and Residence Life to execute end of semester waste diversion project called “Eagles Don’t Dump, They Donate.” This project salvaged items t that would have otherwise been sent to the dumpster and educated students about creative alternatives for dealing with “waste.” In addition to the learning outcomes accomplished and the successful collaboration among partner organizations, this project diverted 12,685 pounds of waste from dumpsters.

Also during the Spring of 2014, Dr. Simeon Komisar’ s Environmental Engineering Senior Design class (ENV 4891) designed prototype for a natural wastewater treatment system that could function as living machine if integrated into our campus as a wastewater management system.

During the Fall 2013 semester, Dr. Lisa Zidek’s Engineering and Entrepreneurship classes (ENG361C) assisted in retrofitting our campus in order to transition from a multi-stream to a single-stream recycling system. Students also built a prototype for a vending machine that could credit a student’s Eagle ID every time they return a bottle.

During the Fall of 2012, Dr. Simeon Komisar’s Solid Waste Management class (ENV4351) designed and built a barrel composting system for the Food Forest’s waste.

Dr. Joe Simmons wrote a received a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to fund project completed by senior Environmental Engineering student Alex Erlenbach. The project began in 2013 and was completed over the summer of 2014. Alex built an aerobic food waste digester that turns food waste into methane. A larger scale version of this project could theoretically be used as a source of energy on FGCU’s campus. See the feature in Eagle News on Alex’s project: http://www.fgcu.edu/UndergraduateStudies/ecofgcu.html

For the past five years, a requirement the Wastewater Engineering class (ENV 4509C) has been to utilize bio organisms to treat waste streams coming out of the Health and Marine & Ecological Sciences laboratories.

+ Date Revised: Sept. 25, 2014

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:

Dr. John Herman and his General Ecology (PCB3043C) classes have spent the last several years compiling data on aquatic microinvertebrates on the FGCU campus across a disturbance gradient (utilizing a disturbed aquatic ecosystem and the protected conservation areas on campus). Students use this data for their final project in the course and Dr. Herman hopes to publish the data in the future with all the students listed as collaborators.

The watershed which FGCU campus is a part of is being rigorously studied by faculty and students as well:

GIS Mapping With The Community In Mind

Benjamin J. Dion and Eric D. Frankovitch
Florida Gulf Coast University, College of Arts and Sciences, Environmental Studies
Abstract: The utilization of Global Positioning System (GPS) devices and Geographic Information System (GIS) software have enabled us to develop a virtual interactive map of many important natural areas in Southwest Florida, such as the Imperial River, the nature trails at Barefoot Beach Preserve, and the Caracara Prairie Preserve nature trails at Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW). The interactive virtual map of the watershed can be accessed and utilized by students, instructors, and the local Southwest Florida community to enhance environmental education and outreach. The main goal of the project is to create new innovative tools that can help students and the community understand the benefits from and human impact on the natural goods and services that our healthy ecosystems provide. Our project also sets the foundation for a variety of future student service learning projects, which can be embedded into the map adding to the maps’ educational qualities.

The Imperial River and the nature trails at Barefoot Beach
Preserve were mapped out with GPS devices and added to the GIS
map as separate Civic Engagement Projects in our Spring 2012
Environmental Biology of Southwest Florida class with Professor
David Green. Ben worked with two students mapping out the nature
trails at Barefoot Beach, while Eric was in one of the three groups of
students that mapped out portions of the Imperial River. These
projects were the first two GIS mapping experiences that we had
had, and led us to join David Green’s Straw Hat Brigade and working
together during the summer, fall, and spring 2012-2013 semesters

The Caracara Prairie Preserve Nature Trails at CREW became our
next large project during the 2012-2013 summer, fall, and spring
semesters. During Summer 2012, Eric and his group from Professor
David Green’s Introduction to Environmental Studies class mapped
out a portion of CREW’s Caracara Prairie Preserve Nature Trails. In
Fall 2012, Ben facilitated students of Professor David Green’s
Environmental Biology of Southwest Florida class in mapping out
another portion of the Caracara Trails. In Spring 2013, as the leading
students in the Straw Hat Brigade, we mapped out the last
remaining portions of the Caracara trail system, including all “Kissing
Gates”, “You Are Here” maps, and important locations and features.
After uploading our data into Professor Green’s interactive map, we
added the extra components and data points, such as the exact
locations of all 9 “Kissing Gates” and pictures.

http://faculty.fgcu.edu/dgreen/Index_files/GIS%20Mapping%20Project%20Poster%20FINAL_Ben_and_Eric.pdf

http://www.fgcu.edu/CAS/CEM/index.html


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:
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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:

The Office of Multicultural and Leadership Development's multiple student ambassadors cultivate a campus-wide community which celebrates diversity, empowers students to grow beyond their personal barriers, strengthens students’ understanding of diversity and social responsibility, and develops students’ leadership skills. Through orientations and events on campus, the ambassadors promote academic, leadership and personal growth.


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:

Peers CARE is a group of undergraduate interns who are trained as Peer Educators on various topics related to student health. Peer Educators share health and wellness information with other students in fun and engaging ways. They present programs to fellow students on information related to alcohol, drugs, stress, and nutrition (to name a few!). In addition to programming, Peers participate in various campus events and projects, such as the Celebrate Your Body Week, Cash Cab and The MOST Eagles Prize Team!

+ Date Revised: Sept. 25, 2014

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:
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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:

Paid student Service Learning Ambassadors are often principal contacts that liaise between FGCU and external organizations. This work significantly contributes to the amount of successful service learning hours and projects completed in the surrounding community.

+ Date Revised: Sept. 25, 2014

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:

ART 3840 - Environmental Art is offered as an elective for both Environmental Studies and Art majors at FGCU. This course utilizes the natural settings of the FGCU Campus to explore artistic expression. This course is a survey of contemporary art movements focusing on the natural world, including lectures, presentations, field trips, and in-depth studio exercises.


The website URL where information about the institution’s campus as a living laboratory program or projects is available:
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Florida Gulf Coast University’s campus is used for multidisciplinary applied research and practical work that advances sustainability in our operations and infrastructure by numerous campus community members. There is no way of tracking all of the class projects, thesis projects, term papers, published papers, projects, internships, etc. that involve active and experiential learning while contributing to positive sustainability outcomes on our campus at this time. Therefore, this is not a comprehensive list of all of the instances in which FGCU’s campus was utilized as a Living Learning Laboratory in the past three years.

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.