Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.91
Liaison Elizabeth Swiman
Submission Date Dec. 19, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Florida State University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
4.00 / 4.00 Jamie Valentine
Partnerships Coordinator
Sustainable Campus
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Air & Climate?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Air & Climate:

Two dedicated graduate students joined the Climate Action Sustainability Strategic Plan Committee alongside faculty and staff to determine how FSU should address climate change in future years. Students gleaned insight into the Strategic Planning process, researched other university’s climate action plans, and gave a student perspective on how FSU should address this important issue.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Buildings?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Buildings:

As FSU designs a new Union building, Sustainability Fellows explored the feasibility of incorporating a recycling center for hard to recycle materials into the new building plan. Through surveys and case study research, Sustainability Fellows developed recommendations on how to incorporate the recycling center for maximum visibility, ease of use by students, and developed a plan for maintenance with building staff.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Energy?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Energy:

Undergraduate engineering students surveyed research laboratory conditions and proposed new targets for ventilation air change rates, which consume between 60-80% of research lab energy use. By taking a more critical look at what types of research are being conducted in a lab and coinciding air change to meet safety standards, air change rates have been drastically reduced in several areas and, additionally, more closely align with current research.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Food & Dining?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Food & Dining:

A dedicated Sociology student developed a thesis on the Real Food Challenge and the feasibility of a student driven food movement as FSU. Through this thesis, information was gleaned regarding FSU’s food sourcing, concluding with recommendations on how a student social movement could shift the University’s food budget away from industrial farms and instead source from local farms.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Grounds?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Grounds:

In a Field Botany class, 23 students participated in a two-hour tour of the campus landscaping led by the Assistant Director of Grounds at FSU. During the tour, students and Grounds discussed FSU’s approach to the campus landscape, introducing native plants, food plants, and medicinal plants on campus. Throughout the semester, the course’s instructor references plants in the campus landscape as examples when introducing new class material, providing place based examples to expand student learning.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Purchasing?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Purchasing:

Several students interned with Procurement Services to incorporate sustainability into FSU’s purchasing policies. One student explored how contractual language can prioritize sustainable purchasing, another student researched sustainability policy in purchasing, while the third examined current suppliers and how to increase supplier diversity.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Transportation:

Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) worked with undergraduate engineering students to develop modular bus stop shelters to improve existing stop conditions and encourage the use of transit. The effort looked at site requirements, possible design options, and estimated costs. The designs included stop amenities such as comfortable seating, bicycle parking, solar-powered lighting, and trash receptacles. The work is currently being used by TAPS to plan for future bus stop investments.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Waste:

Undergraduate students in the class Green Living: Theory to Action conducted a waste audit to determine the amount of recycling and landfill bin misuse occurring on campus. Students sifted through garbage and recycling bags from various locations across FSU, tracked contamination type, and weight of multiple categories of materials. Students analyzed the data, reporting on recycling confusion and making suggestions to educate the campus community.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Water?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Water:

Undergraduate engineering and environmental science students studied the storm water system on campus to learn more about how storm water impacts groundwater quality – especially in North Florida. Students helped to develop forms for contractors to use to ensure that best practices are being carried out, communicated with contractors and conducted field visits to verify that proper maintenance is being conducted, and developed educational materials, which are now displayed on the FSU Utilities website. This has helped both the student working on the project and the university learn about the impacts of storm water in order to further educate contractors and the public.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Coordination & Planning:

For the first time at FSU, sustainability has been included as a component in the Strategic Plan. Students from various disciplines joined the sustainability strategic planning process with staff and faculty to learn about integrating sustainability into future planning and to suggest ideas of interest from the student body. Students attended planning meetings and researched current sustainability actions on campus, analyzing potential areas of improvement.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Diversity & Affordability:

In 2018, the Student Government Association started The Diversity & Inclusion Institute with the mission to provide a space for FSU students to more fully understand the range of diversity and multiculturalism, including but not limited to ability, socio-economic, age, rural/urban, veterans, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, gender identity & expression, religion, and faith structures through workshops that are focused on awareness, discussion and collaborative learning activities. The Diversity and Inclusion Institute is a student lead initiative focused on creating a culture at FSU in which students are consciously aware of how their cultural-bias influence their decisions and challenge them to implement their skills learned from this institute in the FSU community and society.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Investment & Finance?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Investment & Finance:

FSU Divest, a student developed and run organization championing the reduction of FSU’s investment in fossil fuels, collaborated with the Foundation Investment Committee to learn about current stock holdings and the viability of divesting. Students advocated for divestment, learned about stocks, met with the Investment Committee, and made recommendations for future investment.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Public Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Public Engagement:

Eco-Reps, sustainability ambassadors on campus, and the Social Justice Living Learning Community, a group of students residing together committed to social justice, visited a local community farm to discuss how sustainability is social justice. Students were able to understand the intersectionality of their work and create more holistic programming to engage students on campus.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Wellbeing & Work:

As part of CHAW’s initiative to address food insecurity on campus, a graduate student in the combined Master’s Dietetic Internship program, created a cookbook using the most common items on the shelves of the Food for Thought Pantry. In addition, the student made several cooking videos that show how easy it is to make the dishes and designed “The Price Is Right” game that challenges students to create a balanced meal for under a stated amount using by guessing the prices of listed items.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to other areas (e.g. arts & culture or technology)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to other areas:

Students in the class Social Marketing and Public Communication Campaigns collaborated with the Sustainable Campus office at FSU to develop pro-environmental campaigns to be employed in the FSU community. Research was conducted on the current student population, utilizing a SWOT analysis, and students developed targeted behavior change campaigns to be utilized by the Sustainable Campus office.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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