Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.33
Liaison James Biesecker
Submission Date Nov. 1, 2022

STARS v2.2

Gettysburg College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Randy Wilson
Associate Professor
Environmental Studies
"---" 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 ES 196 Environmental Science and Society, students study several aspects of campus managmement in terms of sustainability. This includes lab projects that study water quality in the pond located on campus (impacted by potential run off from campus landscape), a study of the stream running through campus, a study of recycling, and a study of campus trees to measure carbon sequestration. A vareity of senior project also used the campus as a laboratory - focused on environmental planning and transportation policy options for example.


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:

One of the best examples is the use of Painted Turtle Farm - an organic farm initiated as an ES Student Senior project supervised by Professor Randy Wilson, the farm currently provides a CSA to community members and offers low-income community residents a place to grow food. Though located on the college campus, it has been used as a research laboratory to study food access and hunger issues in the local community.


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:

Yes, students regularly use the campus to study the roll of campus trees in affecting local air pollution and climate change. This data helps inform campus managers about strategies for reducing our campus carbon footprint.


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:

Farmhouse, the campus' sustainability and social justice theme house, is dedicated towards intentional living, especially regarding food. The residents of Farmhouse constantly work towards achieving sustainable lifestyles through community building, ecological footprint reduction, and mindful purchasing and living. The house also generates compost for the garden from its own food scraps, which become rich soil perfect for cultivating fruits and vegetables. In addition to their own garden the members of Farmhouse support the local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), Broad Valley Orchard, exchanging work hours for delicious and local fruits and vegetables.


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:

Senior Capstone courses utilize connections and information of energy on campus from Facilities Services. Past STARS reports have been looked to as case study information.


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:

The Painted Turtle Farm is a student-run Certified Naturally Grown garden at Gettysburg College. It also hosts a Community Garden and Training Center. Student volunteers are involved in all aspects of small scale organic agriculture and manage projects year-round, including planning, planting, growing, and harvesting a variety of fruits and vegetables, to improving soil integrity and biodiversity in the local ecosystems, to reaching out and educating the student body and local community about the importance of local and sustainable agriculture.


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:

Students regularly conduct studies of campus trees and vegetation in terms of their impacts for storm water runoff, pollution runoff and climate change mediation.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Purchasing?:
Yes

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

College's Student Senate and G.E.C.O. continue to work with Dining Services making changes to the cash operations to promote sustainable dining options. Over the last 5 years this has lead to initiatives such as trayless dining, reusable take out containers and dinnerware.


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:

The College recently acquired electric car charging stations and engages in student awareness campaigns in collaboration with student organizations to increase use of free public transit between the campus and local community. The College pays for access for students and faculty to ride the local shuttle system.
Numerous student projects have also studied campus transportation policy as part of senior theses in order to find ways to reduce environmental impacts from this sector.


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:

Gettysburg College annually competes in RecycleMania, a nationwide event to help campuses reduce waste. Over a 10 week period, schools race to recycle the most glass, aluminum, paper, and whatever else they can find! This increases student and employee awareness of recycling as well as serves as a benchmark for baseline data of waste on campus. Student promotion is coordinated by the Student Sustainability Organization GECO. Historically we rank in the top 5 in the country for schools our size with regards to the % of recycling to total waste


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:

Students regularly study water quality of natural water bodies on campus to discern presence of pollution and how this might be related to campus management practices.


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:

The college has made strides to achieve LEED certification in new building projects. Students have studied this structures as part of projects contained in ES coursework on urban and environmental planning.


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:

https://www.gettysburg.edu/campus-life
A recent significant project was the implementation of free Bike Share Program available to all students and initiated and operated solely by the students through the Office of Student Activities.


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:

Over 85% of the students participate in Campus Rec or Intercollegiate activities. Wellness activities are an important part of Campus life. Please refer to the link.
https://www.gettysburg.edu/campus-life
A recent significant project was the implementation of free Bike Share Program available to all students and initiated and operated solely by the students through the Office of Student Activities.


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 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.