Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.07
Liaison Katie Koscielak
Submission Date May 7, 2020

STARS v2.2

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

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Morgan King
Sustainability & Waste Coordinator
Facilities Management
"---" 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 Environmental Education & Interpretation Graphics (ESM 353), student teams develop interpretive signs for the campus. The intent of these signs is to generate awareness of and participation in the campus’ sustainability programs. Through this process the class learns about alternative transportation, waste reduction, green building and climate protection while applying project management and interpretive design techniques taught in the class. Signs and displays are then mounted across campus to provide interpretation and guidance to the campus community.


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 Recreation 220 (Leisure Programming), students gain skills and knowledge in developing, planning, coordinating, and evaluating events. Students in this class take on the Office of Sustainability, Center Activities and other campus organizations as a ‘client’, learn about campus sustainability initiatives (e.g., HSU’s waste reduction programs and operations), and then receive credit by successfully working with the client to develop, implement and evaluate an event that can strengthen sustainability on campus. This includes the annual HSU Zero Waste Conference, in which REC 220 students build partnerships with non-campus organizations, conduct outreach, solicit donations, organize workshops, and conduct other aspects of the event. The Zero Waste Conference engages the public and the campus community with speakers, workshops, film screenings and other events to generate greater agency around reducing waste on and off campus.


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 Resources Engineering (ERE) 532 graduate seminar, entitled “Energy, Environment, and Society,” conducts greenhouse gas emissions inventories for the university. This course is co-taught by Professors Arne Jacobson and Peter Alstone. Student teams develop greenhouse gas inventories utilizing annual energy and fuel use data supplied by Facilities Management. The teams analyze results and develop recommendations to curb emissions. These reports are then made available to Facilities Management to be used for planning and emissions tracking purposes.


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:

The Building Energy Analysis course (ENGR 473), taught by Assistant Professor Peter Alstone, conducts whole building analyses and audits of campus buildings. The course works closely with Facilities Management to access meter and building shell data, measure insulation and heat transmission losses through building elements, meter specific loads (e.g., motors), model energy efficiency measures (e.g., using DOE 2 and other software), and better understand occupancy and how behaviors effect building utility use. The class also analyzes electrification of buildings by replacing natural gas fired boilers with electric heat pumps and adding solar PV. Reports from this class are then submitted to Facilities Management. For example, Facilities Management has integrated many of their findings into the planned Jenkins Hall Renovation ( https://facilitymgmt.humboldt.edu/jenkins-hall-renovation)

Green Building (ENST 123) provides students with a foundation in natural building techniques. Students work with alternative building materials including cob, hempcrete, and repurposed materials. Students learn about the alternative building materials used at the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology (on the HSU Campus) and then construct small building projects on-site. (https://ccat.humboldt.edu/content/classes)


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:

There are multiple houses on the HSU campus used for office or program space. Following the award of a Campus as A Living Lab (CALL) grant from the California State University Chancellor’s Office in 2015, Professor Kevin Fingerman has since gone through a Building Performance Institute (BPI) building energy analysis training, where he learned to use blower door, duct blast and other techniques to conduct whole house energy audits, and redesigned his class, Energy, Technology and Society (ESM 370), to teach students whole building performance analysis techniques. Students learn how to conduct blower door and duct blast tests, and from The Energy Detective (TED) electricity monitors installed in test houses on campus, students collect real-time consumption data correlated to building occupancy patterns and usage. Their findings are shared with building occupants to improve energy efficiency.


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:

Sustainable Campus Practicum (ESM 411) is a course that utilizes campus sustainability issues as the context for student capstone experience in the Environmental Science & Management major. The Office of Sustainability, Facilities Management, HSU Dining and other departments propose projects that will provide beneficial information for the campus. Students evaluate the feasibility of developing an educational garden on campus (Sustainable Food for Students: Organic Gardening for HSU), conduct lifecycle assessments of foods sold on campus and make recommendations for alternatives (e.g., HSU Organic Coffee Project), the utilization of edible landscaping (Edible Landscaping and Permaculture Project at CCAT), and evaluation of Dining Services’ existing operations (e.g., Compostable Utensil Evaluation and Feasibility Report for HSU).


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:

The Forest Measurements and Biometry class (FOR 210) conducts a census of trees on the HSU campus. Trees are located using GPS, have their species identified, diameters and heights measured, and assessed for damage and age. These measurements are also used to estimate how much carbon is stored in campus trees. Re-measurement is used to estimate carbon storage over time and to monitor trends in health of the campus forest. The results are reported back to HSU Grounds for the purpose of monitoring tree health. Results are also used by the Office of Sustainability to identify carbon sequestration that could potentially be counted against campus greenhouse gas emissions.


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:

Students in Technology & the Environment (ENGR 308) conduct lifecycle assessments on behalf of HSU Dining Services, which is changing its purchasing to come into compliance with campus and system-wide sustainability goals. For example, Dining Services purchases (and then sells to consumers) re-usable mason jars as a means of phasing out disposable coffee cups. As a ‘client’ of ENGR 308, Dining Services was interested in knowing the sustainability of purchasing this more durable, re-usable option (i.e. do the mason jars generate a greater environmental impact than disposable paper cups, or vice-versa?). The study compared three metrics: carbon dioxide emissions, embedded energy, and cost. The mason jar must be reused seven times (to abate embedded energy) and nine times (to abate carbon dioxide emissions), rather than purchase and dispose of one paper cup. Students then created meme posters to educate consumers, which Dining Services posted in its dining facilities. Most recently, ENGR 308 has done a similar analysis of re-usable straws, which Dining Services now purchases and sells in an effort to phase out disposable straws in its dining facilities (https://www.appropedia.org/HSU_straw_analysis)


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:

ESM 309b (Environmental Communication) works with the Office of Sustainability to develop PSAs, radio spots, and articles about HSU’s bike-share program with Zagster. Students research the program, test ride the bikes, interview bike share users, and then then gain marketing development skills utilizing the bike-share program as the context. The Office of Sustainability then deploys student teams’ products across campus to market the bike-share and to increase the use of this alternative transportation.


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:

ENGR 435 (Solid Waste Management) includes a tour of HSU’s waste management and resource recovery operations and interviews with Facilities Management staff. Students then analyze specific aspects of campus operations, identify and report on recommendations for improvement. For example, class projects have included recommended improvements to Facilities’ BiobiN food-waste collection, to green-waste management, and to the Waste Reduction and Resource Awareness Program’s Earth Tub composter.


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:

Sustainable Campus (ESM 411) utilizes campus sustainability issues as the context for student capstone experience in the Environmental Science & Management major. The Office of Sustainability and Facilities Management propose projects that provide beneficial information for the campus. Student projects have included evaluating HSU’s storm-water runoff (Campus Stormwater Runoff Assessment), conducting water audits and recommending conservation measures (A Study of Water Conservation at Humboldt State University), and studying the feasibility of rainwater collection and re-use (Rainwater Catchment Proposal).


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 Business Administration program fosters student exploration of how sustainability, as a critical aspect of decision-making, can generate financial returns while building social and environmental health. This includes MBA in Strategic Sustainability. The Office of Sustainability, the City of Arcata, and other on- and off-campus programs are recruited to propose student projects for both the graduate and undergraduate programs.
In the spring of 2019 BA 401 (Advanced Business Management Applications) students worked with HSU Climate Action Analyst and Professor Lancaster to plan and facilitate the 2019 Building Community Resilience Workshop, one in a series of forums designed to engage the campus and community in planning for resilience in the face of climate change impacts (for the summary of findings, go to https://facilitymgmt.humboldt.edu/sites/default/files/bcr_summary_of_findings.pdf). Students participated in initial planning meetings and helped to develop workshop materials. During the workshop, students were assigned as table facilitators and reporters. Following the workshop, students collected and organized data to share back with the Climate Action Analyst. Their work concluded with a report and presentation. The workshop supports the development of a Resilience Plan for HSU.


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:

Courses in Social Work (e.g., SW 255, SW 355, SW 455, and SW 649 Wellness & Sustainability) involve active participation of students in addressing food insecurity on campus. Students participating in these courses study emerging patterns at Humboldt State, which suggest that over 50% of HSU students sacrifice nutrition and/or skip meals because they do not have enough money for food. Students then demonstrate and practice theory discussed in class by utilizing the Oh SNAP! food pantry on campus as an in vivo social laboratory. Through the food pantry students learn about and participate in food distribution, identify and test solutions to food insecurity and measure the impact of food insecurity on academic, behavioral, physical, emotional, social and spiritual development. Professor Jennifer Maguire teaches courses in this program and has been the Principal Investigator for the HSU Food Security Project. She is also co-facilitator of the Oh SNAP! Campus Food Pantry.


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

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

Students can receive academic credit through Environmental Science & Management 482 to intern with the Humboldt Energy Independence Fund (HEIF), a student-fees generated fund for the purpose of financing renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainability projects on the HSU campus. Instructors of record for this course are staff members in the Office of Sustainability. Students interning with HEIF support project development, project management, cost analyses, communications and evaluation to ensure ongoing HEIF investment in approved projects.


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:

University Police officers are research subjects for Professor of Kinesiology and Human Performance Lab Director Young Sub Kwon and his team of student assistants (Fitness Assessment/Programming, KINS 456A). Their goal is to identify methods for better managing the physical and emotional demands of first responder’s jobs. Using equipment to measure everything from cardiovascular endurance to flexibility, the researchers get a detailed picture of subjects’ level of physical health so they can develop tailored fitness programs for each first responder.


Website URL where information about the institution’s living laboratory program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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