Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 48.97
Liaison Kristy Howell
Submission Date July 28, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Johnson County Community College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Kristy Wittman Howell
Sustainability Education and Engagement Coordinator
Center for Sustainability
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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 honors students have identified and evaluated plant species in the green walls in Galileo's Pavilion as their honors contracts. The students produced papers detailing their findings that were submitted to a regional conference for honors students.


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:

Interior design students regularly evaluate campus lighting solutions in the context of their coursework, developing their understanding of occupant comfort and energy efficiency.


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:

Students in electrical technology classes work with numerous alternative energy concepts and contribute to campus-wide conversations about energy through tours.


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:

Students enrolled in the Sustainable Agriculture Practicum (part of our Sustainable Agriculture Certificate Program) maintain the campus's 2+ acre farm fields using sustainable methods such as crop rotation, cover cropping, integrated pest management and more. This produce is served by dining services, used in the prep kitchens of our culinary program and featured in special campus events to engage other students in local foods. Students are learning sustainable farming skills while producing food that is prepared and consumed right here on campus, lessening the need for items transported in from outside vendors.


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:

A team of students, including student interns from the Center for Sustainability, began an evaluation of wildlife that use campus grounds as habitat. The campus bioblitz has continued with a narrower focus on insect and pollinator counts. Interns' experiences collecting and applying the data gathered are assessed in evaluations and exit interviews at the end of their employment term.


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:

The following language is included in RFPs and RFBs:

Training and Educational Opportunities: Additional weighting and consideration may be given to vendors providing information on how their company or firm will work with the JCCC facilities and academic departments to develop opportunities for academic faculty to use information and activities contained in the proposal within the classroom environment. Training and educational opportunities for JCCC students, in the firm’s areas of expertise, are encouraged. The College plans to intentionally utilize the campus environment as an educational tool, using campus facilities, grounds, renovation projects, and related maintenance and operations, as a means to teach both existing course outcomes and sustainability concepts across all academic departments. Please indicate any educational opportunities your firm would provide to assist the college in these endeavors.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Transportation?:
No

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:
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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:

Students in a section of the honors forum evaluated and made suggestions regarding education for composting and e-waste disposal in our campus community.

Students in all sections of environmental science laboratory undertake a waste audit on campus.

Students in Sculpture II classes explore the campus waste stream as a source for raw materials to use in creating a sculpture. In some sections, students are afforded the opportunity to develop a large, public installation that serve as centerpieces to begin conversations about waste on campus.


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:

Students in Physical Geography Lab - GEOS 141 - test standing and running water in the ATB Creek, Stoll Pond, and the forebay of the main vegetated submerged bed of the campus stormwater management project each semester - 3 areas of campus where stormwater runoff collects. All students participate and this usually takes 1-2 lab sessions. Each lab session is 2 hours in length.
When water levels and conditions are advantageous, students also test the bioretention cell and the drain of the main vegetated submerged bed, which are mid- and post- points in the stormwater management system. Variables measured include: gps location, elevation, temperature, pH, total dissolved solids (conductance), total alkalinity, total hardness, nitrite, nitrate, and phosphates.
The goal is to record a history of water quality and to contrast the stormwater submerged bed areas with the non-mitigated ATB creek to compare and contrast variables and measure efficacy of the stormwater system. (Soon to add northern forested creek as a 3rd site of comparison).

Students in Environmental Science test solubility of soils in the campus stormwater management installation in two labs - generally about 2 hours each. Their project augments understanding of ecosystems services provided by that project.

Student interns in the Center for Sustainability monitor and record usage of water bottle refilling stations. Interns' experiences collecting and applying the data gathered are assessed in evaluations and exit interviews at the end of their employment term.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
No

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:
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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 2015, JCCC worked with employees from the KU School of Medicine, University of Kansas, and the University of Missouri, Kansas City to offer four Saturday learning opportunities on JCCC's campus. The program, a TRIO supported experiential education workshop, served nearly 200 students ranging in age from middle to high school. Students learned from JCCC faculty, staff, and students about four aspects of the college: stormwater handling, compost and food waste, solar and renewable energy, and campus biodiversity.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Investment & Finance?:
No

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:
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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:

Students developed community based participatory research protocols to evaluate attitudes about campus sustainability. The EcoReps produced campus brochures and maps that are used on tours with classes and with the community, and ultimately traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia, to present their research to peers from the US and four different Russian schools.


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:

Students in human performance classes join staff from the Center for Sustainability and the Open Petal Farm to discuss the built environment, health, and nutrition.


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:

A student in an honors contract for Botany designed a campus Food Forest, and funding support from the Student Sustainability Committee purchased the plants. The Sustainable Agriculture program installed and has maintained the forest since 2015.


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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