Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 46.06
Liaison Deborah Steinberg
Submission Date Dec. 18, 2020

STARS v2.2

Knox College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Deborah Steinberg
Director of Campus Sustainability Initiatives
Office of Sustainability
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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 Campus Engagement?:
Yes

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

One student's research project focused on the roles of Motivational Interviewing, self-determined motivation, and self-efficacy in increasing collaborative, pro-environmental activism. Her research was with fellow classmates and included each participant setting collaborative, activist pro-environmental goals that were to be enacted on campus. The study measured which method best motivated students to accomplish the pro-environmental goals they set. The research was published in 2018.


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:

KnoxCorps fellows are placed in internship roles at public institutions, building connections between the campus and the community, and experiencing the political challenges of governmental and NGO work for social causes. These students have facilitated and introduced new programs involving food aid, health education, neighborhood improvement, and more. This is an ongoing program, since 2012, that recruits new fellows each year.


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:

A 2019 senior research project in the Environmental Studies department measured the air quality on campus and around town. Knox is approximately 60 miles from Davenport, IA which hosts the closest air quality monitoring station. The question they asked was "With features such as temperature, air pressure, and weather varying so much over distances such as 60 miles- what makes air pollution any different?" and they used a portable air quality monitor to investigate the quality of the air breathed around Galesburg and on campus.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Buildings?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Buildings:
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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 Energy?:
Yes

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

In 2019-2020 a student conducted a greenhouse gas inventory for Knox College analyzing the previous three academic years.


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:

A class project in 2018 is looking at expanding our existing campus farm to include a perennial and herb garden for use by farm volunteers, the campus community, and the college dining hall.


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:

An ANSO course that is offered each spring maintains the campus' two rain gardens. This includes weeding, applying mulch, and planting new native plants to increase biodiversity. This project is a collaboration with the Grounds department and students learn about sustainable landscape maintenance.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Purchasing?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Purchasing:
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IIs the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Transportation?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Transportation:
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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 Waste?:
Yes

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

An ANSO class offered each year performs a waste audit of one week of trash from one campus building. The waste audit is a collaboration with the sustainability office. The data collected are compared to the previous years' data.


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:

A course on water designed and installed the campus' first rain garden in 2017 to divert water from the sewers and increase native habitat on campus. The second rain garden was installed in 2019 as part of a course on the anthropocene.


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:

A student's post-baccalaureate project in fall of 2017 was to collect, synthesize data for the STARS report and also identified areas for improvement and new campus initiatives.


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:

A student in 2018 is looking into students of color and their resources on campus and has started to analyze the additional labor (emotional and work) that faculty and staff of color do for students of color on campus.


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?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Wellbeing & Work:
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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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.