Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 52.36
Liaison Delicia Nahman
Submission Date March 3, 2020

STARS v2.2

Lafayette College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Kendall Roberson
Sustainability Fellow
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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:

EVST 400 capstone courses in Fall 2017 and Fall 2019 involved hands on student engagement with our campus with a sustainability themed focus. In 2017 we focused on Envisioning the Future of LaFarm. In 2019 we focused on supporting the STARS report and exploring how implementing the Climate Action Plan 2.0 could engage a broader sector of our campus community.

EVST 230 and EVST 310 participates in the Connected Classrooms initiative, which is community/public engagement involving water and climate change lessons. Also, EVST 215 Environmental Policy course conducts a campus-wide student survey on Lafayette's policies regarding air and climate, buildings, energy, food and farm, water, biodiversity (and grounds), transportation, waste, and water.


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:

ES 101 2017 and 2018 (Introduction to Engineering) Half semester project (teams of 4 students): First-year engineering students were tasked with developing a conceptual design for a campus trail system to serve members of the college and Easton communities. Students conducted interviews, fieldwork, geospatial analysis, and engineering analysis to develop their designs.

Fall 2018 Sustainable Solutions course assisted Easton in developing its vulnerability assessment that outlines the city’s susceptibility to effects of climate change. https://news.lafayette.edu/2019/01/30/lafayette-study-helps-easton-understand-its-climate-change-vulnerabilities/

The college has numerous Community Based Learning classes that fit this criteria as well. https://news.lafayette.edu/tag/community-based-learning/


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:

EGRS 451 (Fall 2018) worked on a project assessing the feasibility of implementing green roofs in Easton. https://sites.lafayette.edu/egrs451-fa18/green-roofs/

EVST 230 and EVST 310 participates in the Connected Classrooms initiative, which is community/public engagement involving water and climate change lessons. Also, EVST 215 Environmental Policy course conducts a campus-wide student survey on Lafayette's policies regarding air and climate, buildings, energy, food and farm, water, biodiversity (and grounds), transportation, waste, and water.


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:

Professor Brandes in CE and Prof Butler in Biology worked with several students to assess the extent of bird kills on campus due to collisions with reflective window glass. As a result, retrofits were applied to Hugel Science Center and to the Williams Visual Arts Building, and bird-safe glass was used in the construction of the new Rockwell Integrated Science Center. A retrofit project for Skillman Library is in process. A refereed journal paper resulted from this work.


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:

EGRS 451 (Fall 2017) completed a feasibility study of whether or not Lafayette College should move forward with researching the implementation of solar panels on the rooftops of buildings on campus. https://sites.lafayette.edu/egrs451-fa17/solar-audit/

EGRS 451 (Fall 2016) completed a Combined Heat and Power for Lafayette College Report that the College used to guide its next steps for energy efficiency. https://sites.lafayette.edu/egrs451-fa16/chp/

EGRS 451 (Fall 2018) created a Feasibility Report of Microgrids at Lafayette College. https://sites.lafayette.edu/egrs451-fa18/microgrids/introduction-mg/

CE 203 2018 and 2019 (Envisioning a Sustainable Future) Semester Project (teams of 4 students from a range of majors and rank): Students performed research, data collection, and analysis to develop a poster and oral presentation of their findings from their Energy Use in Kirby Sports Center study.


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:

Students from a variety of majors in INDS 330 Grand Challenges Seminar worked in teams to research, design, purchase, and construct a solar-powered vegetable wash station at LaFarm.

EVST 400 capstone courses in Fall 2017 involved hands on student engagement with our campus with a sustainability themed focus. In 2017 we focused on Envisioning the Future of LaFarm (our campus farm and community garden).

CE 203 2018 and 2019 (Envisioning a Sustainable Future) Semester Project (teams of 4 students from a range of majors and rank): Students performed research, data collection, and analysis to develop a poster and oral presentation of their findings from their Food Access in the West Ward (food desert in Easton) study.

CE 203 2018 and 2019 (Envisioning a Sustainable Future) Semester Project (teams of 4 students from a range of majors and rank): Students performed research, data collection, and analysis to develop a poster and oral presentation of their findings from their Sustainable Food Practices at Lafayette College study.

Govt231: Global Environmental Politics includes a 15-page research paper. In the past years, every year some students have selected as their focus local food (La Farm) and/or water quality (Bushkill, Take back the Tap) analysis, placing these PA and US data in global comparative perspectives.


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:

BIOL 224: Students worked with the campus sustainability director, Marie Fechik-Kirk, Prof. David Brandes, and Donna Kneule in Communications to create signs for two campus locations featuring plants (i.e., a bioretention area and a pollinator garden).

Students in EVST 400 (Spring 2018) planted native perennials in a vegetated swale adjacent to LaFarm.

Students in EVST 400 Capstone (Fall 2018) researched and drafted a Sustainable Campus Landscaping Policy considering the support of local ecology using native plants, minimizing chemical use on campus, and conserving water used in landscaping. Their report was forwarded to the Office of Sustainability.

Students in EVST 400 Capstone (Spring 2019) developed a Bushkill Creek restoration plan for property owned by the College along Bushkill Creek. The project would be implemented upon removal of Dam 1 owned by the College. Students worked in teams on three aspects of the project: Site Concept Plan, Ecological Restoration, and Communications/Website.


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:

CE 203 2018 and 2019 (Envisioning a Sustainable Future) Semester Project (teams of 4 students from a range of majors and rank): Students performed research, data collection, and analysis to develop a poster and oral presentation of their findings from their Impact of fashion choices – Impact per wear study.


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:

EVST 230 and EVST 310 participates in the Connected Classrooms initiative, which is community/public engagement involving water and climate change lessons. Also, EVST 215 Environmental Policy course conducts a campus-wide student survey on Lafayette's policies regarding air and climate, buildings, energy, food and farm, water, biodiversity (and grounds), transportation, waste, and water.

CE 203 2018 and 2019 (Envisioning a Sustainable Future) Semester Project (teams of 4 students from a range of majors and rank): Students performed research, data collection, and analysis to develop a poster and oral presentation of their findings from their Sustainable Campus Parking study.


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:

EGRS 451 (Fall 2017) students mapped the life cycle of electronic waste and its impacts at Lafayette. https://sites.lafayette.edu/egrs451-fa17/e-lifecycle/

EVST 373 (Spring 2018) used predictions of the year 2040 without food waste to envision a better, more flourishing, and healthier world in the future. https://sites.lafayette.edu/egrs-evst373-sp18/no-more-food-waste/

As part of the ECON 340 Environmental and Resource Economics class in spring of 2019 and fall of 2019, taught by Hongxing Liu, in total 44 students worked on their individual projects covering a range of topics on Lafayette campus, such as food waste composting, having a pollinator garden on campus, recycling clothes.

Senior Honors Thesis (Rebecca Blocker CE ’20). Rebecca is working on a project for AeroAggregates, the only large-scale manufacturer of recycled foamed glass aggregate in North America. This material has a variety of uses in civil infrastructure, including as base material for the green roof at Rockwell Integrated Sciences Center. Rebecca is performing laboratory tests to evaluate the strength of foamed glass and is developing a unique test to measure in-place density.


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 from a variety of majors in INDS 330 Grand Challenges Seminar worked in teams to research, design, purchase, and construct a solar-powered vegetable wash station at LaFarm.

Students in CE 423 Water Quality (Spring 2016) designed a stormwater bioretention area and rain garden at Fisher Quad. Components included hydrological assessment, plant selection, and monitoring and maintenance. The project was later built with funding obtained by Professor Brandes from the Lehigh Valley Greenways Initiative and Lehigh Gap Nature Center's Landscaping for Communities and Wildlife Program. Students in Prof Armstrong's course also developed signage for the project.

EVST 373 (Spring 2018) used predictions of the year 2040 without water waste to envision a better, more flourishing, and healthier world in the future. https://sites.lafayette.edu/egrs-evst373-sp18/water-re-use/


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:

As part of the ECON 408 Cost-benefit Analysis class in fall of 2018 and fall of 2019, taught by Hongxing Liu, in total 27 students worked on their individual projects covering a range of topics on Lafayette campus to promote sustainability and accessibility, such as buying more local food, involving Easton students with LaFarm, renovating Simon center.

CE 203 2018 and 2019 (Envisioning a Sustainable Future) Semester Project (teams of 4 students from a range of majors and rank): Students performed research, data collection, and analysis to develop a poster and oral presentation of their findings from their smart growth along Bushkill Drive study.

CE 203 2018 and 2019 (Envisioning a Sustainable Future) Semester Project (teams of 4 students from a range of majors and rank): Students performed research, data collection, and analysis to develop a poster and oral presentation of their findings from their Land Preservation Versus Development in the Lehigh Valley study.


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:

In EGRS 152 during the Spring of 2018 and EGRS 352 in the Spring of 2019, the classes worked through the Landis Center's Connected Communities program to teach 3rd graders about climate change, its relationship to energy use, and how they use and could use less energy in their lives. The program reaches out to the schools in Easton School District with the lowest incomes and highest percentages of minority students in order to help a wide range of Easton students envision themselves in college.

As part of the ECON 408 Cost-benefit Analysis class in fall of 2018 and fall of 2019, taught by Hongxing Liu, in total 27 students worked on their individual projects covering a range of topics on Lafayette campus to promote sustainability and accessibility, such as buying more local food, involving Easton students with LaFarm, renovating Simon center.


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:

As part of the ECON 408 Cost-benefit Analysis class in fall of 2018 and fall of 2019, taught by Hongxing Liu, in total 27 students worked on their individual projects covering a range of topics on Lafayette campus to promote sustainability and accessibility, such as buying more local food, involving Easton students with LaFarm, renovating Simon center.


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 classes and projects listed above are individual examples, but they do not even begin to represent an exhaustive list.

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.