Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.17
Liaison Emily Neal
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Luther College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Jon Jensen
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Philosophy
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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:

ENVS 485 students in Spring 2019 studied Luther’s Climate Action Plan with a focus on different paths for the transition off of fossil fuels. Environmental Studies students are working with Professor Laura Peterson to study the carbon sequestration potential of campus natural areas.


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:

Students are participating in a comprehensive energy master plan for the campus in partnership with the Center for Sustainable Communities and Facilities Management. This involves looking at heating and air conditioning options for all buildings on the campus.

Three students serve on the Energy & Water Task Force of Luther College's Sustainability Council. The Energy and Water Task Group promotes sustainability by looking at Luther's energy and water usage and seeking ways to reduce the use of these resources.


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:

The Sustainability House tracks solar PV production against electricity consumption on a daily basis and set goals as a house to reduce consumption through behavior change. Nine students live in the Sustainability House year-round.

Sustainability Educators in the Center for Sustainable Communities manage the Baker Energy Monitoring Project. Residents of Baker Village have access to Energy Genius, a website that allows them to monitor their energy usage. The information displayed on the site is specific to each unit and can display real-time data as well as data from past days and months. Students can also view an anonymous comparison to other units as well as track progress for reducing personal energy consumption. Sustainability Educators send out monthly reports on how the apartment units in Baker Village are using their energy.

Three students serve on the Energy & Water Task Force of Luther College's Sustainability Council. The Energy and Water Task Group promotes sustainability by looking at Luther's energy and water usage and seeking ways to reduce the use of these resources.


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:

Environmental Philosophy students in Fall 2018 researched various aspects of sustainability in campus dining and developed proposals for presentation to Sodexo and the food council.

Eight to ten students are hired every year as Garden Crew workers to help plan, plant, and manage the campus farm.

Luther College Dining Services has a student group, Food Council, that meets weekly to discuss how to make positive change in our campus food systems.


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:

Students in several biology and environmental studies courses do research projects related to sustainability of the Luther College campus. Biology 250, Restoration and Conservation Biology, does campus projects that focus on invasive species and ecological restoration projects every spring.

One student serves on the Land Stewardship Committee, a task group of the Sustainability Council. The Land Use Committee is concerned with issues related to the use and management of Luther's 1000 acres and comes together to make decisions and review proposals related to central campus and natural areas.


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:

Students working with the Center for Sustainable Communities are researching college purchasing policies and practices as part of development of the Luther’s zero waste plan.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Transportation?:
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 Transportation:

Students worked to collect data for the bicycle friendly university assessment. By virtue of recognizing the college’s gaps in transportation support and initiatives, the students created videos on bike safety and assisted with the creation of a campus bike policy.


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 Environmental Philosophy researched the possibility of reducing disposable cups in all campus cafés. They explored the feasibility of various alternatives including financial incentives and alternatives to single use cups.


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:

Various groups of students have researched ways to reduce water bottles on campus. One group pushed for a water bottle ban and another took the more positive, “back to the tap” approach. Additionally, students are researching water runoff and contamination issues as part of local watershed projects.

Three students serve on the Energy & Water Task Force of Luther College's Sustainability Council. The Energy and Water Task Group promotes sustainability by looking at Luther's energy and water usage and seeking ways to reduce the use of these resources.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
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 Coordination & Planning:

Students participated in the development of a new strategic plan for the Center for Sustainable Communities by assisting staff with community listening sessions throughout the spring of 2018 and participating in visioning and planning sessions in late 2018. They have provided feedback and edits for a final draft of the 2019 plan that will carry the Center forward for the next three years.

Additionally, students regularly serve on the sub-committees of our Sustainability Council. There is also one student leader appointed as the Sustainability Representative on the Campus Betterment committee of Student Senate.


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:

Numerous classes and student groups have worked on diversity issues on campus. Specific courses included “The Color of Change” and “Environmental Education.”


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Investment & Finance?:
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 Investment & Finance:

Students in Fall 2018 assisted with the development of a proposal to establish a Responsible Investment Advisory Committee to provide an avenue for discussing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investment practices for the Luther College endowment. This was presented to the investment committee of the Board of Regents in February 2019.


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 in ENVS 485, Resilience and Community, in Spring 2018, worked with local communities to look at community resilience planning. Student researchers assisted Professor Rachel Brummel in a research project examining community flood resilience in Freeport, a community heavily impacted by flooding on the Upper Iowa River.


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 the Health program are working with the Human Resources office to research options for improving the wellbeing of faculty, staff, and students on campus.

Social Work 185 is designed to introduce students to current theories, research and practice in the field of crisis intervention with interpersonal violence, with specific focus on the area of family violence. Crisis intervention strategies with respect to people who have been physically, sexually, and emotionally abused will be covered in this course. An introduction to assessment and intervention skills for working with individuals and families from diverse backgrounds will be emphasized. This includes interventions with family members, as well as community level interventions that are culturally appropriate. This course will prepare students to serve as volunteers on the crisis line for the Domestic and Sexual Abuse Resource Center.


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:

Luther College employs over 40 students who work in the Information Technology Services Center (ITS). ITS supports all information needs of the campus from computers and telephones to networks and software for the campus. These students are gaining real-world experience in the technology help field. Luther's ITS department has a strong commitment to sustainability and frequently produces guidelines and articles about sustainable technology for the campus community.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

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.