Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Suzanne Hansen
Submission Date July 18, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Macalester College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Suzanne Savanick Hansen
Sustainability Manager
Macalester Sustainbility Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution utilizing the campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in the following areas?:
Yes or No
Air & Climate Yes
Buildings Yes
Dining Services/Food Yes
Energy Yes
Grounds Yes
Purchasing Yes
Transportation Yes
Waste Yes
Water Yes
Coordination, Planning & Governance Yes
Diversity & Affordability No
Health, Wellbeing & Work Yes
Investment No
Public Engagement No
Other Yes

A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Air & Climate and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Two environmental studies senior seminar classes developed the first greenhouse gas emissions inventory for the college and developed recommendations for the college climate action plan. An environmental studies senior seminar class developed recommendations for renewable energy. Another senior seminar developed outreach material for the Ordway Natural History Site.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Buildings and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Classes tour Markim Hall as an example of green architecture. Data is also available on the Markim Hall's energy and water consumption. The annual energy reports are available for students and faculty through the library's Digital Commons.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Dining Services/Food and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The Sustainability and the Campus class as well as the Cities, Sustainability and the Campus Class toured food service and meet with dining service staff as part of their class.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Energy and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

An environmental studies senior seminar class developed recommendations for renewable energy to fulfill the ACUPCC. A student used campus data as the basis for his math and computer science senior research project. He also analyzed the energy use of the EcoHouse and the Japanese House. A new dehumidifier was purchased for the EcoHouse because of his recommendations.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Grounds and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

A student designed green roof provided research material for a student project. An environmental studies class analyzed the potential for an additional green roof on a dorm. A campus prairie and storm water projects are used for class tours. A hydrology class is calculating storm water runoff from campus.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Purchasing and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

A student researched the environmental impacts of compostable products for a class research project.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Transportation and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

A student working as an intern for St. Paul Smart Trips, worked with the college to collect and analyze data on faculty and staff commuting. A geography senior seminar researched and analyzed student study away travel as their group project. Their process for data collection is still used today.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Waste and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

An environmental studies senior seminar conducted a waste audit that is still used today. The class also researched zero waste projects and recommended college actions. A student at the EcoHouse collected data on waste and actively tried to make the house "zero waste" as an independent study. Her recommendations are still used today.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Water and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

As part of a student internship with the Clean Energy Resource Teams, a student successfully installed water saving fixtures in a significant number of college sinks.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Coordination, Planning & Governance and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Two environmental studies senior seminar classes developed the first greenhouse gas emissions inventory for the college and developed recommendations for the college climate action plan. An additional senior seminar class developed recommendations for renewable energy.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Diversity & Affordability and the positive outcomes associated with the work:
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A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Health, Wellbeing & Work and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

A class recommended ways to improve sustainability and health. Students in the Cities, Sustainability and the Campus class developed outreach material for as smoking cessation program that showed the storm water effects of cigarette litter.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Investment and the positive outcomes associated with the work:
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A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Public Engagement and the positive outcomes associated with the work:
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A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory in Other areas and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The Sustainability Office keeps a potential student projects list to connect students with campus-based research needs. The EcoHouse has been a site for student independent study projects. The Sustainability Plan includes using the campus as a teaching tool as a goal.


The website URL where information about the institution’s campus as a living laboratory program or projects is available:

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.