Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 48.14
Liaison Sean Vormwald
Submission Date April 4, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Onondaga Community College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.60 / 4.00 Sean Vormwald
Director of Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety
Office of Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety
"---" 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 ---
Buildings Yes
Dining Services/Food Yes
Energy Yes
Grounds Yes
Purchasing ---
Transportation ---
Waste ---
Water Yes
Coordination, Planning & Governance ---
Diversity & Affordability Yes
Health, Wellbeing & Work Yes
Investment Yes
Public Engagement Yes
Other ---

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:
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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:

Students in the Architecture and Interior Design program utilize Onondaga’s two LEED Gold certified buildings as a living laboratory for sustainable design and construction principles. Students have participated in design charrettes related to campus green buildings, have been trained to provide educational tours of campus green buildings, and learn about the LEED certification process utilizing the buildings as case studies.


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:

Students utilize gardens and a fruit tree orchard on campus to learn about sustainable food production. Students in the Hospitality Management program learn how to grow local, organic herbs and vegetables in raised bed gardens. Children at the Children’s Learning Center learn the process of growing healthy food with a vegetable garden and strawberry garden. Students in a sustainable food living learning community utilized the campus as a living laboratory in order to learn about sustainable food production on campus and food waste composting.


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:

Students in the Electrical Technology program utilize Onondaga’s Furnace Brook Center as a living laboratory for renewable energy and green technology. Students analyze building energy consumption and learn how the various green technologies integrate with the building.


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:

Students in the biology department utilize the sustainable landscape areas on the campus grounds as a living laboratory. Students analyze plant diversity in the meadows across campus. Students in the environmental technology program are also creating a natural resource inventory to map sustainable features of the College using GIS.


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:
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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:
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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:
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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:

Students in the environmental technology program utilize the campus as a living laboratory by analyzing surface and ground water quality on campus including assessing the effectiveness of various stormwater management practices.


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:
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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:

Students work with the Chief Diversity Officer on various projects such as facilitating focus groups, developing and implementing programs and events, making flyers, and coordinating program evaluations.


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:

Students in the campus safety student patrol utilize the campus as a laboratory in order to learn about creating a safe atmosphere on campus. Students learn to identify and report potential campus safety hazards.


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:

Students work with the Onondaga Community College Foundation to research best practices associated with sustainable investment funds, utilizing the Foundation as a living laboratory. Student participation resulted in the development of a new sustainable investment fund administered by the OCC Foundation.


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:

Students regularly engage in service learning activities related to sustainability on campus and in the community through the Onondaga Day of Service and other service learning activities organized by the Student Association and the Career and Applied Learning Center.


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