Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 62.98
Liaison Briar Schoon
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

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

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Stephania Fregosi
Sustainability Analyst
Facilities Management Services
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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?:
No

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

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

Our Center for Civic Participation hosts events to promote education and dialogue around current events. Students participate in developing the events and students, classes, faculty, and staff participate. There are also Sustainability, Sociology and Policy courses in which students produce letters to send to their elected officials as coursework.


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:

At our Rock Creek campus, we have a weather station atop one of our natural building structures made from clay and straw. Students use this to study weather and climate patterns/trends as part of their coursework.


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:

During Bond construction, project managers engage with faculty and students to educate throughout various building and construction phases, allowing some students hands-on experience.

Some HVAC and facilities courses utilize building infrastructure on campus in curriculum.

Additionally, our alternative building technology class has created many structures throughout its curriculum that are housed on campus, including: cob ovens, clay and straw tool shed, homes with styrofoam insulation, green roof structures, tiny home construction and many others.


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:

Our renewable energy certificate program utilizes the renewable and alternative energy systems, including solar and fuel cells, throughout the district to teach concepts and provide real life examples. Facilities has also worked with HVAC students and lead them in hands-on training in best efficiency examples.

Our website also contains dashboards of information related to our three photovoltaic arrays and raw data is available upon request.


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:

Four of our campuses have learning gardens that classes, faculty, and staff utilize for hands-on education around organic and sustainable food production. Some of this produce is utilized by dining services in our cafeterias and donated to local food gleaning efforts, but the majority goes back to our students through our farm stand and compensation for volunteering. Our Rock Creek garden hosts a Lunch 'N Learn series where students and staff can learn about a variety of things including gardening tips, seasonal cooking, food preservation among others. Several gardens also host the Seed to Supper program through the OSU Extension. Pre and sometimes post-consumer composting also occurs in the learning gardens and students help tend the worm bins and learn about nutrient recycling. There is also beekeeping at our Rock Creek garden, which classes utilize for educational opportunities around colony collapse disorder and beekeeping.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cascade Learning garden is hosting online lunch and learns, which are being widely participated in.


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:

Our landscape technology program works closely with our Grounds department and learning garden staff to provide students with hands-on learning opportunities in sustainable grounds management. Our LAT program students and faculty have worked on several projects, including: identifying and labeling plants on campus, planting native trees, planting native ground cover to reduce occurrence of weeds, rain water harvesting, and propagating plants to be used on campus. LAT also uses the grounds for Plant ID classes, beekeeping classes and irrigation course.


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:

The Sustainability Manager has worked with a Business cooperative education course to analyze college spending patterns, assess scope III greenhouse gas emissions, create sustainable shopping lists, and promote the college's sustainable purchasing policy and practices.


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:

We have a Transportation Demand Coordinator and an active bike rental program that promotes education around sustainable alternative transportation methods, bike safety, etc. This program is managed through Student Government and engages with over hundreds of students each term.


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:

The Environmental Center, Sustainability Office, Student Government and volunteers complete annual waste audits on the various campuses. These audits promote awareness around the college's waste diversion efforts, proper waste management, and the college's commitment to sustainable resource management. Students also help manage the on-site composting efforts including post-consumer collection and vermi-composting.


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:

Biology courses test and monitor water quality at various sites around our campuses and utilize the data to teach concepts like water pollution, runoff, etc. Our CLIMB Center has a green roof and educational stormwater plaza where students, staff, and community members tour and learn about proper rainwater mitigation and the historical context around water quality and the Willamette River in an industrialized Portland area.


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:

Students have developed green event guides for Student Government as part of their coursework. This includes tips and resources for planning and coordinating events that have low environmental impacts and support sustainable practices and local business.

In addition, students may get course credit for internships done with the sustainability office. In 2020, the sustainability office hosted two interns who participated on the Climate Action Plan as part of their course work.


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:

Students working with the Multicultural Center complete projects focusing on campus climate around issues of race, diversity, and equity. These reports are shared with faculty, students, and staff and used as educational resources to promote equity and inclusion at the college.

This year marks the inauguration of our Eco-Justice Student Advocates at the Sylvania Multicultural Center. We are excited to boost our awareness of Climate Justice to our community through various projects. This year our students have been able to provide workshops on Environmental Racism, Intersections of Climate Justice and participate in climate conferences, gatherings and campaigns."

During these COVID 19 closures, our students provided the workshops again for folks to access online including our social media post for earth day, workshops on overpopulation myths and engagement with the Pacific Climate Warriors. The Sylvania multicultural center participated in the facilitation of the Pacific Climate Warrior Fellowship Program, which featured two college students from Oregon (one from PCC).


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?:
Yes

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

Our Southeast Center has a Chinese-inspired tranquility garden that staff and students utilize to promote meditation and alternative health practices. There are also many health and wellbeing community education courses, such as an alternative medicine series, herbal applications, healthy cooking classes, etc. that are offered and provide applied and hands-on learning opportunities.


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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