Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 48.02
Liaison Zachary Czuprynski
Submission Date Feb. 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

Prescott College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Zachary Czuprynski
Sustainability Coordinator
Green Mountain Center for Sustainablity
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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?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Campus Engagement:
A graduating senior in Winter 2021 wrote a capstone project titled, “Creating Community Through Food: From Earth Ovens to Community Organizing.” The student conducted an on-campus stakeholder analysis and engaged our community through surveys and presentations to garner acceptance for the construction of an earthen cob oven. The idea is that the oven will become a centerpiece for fostering social sustainability outdoors during the time of the pandemic, allowing students, faculty, and staff to gather together and share a community meal experience. The student has prepared schematics of the oven design for a time when funding can support its construction.

Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Public Engagement?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Public 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 Air & Climate?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Air & Climate:
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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 Buildings?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Buildings:
The Village Residence Halls are the embodiment of sustainability at Prescott College. The Village has received LEED™ Platinum certification, the highest standard developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. This achievement places Prescott College with the first-ever LEED Platinum building in Yavapai County, AZ and one of few such higher education student housing facilities in the nation. In recent years, we have had students hold competitions between dorms to see how much energy or water they can conserve with prizes given to the monthly "green" winners. The Village's green features include: -Energy reduction of over 90% in high-efficiency design modeling -Over 95%, 550 tons, construction waste diverted from landfill -Rainwater catchment system for irrigation for food-producing landscaping -Native drylands species landscaping installed with no long-term irrigation

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:
The Energy & Environment class actively uses campus as a living lab. Last year's class (Fall 2020) did a weatherization workshop to prevent wasted energy use over Winter break. The students turned down thermostats, closed and sealed drafty doors and windows, turned off heaters in unoccupied spaces, and more. This year's class (Fall 2021) did a survey of lights in our campus café to assess which lights need to be retrofitted to LED. They also did an energy analysis and mock-consultation for one of our campus's most wasteful energy buildings.

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:
Prescott College has been working to achieve a circular food system that engages and educates students. We have two composting sites on campus (which were the result of student projects) that diverts 100% of plant-based, pre-consumer food waste from the dining commons and turns it into a fertile product. The compost is then distributed onto the campus gardens. Produce grown at the campus gardens can be harvested by students living in the dorms to cook meals. During two recent events - our 2021 Fall Harvest Celebration and our Campus Thanksgiving - students prepared informational handouts about the food we were eating. This included the sources of the food, their cultural significance, and ecological relationships (e.g. the "Three Sisters").

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:
Students regularly go outside and use the campus grounds as a classroom. Some current examples include Edible Biodiversity, Principles of Small Agriculture, and ECOSA Regenerative Design. Classes start with theory followed by field experience and working directly with campus facilities. Also, students may participate in work-study projects to treat, measure, and maintain campus facilities such as our composting systems and gardens. Most recently, the Soils Science class took samples from our campus gardens to test the quality of our soils.

Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Purchasing?:
No

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

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Transportation:
Biking is a common commuting method for students. There are several parking areas for bicyclers. There is also a bike maintenance station where students can find a collection of equipment needed to make basic repairs. The maintenance station was the creation of a student as part of their senior capstone project.

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:
Many student projects are completed with reused and salvaged materials that would have otherwise gone to waste. Examples include the gates and fencing for the campus gardens, the chicken coop, the Village Residential dorms, most office printing paper, and more. In addition, we have a e-waste drive where students and faculty can recycle their electronic equipment. Also, the Sustainability Coordinator has led groups of students in conducting a small waste audit to learn the process of conducting an audit and to observe the most common types of waste produced on campus. Since Fall 2021, we began a weekly event called "Free Store Friday." During this event, anyone from the college - faculty, students, staff - can come donate or take clothing donations from our campus Free Store. This event was inspired by a student project to raise awareness about the danger of fast fashion and the unsustainability of the textile industry.

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:
The ephemeral Butte Creek is a notorious icon that runs right through campus. The Butte Creek Restoration Council (BCRC) was originally formed in the spring of 1996 by three visionary on-campus undergraduate students and a few dedicated faculty members from Prescott College. The original purpose was to address the degraded ecological conditions of Lower Butte Creek through revegetation projects and community-based education based on sound restoration planning. Current projects include the installation of creekside interpretive panels, collaboration with the City of Prescott to add the creek to the City of Prescott’s Greenways Trail System, streambed geomorphology monitoring, and ongoing revegetation efforts. The BCRC enables Prescott College to serve as a leader in local conservation and promote stewardship of the planet. The way we care for our section of Butte Creek is a direct reflection of who we are as an academic community and institution for the environment.

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:
In December 2021, our president requested a comprehensive campus plan that is student-centered with an assessment of space use. The planning includes: -redesigning East campus and academic buildings -creating a coherent image for the college which includes signage, color selections and landscaping -redesigning the campus courtyard areas to encourage student use and meet the vibrancy requirements of a public space -improve wayfinding on the campus and create strategies to create building visual cohesion -redesigning and improving landscaping Overall, the project is intended to enhance the student experience of the Prescott College campus. It will provide an environment and activities that will encourage students to make more use of the campus facilities. This will in turn enliven the campus and bring a more social atmosphere for students. The landscaping is intended to be self maintaining using permaculture and environmental knowledge to mimic the native biology of the various sites. In this new, comprehensive plan, there are a handful of select students who are involved in the process of planning and redesigning campus.

Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Diversity & Affordability:
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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 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:
A combination of student projects has led to the development of a campus "Healing Garden" featuring fresh, aromatic plants and herbs. This garden, constructed entirely with reused and salvaged materials, is one of many symbols of sustainability at Prescott College. The space is used by students to study changes in plant health, harvest flavorful herbs, and lead guided meditations.

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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Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
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