Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.52
Liaison Gina Talt
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Princeton University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Shana Weber
Director
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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:

Led by Professor Forrest Meggers, the Princeton CHAOS Lab has designed and deployed a sensor platform that measures a wide variety of air quality metrics on campus to better understand how outdoor air quality impacts indoor air quality. Collected data will be shared with University Facilities to inform future decisions on how to improve air quality on campus.


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:

A team of students led by Nico Viglucci ’19 is retrofitting an old school bus into a sustainable living space to address cost and energy efficiency concerns within the residential housing sector. Through the implementation of a dynamic interior arrangement and an experimental heating and cooling system, the project's goal is to demonstrate that living spaces can achieve low carbon and spatial footprints without sacrificing comfortability. The project will be as open-source as possible with online documentation of resource use data, and the team will hold public viewing and educational sessions on main campus during the 2017-2018 school year.


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:

Josh Bocarsly ’15, Adam Gallagher ’16, and Annie Lu ’17 developed a Campus Energy Heatmap, or a visualization app that displays live energy usage information for campus buildings. By comparing energy intensity across buildings, the app highlights areas where sustainability efforts would be the most effective.


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:

The Princeton Vertical Farming Project is using a hydroponic and artificial lighting growing system to investigate the viability of feeding a rapidly growing world population with space-saving methods. The project is investigating the engineering of the hydroponic system through a lens of sustainability and energy efficiency. It will also focus on a marketing approach of vertical farming, looking specifically at maximizing the financial benefit of the program and making the harvests marketable to a larger community.


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:

During the fall 2017 semester, a student-initiated seminar started by Artemis Eyster '19 conducted fieldwork on campus to test and modify existing methodology on ecosystem health in several undeveloped natural areas on campus. The students’ analyses and recommendations for future land stewardship and management will provide timely input for the new 2026 Campus Plan.


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:

Former postdoc Sander van der Linden recently led a study evaluating bottled water consumption on campus. The results provide evidence that Princeton’s Drink Local campaign, which distributes reusable water bottles to incoming students, has been successful at reducing purchases of plastic bottled water through positive behavior change.


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:

As part of his senior thesis and on-going postgrad work, Ben Sorkin ’17 is leading a team that is designing and building an electric boat motor and battery system. Sorkin’s team seeks to not only use their system to improve the sustainability of the Princeton varsity crew team’s coach boats, but also to promote an electrification movement in the marine industry. A switch from a gas to an electric marine propulsion system would reduce carbon emissions and promote water quality and healthy ecosystems in marine environments such as Princeton’s Lake Carnegie.


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:

Allie Klimkiewicz’s ‘19 recommendation to have resource recovery stations at large campus events was successfully piloted and has since been implemented at several events throughout the year such as Reunions weekend. The Resource Recovery stations are now called Zero Waste Centers and they encourage proper waste disposal through instructional signage and volunteers educating attendees about what goes in each bin. In doing so, these stations make waste more apparent to people and force them to actively consider what materials can be recycled and composted versus what has to be put into the landfill.


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:

In 2012, the University completed a natural restoration of the stream along Washington Road to mitigate flood risks and improve the riparian habitat. Preliminary analysis of nutrient composition, dissolved oxygen, and water clarity from several research projects and undergraduate coursework indicate a healthier stream environment compared to pre-restoration conditions.

Long-term data monitoring of water quality and stream level at several points along the stream has continued under the Civil & Chemical Engineering department’s Hydrometeorology research group.


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 in a Spring 2017 junior task force called Sustainability at Princeton University: Lessons for Campus and the World recommended policy frameworks to guide sustainability efforts to inform campus planning efforts. Backed by both qualitative interviews and quantitative survey data, the students’ recommendations emphasized scalable initiatives that could be demonstrated at Princeton, but also applied more broadly by others to address a range of global challenges. For example, Adam Bradley ‘18 recommended that the University reconsider the use of carbon offsets to meet its next carbon reduction goal by establishing a dedicated group to research, design, and implement local carbon offset projects in New Jersey.


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:

For his senior thesis, Michael Moorin ‘16 collected original interview and survey data from Princeton students and administrators to assess challenges faced by first-generation and low- income students. The data indicate that first-generation and low-income Princeton students face substantial social, academic, and professional challenges not faced by other students. The author then offers recommendations on how the University can target and deliver more supporting resources to these students.


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:

For a final course paper, Marc Decitre ‘17 recommended that the trustees of Princeton University formulate and adopt a framework for socially responsible investment (SRI) in order to raise the importance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues with its asset managers in a systematic way. The student also proposed a two-committee system that would allow the Princeton community to advise the university on how its shares should be allocated within the adopted SRI framework.


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:

After conducting original research on the extent and efficacy of existing campus sustainability communications, Stuart Pomeroy ‘18 recommended targeting outreach about campus sustainability efforts and research opportunities through both media (the most effective being emails, Facebook, and posters), and interpersonal communication streams via greater integration into academic departments and courses.


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:

For her senior thesis, Aubree Andres ‘17 examined the ways in which mindfulness may enhance how we as humans can experience the world and the cultural matrix that we operate in, with a focus on “mindful” spaces at Princeton University.


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:

For his free food project, Patrick Rooney ’18 is accumulating as many pictures of leftovers and plastic and paper waste from University events as possible over the next year. The end product will be large collages of hundreds of pictures of food/ plastic waste posted in a well-traveled part of campus along with an essay as an artist statement to bring awareness around waste on a college campus.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Additional Links:
A link to senior theses: http://dataspace.princeton.edu/jspui/

The Office of Sustainability provides a page on its website designed to inspire students to consider Campus as Lab projects in choosing their Junior Paper, Senior Thesis, and graduate research topics. The page includes a wide array of Campus as Lab questions that apply to all sustainability topics and academic disciplines. View the page here: http://sustain.princeton.edu/lab/research

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