Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 50.18
Liaison Josh Nease
Submission Date May 21, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Radford University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Josh Nease
Sustainability Manager
Academic Programs
"---" 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:

Greenhouse Gas Inventory
During Spring 2018, a Junior Physics student collaborated with the Sustainability Manager to collect and process campus greenhouse gas emissions data for the annual Greenhouse Gas Inventory. The student processed raw data into formats compatible with SIMAP, entered the data into SIMAP, then prepared a campus Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report.


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:

Electricity, Water, and Steam Dashboard
Two Data and Information Management MS candidates began the development of an energy, water, and steam dashboard to display real time usage in RU campus buildings, with the intent of eventually replacing Lucid. The dashboard model was their capstone project and presented with the application and presentation.


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:

Solar Survey
The Solar Survey was a course project in Dr. Stockton Maxwell's Introduction to Environmental Studies class in the Department of Geospatial Science. The students developed the survey to assess student, faculty, and staff knowledge and opinions about alternative energy on campus. The survey was widely distributed across campus. The results were presented to the Office of Sustainability to bolster support for university adoption of alternative energy sources.


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:

Food Recovery Network Chapter
The Sustainability Leadership Team internship program participated in learning modules around food waste, developing work plans, and boundary-spanning leadership. Then, under the supervision of the Sustainability Manager and in partnership with Dining Services, developed and implemented a work plan that led to a food recovery program on campus. At the end of the semester, the students registered as an official Food Recovery Network Chapter.


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:

Campus Tree Map
The Campus Tree Map is a collaboration between the GIS Center, Department of Geospatial Science, and the Department of Biology to produce an interactive map of campus trees and raise awareness of the value of green infrastructure. The project has been driven by student and faculty collaboration. The map products resulting from the project have been displayed in the Center for the Sciences building, used during campus tree tours each semester, and in class activities. Further, an interactive tour using augmented reality was develop by a student in Geospatial Science to further engage the campus.


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:

Cost/Benefit Analysis of Composting Food Waste from Campus Dining Halls and Restaurants
A sophomore economics major conducted a cost–benefit analysis for composting food waste from the dining halls, compared to the current process of sending it to the landfill. The student communicated with the closest composting contractor, the University’s Solid Waste Coordinator, and Dining Services to gather data and information. The analysis concluded that in contracting for an external composting service, the costs outweigh the benefits. As a result, the student moved on to drive the launch of a Food Recovery Network Chapter on campus.


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:

2016 Greenhouse Gas Inventory Commuter Survey
A senior Geospatial Science Major completed the Radford University Commuter Survey during the Fall 2016 semester. Under the supervision of a faculty member and the Sustainability Manager, the student developed a GIS model for measuring the distance from each parking pass holder’s home to campus and used the data to measure mileage per year, fuel consumed, and associated greenhouse gas emissions. The student produced a final report and presented findings to the Sustainability Steering Committee.


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:

Geospatial Science Senior Capstone Project
Using GIS to Identify Outdoor Recycling Bin Locations – A senior Geospatial Science Major conducted waste audits in all campus outdoor trash cans to identify the outdoor cans where most recyclable materials are thrown away. The student processed the data and presented the data with heat maps, a poster presentation, and written report. RU placed outdoor recycling bins at all but one of the recommended locations.


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:

Biology 392 – Pollution Biology/Environmental Toxicology
The class works together to assess the impact that the constructed stormwater remediation wetland is having on the RU campus and surrounding areas. The Plan has three primary components: 1) Assess the existing knowledge regarding the site before the wetland, during construction of the wetland, and currently; 2) Determine what new information needs to be collected; 3) Synthesize old and new information into a comprehensive report of the wetland’s impact.


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:

Green Infrastructure Project
The City of Radford Green Infrastructure Project was a collaboration between the GIS Center, Department of Geospatial Science, and the City of Radford to further green infrastructure planning both in the city and on campus. The project was funded by a grant from the Green Infrastructure Center (http://www.gicinc.org/index.htm) to support training, data analysis, and planning meetings.  The grant was awarded to Dr. Andrew Foy and the City of Radford GIS Manager, Jennifer Whiteis. Geospatial data to support planning was developed by students in Dr. Stockton Maxwell's Intermediate GIS courses. The project aided the City of Radford with future planning decisions.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
No

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:
---

Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Investment & Finance?:
No

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:
---

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:

Last semester, a graphic design student began redesigning and rebuilding the RU Sustainability webpage to better engage the public and provide more up to date and relevant information. The webpage is currently under construction. The Sustainability Manager currently reviews the updated pages, provides feedback for revision, and the project will result in a functional webpage that better represents campus sustainability and is more user friendly.


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:

The Office of Sustainability and the FitWell Program collaborated to implement Project Green Challenge on campus to encourage healthy and sustainable behavior change in the student population. Using what they learned, they are developing a Radford University specific sustainability and wellness social media challenge for students.


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:

Technology – Geospatial Science – Development of a campus sustainability map. A senior student completed an independent study credit for Geospatial Science by developing an interactive campus sustainability map using ARC GIS. The project was overseen by a faculty advisor and the Sustainability Manager and the campus sustainability map is live on the Sustainability webpage.
https://ru-geospatial.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=886b717656984aad80f6f9d1103ccb4a

Arts: “Strange Weather” – collaborative installation in the Radford University Art Gallery, by Erin Turner (https://www.eturnerinstal.com/).
The collaboration with Radford University included the Departments of Art, Dance and Music. Art collected newspapers and will document the show and performances. Turner hopes this will spur another series of collaborations throughout the semester. Students from dance and music created improvisations based on the sculptural works. Turner is working with Deborah McLaughlin, associate professor of dance, and choral director, Meredith Bowen, assistant professor of music.

Climate Change Chorale Performance
In October 2018, the Radford University Chorale collaborated with the Biology Department to develop a concert entitled, “I Can See the Light”. The focus of the concert is nature and climate change. Choral director Meredith Bowen said, “I want to educate those who don’t know about climate change and show the tools we have to reduce those effects. My hope is that people are moved to small, everyday actions they can take to help save our planet. We will model this one way by providing the program projected on a screen rather than printed on paper.” Biology Faculty Dr. Lauren McCarthy took the program music and message to her ecology lab where students found images that represented the music.
https://www.radford.edu/content/radfordcore/home/news/releases/2016/october/choral-collaboration-combines-biology-with-music.html


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

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.