|Overall Rating||Bronze - expired|
|Submission Date||Dec. 18, 2015|
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory
|4.00 / 4.00||
Professor & Director of Sustainability Studes
College of Arts & Sciences
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||No|
|Coordination, Planning & Governance||Yes|
|Diversity & Affordability||No|
|Health, Wellbeing & Work||No|
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:
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:
At Roosevelt's downtown Chicago Campus, the Wabash (LEED-Gold) and Auditorium Buildings (National Historic Landmark, SERF-certified) are featured on sustainability tours for students, visitors, and the general public; and provide learning opportunities for classes and student interns in sustainability building systems management (energy, water, waste, HVAC, purchasing, architecture, etc.). Likewise, the Schaumburg Campus building is a laboratory for sustainable energy and water conservation, waste management practices, etc. and environmental sustainability interns help supervise the building's operations as well as run tours.
Positive outcomes: more efficient and cost-effective building operations, hands-on learning opportunities for students, positive PR for the university, healthier work environment for faculty and staff.
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:
Student interns in the Physical Resources Dept as well as volunteers at both the Chicago and Schaumburg campuses help to manage the university's rooftop and community gardens. At the Schaumburg campus, the garden is available to the community and the student worker helps to manage the space. For the downtown campus, the rooftop garden is managed by another student worker, along with support from the group that is currently forming for the the garden, volunteer-based. The food to be grown in the garden goes to the Roosevelt dining center to supplement student meals with fresh vegetables and herbs. This experience is blogged about by the student worker, and the food harvested is weighed to track the garden's production. Both the Schaumburg community garden and the Wabash rooftop garden are integrated with the campus dining service and featured on campus sustainability tours for classes and visitors, including prospective students.
Positive outcomes: better and healthier food selection for students and faculty; hands-on integration of food service with landscape and building-focused sustainability projects (i.e., gardens); positive PR for the university; effective recruitment tool for prospective students.
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:
Student environmental sustainability interns/associates in Roosevelt's Physical Resources Department track energy use (gas and electricity) campus-wide and produce monthly reports on useage levels. In addition, building engineers are installing energy saving fixtures and data will be collected and closely tracked in order to assess the energy savings as a result of those installations. The various energy-saving features of RU's LEED-Gold Wabash Building (lights, HVAC system, windows, etc.) are featured on sustainability tours for classes and visitors; student interns often lead these tours.
Positive outcomes: increased campus awareness of energy-saving features of buildings and the need for behavioral change to augment technology systems; increased sustainability literacy among students and staff; positive recruitment tool for university; hands-on experience in energy data research and management for student workers.
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:
At its 24-acre suburban campus in Schaumburg, Roosevelt has set an example of sustainable land use by returning much of the campus grounds back to original prairie and wetlands landscape. As of 2012, Roosevelt had replaced of its eight acres of impermeable, water-consumptive lawn with native prairie grasses, rain gardens and a detention pond. As a result, native prairie has taken hold, along with a diversity of creatures in the heart of an urban center. Where thirsty and impermeable turf grass once polluted waterways, over just two years, drought-tolerant wildflowers now support life and add beauty to a successful business corridor in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.
Students have been very active from the initial planning stages of the Schaumburg Campus redevelopment through work-study and internship opportunities provided by the Sustainability Studies undergraduate program and the Physical Resources Department. Students have documented the transformation of the grounds in an extensive photo archive, designed walking trails, produced educational signage, given tours and public presentations on the project, and managed the 30+ plot community garden (established in 2012).
The campus is a certified Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation, a Wildlife Habitat location by the National Wildlife Federation, and an Arboretum by the Morton Arboretum.
Positive outcomes: hands-on learning and work opportunities for students, increased biodiversity on campus grounds, decreased stormwater runoff, positive community relations and student recruitment.
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:
Much of purchasing happens under the radar compared to other higher-profile sustainability endeavors. However, these green practices are an important part of running the university safely and economically, and student workers in Physical Resources and Purchasing work together under professional staff supervision to continuously improve our purchasing practices. Green-minded students also submit suggestions on more sustainable products to use.
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:
RU's Chicago Campus supports carbon-free commuting with free indoor parking and storage for up to 56 bicycles for students, staff, and visitors at the LEED-Gold Wabash Building. Conveniently, locker and shower facilities are provided to freshen up after a ride. New in 2013, DIVVY bikes are located just outside the university's doors for easy green transportation any time and a discounted annual membership.
Both the Schaumburg and Chicago campuses are near energy-saving public transportation options like the elevated train line (“the L”), a multitude of bus lines, and Metra trains, which collectively link Chicago to its airports, suburban communities, and regional destinations. Every year, the University is involved in Chicago's Bike2Campus Week competitions, too. Participants bike to school and earn perks by recording their efforts online and posting biking photos via Facebook.
Positive outcomes: better health through active transit;
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:
Roosevelt's campuses provide myriad opportunities for observing, analyzing, and improving solid and electronic waste management practices and improving recycling systems and behaviors. Since Fall 2012, students in the SUST 240 Waste class have conducted systematic waste audits of the Chicago Campus three times and the Schaumburg Campus once, generating concrete data on recycling and waste diversion rates, and exposing students to the vital need for properly recycling and composting solid/food waste. RU's composting system for the Chicago Campus dining center illustrates a closed loop system as food waste is transformed to compost and then used as a soil amendment for the campus community and rooftop gardens. Student interns collect data on waste diversion and recycling rates and use it to calculate GHG emissions reductions and economic savings for the institution. Recycling and composting practices are an important component of campus sustainability tours for students and visitors.
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:
Water conservation is a sustainability priority at both RU campuses and has augmented student learning in multiple ways. The ongoing landscape redevelopment at SCH Campus is designed to maximize water infiltration on grounds (via pervious paving, wetland and prairie restorations, establishment of native vegetation for bioswales and rain gardens, etc.); students have been participants and leaders in this process through internships with the Physical Resources Dept.
Students in SUST 220 Water have conducted campus outreach efforts on water quality and conservation for annual events like Earth Week as well as special occasions such as World Water Day (2012). The detention pond at the Schaumburg Campus provides an on-campus outdoor laboratory for students in biology, chemistry, environmental science, and sustainability studies to observe and assess the impacts of stormwater runoff on a wetland restoration site. Water refill stations in Schaumburg and Chicago educate students and staff about the unsustainability of bottled water and the need for maintaining a quality water supply. The Chicago Campus' close proximity to Lake Michigan and the Chicago River make water-focused field trips feasible and effective.
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:
Roosevelt's newly-adopted Strategic Sustainability Plan (2015) was originally conceived in early 2014 as an independent research project by a SUST undergraduate for her Spring 2014 sustainability internship with the Dept of Physical Resources. That research led to a proposal for developing a strategic plan in Fall 2014, which in fact transpired over a series of three workshops. Students from multiple majors, primarily from SUST, collaborated with faculty, staff, and alumni to create the Plan, which was formally adopted by the university in Spring 2015. Instead of a top-down initiative, this planning process was educational and student-driven from the start, and providing multiple learning opportunities for students to first create the Plan, then to (moving forward into 2016) putting it into practice.
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:
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:
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:
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:
The RU Green Campus website, developed by an undergraduate student as an academic sustainability internship project, engages the campus community and general public on how Roosevelt's city and suburban campus are laboratories for studying sustainability and exemplars of sustainable landscape/building/human systems.
Other online projects impact, educate, and inform the campus community and the general public throughout the Chicago region, and both are faculty- and student-driven interprises: the Sustainability Studies @ RU Blog and the Schaumburg's Sustainable Future blog/website.
Roosevelt has also hosted conferences and public events on its campuses that focus on environmental/urban sustainable issues and practices; notably, the Great Lakes Bioneers environmental conference in November of 2013 and the SENCER regional conference in March of 2014.
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:
The website URL where information about the institution’s campus as a living laboratory program or projects is available:
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