Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.33
Liaison Gener Abdon
Submission Date July 31, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

San Diego State University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Gener Abdon
AASHE STARS student intern
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:

A group of students applied the UN Habitat's “Guiding Principles for City Climate Action Planning” toolkit to the campus climate action plan. We believe this is the first application of this toolkit to a campus. The students rated the campus Climate Action Plan against the toolkit and made recommendations for improvement. The students and faculty are working with Second Nature to possibly add this as a tool for university climate commitments.

Website URLs:
- http://sustainable.sdsu.edu/_resources/files/un-toolkit-review-of-sdsu-cap.pdf
- http://sustainable.sdsu.edu/_resources/files/2018-09-07-toolkit-for-campus-level-reviews.pdf


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:

Construction Engineering (CON E) 652: Modeling and optimizing construction projects and constructed works. Abstraction of projects, process mapping, and activity quantification. Theories of queuing and batching. Numerico-physical modeling of construction operations in time and space. Systems integration. This class took these concepts and applied them to the upcoming SDSU Mission Valley campus.

Taught by Dr. Thais Alves for Spring 2019 Semester.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Energy?:
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 Energy:
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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:

Students are able to intern or volunteer with BrightSide Produce within the Center for Regional Sustainability.

"The funding model for BrightSide relies on the proceeds from deliveries of produce on the SDSU campus to fund deliveries to BrightSide stores in underserved communities. By utilizing idle resources, employing university students and volunteers, and servicing multiple food insecure communities, BrightSide provides a sustainable, long-term solution for distribution that can be scalable to more communities as the venture grows."

Website URL: http://brightside.sdsu.edu/


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:

From Barbara Green, Office of Sustainability student intern with a focus on food:

"Tom (Energy and Sustainability Officer) and I started by using an already existing landscape database that listed all the trees on campus and separated the ones that produced anything edible. After that, I researched each tree we had pulled from the database to make sure that it wasn’t harmful in any way, and was fit for human consumption. When that was complete, we used Google Maps and “pin-dropped” all the different trees, bushes and plants around campus that people could enjoy tasting. Once I finished that, I went back and added two pictures to each species’ file, one showing the tree, and one showing the edible part. The final piece was entering all the “windows of ripeness”, to make it easier for people to know when to be looking out for the fruits, berries, flowers and nuts that they especially like. Edible SDSU can easily be added or subtracted from, as trees come and go.

I needed 135 hours to complete my internship, and I easily worked on this project for that and more. To receive credit for my work, I wrote a 2-page essay detailing how and what we did, and turned it into my Major Advisor."

This project was finalized in Spring 2019.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Purchasing?:
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 Purchasing:
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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:

We have established a strong relationship with Dr. Bruce Appleyard and several groups of students around campus transportation. Students developed and analyzed our campus transportation survey, which is the basis for our commute related greenhouse gas emissions. They also provide recommendations to improve the program.


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:

A student intern received class credit to assist with the recycling efforts on campus. She developed the signage used on bins, managed RecycleMania, and conducted several bin studies that recommended changes. Hundreds of new bins use her signage design.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Water?:
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 Water:
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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:

Public Administration (P A) 350: Focuses on urban areas and urbanism from a public policy perspective; course examines and critiques the physical, economic, social and political dimensions of contemporary American cities utilizing a multidisciplinary approach for the new SDSU Mission Valley campus.

Taught by Dr. Anna Kim for the 2019 Spring Semester.


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:

Faculty conduct peer faculty trainings that cover implicit bias, microaggressions, and equity. Also, faculty coordinate student retention strategies such as student achievement.

Vecky Hernandez, Office of Sustainability student intern with a focus on environmental justice receives academic credit for her work. Her overall goal within environmental justice is to enhance the collective and understanding at SDSU of environmentalism and sustainability while implementing and adding sustainable practices. She hosts workshops and programs on how sustainability intersects with different identities and how various cultures interact with sustainability.


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:
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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:

A marketing class is creating a public engagement campaign around recycling on campus.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
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 Wellbeing & Work:
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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:

Arts & Culture: The Office of Sustainability worked with Prof. Gary Benzel's class to design wraps for recycling bins on campus. Out of the ten designs, the Office selected three of them to print and adhere to recycling bins around campus.


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