Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 71.91
Liaison Debbie Andres
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

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

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Debbie Andres
Utilities & Sustainability Analyst
FD&O
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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 sustainable agriculture garden module was developed for campus as a living lab that not only teaches about the garden itself but also about what makes food sustainable. It teaches students that not only is farming possible using sustainable methods but economically and physically feasible.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Public Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Public Engagement:

We created a student team in DB&H Communications to promote sustainability to both the campus and the surrounding community. The team is comprised with six individuals who report their efforts on a weekly basis to the entire class. The project this past year (August-May) has been working on videos that can be shared on social media that shows what the campus is doing in areas of waste, water, energy and the CSU plastic policy.

The team also worked on updating the SJSU’s sustainability website. This entire program has been structured to be an ongoing multiyear program. That will be executed by DB&H Communications as funding permits. This is the programs fifth year working on sustainability on campus.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Air & Climate?:
Yes

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

Classes from the Engineering and Science colleges regular tour the plant to learn about the technology used here, instilling in students the knowledge that better technology exists for making cleaner electricity giving an overview on how SJSU provides its main campus with all of its electrical, heating and cooling needs using a much more efficient method and cleaner method than a traditional power plant.

All engineering 100w courses focus on sustainability and the culminating project is a collaborative proposal focused on improving sustainability. More than 500 engineers a year study environmental issues via a live guest speaker series, The GreenTalks. Applying knowledge gleaned from these industry experts, multi-disciplinary engineering teams design solutions to regional and campus-based environmental problems. At least 50 students per semester participate in the Campus of the Living Lab concept by studying SJSU's annual Sustainability Report and proposing solutions to specific campus issues. This past year, this culminated in an Engineering Showcase that presented posters focused on research of environmental issues and sustainable outcomes of our campus.


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:

A campus as a living lab module was developed using the King Library. The Sustainability at the King Library module reviews the major LEED categories that buildings applying for LEED certification are reviewed by. The goal of the module is to provide a basic overview of criteria used for each LEED category. The module’s goal is to have students’ rate the library’s features via a physical tour and an online tour to discover sustainable features. The module asks the students to explore the building, discover how people use it, and to apply their understanding of LEED’s categories to sustainability in their own lives and living environments. The module consists of a pre-tour class session and the information for this session is found in the MLK King Library LEED Certification Research Guide at http://libguides.sjsu.edu/King_Library_Leed_certification. Next, students take a physical tour of the Library to explore its sustainability components. Then, students come together with the instructor for a post-tour discussion of what they found. Finally, the instructor can assess student learning in a number of ways through the Research Guide.


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:

​A campus as a living lab module was developed focusing on the SJSU Cogeneration Plant that gives an overview on how SJSU provides its main campus with all of its electrical, heating and cooling needs using the Cheng Cycle, a much more efficient and cleaner method than a traditional power plant. Classes from the Engineering and Science colleges regular tour the plant to learn about the technology used here, instilling in students the knowledge that better technology exists for making cleaner electricity.


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:

The SJSU Campus Community Garden was established as a result of a student-led initiative. The garden was created to provide students a space to gain access to healthy food, learn about sustainable organic garden practices and earn service learning hours.

The garden is on a quarter acre of land and it includes multiple fruit trees, compost and gray water system, and many more. The garden exists to provide the SJSU students, staff and faculty with an opportunity to participate in food justice, accessibility to fresh and healthy food while engaging in cultural exchange and cooperation. While at the garden, SJSU members learn the ins and outs of a maintaining a small garden. SJSU members learn how to harvest, prune, water and seed vegetable starts in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. SJSU members would be able to bring home their produce after a workday!

The community garden is a place where students can learn and participate in the process of growing food sustainably, but it does not end there! Students can also harvest and enjoy organic, free and locally grown produce. This space provides a place for student initiative, cooperation and cultural exchange using the growing of food as an exploration of community involvement.


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:

This fall, the Environmental Resource Center, a service learning class focused on sustainability, SJSU undergraduate students toured the College of Science Botany greenhouses and shade house on the roof of Duncan Hall with the Greenhouse Manager, Lars Rosengreen. The Senior Landscape Manager, Brian Bagley, Associated Students Director of Sustainability, Daniella Carrera, and two Office of Sustainability interns, Becca Carmick and Rachel Blake, were also part of the organizing team. The students in attendance of the event were enrolled in the Environmental Resource Center (ENVS 181), a student run service learning elective course open to all majors that operates out of the Environmental Studies Department (College of Social Sciences). The purpose of the tour was to pick plants from the greenhouse and convert an area of tanbark between Macquarrie Hall and the 7th Street Garage to a native, pollinator friendly garden.

The garden is the first garden in what will be an annual recurring ERC project. Each year, the ERC will identify a place on campus that can be converted into a Native Plant garden, choose the plants and physically convert the area into a garden.


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:

N/A


IIs 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:

SJSU is home to the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI), founded in 1991, as an organized research and training unit in partnership with the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business at San José State University (SJSU). The institute increases mobility for all by improving the safety, efficiency, accessibility, and convenience of our nation’s transportation system.

Current research projects using SJSU infrastructure include:

1) "Microscopic Simulation, Complete Streets, and Tactical Urbanism Strategies to Enhance Multimodal Transportation in Downtown Jose"

2) Crime and Harassment on Public Transportation: A Survey of SJSU Students Set in International Context

3) Community Benefits and Lessons for Local Engagement in a California Open Streets Event: A Mixed-Methods Assessment of Viva CalleSJ 2018

4) Where Do Riders Park Dockless, Shared Electric Scooters? Findings from San Jose, California


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

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

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Water:

​A campus as a living lab module was developed focusing on the SJSU Central Plant that gives an overview on how SJSU provides its main campus with all of its electrical, heating and cooling needs. The central plant includes cooling towers that was the first in the Bay Area to convert to recycled water from potable water. Being the first to pilot this process has contributed to the acceptance of many in California and Silicon Valley to also convert their cooling towers as well as educate new engineers that the technology is viable.

In 2018, the Central Plant converted the steam make-up water from potable water to recycled water, piloting again a relatively new process. The plan is to show the surrounding industries that the process is viable and to increase usage of recycled water in non-potable uses.

Engineering courses regularly tour the Cooling Plant every semester to see how the process works and to highlight the recycled water usage.

The department of Facilities Development and Operations regularly host students doing semester projects on how the campus is saving water by converting many non-potable water uses to recycled water such as 100% recycled water usage for all landscaping and using recycled water for toilet flushing in new buildings (starting from the construction of Martin Luther King Jr. Library).


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:

The King Library as a LEED building module was one of three developed to teach students about sustainability funded by the CSU Chancellor’s Campus as a Living Lab grant. Dr. Consavari adopted the module for use in the Art 72 curriculum to provide students with the background to understand LEED concepts. For the project, students divided into groups based LEED categories and toured the King Library searching for examples of building design and features that illustrate the category. Post lecture and tour, students are assigned to formal groups to continue their research drawing upon their experience touring the library, and adding research from the academic literature on sustainable features and design. Groups presented final projects using powerpoint slides and videos to share their topic, instances of sustainable features, building design, and their final analysis of the library’s use of the category. Dr. Consavari and Ms. Cabrera have modified the final project to include a comparison of the features of the King Library to the newest LEED buildings on campus, the Student Union, and the Student Health Center so students can learn to identify these features in other buildings. Final projects are assessed using the students’ abilities to identify sustainable building features and apply design theories as part of their analysis.
The Planning, Government and Coordination effort started in March 2016 when Dr. Consavari and Librarian Peggy Cabrera, who was the original CLL module creator, surveyed students enrolled in Design in Society/ARTH72 (Spring 2016) will participate in lecture by listening, and asking questions. Students in these sections will be asked to participate in the subject study which document the efficacy of the curriculum. The study will be divided into two parts: a pre-survey to learn what students know about sustainability and design concepts in buildings before visiting the King Library; and a post-survey to measure how much students learned from the combination of the lecture, field research, library research about sustainability, LEED, and design concepts in buildings.
Before students present their final research project, a post-test will be given to the students to determine their understanding of sustainability, LEED categories, and building design concepts. The duration of the study is 2.5 months. Beyond the pre-survey, the lecture, informal tour, and the post-survey, no other intervention will occur. The surveys will be collected and analyzed to understand students’ comprehension of the content. The survey tool will be administered in the course classroom. The study results will be reported to the Sustainability Board and shared with other campuses who also use these CLL learning modules and contribute to the coordination and planning of future uses of the CLL learning modules.


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?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Wellbeing & Work:
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Website URL where information about the institution’s living laboratory program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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