Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Laura Nessman
Submission Date May 30, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Selkirk College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Allison Lutz
Instructor, Geography
School of Environment and Geomatics
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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 Yes
Buildings Yes
Dining Services/Food Yes
Energy ---
Grounds Yes
Purchasing ---
Transportation Yes
Waste Yes
Water Yes
Coordination, Planning & Governance Yes
Diversity & Affordability Yes
Health, Wellbeing & Work Yes
Investment ---
Public Engagement Yes
Other ---

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:

The College Carbon Offset Project was initiated in response to the interest of local forest professionals in using college land to sequester carbon and tackle the issue of climate change. Students created permanent plots on college grounds where they carried out biomass sampling as the first stages of a pilot project. Additionally, a student wrote a report for an independent research project titled, "Afforestation of Selkirk College Campus Grounds for Carbon Offsets." This report discusses a model for an afforestation project that would provide enough carbon sequestration to bring the college to net zero emissions for about 5 years, saving the college money in offset purchases.


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:

Rob Macrae does a campus tour with the Integrated Environmental Planning students in the Sustainability Course looking at areas of the building where the design impacts the energy efficiency of the building.


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:

In 2014, Selkirk College became the first community college, and fourth post-secondary institution, in Canada to achieve Fair Trade Campus designation from the Canadian Fair Trade Network. Several students and faculty worked together on the project for two years to achieve the designation. Fair Trade coffee is now served on campus and at events and meetings, Fair Trade tea and chocolate options are available, and signage can be found around all campuses to provide access to information about the Fair Trade initiative.


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:
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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:

In 2015, Selkirk College's Recreation, Fish, and Wildlife students began an invasive plant mapping project on college grounds. Using provincial reporting protocols, they will map a different vegetation zone each year, and develop treatment plans with the goal of reducing invasive plant populations.


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:
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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:

A staff member coordinates and runs a Bike to College Week every April. Students and employees reduce their ecological footprints by riding a bike instead of driving a vehicle, and they have the opportunity to learn about bicycle maintenance. Some years, representatives from local bike shops come to the campus during this week to share their knowledge, and in other years, maintenance manuals are offered to participants.


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:

Since 2011, students and employees at the Castlegar campus have been composting their organic waste in an "Earth Tub" composting bin. The food waste is collected a few times per week from bins placed around campus and in the cafeteria, from the student residence, and from students and employees who bring their compostable goods from home. The compost stores carbon which helps to offset some of the greenhouse gas emissions produced by the college, and the volume of waste taken to the landfill has been reduced. In addition, the compost facility provides two students each year with a work-study position in which they are responsible for ensuring the system runs effectively: mixing the contents, monitoring moisture levels and temperature, and recording input weights are some of the responsibilities of the students.


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:

Education about drinking water was promoted at the College's "Get Connected" event. Students were given reusable water bottles, each containing an informational insert about the college's water supply and the importance of drinking water from fountains rather than purchasing bottled water.


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:

The Sustainability Committee applied for, and was successful in receiving, a grant from Fortis BC. The grant was for hiring a consultant to carry out data collection for the completion of a Sustainability Report and an updated Action Plan. The Action Plan will provide the college with recommendations for sustainability goals, and a communications and marketing strategy to inform, motivate and inspire College community members to adopt positive environmental actions and behaviors.


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:

In collaboration with the Maintenance and IT departments, the international students organized and hosted an Intercultural Fair on campus. The Fair was an educational event that provided the whole college community with an opportunity to learn about and share the wide range of cultures that are present on campus. Historical and contemporary customs were showcased, delicacies were prepared and sampled, and written languages were displayed.


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:

Each year the nursing students offer a weekly clinic on sexual health and well being on campus. They offer discreet counseling and access to birth control, pap smears and STI testing.


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:
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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:

Selkirk College researchers developed an internet mapping tool called the Columbia Basin Biodiversity Atlas. In 2013, they added citizen science reporting tools to the Atlas which allows the public to report their observations of nest boxes, wildlife trees, and roadkill in the Columbia Basin. The tool is a resource for regional biodiversity information, and is a decision-making aid for conservation purposes. Many observations have been recorded on college grounds.


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:
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The website URL where information about the institution’s campus as a living laboratory program or projects is available:
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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.