Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 49.04
Liaison Laura Nessman
Submission Date May 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Selkirk College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Laura Nessman
Sustainability Coordinator
Campus Management
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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:

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.


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:

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 overall sustainability of the building.


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:

Rob Macrae's campus tour with students in the Sustainability Course puts a strong emphasis assessing the energy efficiency of campus buildings.


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:

In 2013, Selkirk College became the first community college and fourth post-secondary institution, in Canada to achieve a Fair Trade Campus designation from the Canadian Fair Trade Network. All coffee served on campus is Fair Trade, and many Fair Trade tea and chocolate options are available. Fair Trade signage can be found around all campuses to provide access to information about the initiative, and a minimum of two outreach events are held annually. In September 2018, Selkirk participating in Fair Trade Campus Week, and provided students and staff with information on and samples of products including Fair Trade bananas and chocolate. A work study student is employed annually to assist in Fair Trade related tasks, and the Environment Club students work to promote these products.


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:

In 2017, students in the Recreation, Fish and Wildlife program assisted in the installation of bioswales in the main parking lot at the Castlegar Campus. Students learned how a bioswale works to capture, localize and accumulate stormwater runoff, preventing or delaying it from entering the greater watershed. They also learned about the native species that were planted in the vegetation plots.


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:

Selkirk runs a Bike to College Week in September and in 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.
In 2018 a student completed a GIS research project assessing various cycling routes to and from the Castlegar Campus.
In 2017 and 2018, students completed GIS research projects assessing the feasibility of switching campus fleet vehicles to electric.


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:

Since 2011, students and employees at the Castlegar campus have been composting their organic waste in an onsite "Earth Tub" composting unit. The food waste is collected in bins placed around campus and in the cafeteria, from the student residence, and from students and employees who bring their organic waste 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.

Since 2017, the student-based Environment Club has undertaken an annual waste audit at the Castlegar campus. Students collect the garbage and recycling from the cafeteria and main common area, and sort through the material, determining how much contamination is present in our recycling stream, and how much recycling has been misplaced in the garbage.


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:

Education about drinking water was promoted at the College's "Get Connected" orientation events. Students were given reusable water bottles, and the bookstore ran a promotion on reusable water bottles. Information regarding the College's water supply and the importance of drinking water from fountains rather than purchasing bottled water was shared.

The student-based Environment Club promotes drinking tap water and has collected pledges from students who have committed to this choice. Water conservation is also encouraged within Student Housing. Students are asked to challenge themselves to reduce their showers to 5 minutes to save both water and energy.


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

International students organize and host an annual Intercultural Fair on Castlegar campus, and Global Fest on Tenth Street campus. The days are educational events that provided the whole college community with an opportunity to learn about and share a wide range of cultures that are present on our campuses. Historical and contemporary customs are showcased, delicacies are prepared and sampled, and written languages were displayed.

The BIG TOP(ics) event, held in March 2018, was the result of the EACSW Planning Class students hard work in celebration of diversity. The students were learning and sharing about important topics that impact our disability community - appropriate and secure housing, food access and security, independence, life skills, program funding, and monetary independence - and felt that this would be a great theme for this year's event. Started 13 years ago by Instructor Jane Green, the day in celebration of diversity has been an annual event on Castlegar campus. The event helps to strengthen and expand the connections between the College, the students, and the community.


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:

In March 2019, students in the Peace and Justice Studies program hosted a community event, inviting community members to take part in an open dialogue discussing the growth of international learners in the region. The goal was to increase understanding of the region's changing cultural landscape, and build relationships within the community.

http://selkirk.ca/news/selkirk-college-students-open-conversation-changing-cultural-landscape


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:

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

During the winter semester of 2019, nursing students undertook a project addressing ecological grief. They provided teaching sessions on this topic to three different classes and provided information at the campus Health Fair. The students conducted a pre and post survey, assessing understanding of this type of grief, and the ability to cope. Their findings showed the need to recognize ecological grief as an important piece in overall mental health.


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)?:
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 other areas:
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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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