Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 48.23
Liaison Nick Cookson
Submission Date Jan. 20, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Sewanee - The University of the South
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.20 / 4.00 Amy Turner
Director of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability
Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability
"---" 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 ---
Buildings ---
Dining Services/Food Yes
Energy Yes
Grounds Yes
Purchasing ---
Transportation ---
Waste ---
Water Yes
Coordination, Planning & Governance ---
Diversity & Affordability ---
Health, Wellbeing & Work Yes
Investment Yes
Public Engagement Yes
Other Yes

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:
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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:
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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:

Numerous students and faculty are research ways to increase the sustainability of our dining services through the University Farm as well as sourcing local produce.

Daniel Carter and students have conducted research and work on agricultural policy, conducting research about the University farm.

Students will be conducting research on dining purchasing for the Real Food Challenge.

Mark Preslar (Russian) is grafting apple varieties at the University Farm.

Thea Edwards (Biology) is conducting research on mulberry trees for the University Farm.

Deb McGrath (Biology) has been leading student research on plant ecology at the university farm.


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:

Students have replaced lightbulbs and measured the effects of such retrofits have had on overall campus energy usage.


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:

Martin Knoll (Geology) has conducted soil sample studies for the university farm and other areas on campus. Karen Kuers (Forestry) also has students researching and working on projects related to urban forestry on campus.


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:
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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:
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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:

Several professors are engaged in research and projects with students relating to hydrology as well as with the Sewanee Utility District to establish more sustainable methods of treating our water.

Some of these projects include:
Comparing urbanized vs. non-urbanized watersheds
Studying water quality (coliforms, pesticides, etc) on river systems in the surrounding area
Dating groundwater atop the Cumberland Plateau
Installing groundswells on campus to measure water flow and hydrologic response


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:
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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:
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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:

Several student groups, under the leadership of Marvin Pate, are researching green-cleaning methods in Sid Brown's "Introduction to Environmental Studies" class in order to provide a healthier environment for students and the custodial staff.

Sid Brown students are also conducting research into adding sustainability objectives into the job description of new jobs on campus.


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:

Students have been working on projects and proposals for effectively using the Green Revolving Fund to help take financial savings from retrofit projects to help fund new sustainability research and projects.


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 Bonner Scholar program has several students who are engaged in work in the community relating to energy-efficiency retrofits.


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:

Sewanee is actively engaged in both student and faculty research related to the unique biodiversity that exists on The Domain as well as atop the Cumberland Plateau. This research includes focusing on preserving salamander and bat habitat, research on deer, and research on the effects of forest ecology conversion for regional timber companies.


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.