Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.15
Liaison Nick Cookson
Submission Date Dec. 20, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

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

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Nick Cookson
Sustainability Program Manager
Office of Environmental Stewardship and 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:

Sewanee’s position atop four HUC 12 watersheds offers unique opportunities for research and stewardship, and our aquatic systems provide valuable avenues to investigate climatic and anthropogenic effects at multiple scales. A thorough ecological understanding of these headwater systems is essential for informed management that benefits human and other biological communities of the region and those downstream, in addition to contributing valuable insights on global issues like climate change. The Sewanee Headwaters Initiative was developed to support projects that will assist local communities in better understanding our aquatic systems and to help secure a healthy future for all affected--because what happens here matters elsewhere.
http://www.sewanee.edu/offices/oess/headwaters-initiative/


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

N/A


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:

Babson Center for Global Commerce conducted a student lead feasibility study for campus solar initiatives to help inform the University's Sustainability Master Plan and the Climate Action Plan.

General User Interface exists for campus solar projects for students to access energy data and utilize for coursework and capstone projects.


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:

Numerous students and faculty are researching ways to increase the sustainability of our dining services through the University Farm as well as sourcing local produce on a continuous basis.

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

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

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

Several Sustainability Fellows have conducted studies on food waste from dining services and are working towards post-consumer composting projects.

Carolyn Hoagland is working with Americorps Vista's on soldier fly larvae composting to meet the demand for volume.

Caroline Thompson is continually expanding the University's access to local food sources and developing workshops to educate faculty, staff, and students on the importance of good food and local economy.


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:

A Sustainability Fellow is working with Facility Management and Faculty to develop green infrastructure projects for stormwater that have a visual benefit for the grounds, while effectively mitigating stormwater issues on campus.

An edible garden was planted on campus to help educate about food sources and community.

Sewanee's campus is a certified Tennessee State arboretum and is utilized in urban foresty courses.


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:

N/A


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:

A current student is working with the GIS department to develop a study of multimodal paths and time to popular destinations to help dispel the myth that driving is faster than other forms of transportation. Signage will be placed to alert timing via different modes of transportation.


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:

Last year a Sustainability Fellow completed a project quantifying the types of waste streams and volume/mass of each. This data informed decisions regarding recycling nad future composting needs.


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:

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

http://sewaneewetlands.org/constructed-wetlands/


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:

N/A


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:

Students participate in the Task force for Diversity and are an integral part of the University's plan to implement Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs.


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

The University has a socially conscious investment club, as well as a traditional Investment club. Both work towards understanding investment via responsibility for investing a portion of the University's endowment and also manage an impact investment fund.
https://www.sewaneegvc.org/


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:

The Office of Civic Engagement is active in and around Sewanee.
http://www.sewanee.edu/offices/oce/


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:
---

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:

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 programs or initiatives is available:
---

Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

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.