Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.01
Liaison Rebecca Walker
Submission Date April 13, 2022

STARS v2.2

Southern Oregon University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Rebecca Walker
Sustainability Manager
Facilities, Management, Sustainability and Planning
"---" 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:

An Honors College student developed a project collecting eco-bricks that were made on campus from plastic waste to highlight plastic pollution. A large (6 ft) plastic bottle-shaped wireframe was installed on campus and filled with eco-bricks. This artwork was installed on campus in Spring Term 2021.


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:

Two communication students developed a project to make a film about sustainability with a focus on sustainable agriculture, packaging, and food security. The students filmed the Director of the SOU Farm and the Sustainability Manager for a 30-minute piece to go out on SOPTV/PBS.

SOU collaborated with Southern Oregon Climate Action Now - Ashland Climate Project to develop a survey for Ashland residents on buildings and home energy. SOU student, Sustainability Manager, and representative from Ashland Climate Now developed the survey through a project timeline.


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

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

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

A student assessed SOU's energy use across campus as part of the coursework for an Environmental Modeling Class. The model determined the outcomes of using less natural gas in all campus buildings.


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 student developed a project proposal for the Green Tag Fund to put solar on the Farm Storage and was involved throughout all parts of the project from project proposal, presentation, securing funds, bid, and monitoring project development. This came with soft skills learning development, solar outcomes, and increasing solar capacity on the SOU campus


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:

Students regularly have the opportunity to conduct applied learning and research in the area of food and dining on the SOU campus. Not only was The Farm at SOU designed and realized by students, but the entity continues to provide students with hands-on agricultural experience and serves as a living-learning laboratory for the campus. Students have completed projects in partnership with the farm relating to food and dining through the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and various Farm projects.

Other students are working with on-campus dining and assessing the volume of "real food" available through campus dining.


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:

A student capstone project implemented a stormwater bioswale to capture and clean water runoff from one of the largest parking lots on campus.


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

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

A Student Project for replacing disposable single-use wipes in the recreation gym with reusable clothes and collection bins was proposed through the Student Green Fund and awarded funds. This project reduced waste and ensured that SOU's procurement was more sustainable with key learning outcomes around waste reduction, sustainable procurement, tackling single-use as well as project management.


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:

A student worked with the Basic Needs and Equity Coordinator and Sustainability manager to develop the transportation commute survey with learning outcomes around executing a project from start to finish, sustainable transportation, survey development, and how to use results to inform outreach


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

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

A student worked with the Sustainability manager to refurbish and expand the on-campus recycling center and implement a new quantity and quality (contamination) monitoring system in the center. This involved learning outcomes around waste, project management of a building project, as well as measuring and monitoring systems.


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

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

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

The Environmental Science and Policy Program included an assessment of SOU's STARS reporting as part of its coursework. This involved listening to presentations on STARS and Sustainability at SOU. The class was the assigned group where they took a section of STARS and reviewed SOU's progress and made proposals for improvement.


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:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.