Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 48.09
Liaison Bill Mitchell
Submission Date April 18, 2024

STARS v2.2

State University of New York at Morrisville
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Bill Mitchell
Energy & Sustainability Manager
Facilities
"---" 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:
1. Every fall semester in NATR 120 Recreation Area Management, Prof. Rebecca Hargrave and the students develop and maintain a nature trail system along Callahan Brook on the Morrisville Campus. Trails are designed and maintained using Best Management Practices, and necessary bridges and boardwalks are constructed from lumber sourced from College woodlands. Interpretive materials and signage are developed by the students to enhance the experience and understanding of the college and village community members utilizing the trail system. 2. The Conservation TriSociety student organization runs an ongoing project providing students, faculty and staff with reusable stainless water bottles. This effort, along with an accompanying information campaign encourages the disuse of single-use water bottles, reducing the plastic waste stream. In addition to this, the club has successfully lobbied for an increase in the number of water bottle filling stations on campus.

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:
1. Every fall semester, Prof. Adam Olinski and the students from HORT 109, Landscape & Turf Management, maintain the open lawn space of Jones Park in the Village of Morrisville with sustainable native plantings. These planting areas were designed and installed through the use of regionally native plant selections, reducing and mitigating the stormwater runoff off from NYS RT. 20. These native areas mitigated the amount of stormwater runoff and pollution into the tributaries. These plantings provided native wildlife habitat and created a space beneficial to pollinators. 2. Additionally, every fall semester Prof. Adam Olinski and the students from HORT 109, Landscape & Turf Management, strategically locate new tree planting location NYS Rt. 20 within the Village of Morrisville limits. This has increased the overall tree canopy throughout the entire village, reducing localized flooding and preventing stormwater runoff that can lead to water pollution, cooling the local environment by providing shade and through transpiration. 3. Morrisville has long celebrated Earth Day; but students, faculty and staff formed an Earth Day Committee to organize formal events and celebrations in 2021. Events surrounding the day vary from year to year, but usually involve a tree planting, upcycling activities, information about sustainability, and our Annual Applied Learning Conference. 4. Every fall, Dr. Elisa Livengood and the staff of the SUNY Morrisville Aquaculture Center facilitate the Trout Unlimited Trout in the Classroom program. Each year during brook trout spawning season, 60-70 students from eight local high schools conduct spawning operations at our hatchery, learning about trout biology, spawning and incubation techniques, biosecurity, and cultured fish as a sustainable resource. Fertilized brook eggs are donated to 46 New York schools for in-classroom hatching. 5. Using the wide variety of agricultural and environmental resources available on the Morrisville campus, the Agriculture Science department conducts an annual Ag Day for the elementary and middle schools in the area. The October 2023 Ag Day involved professors, staff, and students from across the campus as well as local high school ag teachers. Twenty-five stations provided hands-on opportunities for the young students to encounter agricultural experiences ranging from livestock and wildlife to soils, composting to aquaculture. 6. With oversight by the Campus Tree Advisory Board, every year, campus holds a public tree planting of one to three trees to celebrate Arbor Day. Natural Resources and Horticulture students are joined by campus faculty, staff, and students, local Morrisville residents, and local partners such as the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. At the event, participants are instructed on how to properly plant and care for trees. The planting is part of the college's official Arbor Day recognition, which is required for our Tree Campus Higher Education annual recognition status. Morrisville has been recognized for 13 consecutive years. 7. On April 28, 2023, for Arbor Day, Professor Brendan Kelly and the students in NATR 215 Silviculture conduct a annual tree seedling giveaway as part of the Arbor Day celebration. Students package bareroot seedlings in upcycled juice carton pots and hand them out to members of the campus community and Morrisville community. In addition, Arbor Day posters and bookmarks are distributed at the giveaway and taken around to offices on campus. Different tree species are chosen each year and are sourced from the NYSDEC Saratoga Tree Nursery. 8. In April 2023, the Renewable Energy program hosted a Clean Energy Careers Exploration Day for high school students, teachers, family, and friends to learn about internship and job opportunities in the renewable energy field. Students and community members learned about different renewable energy technologies and facilities at SUNY Morrisville.

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

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Air & Climate:
1. Dr. Walid Shayya maintains the Academic Quad Weather Station which automatically records all relative weather and solar data. Current weather data is updated every 5 minutes and daily reports are updated every 10 minutes. Weekly and monthly data summaries are available as well. All data is recorded and cached as a longitudinal database extending back to 2011. This data is regularly used in many of the college's environmental, horticultural, and agricultural classes, and is available as a service to the local and scientific communities. 2. In the summer of 2023, two interns under the guidance of Prof. Rebecca Hargrave, conducted an inventory of all the trees on campus and in the arboretum. Using the iTreeTools environmental benefits calculator, they estimated the climate benefits of our trees. These benefits included: Lifetime Carbon Storage of 776,358.06 pounds of carbon and 2,846,647.20 pounds of CO2 Storage worth $52,944.35. Annual Benefits: Carbon $1,829.42 or 94,696.83 lbs. CO2 sequestered, Air Quality Benefit of $57,70 with 483.86 pounds of pollutants removed, and $28.53 stormwater benefit with 360.60 ft3 of runoff avoided and 86,803.88 ft3 of interception. 3. As a lab project in NATR 145 Introduction to Environmental Technology, Dr. Jessica Sarauer has her students inventory the campus parking lots to determine commuter car usage. With this data she has the students estimate total automobile emissions and then determine the greenhouse gas equivalents.

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:
1. Through the SUNY Morrisville Associate in Occupational Studies (A.O.S.) degree program in residential construction, you will begin literally building your future. This program housed in the SUNY Morrisville Wood Technologies building, with a specific indoor lab area for frame-built construction, electric, plumbing and HVAC. So students can build the projects they design, hands-on. https://www.morrisville.edu/program/residential-construction-aos 2. A Clean Energy Master Plan - CEMP focusing on the de-carbonization of SUNY Campus buildings by 2040 was completed in August of 2023. This plan is in sync with the SUNY Morrisville Facilities Master Plan and will roll out over the next decade plus. Most campus buildings will move to a central heating plant served by ground source heat pumps, supplemented by some waste heat output from the Waste Water Treatment Plant. Other solo buildings will be served by a mix of air-source and ground source heat pumps. Education around this CEMP will provide hands-on examples of reviving old buildings with new mechanicals along sustainable energy pathways for 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:
1. In April 2023, the Renewable Energy program hosted a Clean Energy Careers Exploration Day for high school students, teachers, family, and friends to learn about internship and job opportunities in the renewable energy field. Students and community members learned about different renewable energy technologies and facilities at SUNY Morrisville. 2. Drs. Frank, Ballard, and Arefeen conducted and opportunity for Junior-Senior HS Students, Guidance Counselors, and HS/BOCES Instructors to attend educational sessions, tours/open houses, and meet and greets with industry professionals in the energy and automotive sector. Renewable energy topics cover the following: wind (offshore/land-based), tower climbing, biofuels, thermal systems/heat pumps and solar PV. Attendees will have professional development opportunities as well.

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:
1. Every year, Horticulture Profs. Hennigan and Olinski and their students operate the NOFA Four Seasons Farm, which has held USA organic certification since 2016, supplies produce throughout the year to the on-campus Seneca Dining Hall and Morrisville’s Copper Turret Restaurant, and also manages a community supported agriculture (CSA) system. Its abundant crop supply also allows the farm to run a seasonal farm stand and helps sell crops to local businesses. The farm continuously experiments with new practices to increase its crop production. The farm supplies more than 5,700 pounds of produce from nearly 50 varieties of fruits and vegetables annually. There also are nearly a dozen different varieties of produce simultaneously grown in the farm’s high-tunnel greenhouse. 2. To reduce both food waste and a plastic waste stream, the Morrisville Auxiliary Corporation’s dining service has conducted three specific actions to teach students about responsible dining behaviors: a. Each student on a dining plan is issued a reusable to-go container for food. Any food items they wish to remove from the dining services must go into their reusable container. b. Dining service is “trayless.” Students can only take as much food as they wish to carry on induvial plates. When first instituted, this reduced food waste by 1/3rd. c. All table service and flatware are traditional plates and cutlery which are washed to greatly reduce the plastic waste stream.

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:
1. Every Fall Semester Prof. Adam Olinski and the students from HORT 109, Landscape & Turf Management develop a landscape management program for all the native plantings on the SUNY Morrisville campus. Each native planting on campus is maintained by the students using best management practices with a sustainable landscape approach. 2. In summer of 2023, two interns in ENRM 470 Internship in Environmental and Natural Resource Management conducted an inventory of all the trees on campus and in the arboretum. This information is already being used to schedule tree maintenance and select species for planting. We have over 1400 trees on campus with 131 species. Our top five species are northern red oak, crab apple, red maple, sugar maple and honey locust. We are under the industry diversity threshold of 10-20-30, which recommends that the canopy be no more than 10% of any one species, 20% of one genus, and 30% of one family. 3. Since 2013, SUNY Morrisville has had a Campus Tree Board made up of faculty from natural resources and horticulture, staff from grounds and facilities, students, and local community members. The Board’s objective is to produce a well-maintained and tended campus forest which will help to achieve the goals of Inspiring Learning, Building Community, and producing a Sustainable Future.

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

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Purchasing:
None yet.

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

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Transportation:
None yet.

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:
1. Every fall semester Dr. Jessica Sarauer utilizes the SUNY Morrisville Wastewater Treatment Plant as a case study for the students in NATR 145 Introduction to Environmental Technology. The students learning the science and technology of primary and secondary wastewater treatment. Additionally, they conduct water quality analysis on the plant’s water outfall, and in Callahan Brook above and below the outflow to determine the impacts of the sewage plant’s effluent on the stream ecosystem.

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

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Water:
1. In ENRM 312 Field Sampling Design and Techniques, Prof. Snyder’s students model the campus stream, Callahan Brook, to determine flow, discharge, substrate size and embeddedness, bankfull stage, sinuosity, and stream channel development. 2. The students enrolled in NATR 156, 256, 257, 258 Aquaculture Practicum I-IV regularly monitor the water quality and discharge from the SUNY Morrisville Aquaculture Center to assure that the facility is operating within the limits of its State Pollution Discharge Elimination Standard (SPDES) permit. 3. The students enrolled in AGRO 305 Advanced Soil & Water Conservation, Fall 2023, analyzed rates of storm water runoff on campus and in the village, and then determined the Best Management Practices for campus stormwater runoff. The students then developed an urban nutrient management plan & artificial drainage design for soil health field vadose water movement. 4. During the Fall semester 2023, the students enrolled in AGRO 305 Advanced Soil & Water Conservation, developed a green roof design for Butcher Library on Campus. 5. In Spring semester 2023, Dr. Jessica Sarauer’s students in ENRM 345 Surface and Groundwater Management monitored snowfall for the presence of toxins and pollutants, and then calculated the impact the snowmelt would have on the vadose water. 6. Every fall semester Dr. Jessica Sarauer utilizes the SUNY Morrisville Wastewater Treatment Plant as a case study for the students in NATR 145 Introduction to Environmental Technology. The students conduct water quality analysis on the wastewater treatment plant’s water outfall, in Callahan Brook above and below the outflow to determine the impacts of the sewage plant’s effluent of the stream ecosystem, and on the surface and vadose water flows from the college’s dairy operation.

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

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning:
None yet.

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

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Diversity & Affordability:
1. A new course offering, ENSC/SOCI 216 Environmental Justice examines the interplay between environmental quality and social justice. Students examine the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies relative to campus and community resource use issues.

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:
None yet.

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

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Wellbeing & Work:
1. Functioning as a teaching facility for our Exercise Science students, our focus is on preventative health and wellness as our student interns gain knowledge and experience through hands-on learning. This includes exercise prescription, maintenance and motivational support in a structured setting. The goal of the SUNY Morrisville Wellness Center is to educate our members about the importance of their overall health and fitness. The SUNY Morrisville Wellness Center provides a variety of personalized services to meet the health and wellness needs and goals of members of the college and the surrounding communities. https://www.morrisville.edu/facility/wellness-center 2. Every fall semester in NATR 120 Recreation Area Management, Prof. Rebecca Hargrave and the students develop and maintain a nature trail system along Callahan Brook on the Morrisville Campus. Trails are designed and maintained using Best Management Practices, and necessary bridges and boardwalks are constructed from lumber sourced from College woodlands. Interpretive materials and signage are developed by the students to enhance the experience and understanding of the college and village community members utilizing the trail system.

Website URL where information about the institution’s living laboratory program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
various links: https://www.morrisville.edu/club/conservation-tri-society-cts https://www.morrisville.edu/program/aquaculture-aquatic-science-aas https://www.troutintheclassroom.org/ https://www.arborday.org/programs/tree-campus-higher-education/ https://people.morrisville.edu/~shayyaw/html/MSCWeather.htm https://www.morrisville.edu/facility/four-seasons-organic-farm https://www.morrisville.edu/facility/wellness-center https://www.morrisville.edu/facility/callahan-brook-nature-trail A special thank you to Dr. William Snyder – Professor, Natural Resource Conservation, SUNY Morrisville for spearheading the collection of this data.

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.