Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.03
Liaison Mark Lichtenstein
Submission Date June 7, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Mark Lichtenstein
Executive Director of Sustainability
Energy and Sustainability
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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:

In Environmental Studies 427/627, "Environmental and Energy Auditing" course taught each spring semester, students learn about AASHE, Second Nature, and ESF's climate commitment to achieve a carbon neutral campus. Basic skills for energy and GHG auditing are taught and certain students engage in assessments of campus energy and GHG analysis projects. In 2016, students conducted products related to delamping, building energy modeling and carbon sequestration my trees on campus.


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:

Students in various majors, minors and courses use the campus as a living lab to conduct class projects, honors projects, capstones and graduate theses related to sustainability on campus in relation to buildings.

In 2016, students Environmental and Energy Auditing EST 427/627 used AutoDesk software to conduct a rapid energy modeling to assessment of each of the academic buildings on the ESF main campus and assess factors contributing to energy use and the potential for savings.

- 2015: one group of students in EST 427- Environmental and Energy Auditing, did a class project comparing green buildings implementation at different University Campuses; another group did their project on energy use intensity at ESF's Centennial Hall residence (LEED Gold) compared to one of Syracuse University's residence halls;

- 2012: Honors thesis by Susan Fassler: "The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry Gateway Building: An Educational and Energetic Assessment." http://digitalcommons.esf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1059&context=honors

- 2012, Students with Prof Paul Crovella, in sustainable construction management, helped identify local materials for Gateway for the construction of the new Gateway Center (designed to be LEED Platinum).


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:

Students in Sustainable Energy Management degree programs regularly engage in assessments of campus energy systems. This includes sources of energy generation such as PV and biomass, opportunities for energy conservation measures, efficiency improvements and behavioral changes.


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:

- 2015 Honors thesis by Michelle Blankas: "Food Recovery Network at SUNY College of
Environmental Science and Forestry and Syracuse University"
http://digitalcommons.esf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1078&context=honors
Michelle was one of the founders of the ESF/SU Food Recovery Network. The club is very active on both Syracuse University and ESF's campuses, with over 40 volunteers collecting and delivering donated food to local charitable organizations.

- 2014 and 2015: Landscape Architecture department. Two years in a row, groups of students in a Food Systems design studio course (under Prof Matt Potteiger) prepared preliminary site analyses and preliminary designs for a native wild edible planting on campus. The project, developed in partnership with ESF's Sustainability Office and Grounds unit, was approved for implementation in the spring of 2015. It was also voted by students to be the class of 2015's senior class gift, receiving $4000 in funding, which will be spent over several implementation stages (ongoing).


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:

- 2012-2015. Ongoing design projects with Prof. Tim Toland and Russ Briggs to redesign ESF's Quad.

- 2014-2015. Projects in Landscape Architecture Fosd Systems Design studio. Identify locations on main campus for native wild edible plants.

- 2010-2012. Students with Pof. Don Leopold helped select Native species for the Gateway Center's green roof.


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

-EST 427- Environmental and Energy Auditing. Spring 2015 project. Included reviewing what other Colleges were doing on the Purchasing sector; student was then tasked with making recommendations for improvements in purchasing sector at ESF.


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:

Students with Prof. Melissa Fierke designed a bike-share program for the main campus, as part of their Honors Thesis. See "SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry Bike Library Program" (Gamils and Monasterio, 2013) http://digitalcommons.esf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1034&context=honors

- The bike library program was implemented in 2013, and is still in operation on campus: http://www.esf.edu/bicycle/


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:

-EST 427- Environmental and Energy Auditing. Spring 2015 project. Included reviewing what other Colleges were doing in the Waste category and making recommendations for improvements in this category sector at ESF.


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:

Students with Professors Doug Daily and Ted Endreny helped design and monitor ESF's rain gardens, located in front of Illick Hall. Water infiltration on the ESF Gateway Building green roof is monitored by students.


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

2016: EST 498 - Introductory Research Problems students engaged in a grant proposal and campus planning project that involved networking with regional campuses and stakeholders and planning for the establishment of numerous interrelated sustainability programs on campus including energy management systems, a green revolving fund, and energy behavioral and auditing training.

2008-2016: Students in Environmental and Energy Auditing EST 427/627 have continually contributed the initial analysis and annual updates of ESF climate action plan.


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

A multi-year, student-driven divestment campaign was successful in 2015 when The ESF College Foundation, in partnership with ESF and the ESF Board of Trustees, announced its intention to divest from investments in fossil fuels. The announcement marks ESF as the first of SUNY's 64 campuses to establish a divestment goal. Dialogue around this and related efforts is ongoing and ESF is planning a symposium for late 2016.

http://www.esf.edu/communications/view.asp?newsID=3985


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:

- 2015 Honors thesis by Isabella M. Garramone: "What do Participants Think of their Experience at an ESF Summer Camp? An Analysis of ESF SCIENCE Participant Surveys from 2006-2013". http://digitalcommons.esf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1012&context=honors

- 2015 Honors thesis by Kristin Pasquino: "Out with the Old, In with the New? Comparing the effectiveness and visitor attitudes between a digital trail guide and a traditional paper booklet for self-guided interpretive walks at the Adirondack Interpretive Center"
http://digitalcommons.esf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1040&context=honors


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:
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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:

ESF forestry properties serve as outdoor classrooms and literally "Living Laboratories" for students in various disciplines: forestry, ecology, fisheries management, wildlife management, parasitology, and more. The term "Living Laboratory" has come to be used as a metaphor: using campus infrastructure, facilities and services as dynamic learning opportunities for students, tapping into mutually beneficial feedbacks between the academic and operational sectors of the University, which traditionally have been kept isolated from each other. We whole-heatedly embrace this paradigm for 21st Century Universities. In addition, we also wish to draw attention to the role Universities (and AASHE-STARS) can have in directly studying (and protecting) the Earth's ecosystems and biodiversity. With ~ 25,000 acres of managed and natural forests, SUNY-ESF has been offering a hands-on, immersive outdoor learning experience to students since its inception: a campus as a living laboratory and outdoor classroom on a large scale. ESF is proud of this tradition, and also happy to share that unique experience with others, and make our outdoor properties available to other institutions in or near New York State.

1- Outdoor courses, within the "living laboratory". Cranberry Lake Biological Station.
- http://www.esf.edu/clbs/about.htm
- http://digitalcommons.esf.edu/clbs/

2- Research. A few recent undergraduate honors theses who's study area was at an ESF Forest property
- 2015 . Honors thesis by Ryan Smith: "Factors affecting primary production and respiration in small forested pools Heiberg Forest, Tully, NY"
http://digitalcommons.esf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1017&context=honors

- 2015 Honors thesis by Kristin Pasquino: "Out with the Old, In with the New? Comparing the effectiveness and visitor attitudes between a digital trail guide and a traditional paper booklet for self-guided interpretive walks at the Adirondack Interpretive Center"
http://digitalcommons.esf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1040&context=honors

- 2014. Honors thesis by Robert Meyer: "Small Mammal Consumption of Hypogeous Fungi in the Central Adirondacks of New York" http://digitalcommons.esf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1022&context=honors

- 2013. Honors thesis by Martin Holdgrege: "Relationships Between Overstory and Understory Tree Composition and Light Environment in an Old Growth Forest, Adirondacks, NY" http://digitalcommons.esf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1033&context=honors

- 2010-2015. Over many years, several groups of students designed and built two Aquaponic systems in ESF's Greenhouse, as Master's projects, MPS projects, and undergraduate coursework. The aquaponics systems are still being used and studied as part of both co-curricular and curricular learning.
- SUNY-ESF Aquaponics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CpEGsY_1KI


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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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.