Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 85.66
Liaison Mark Lichtenstein
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

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 Justin Heavey
Sustainability Associate
Sustainability Office
"---" 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:

The Sustainability Division secures a number of undergraduate and graduate student interns throughout the year. For instance, in 2020, the interns at the time developed much of the web and outreach content for the Flow Real (menstrual products) program, that resulted in campus engagement and program buy-in and success.


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:

A team of 18 students from SUNY ESF and four from Syracuse University won their competition in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Design Challenge, prevailing over 17 other teams including competitors from Germany and India. The design is for an energy-efficient building designed to be part of the Syracuse Housing Authority's plan to remake the East Adams Street neighborhood in Syracuse. The team presented the award-winning concept, called Syracuse Energy Efficient Design, to Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and authority representatives.

"...the 36-unit building would cost $9 million. It would include a day-care facility, community gardens and other outdoor spaces for residents. The net-zero energy building would feature geothermal energy for heating and cooling, and a solar array on the carport. Target residents would have low to moderate income levels."

https://www.esf.edu/communications/view2.asp?newsID=7471


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:

Students in various courses in Sustainable Energy Management, Sustainable Construction Management, and Environmental Studies study GHG auditing, carbon foot-printing, life cycle assessment, HVAC and building controls, and carbon reductions strategies in the context of campus operations and infrastructure.


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:

Students in various majors (i.e., Sustainable Construction Management, Sustainable Energy Management), 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.

As part of a multi-campus, LEED Experiential Learning grant, with SUNY Poly Tech and SUNY Oneonta, ESF participated (2019) in the LEED Lab Initiative with USGBC (https://www.usgbc.org/leed-lab). Students in the newly created course, CME 496, Principles of Green Buildings, took the LEED Green Associate exam, while also actively contributing to the certification (in progress) of a campus building (Baker Lab) under LEED Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance guidelines.


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:

Students in the Sustainable Energy Management and Sustainable Construction Management degree programs regularly evaluate campus energy and mechanical systems and planned projects in course work, course projects, and capstone projects. This includes sources of energy generation such as PV and biomass, opportunities for energy conservation measures, operations and maintenance, building controls, net zero new building construction, deep energy retorfits for existing buildings, and behavioral changes.


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:

Landscape Architecture courses in Food Systems examine designs for sustainable, native, and edible plantings at the College.

The Center for Native People's and the Environment maintains a "three sister's" planting at ESF's Lafayette Road Experiment Station, providing lessons about traditional ecological knowledge and sustainable food systems.


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:

Various courses in the Landscape Architecture Department use the campus and the immediate local community as a living lab for teaching course work "devoted to a viable, sustainable integration of natural and cultural communities."


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:
---

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:

Students in CME 496, Principles of Green Buildings, assess commuting habits and alternative transportation using an app in the context of certifying an existing building under the LEED Operations and Maintenance program.


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:

EST 427/627, Environmental and Energy Auditing, projects regularly include group efforts in sustainable materials management on campus, in which students perform waste audits and research solutions to improve diversion rates. Students in the Green Campus Initiative have worked extensively with the College's Sustainable Facilities Manager to audit bins, standardize and replace bins, improve signage, and increase composting at the College.


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:

Students in Sustainable Construction Management examine Baker Lab and other College buildings in the context of LEED O&M certification, including water features such as rainwater management, indoor water use reduction, building level water metering, outdoor water use reduction, and others.


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:

EST 427/627, Environmental and Energy Auditing, in Spring of 2021 will offer a project for students to draft a Sustainability Action Plan (SAP) for ESF as a term project. Students will perform a literature review of existing ESF strategic plans and projects, analyze other College/University action plans, interview Sustainability Division staff and propose projects for the ESF SAP. Students in the class will also provide recommendations for how the Sustainability Division can best engage the campus in the planning effort. Sustainability staff will use the projects and process proposed by the students to create a draft SAP to bring to the campus community for deep dialogue and engagement during Fall 2021.


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:
---

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

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

Students in FOR 333/533, Natural Resources Managerial Economics, have a choice of different term projects, some of which contribute directly to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to investment and finance. The first project is an energy audit / life cycle cost analysis of a campus building. The students must use various financial metrics (net present value, benefit cost ratios, breakeven analysis, and others) to examine the financial viability of various proposed energy conservation measures given the context of the academic building's purpose. The second is examining the financial feasibility of using college property for the construction of a solar array. This requires examining a net present value, benefit cost ratio, breakeven analysis, etc., of the investment over a 20- to 30-year time horizon.


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:
---

Website URL where information about the institution’s living laboratory program 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.