Overall Rating Reporter - expired
Overall Score
Liaison Greg Monaco
Submission Date Nov. 10, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Stony Brook University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter Tom Lanzilotta
Campus Energy Manager
Campus Operations and Maintenance
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution utilizing the campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in the following areas?:
Yes or No
Air & Climate Yes
Buildings Yes
Dining Services/Food Yes
Energy Yes
Grounds Yes
Purchasing Yes
Transportation Yes
Waste Yes
Water Yes
Coordination, Planning & Governance Yes
Diversity & Affordability ---
Health, Wellbeing & Work Yes
Investment ---
Public Engagement Yes
Other Yes

A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Air & Climate and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Students assisted in the development of the ACUPCC Greenhouse Gas emissions report for Stony Brook University for 2011-12, as well as for 2013-14. Students specifically conducted research on Scope 3 transportation emissions and created models on how to effectively measure the emissions output, for campus commuting sections. A positive outcome of this effort was the successful completion, of multiple Greenhouse Gas Inventories and a framework for future analyses.

Air and climate research is also conducted by the students, in the SOMAS school for atmospheric sciences. Students research the impact of carbon dioxide on native plant species on long island. This project resulted in the mapping of the cycle of plants, in the environment and the impact of local ecology. The University uses this information to protect habitats.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Buildings and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

As an initiative within the Campus Learning Laboratory, in Fall 2013 students under the guidance of Dr. Jim Quigley performed a Facilities/Building Utility consumption project for the Division of Facilities & Services. The students measured electricity consumption, waste/recycling quantities as well as water and elevator use. The audit results were used to evaluate, educate and attempt to change building occupancy behavior. Ultimately, the project left a lasting legacy with the occupants, on how to improve sustainability building wide. It also lead to a greater understanding of energy conservation/ mitigation and its impact on the natural environment.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Dining Services/Food and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

SBU's Office of Sustainability students, planted an organic vegetable garden during the late spring, summer and early fall months. It is adjacent to the University's Research & Development Park Greenhouse. The vegetables are grown on 13 raised planting beds, which are 8 feet by 4 feet wooden rectangles. There are 2 neat rows of plantings in each bed and each bed grows an average of 12 plants. A variety of vegetables and herbs are organically grown in the garden including lettuce, spinach, zucchini, squash, string beans, eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil and cilantro. The vegetables were chosen in collaboration with the Campus Dining Services Chef and are used for samplings in the Student Activities Center and to craft meals, for the University community to enjoy.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Energy and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

As an initiative organized by the Office of Sustainability and Department of Energy Management, the University organized two (2) Wolfie Unplugged energy conservation campaigns. The first campaign was held in April 2014 and involved a total of 12-SBU buildings. The campaign served to educate the community on energy conservation. As a result of its efforts, the University saved a total of 5% on electric consumption; which earned a 2nd place finish against three other SUNY campuses (Albany, New Paltz and SUNY IT). In November 2014, the University held its 2nd Wolfie Unplugged, energy conservation campaign. This was an internal University effort that involved 55-buildings and was larger in scope. Both campaigns were organized using student and staff collaboration; all in an effort to conserve electricity. The lasting legacy of these campaigns is an enhanced community awareness regarding energy consumption and various energy efficiency lighting projects.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Grounds and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Stony Brook University's Division of Facilities & Services and the Office of Sustainability administers a community planting program called “Growing Red Days”. This initiative is held monthly during the late spring, summer and early fall semesters, on various areas of the campus. It allows students and staff to come together to plant and beautify the campus. In June a "Growing Red Day" was held at the R&D Park Greenhouse. At this event students prepared planters for installation, at the Administration Loop location. In July at a "Growing Red Day" students planted 30 perennials outside the Student Activities Center (SAC). The perennials were chosen for their durability, aggressive nature and beauty which will be enjoyed in the future.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Purchasing and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

During the 2013-14 year, students under the guidance of Dr. Arlene Cassidy in the Sustainability Studies Program, conducted a research project on purchasing local vs. non-local corn (Long Island vs Upstate New York based corn). The analysis involved evaluating fertilizer, pesticides, water usage, transportation and the impact of these elements on the environment. The project also allowed the university to analyze purchasing behavior and assess environmental impact. The results of the project helped direct purchasing programs on campus; which included an environmental cost/benefit analysis for future purchases.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Transportation and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Within the umbrella of the Campus Learning Laboratory, the SBU Department of Transportation & Parking Operations partnered with the Center of Excellence in Wireless & Information Technology (CEWIT), in order for students to create a GPS enabled information system, for the University's transportation network. The project serves as an ongoing program, which allows students to enhance the software code and refine how information is exchanged between mobile devices. The system is called "SBU Smart Transit" and it provides real time arrival, passenger counting and reporting to SBU Transit. This information is then used to curtail transit services, to promote fuel efficiency/savings and sustainability.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Waste and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Students employed in the Department of Recycling & Waste Management conduct audits of recycling bins, signage and infrastructure, to determine frequency of use on a semester bases. This information is used to strategically place bins where they are needed most and to ensure that signage is clear and effective. The students also conduct outreach initiatives, to educate the campus community on recycling best practices. This helps to ensure that all guidelines are followed and that the community is aware of recycling campaigns, such as RecycleMania and America Recycles Day. Through these efforts, the students have had a positive impact on waste reduction and they continue to help advance recycling university wide.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Water and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The Office of Sustainability has used its' EcoLeader Program, to provide feedback and direction on the installation of water bottle filling stations, throughout the university. This program is aimed at reducing the plastic water bottle use on campus. To date, over 20 buildings have been outfitted with the stations and more will follow. In addition to the water bottle filling stations, students in the Office of Sustainability received the University's Groundwater Foundation Green Site Award. This award focuses on the university's effort to protect groundwater, minimize fertilizer use, promote organic fertilizers and reuse rainwater. During the course of the application, students became familiar with university's irrigation controls, organic pesticide use and water conservation methods. The award has served as a tremendous educational tool, that helped highlight groundwater protection, university effort and community interest.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Coordination, Planning & Governance and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

In the Fall Semester of 2014, the Office of Sustainability and the Transportation Systems I class in the Department of Engineering, analyzed the university's transportation demand management (TDM), related services and infrastructure. This was done to obtain operational and improvement recommendations. The transportation demand management services and infrastructure reviewed included the Wolf Ride Bike Share service and utilization, parking lot infrastructure and utilization, roadway traffic analysis and the review of SBU Transit vehicle positioning and passenger ridership. The classes documented proposals and findings will be received by the Office of Sustainability in December 2014 and used in planning operations.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Diversity & Affordability and the positive outcomes associated with the work:
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A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Health, Wellbeing & Work and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

In April 2013, Stony Brook University launched its' solar powered, automated "Wolf Ride Bike Share" program. Wolf Ride allows students to use bike share bikes to travel on campus in a sustainable, environmentally friendly manner. In April 2011, the University launched its original bike share program which utilized existing bike racks on campus. This system provided bikes to students, on a semester basis. In an effort to expand bike share and make it more user friendly, the university launched "Wolf Ride." In order to maintain bikes on campus, the Office of Sustainability partnered with the university's student-operated Freewheel Collective bike club and used students to move bike share bikes between stations. Participating in Freewheel allowed students the ability to acquire repair and maintain bikes, all while on campus.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Investment and the positive outcomes associated with the work:
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A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Public Engagement and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The EcoLeader Program is facilitated by students and places an emphasis on communication and peer to peer learning. EcoLeaders work to evaluate their environment, consider sustainable practices, communicate best practices and support the university's initiatives. EcoLeaders may be affiliated with other Stony Brook university student organizations, such as the Undergraduate Student Government. They are encouraged to communicate with other organization members regarding sustainability, conservation and recycling. EcoLeaders have an opportunity to work with campus sustainability leaders, to communicate with various departments and to create programs and events that challenge their peers, to adopt a more sustainable behavior.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory in Other areas and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

In the Fall semester of 2014, the Office of Sustainability and The Build Environment class within the Sustainability Studies Academic Program, collaborated to analyze urban environments and develop sustainability related recommendations, for future planning initiatives. The urban environments that will be the primary focus of the Study is the transportation and pedestrian hub, that encompasses the Student Activities Center (SAC) and the Engineering Drive vehicular traffic circles. This proposal will be received by the Office of Sustainability in December 2014.


The website URL where information about the institution’s campus as a living laboratory program or projects is available:

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