Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.69
Liaison Elizabeth Drake
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

Swarthmore College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Aurora Winslade
Director of Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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 Crum Woods of Swarthmore College have been used as a living laboratory for many projects with the Studio Art department. Jonathan Malloy '14 built his Oxbow Cabin in collaboration with Professor Randall Exon for his special major in architecture. The Oxbow Cabin is built of recycled, salvaged, and local materials and is meant to serve as an example of sustainable architecture but also an escape from the stressors of busy Swarthmore life, utilizing the rejuvenating qualities of the nature in the Crum. Additionally, Gavi Mallory '17 is completing a senior project with Professor of Studio Art Logan Grider in which she is painting scenes of the Crum on stretched water color paper, a technique that has never been explored in depth.


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:

In 2018-2019, PSRF Max Katz- Balmes worked on a Community engagement project where he worked with the Swarthmore Borough to link sustainability efforts with the campus. The goal of this project was to work between the borough and the campus to redevelop walking paths to make them more environmentally friendly for downtown Swarthmore. This project worked directly with the Swarthmore Centennial Foundation, which is a local grant-giving organization and helped gain the residents perspectives on what their vision was for the redevelopment of the town.


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:

In 2017-2018, PSRF Nick DiMaio worked on a a Carbon Charge project, that focused on educating the Swarthmore community about the campus's internal carbon charge. This project was meant to engage students, faculty and staff in understanding this carbon charge, along with local, state and federal carbon charge policies. By improving this understanding the goal of this project was to get the Swarthmore community more engaged with the topic off of campus and push for important carbon charge legislation.


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:

In 2018-2019, PSRF Sophia Peipher worked on a Building Energy Efficiency project. The aim of this project was to inform Swarthmore about Power over Ethernet (PoE) lighting and whether it should be included in future building plans. The second part of this project, after the research, was to prepare for a pilot test of PoE lighting in a few academic buildings on Swarthmore’s campus. This project worked to create tools to measure technology and user experience that will ultimately help the installation of the pilot test in the future.


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:

In 2018-2019, Kyle Richmond-Crossett (‘19) worked as a research fellow on a renewable energy project that focused on researching Swarthmore’s current energy use, and outlined the path in which the college can take to 100% renewable energy. This project then created recommendations that focused on renewable energy procurement and the steps the college must take in order to meet the goal of 100% renewable energy.


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:

PSRFs Isabel Llosa (‘20) and Saadiq Garba (‘19) worked as research fellows for the Food and Dining project, which focused on tracking food purchasing (of mainly produce and meats), engaging and educating students about food, and transitioning from our current offerings to more sustainable alternatives. Their project aimed to assess where the campus got its food, in addition to informing the student body about their findings and spreading awareness of the importance of sustainable food practices.


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:

Amos Frye (‘19) worked as a research fellow who managed efforts to preserve the Crum Woods, an area of Swarthmore’s campus. His project focused on stormwater management within the Crum Woods and the restoration of specific damaged areas. This project promoted the Crum Woods as a crucial part of the campus grounds, in addition to the importance of stewardship.


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:

In 2017-2018, PSRF Cynthia Urick ('19) worked on an ITS purchasing project as a way to elevate Swarthmore's IT operations and make them more efficient and sustainable. The aim of this project was to analyze the printing services at the college and recommend sustainable printing policies to the stakeholders involved.


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:

Anna Garner (‘19) worked as a research fellow on a sustainable transportation project in 2018-2019, which focused on gathering information about the campus’s transportation system. The project focused on the on-campus fleet and aimed to gather important data. This project identified the disjointed nature of campus transportation and noted the importance of centralizing the entire campus fleet in order to have more continuity in emissions tracking.


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:

In 2018-2019, research fellows Eriko Shreshta (‘19) and Terrence Xiao (‘20) worked on the Zero Waste project, which had the goal of bringing the Swarthmore campus divert more incinerator waste and closer to zero waste. This project focused on tracking the trash, recycling, and compost that the college produced and creating methods to measure these metrics. It also created a roadmap to 100% zero waste, which educated the wider campus on what needs to be done in order for this to happen.


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:

Water Quality and Pollution Control is offered by Professor of Engineering Art McGarity every other year, providing student the opportunity to study elements of water quality management and treatment of waste waters. Through laboratory and field measurements of water quality indicators, analysis of wastewater treatment processes, sewage treatment plant design, computer modeling of the effects of waste discharge, storm water, and non-point pollution on natural waters, and environmental impact assessment students take part in a community based learning component to the course in which they look applications of what they're learning on campus and in the community.


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:

PSRF fellow Jasmine Xie ('20) conducted research on sustainability planning and assessment by looking to create sustainability metrics for Swarthmore's sustainability plan and the completion of the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). Working with faculty (Denise Crossan) and staff (Aurora Winslade and Melissa Tier). Jasmine conducted interviews with people all across campus to gather data of what is already happening at the College in terms of sustainability and also to identify areas that can be improved upon for future planning purposes.


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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.