Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 50.04
Liaison Rebecca Collins
Submission Date Feb. 21, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Temple University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Kathleen Grady
Director of Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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 spring 2016, the Environmental Studies Senior Seminar class reviewed the university's 2010 Climate Action Plan, its progress to date on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and policy alternatives that could expedite Temple's emission reduction targets. The class focused on the university's energy mix and developed a proposal aimed at diversifying Temple's electricity source. The class organized a fossil fuel teach in that was open to the public and the entire university community. At the event, the students asked attendees to sign a petition asking the President to buy green power. As a result of the class' teach in, social media campaign and media outreach efforts, the university initiated discussion around its electricity procurement process. By June 30, 2016, the university purchased RECs for 20% of its electricity from green e-certified renewable sources.


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:

In fall 2017, the Office of Sustainability engaged an undergraduate engineering student to complete a year-long, campus wide study of the energy intensity of its buildings by building use and typology. The study pulls from current and historic utility usage to determine energy hogs by type on campus. It also compares LEED building performance to the LEED project's energy model to determine if the LEED projects are operating as designed. This study is being used to identify buildings that present opportunities for efficiency intervention and to help project future energy use of new projects on campus. The student researcher has also developed monthly energy use reports for each school/college on campus and has developed an outreach program to educate building occupants about their energy usage and behavior changes they can make to reduce the buildings' impacts.


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:

In fall 2017, the Geography and Urban Studies/Environmental Studies program developed a project based learning opportunity through its Environmental Studies Senior Seminar course. The class featured a course project on how the university can develop a balanced sustainable energy framework, incorporating procurement, renewables, and energy efficiency strategies. The recommendations from the class were provided to the university's Energy Subcommittee of the Climate Leadership Working Group, which has been tasked with developing energy recommendations for the university's updated Climate Action Plan. This work built on the FY17 efforts of Temple Student Government (TSG). During FY17, TSG advocated for a 100% renewable energy procurement policy and worked directly with the energy office to explore the pricing and feasibility of that option for the university.


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:

In fall 2015, the Sustainable Food Systems class explored how to create a more just food system in Philadelphia through its final assignment of the course. A number of students focused on how to create a more sustainable food system on Temple's campus. One student developed a proposal for the use of edible landscaping on campus. The student brought the idea to the Office of Sustainability and the Rad Dish Co-op Cafe's Advisory Board. The Advisory Board, which consists of senior leadership of the administration, approved the proposal and tasked the Office of Sustainability to work with students in the Temple Community Garden and managers of the Grounds Department to develop an edible landscaping project next to the College of Education/College of Public Health buildings. The landscaping planting was completed in June 2016, and students in Temple Community Garden and the Rad Dish Co-op Cafe installed educational signage in fall 2016.


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:

Temple university is located in the Atlantic Coast flyway for bird migrations. As birds migrate, they collide with a number of buildings with glass facades on campus. The Office of Sustainability has funded student research to investigate ways students can mitigate bird collisions on campus. In fall 2014, students from a course in the Tyler School of Art conducted counts of bird collisions with the Architecture and Art buildings. The students mapped the collisions, and documented the deaths with photographs. In response to their findings, students developed an art show of the maps, the photographs, and renderings of how the building could be adapted to prevent bird collisions. The students also encouraged other students to brainstorm ideas by placing a white board for students to share their ideas/suggestions. This project helped keep bird collisions on the radar of the administration. In fall of 2015, the university installed additional bird film on Gladfelter and Ritter halls. A graduate student in Tyler school of art continued the bird collision mitigation efforts in fall of 2016 by working with the Office of Sustainability, the Philadelphia Zoo, and Audubon to develop on campus programming celebrating the lives of birds and bird habitat on campus. The month long programming included a documentary on birds, a bird habitat tour of campus, citizen science of bird spotting on campus and a bird mapping exercise at the Digital Scholarship Center.


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:

In Spring 2015, students enrolled in a Fox School of Business Independent Study and worked with the Office of Sustainability to open a student-run co-op cafe that serves only local, organic and fair trade vegetarian and vegan food on campus. The students developed a sustainable sourcing policy that guides the cafe's purchasing patterns. Through managing the cafe operations, the students learned about the importance of supply chain management, sourcing challenges and the triple bottom line. This project is continuing to operate with student leadership in the cafe's sourcing. The Rad Dish has also held numerous events raising awareness about local producers, including a "Know Your Roaster" event.


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:

During summer 2015, an undergraduate mechanical engineering student received CARAS research funding to develop a device that measured a car's distance from a bike. Designed to be mounted to a bike, the device prototype was completed and tested by October 2015. In spring 2016, the university's Office of Sustainability engaged the student to construct five additional devices which would be used in a summer 2016 research study, evaluating cyclists' interactions with cars in sharrow lanes versus non-sharrow lanes. The study looked at the qualitative feedback from study participants as well as the measured distances. The purpose of the study was to inform advocacy for additional bike lanes to and from campus.


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:


In fall 2017, a Neuroscience student working in the Weiss labs, with the support of her faculty advisor, conducted a study to understand the impact of single use lab gloves on the university's waste stream. She conducted assessed the baseline of gloves generated in four labs. She then identified a recycling partner to determine the cost of recycling the gloves. As a result of the program, the College of Liberal Arts and the Office of Sustainability launched a pilot glove recycling project in Weiss labs.

In fall 17, Professor Tina Rosan used her Urban Sustainability course to develop recommendations for how Temple University could become a Zero Waste Partner for the City of Philadelphia. The City of Philadelphia recently released a zero waste and litter plan, with the goal of being zero waste by 2035. Students from the Urban Sustainability course developed a recommendations report that was shared with the members of the university's Climate Leadership Working Group's subcommittee on operations, which is tasked with setting goals and recommendations for the university's waste minimization and recycling efforts for the revised Climate Action Plan.


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:

In spring 2014, the Landscape Architecture graduate studio studied Main Campus to develop alternative landscaping designs that integrated sustainability features, including best practices in stormwater management. The students then made recommendations to Planning and Design. While the exact designs were not completed, the Project Delivery Group did work with their consultant to integrate stormwater management best practices in the university's new Landscape Master Plan.

Faculty member Laura Toran has also used the campus green stormwater management infrastructure as an opportunity to conduct her research. Working with the university's Project Delivery Group, Dr. Toran incorporated stormwater monitoring devices into the design of new construction projects and landscape enhancements. For example, designed and constructed additional wells for stormwater management monitors in the new Science Education Research Center. The monitors collect data on the effectiveness of green stormwater infrastructure. Additional information on Dr. Toran's ongoing research can be found: https://sites.temple.edu/geotoran/research/.


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:

In FY17 and FY18, Temple began work on updating its Climate Action Plan and developing a climate resiliency component of the plan for the first time. As part of the plan development, the Office of Sustainability enlisted the Sustainable Cities course to develop recommendations for what a resilient Temple could look like. The format of the course took the course of several group projects that identified climate vulnerabilities and made recommendations of adaptation strategies. The class provided the report to the Climate Leadership Working Group's resiliency subcommittee for consideration and background information used for the new resiliency component of the university's 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?:
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 Diversity & Affordability:

The School of Media and Communication, the Fox School of Business and the College of Liberal Arts all hosted project based learning courses on student food insecurity during the spring 2017 semester. The Fox School of Business used its Sustainable Marketing course to have students raise awareness on campus about student food insecurity. The College of Liberal Arts had its Environmental Senior Seminar course develop a business plan for a food pantry. The School of Media and Communication focused its senior seminar for Public Rhetoric on developing a strategic communication and advocacy plan for a food pantry on campus. The students' work culminated in holding pop-up pantries throughout campus.


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

In spring 2015, students in the senior capstone course in the community development program worked to develop “Green Neighborhood Tool Kits” and train community-based organizations serving Philadelphia low-income neighborhoods “to educate and empower residents to take actions that improve sustainability. The students are worked with New Kensington CDC and People's Emergency Center to design and implement the trainings.


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

In fall 15, fall 16 and fall 17, members of the Sustainability Living and Learning Community constructed and maintained a vegetable, herb and pollinator garden in the courtyard of their residence hall as part of their first year seminar course. The students learned about local food, stormwater management, and the benefits of pollinator plants. The garden was open to all students who lived in the 1940 Residence Hall. The LLC also hosted garden harvest parties and tours of the garden to raise awareness of the feature. This increased the university's student run garden count to four locations.


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:

In spring 2016, the Tyler School of Art course "Body Art and Adornment" developed fashions made from trash and recycling found in the Temple waste stream. The fashions were exhibited by the Office of Sustainability in a "Trashion Show" to promote recycling during RecycleMania. In fall 17, seniors in the sculpture department collaborated to develop a plastic recycling machine that crafts beautiful objects using recycled coffee lids. The project was funded through a grant from the library's Digital Scholarship Center and is a collaboration between two undergraduate sculpture students and a graduate student in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.


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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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