Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 61.04
Liaison Shoshana Blank
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Tufts University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Tina Woolston
Director
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:

Approximately 250 students attended the 13th annual (2018) entirely student run Tufts Energy Conference at the Fletcher School, which brought together professionals, students, and experts from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors to discuss critical global energy issues. This conference touches on issues of energy, emissions, climate, and equity. https://environment.tufts.edu/tec/


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 Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning (UEP) classes have engaged in cooperative planning of a community housing plan for the Tufts junior and senior undergraduates including landscaping, transportation concerns, and community relations.
https://as.tufts.edu/uep/programs/ma/fieldprojects?expanddiv=2018


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 a climate change class have looked at a variety of energy-related topics on campus from energy saving opportunities in the chemistry building to greenhouse gas emissions from laboratory chemicals. Students in engineering management and other engineering classes frequently select and work on campus energy projects, studying, for example, the feasibility of green roofs and alternative power options.

Additionally, in 2018 a student club-led solar panel project was funded by the Tufts Green Fund for $6500 and resulted in donated solar panels being installed on the roof of Hodgden Hall to electrify power outlets and charging devices. This project was led by two undergraduate students, a representative of SunBug Solar and the Tufts Construction Manager.
https://sustainability.tufts.edu/green-fund/


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:

Nutrition students often work on projects with the dining halls as part of their internship. Additionally, there are student interns and employees of catering and dining that specialize in sustainability within the dining operations.

Additionally, students in EM-51, Engineering Management researched potential projects on the Tufts Medford/ Somerville campus, including the potential use of reusable to-go containers in Hodgdon and Mugar cafés, creating a vertical urban farm to grow food on campus for Tufts Dining.


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:

The Tufts Institute of the Environment welcomed eight new fellows who focused their research on interdisciplinary environmental topics. Past projects have included food-related travel, fracking wastewater treatment, conservation agriculture, water scarcity, conservation grazing, and land-use alternatives for American lawns.

One current example of grounds research is a student One Health project conducted on Tufts' Grafton Campus in Worchester County, MA: Lead Exposure in Gray Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) in Central MA

"Although many lead-based products have been banned in the U.S., sources of lead in the environment are still present, such as the wall paint of older buildings in Massachusetts. Gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) are ubiquitous and their role low on the food chain makes them important sentinels for the health of other animals including humans. We will live trap and sample BLL of gray squirrels from urban and rural sites in the Worcester county, MA, to determine 1) if the pattern of suggested higher urban lead exposure from our preliminary studies is real, and 2) if this pattern correlates with reported risk levels in MA children. Squirrels trapped in urban areas are hypothesized to have higher BLL due to urban lead sources. The results will help identify and manage potential sources of environmental lead and manifest the “One Health” concept that the human, animal, and environment health are connected."

https://environment.tufts.edu/funding/fellowships/cohorts/tie-fellows-2018-2019/


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Purchasing?:
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 Purchasing:
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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 in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning (UEP) classes have evaluated several transportation-related issues on campus, most recently examining improvement of Mystic River greenways including transportation to and from, reducing municipal fuel consumption, planning of a community housing plan for the Tufts junior and senior undergraduates including landscaping, transportation concerns, and community relations.
https://as.tufts.edu/uep/programs/ma/fieldprojects?expanddiv=2018

Students in Transportation Planning do independent projects, often on 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:

Students have instigated and managed post-consumer composting programs on campus, as well as tray-less dining. Students in EM-51, Engineering Management researched potential projects on the Tufts Medford/ Somerville campus, including the potential use of reusable to-go containers in Hodgdon and Mugar cafés, creating a vertical urban farm to grow food on campus for Tufts Dining, and studying the costs and benefits of replacing paper towels with electric hand dryers in the bathrooms in Anderson Hall.

In spring 2018 there was an Ex-college class entitled "Waste: The Global Systems that Support Our Consumption". Students in the class had final projects covering potential use of reusable to-go containers in the campus cafes and daily waste from over-printing of Tufts Daily newspapers to be printed.

The Office of Sustainability hires a Recycling and Waste Fellow for a 1 year fellowship in which he or she learns the in and outs of how to run a waste management program. Additionally 3 part time student interns work on various waste and recycling related projects.


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:

Tufts Urban and Environmental Planning Program offers a course on low impact development that includes strategies for reducing impact of community development projects, including local wetland and water resources. The course includes a hands on approach and field trips to LID projects, including a storm water management project. The most recent offering of this course was in the Spring semester of 2017.
https://as.tufts.edu/uep/sites/all/themes/asbase/assets/documents/syllabi/archived/E4511U0FXJ.pdf
In addition, Water Resources Policy and Planning and Watershed Management was offered during fall 2018: https://as.tufts.edu/uep/curriculum/courseofferings/2018fall

Students in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning (UEP) field projects have also researched local waterways for recreation and conservation. In 2017, student projects included a Charles River Conservancy Swim Park Project, which includes analyses of recreational, transport, and environmental value associated with the Charles River.
https://as.tufts.edu/uep/sites/all/themes/asbase/assets/documents/fieldProjectReports/2017/charlesRiverConservancy.pdf


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:

The Green Fund (a.k.a Campus Sustainability Fund) is a program to provide funding for the implementation of sustainability projects and ideas from and for the Tufts community—students, faculty, and staff. The funds will come from the Sustainable Investment Fund’s endowment payout, which refreshes every year, making the program accessible to non-payback sustainability enhancements as well. Each year, the program can fund any number of projects with budgets adding up to $40,000. A soft launch of the program solicited proposals for projects up to $10,000 during the summer of 2018. The official launch of the fund was during the 2018-2019 academic year, when projects up to $30,000 will be considered.

The Fund is managed by a committee made up of students, faculty, and staff from all 4 Tufts campuses.

Committee Members

Jim Moordian, Director of Facilities, Boston campuses
Silvia Bottinelli, Lecturer, Visual & Critical Studies Department, SMFA at Tufts
Sean Cash, Associate Professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
Whitney Stiehler, Wildlife Clinic Coordinator, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
Paul Henjes, A20, School of Arts and Sciences
Isabel Falls, A19, School of Arts and Sciences
Emily Leonard, E19, Graduate School of Engineering
Tina Woolston, Office of Sustainability Program Director


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 Equity, Access and Student Equality (EASE) Working Group was launched in June 2016 and continues to meet through Spring 2018 as part of the University's commitment to our highest-need students. Comprised of students, faculty, and staff, the Working Group was tasked with three primary objectives:

Objective 1) Map Equity and Access Barriers
Objective 2) Determine Resources/Supports
Objective 3) Create a One-Stop Resource and Support Portal

http://students.tufts.edu/EASE

ACE fellows live in the first year dorms and work to provide an inclusive, affirming environment for Tufts undergraduate students and the University community where all members can achieve their maximum potential and participate in an experience of shared values. http://students.tufts.edu/student-affairs/promoting-diversity-and-equality

Students can live in the LGBT special interest house or participate in discussions around diversity on campus, among other things.

The Bridging Differences Initiative launched in the fall of 2017 with the goal of developing a strategy that will position Tufts to lead nationally and internationally in supporting and developing structures, processes, and skills to engage constructively across differences. Led by a task force comprised of a cross section of students, faculty, and staff from across the University, the initiative will draw on the best research and practices from Tufts, other universities, the military, non-profits, government, the private sector, faith communities, and any other promising models. https://provost.tufts.edu/events-initiatives/bridging-differences-initiative/


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:

The Fletcher School at Tufts includes the International Business in a Global Context (IBGC) initiative, which involves a group of faculty and students that provide custom research, analytics, and business development internationally to address a variety of issues from country development and strategy consulting for NGOs to national and international water policy considerations. http://fletcher.tufts.edu/IBGC


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:

https://tischcollege.tufts.edu/about

The Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life is a national leader in civic education and engagement that sets the standard for higher education’s role in advancing the greater good.

Tisch College is charged with a broad and vital mission: to prepare students for a lifetime of engagement in civic and democratic life, to study civic life and its intersections with public and private institutions, and to promote practices that strengthen civic life in the United States and around the world.

We pursue that mission in a variety of ways. Tisch College builds an enduring culture of active citizenship at Tufts. More than half of all undergraduate students report participating in community service or civic engagement activities while at the university. Through curricular and co-curricular activities, these students address pressing social issues by working with local, national, and international organizations.

We also conduct some of the most influential research about civic engagement in the United States. We use that scholarship to inform both our own programming as well as national conversations about the role of citizens, especially young people, in civic life. Tisch College is the home of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE), the nation’s leading source of research on youth civic engagement. We also house the new Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE), which conducts research on student political agency and democratic participation on college campuses.


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:

The undergraduate research and scholarship symposium presents an opportunity for students to share their work with each other and the community. The summer scholars program supports students who choose to spend their summer on campus conducting independent research with a faculty mentor. Additionally, nearly every faculty member seeks undergraduate students to support them in their scholarly or laboratory research. Recent work at this symposium includes study of wellbeing in New Orleans, gender and racial equality in America, and many other topics. Examples of student research at this symposium is available: https://admissions.tufts.edu/academics/research/

Additionally, the Tufts University Nutrition and Wellness Committee, formed in 2015, is composed of faculty, staff, and students and is interested in promoting nutrition and all aspects of wellness at Tufts University.

Also, the Director of Health Education at the Alcohol and Health Education Department works with graduate students on capstone projects, research projects, class projects, and internships involving assessing health education and learning outcomes on campus.


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)?:
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 other areas:
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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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