Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 31.76
Liaison Jonathan Ehrlich
Submission Date Dec. 17, 2019

STARS v2.2

United World College-USA
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Todd Austin
Special Assistant for Strategic Initiatives
President's Office
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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 Campus Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Campus Engagement:

Environmental Systems and Societies (ESS) student, Nadia Shepherd, conducted a research project entitled "How effective is the school’s Annual Conference impact (sic) the knowledge and viewpoint of faculty and students on the topic of Fossil Fuel Divestment?" This topic, which was intended to inform future event planning, falls under both Campus Engagement and Investment & Finance.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Public Engagement?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Public Engagement:
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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 Air & Climate?:
Yes

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

Two ESS Students conducted studies that explored the relationship between Air & Climate and Transportation. Sophia Huang, for example, conducted a research project "Offsetting Co2 emissions from student travel at UWC-USA." This project explored the cumulative, round-trip carbon emissions of all students' travel to/from the College. Based on this analysis, Sophia and others submitted a proposal to the College's Strategic Leadership Team to begin offsetting travel-related emissions by investing in a forestry project in Nicaragua.


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:

ESS student, Anna Cohen, conducting a research project exploring the impact of indoor plants on air quality entitled, "How does the presence of the house plant Golden Pothos affect the amount of ozone in campus copy rooms?"


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Energy?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Energy:
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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 Food & Dining?:
Yes

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

Four ESS students conducted research projects related to Food & Dining. In one study, for example, Sophia Espinosa explored efforts to reduce meat consumption in a study entitled "How do different ways of reducing meat consumption succeed in balancing consumer satisfaction, environmental sustainability, and budgeting?"


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:

Nine ESS students conducted studies related to Grounds. The majority of these studies explored topics related to the management of the Agroecological Research Center. In one study, Ohifeme Longe, who is from an arid agricultural region in Nigeria, explored a traditional method of planting corn deep in the earth (up to 9”) to see whether it had an impact on yield. In another study, Molly Mitchell assessed the effectiveness of diatomaceous earth - a naturally occurring mineral - as an organic insecticide. The results of this study informed the College's pest management efforts.


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:
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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:

As previously mentioned, two EES students conducted studies at the intersection of Transportation and Air & Climate. In the second study not previously mentioned, Octave Couvet conducted a "CO2 emission analysis of our school's annual Southwest Studies trip."


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:

Two EES students conducted research projects at the intersection of Waste and Food & Dining. Josebell Cevallos examined: "How does the food waste amount of food, varies (sic) between different regions at an International Boarding school?" and Helena Wacko studied "Food Waste patterns at UWC USA: internal and external waste."


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:

Six ESS students conducted research projects on campus related to water. Nicola Angelis, conducted a study entitled "Impact of the campus farm on the water quality of the Rio Gallinas." Another student, Melanie Quas, examined "Differences (sic) bathing water consumption by different genders at a US boarding school."


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning:
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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 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?:
Yes

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

As mentioned earlier under "Campus Engagement," ESS student, Nadia Shepherd, conducted a research project entitled "How effective is the school’s Annual Conference impact (sic) the knowledge and viewpoint of faculty and students on the topic of Fossil Fuel Divestment?"


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

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

One ESS student conducted a research project entitled "How does exposure to nature relate to anxiety and depression levels among teenagers between the ages of 16 and 20?"


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