Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 27.06
Liaison Taylor Myers
Submission Date March 8, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Alabama in Huntsville
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Taylor Myers
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities and Operations
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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:

Students in atmospheric science have worked on instruments such as portable weather stations that collect temperature and air quality data. This data is used for research purposes.


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:

The Green Club is a student organization at UAH which is buildng a sustainable tiny home. This house will run on solar panels and has wall insulation consisting of used plastic bottles filled with non-recyclable plastic waste such as wrappers, straws, and plastic bags.


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:

UAH Faculty has created the Charger Energy Lab to demonstrate the economic viability of an energy system that saves money for utilities and consumers by reducing demand peaks on the electrical supply grid. The Charger Energy Lab uses computer monitoring along with a smart electric meter to calculate when there are peak electricity usage times. At peaks, the system automatically switches the building off the electrical grid and onto power supplied by a battery pack in the building.


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:

A group of students in Dr. Frost's FY class, used a sample of college students at UAH as their focus group on a food waste research project. This Food Waste group estimated the amount of food that students discard in the cafeteria where the food is served in a buffet.


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

The UAH SGA has implemented a free bike-sharing program on campus to incentivize usage of bikes and reduce transportation by car. Students can borrow bikes for no cost with their college ID card and use them for 24 hours at a time unless they renew the bike.


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:

The UAH Sustainability office has conducted waste audits in different buildings on campus to estimate the percentages of the types of waste discarded and how much of it could be recycled or composted. Additionally, the Sustainability office and the Green Club have conducted booths and presentations to educate college students on the importance of recycling and reducing usage of single-use disposable items while encouraging the use of reusable items.


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:

Dr. Tingting Wu is a professor in the Civil Engineering department whose research centers on physicochemical methods for water and wastewater treatment. The goal of her research group is to develop innovative water treatment/reuse technologies that can help our society address critical water quality challenges and promote water sustainability. Their current research focuses on advanced oxidation, electrodisinfection, synergistic integration of multiple treatment processes, contaminants of emerging concern.


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:

A group of students work for the UAH Sustainability office to collect data on sustainability standards in various departments of the university to complete the AASHE STARS report.


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:

UAH has an Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) to promote diversity and affordability. The ODEI is committed to improving social and cultural awareness and encouraging self-understanding through education, training, and engagement with others. By offering enriching programs that that promote cross-cultural perspectives and create mutual opportunities for exchange, they hope to foster an inclusive environment for people of all races, ethnicities, cultures, ages, religions, languages, abilities, genders, and sexual orientations.


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:

Abigail Christopher, a Senior in Civil Engineering, has worked with the UAH Sustainability program and Dr. Kyle Knight, an environmental sociologist, on developing a survey to determine the campus's interest in local food. In order to determine how to approach the survey, multiple focus groups were held with students to ask questions and engage on the matter of local food on campus.


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