Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.20
Liaison Eric Boles
Submission Date March 8, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Arkansas
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

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

Is the institution utilizing the campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in the following areas?:
Yes or No
Air & Climate Yes
Buildings Yes
Dining Services/Food Yes
Energy Yes
Grounds Yes
Purchasing Yes
Transportation Yes
Waste Yes
Water Yes
Coordination, Planning & Governance Yes
Diversity & Affordability ---
Health, Wellbeing & Work Yes
Investment Yes
Public Engagement Yes
Other ---

A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Air & Climate and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Students in the Public Administration program worked with university and city officials in addressing planning and policy issues around sustainability. For example, one project looked into ways to reduce parking congestion on and around campus. This project utilized an economic benefit/cost analysis to examine the most suited programs and any necessary city subsidies to serve such purposes in the context of the the University of Arkansas and City of Fayetteville.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Buildings and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The E. Fay Jones School of Architecture uses 5th year architecture students to take on various projects across campus included LEED designs of campus structures.

Also, the Arkansas Water Resources Center has partnered with the School of Architecture on various green roof experiments across campus to identify plant species and designs that perform well in our local climate.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Dining Services/Food and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

A student worker was employed by Chartwells, our food service provider, to engage in sustainability reporting for their local operations. This student worker also provided sustainability reports to the Office for Sustainability for AASHE STARS reporting. Positive outcomes will be a set of recommendations to reduce waste in dining halls.

Another example is the recent establishment of a Freight Farm on campus which is a hydroponic lettuce growing system that is run by interns and provides fresh lettuce to our dining halls.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Energy and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The Office for Sustainability manages a modest Green Revolving Fund. This fund is accessible to all students, staff and faculty who submit projects that demonstrate a positive return on investment. This project teaches applicants about sustainable investment strategies that reduce carbon and operational costs. In the first year of funds, we awarded nearly $10,000 in funds for lighting upgrades. We are currently in the process of distributing $40,000 more for LED lighting retrofits across campus.

We are also in the process of deploying an enterprise energy management system which will include dashboards that students across campus can use to access detailed data about every building on campus. This will serve as an excellent platform for facilitating energy programs moving forward.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Grounds and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

In the Spring of 2014, the Office for Sustainability patterned with the Department of Entomology to create an integrated pest management plan for the UA campus. This plan was formally adopted by the Executive Board of Directors. The plan was crafted by professors, staff, and students.

Also, our Campus Pollinator Committee made up of students, faculty and staff, has been collaborating with our grounds maintenance team to improve planting lists and maintenance strategies which support pollinators.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Purchasing and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Student interns at the Office for Sustainability are working with the campus procurement team to improve our sustainability procurement policy and pilot some procurement strategies that will encourage procurement officials across campus to make responsible decisions and specific pinch points. Data of purchased third party sustainability certified products are being used as a metric for success.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Transportation and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The University of Arkansas students have engaged in several research programs related to transportation. In 2013 and 2014, a student in the Sustainability Minor have researched both the true cost of ownership for diesel and electric vehicles including the carbon impact during the lifecycle of these buses. Additionally, a group of students from the Computer Engineering department are conducting research on RFID technology and inventive projects for campus cycling commuters.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Waste and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The Office for Sustainability manages an internship program whose focus in the Summer of 2014 was waste assessment. Several interns engaged in waste audits and analysis and made recommendations to several campus entities on strategies for reducing waste. The positive outcomes of this effort was a highly educated and capable group of interns who could act as waste consultants to organizations. Additionally, the organizations who underwent the waste audits now have a better understanding of their waste profile and are equipped with a list of recommendations to minimize their waste.

In the fall of 2015 and spring of 2016 pilot recycling competitions were conducted in collaboration with Gamers 4 Good. Participating students recycled more in 2 weeks than the average UA student does in 12 years.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Water and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

A team of chemical engineering, communications and Honors College students at the University of Arkansas – collectively known as the Water Hogs – entered their design project in the Environmental Protection Agency’s People, Prosperity and the Planet, or P3, competition. The Water Hogs received the American Society of Civil Engineers Sustainable Development Award.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Coordination, Planning & Governance and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Students in the Public Administration program worked with university and city officials in addressing planning and policy issues around sustainability. For example, one project looked into ways to reduce parking congestion on and around campus. This project utilized an economic benefit/cost analysis to examine the most suited programs and any necessary city subsidies to serve such purposes in the context of the the University of Arkansas and City of Fayetteville.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Diversity & Affordability and the positive outcomes associated with the work:
---

A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Health, Wellbeing & Work and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Over the past few years UA has been rolling out programs and strategies to get more students, faculty, and staff commuting by bicycle. Data on increased student, faculty, and staff participation is being used a metric for success. We have had so much success that we were named a Silver Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Cyclists in October of 2016.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Investment and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The Office for Sustainability manages a modest Green Revolving Fund. This fund is accessible to all students, staff and faculty who submit projects that demonstrate a positive return on investment. This project teaches applicants about sustainable investment strategies that reduce carbon and operational costs. In the first year of funds, we awarded nearly $10,000 in funds for lighting upgrades. We are currently in the process of distributing $40,000 more for LED lighting retrofits.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Public Engagement and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The UA Social Innovation Hub hosts the Design Solution Challenge. The Challenge is an annual competition open to any student interested on offering an applicable and sustainable solution to some of the problems and challenges discussed at the Hub. Students can enter the competition individually or working in collaboration with other students, faculty or members of the community.

Organizations throughout Northwest Arkansas provide the project framework, and work with students throughout the process. After the timeline, a best solution will be selected by the organization and rewarded with a monetary prize.

Aside from the economic incentive, students interested in the Challenge find guidance, assistance, and business advice through a network of faculty advisors, community leaders, experts in the field, impact investors, and former University of Arkansas students, all connected through the Social Innovation Hub. A selected group of these same advisors, investors and experts associated with the Hub, will be selected every year to become part of the panel in charge of assigning the seed money award.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory in Other areas and the positive outcomes associated with the work:
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The website URL where information about the institution’s campus as a living laboratory program or projects is available:

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.