Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Mark Maxwell
Submission Date Feb. 25, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of California, Merced
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Breeana Sylvas
Assistant Director
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 No
Transportation No
Waste Yes
Water Yes
Coordination, Planning & Governance Yes
Diversity & Affordability No
Health, Wellbeing & Work Yes
Investment No
Public Engagement Yes
Other No

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:

The President’s Carbon Neutrality Student Fellowship/Internship was established by the UC Office of the President to support the UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative. UC Merced Carbon Neutrality Fellow Adriana Gomez is supporting and contributing to the update of the UC Merced Climate Action Plan, which provides a summary of goals, progress to date, and planned activities related to energy savings and CO2 emission reductions. The Climate Action Plan builds on a founding commitment to environmental stewardship and articulates a vision of the sustainability climate for the UC Merced campus.


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:

UC Merced established the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Lab, which is a multidisciplinary immersion course that focuses on preparing students to become green building leaders and sustainability-focused citizens. The course, which spans two semesters involves the process of students certifying the UC Merced Classroom and Office Building according to LEED for Existing Buildings:Operations & Maintenance.


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:

The UC Office of the President established the Global Food Initiative (GFI) and developed a fellowship program to support it. The GFI Fellows efforts at UC Merced have been geared toward food security, health, and sustainability. For example, the project of GFI fellow Andrew Zumkehr incorporates evaluating the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through local sourcing of food. Isabella Beltran, a GFI fellow, is supporting the existing campus garden and examining the possibilities of produce distribution and use in the Dining Service Commons.


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:

A research team at UC Merced designed and developed a solar cooling system that uses heat from the sun to generate thermal energy. The design is unique as the collectors are stationary and do not require tracking mechanisms that are costly to install and maintain. Over the course of two years more than 30 UC Merced students have participated in the project.


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:

Student Daniel Winkler's project examines irrigation efficiency in the south bowl recreation and events landscape site on the UC Merced campus. There Daniel is conducting irrigation and efficiency experiments.


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:
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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:
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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:

Students actively engage in waste audits at UC Merced. Experimentation is conducted by students to determine how to increase operation efficiency associated with waste diversion. Data collection includes identifying trends associated with waste generation produced by campus buildings for allotted periods of time.


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:

The UC Merced PowerSave Program includes a group of student interns that implement efficiency programs on the UC Merced campus associated with energy and water conservation. The students initiated a Water Battle, a month-long conversation competition among residence halls to reduce water consumption. In October 2014 over 1200 students participated and the average water consumption on the campus was 13 gallons of water per day during that month. The national average is 80-100 gallons per day. The group of students tracked and measured progress and water usage related to residence halls while promoting conservation.


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:

Associated students at UC Merced (ASUCM) Sustainability Commissioner and Global Food Initiative Fellow Hoaithi Dang established the first Student Sustainability Council under the the Office of Student Life. The council is responsible for the planning, governance, coordination, and oversight of student organization participation in the enhancement of sustainability and collaboration among student organizations. The learning component is geared toward program development and implementation.


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:
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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:

The Recreation and Athletics Department has a student sustainability coordinator intern who is responsible for developing a Sustainability Report for the Recreation & Athletics Department. The document incorporates reporting associated with diversion rates, breakdowns, as well as participation snap shots. The report also provides information on the Recreation and Athletics Department commitment to sustainability.


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:
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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:

Global Food Initiative Fellow Hoaithi Dang’s project incorporates identifying how to increase both student and public awareness on food security, health, and sustainability, leveraging the Global Food Initiative Fellow role to draw on perspectives toward open dialogue within the UC Merced campus, as well as other UC campuses on food scarcity and healthy living.


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:
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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.