Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.46
Liaison Fortino Morales
Submission Date April 21, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

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

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 John Cook
Director of Sustainability
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 Yes
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:

Senior Design Project (synopsis): Large quantities of pollutants are emitted from small off-road engines due poor emission control devices and lack of stringent laws. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), emissions from one hour operation of the lawn mower are equivalent to the emissions produced by eleven cars driven for the same amount of time. These pollutants, exposed to sunlight, will drive a process that generates ozone, a compound known to cause respiratory ailments. The NOx-Out device is capable of reducing the pollutants emitted from these off-road engines with an affordable and sustainable unit. The unit is comprised of a filter, urea reservoir, and coated zeolite catalyst, and the NOx-Out device is able to mimic the reactions found in a selective catalytic converter while operating with the inexpensive materials, zeolite, copper, and urea. Along with pollution, the NOx-Out device is also capable of reducing the sound and smell emitted by off-road engines. Current designs and materials of the filter and urea are being investigated to optimize their duration and elongate its sustainability and there will be ongoing tests to determine the most efficient design for the NOx-Out device. As an example, we are currently testing the effectiveness of Cu-ZMS-5 catalyst impregnation onto a honeycomb cordierite substrate. Using a coated substrate will increase the contact time of exhaust to catalyst in the device, further improving reductions.
With this and ongoing improvements, the NOx-Out device can be piloted through different sections of UCR through Sustainability UCR. Sections of the campus, such as Agricultural Operations and Grounds-UCR, can have their lawnmowers and other small engine machines operate with the NOx-Out device reducing noise and emissions. The handling and maintenance of the device will be cared for by members of the NOx-Out team and possibly extended to sustainability clubs on 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:

For buildings the University community garden has began to build benches for the Gazebo and restrooms made from earthen materials. Includes a workshop for learning how to build benches with earth.


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:

UCR community garden grows crops for the UCR Dining Services.
http://dining.ucr.edu/resources/sustainability.html


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:

MREG: Mobile Renewable Energy Generator: "Students from the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering have designed and built a mobile solar power system aimed to provide clean energy everywhere from on-campus concerts to national parks or forests where scientists are conducting fieldwork.

The mobile solar power system, a sustainable alternative to a diesel- or gasoline-powered generator, is an 18-foot trailer with six solar panels, a wind turbine and eight rechargeable batteries, each of which is several times larger than a car battery, which store the energy for use when there is no sunlight."

The Mobile Renewable Energy Generator has been used at UCR's quarterly concert, and many other on campus events.


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:

Bourns Collee of Engineering students have designed a device that attaches to a lawn mower and significantly reduces its harmful emissions for their senior design project.

"With this and ongoing improvements, the NOx-Out device can be piloted through different sections of UCR through Sustainability UCR. Sections of the campus, such as Agricultural Operations and Grounds-UCR, can have their lawnmowers and other small engine machines operate with the NOx-Out device reducing noise and emissions. The handling and maintenance of the device will be cared for by members of the NOx-Out team and possibly extended to sustainability clubs on campus."


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:

UCR now offers an incentive to encourage the adoption of energy efficient ultra low temperature freezers in its laboratories. To verify the efficiency claims, to support a campaign to warm up freezers to save energy and to better educate staff, faculty and students on ULT Freezer management, the office of Sustainability has been conducting tests on three different brands of ULT freezers. http://sustainability.ucr.edu/certification/greenlab.html


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:

Award: EP3

The Engineering students won an international design competition for their reusable, recycled storm drain oil filter they designed out of 100 percent recycled materials.
"The team won the open task competition and the 2012 Intel Environmental Innovation Award, the top award at the WERC: A Consortium for Environmental Education and Technology Development in Las Cruces, N.M. It’s run by the Institute for Energy & the Environment (IEE)."


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:

Urban Garden Seminar: a two-unit student course held during Spring quarter that examines sustainable and just food systems and how they affect economic, environmental and social issues.

Composting projects:
Student projects--compost run to garden
The Coffee Grinds Project is small and growing project to compost coffee grinds in office buildings throughout the UCR campus offices.
Coffee grinds and compost run to garden (student projects)


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:

Dehydration toilet being built at the UCR Community Garden (sustainable water practices)
UCR Senior Design Students in Environmental Engineering worked on three related water projects in 2014-2016:
Rain Barrels for the R'Garden, micro- eco-living machine and recycling sinks with bio-based soaps grown on-site.
http://www.cee.ucr.edu/undergrad/sdesign.html


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:

Green Campus Action Plan is a three part initiative by the undergraduate students of UC Riverside to help reduce the campus’ environmental impact and increase student empowerment. The Green Campus Action Plan gives out grants to organizations and projects that have a clear environmentally defined measurable outcome as defined in GCAP referendum. GCAP also offers internships through the Office of Sustainability.
http://asucr.ucr.edu/programs-services/gcap/about-gcap/


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:

Undergraduate Research Community: The mission of Undergraduate Research in the Community (UGRC) is to cultivate opportunities, make connections, and provide support to students, faculty, and community organizations so that they may work collaboratively on research, scholarship, and creative activity that address community needs.

Knowing the potentially transformative power of discovery, UGRC values collaboration, curiosity, and humility as essential in engaging multiple sources of knowledge in the community and supporting students as they develop a more subtle, empathetic, and complex understanding of our world.

http://ugr.ucr.edu/research.html


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:

Ask Julie Chobdee, Ken Stuart


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:

Urban Garden Seminar

Course Description
This seminar will give students an opportunity to explore our food system and its implications on society using an interdisciplinary and experiential framework. During these sessions, we will critically enquire the historical influences, power structures, scientific advancements and its effects on our local food system using both theory and practice. Together we will explore ideas and methods that promote food justice, sustainable horticulture practices, and community engagement. Class activities will include guest speakers, dialogue, fieldwork, and service learning in our local community.

198i-Internship, PBPL 190 2-unit credit:

Experiential Learning: Developing Community and Local Food System Mapping Community Network
Internship credit: Collaboration with Child Leader Project (CLP) and the Arlanza Community Garden and Committee.
Leadership Training: Mentorship and Networking to develop own seminar in future.


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:

Heating Attic Air Using Solar Thermal Energy for Space Heating and Drying Applications (Senior Design Project)- http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/display.abstractDetail/abstract/9580/report/0
A team of students from the Bourns College of Engineering at the University of California, Riverside have been selected for a $15,000 grant from the EPA to develop a system that could cut electricity bills up to 16 percent by using heat from the sun and attic to operate a new kind of clothes dryer. Using an off-the-shelf solar-powered attic fan from Lowe’s, a sponsor of the project, the system will harness solar thermal heat from a rooftop solar heat collector and/or heated air from the attic. The heated air will be diverted through a newly constructed closet, which will be concealed in what appears to be a fireplace and chimney when viewed from the outside. The closet would be 30 inches deep and 7 feet wide and high.


The website URL where information about the institution’s campus as a living laboratory program or projects is available:
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