Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 75.41
Liaison Dave Newport
Submission Date March 23, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Colorado Boulder
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Dave Newport
Director
Environmental Center
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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:

ENVM5002, Analyzing Scoio-Environmental Systems. Prof Bruce Goldstein. Students researched and prepared a 3SO analysis of the CU Renewable Energy System, specifically developing the first CU Renewable Systems Meta Map. The report and Meta Map provide excellent insight on the complex system of influences helping and hindering CU's Renewable Energy progress toward lower carbon emissions.


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:

AREN3010, Mechanical Systems for Buildings, Prof. Z.John Zhai. Students tour and study mechanical systems and associated energy measures that have been implemented in specific buildings on campus. As part of course work, students make recommendations for additional conservation measures for the buildings.


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:

A multidisciplinary team from CU Energy, a student-run organization, is working directly with Facilities Management to identify opportunities for energy savings on campus. Students will gain hands on experience with building energy audits and lighting retrofits. The team will also be surveying possible sites for future solar installations, and estimating potential capacity. In addition to improving campus sustainability, the purpose of these projects is get students actively engaged in energy and sustainability issues on campus.
https://www.facebook.com/cuenergy/


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:

ENVS 3525: Intermediate Environmental Problem Analysis: Sustainable Food SystemsThe UN predicts that world food demand will increase by 70% by 2050, relative to current levels. Given the already-high environmental and social impacts of food systems globally, how can such large growth in food production be achieved in a more sustainable manner? This course will first examine the broad environmental and social costs of the current food system, and then explore the opportunities and challenges for alternative (or modified) models of food production and consumption. Can organic feed the world? Should we buy local? What contribution might GMOs make? What is the impact of animal agriculture on the environment? What dietary changes are needed and expected? In all cases, we will ask: what is the best available evidence that these ideas can enhance food system sustainability; do these potential solutions offer environmental gains or losses; can they be scaled up; and what are the changes in science, policy, and values that would better-enable that process? The course aims to develop critical thinking skills and food literacy, and will encourage engaged student learning. Class time will involve a combination of seminars, discussions, readings, activities, visiting speakers, and field trips to explore the theme of sustainable food systems. Assessment will be based on a number of experiential assignments that will help you to engage with the food system: by volunteering, eating ethically, participating in a class blog, and writing a grant proposal


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:

RSEI 4150, Energy Policy Project. Dr. Lisa Barlow. At the request of Campus Fleet, students generated a feasibility study of regenerative braking retrofits and electric bus options for the campus shuttle bus system, reported findings to campus administration.


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:

Research team of grad students led by Prof Amanda Carrico investigated the behavioral drivers of recycling by studying students' responses to signage and presentation of campus recycling containers and their messaging, and psychographic and values-based correlations with recycling rates exhibited by tailgaters at CU football games. Students then compiled a research paper for publication.

Truelove, H.B., Yeung, K.L., Carrico, A.R., Gillis, A.J., & Raimi, K. T. (2016). From plastic bottle recycling to policy support: An experimental test of pro-environmental behavior spillover. Journal of Environmental Psychology, in press.


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:

The Climate Processes Research Group at CU-Boulder is trying to find out How much of the water in our local watershed originates in the Pacific Ocean, rather than the Gulf of Mexico. Members of the group deployed students as water-spotters to gather rainwater from diverse locations. The chemistry of the water is then analyzed isotopically—engaging students in hands-on environmental research. CIRES Fellow David Noone heads the research group.

http://www.cufund.org/wp-content/themes/cufoundation/images/brochures/UCB_SEECS_lr.pdf

Likewise, starting in spring 2017, CU has been participating in a multi-campus effort on water, named the Colorado Water Collaboratory. Along with Metro State University-Denver, and Colorado Mesa University, CU participated in Phase I of this effort, which involved collecting baseline water reporting and usage information, and administering a survey to students, faculty and staff concerning awareness and attitudes on water resources and efficiency.

Following the success of these efforts, the state of Colorado has provided grant funds for Phase 2 of the Collaboratory efforts. This phase will involve the creation of water-efficiency and awareness projects on each campus, with much greater student and staff involvement. In addition, a student-led Water Team will be created in the spring of 2018 to provide greater monitoring and reporting of campus water use.


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:

RSEI 4150, Energy Policy Project. Dr. Lisa Barlow. Students generated the first campus-wide inventory of small utility vehicles for CU's department of Transportation, identifying electric, gasoline, and people powered vehicles for accurate STARS OP18 reporting. Prior to this inventory, the total number, model, fuel type, and departmental ownership of small utility vehicles on the campus was unknown. This inventory helped Campus Fleet management and presented an accurate count that improved the campus OP18 score.


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

N/A


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:

N/A


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

N/A


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

ENVS 3001 (2011-3)
The purpose of this study was to conduct a thorough review and assessment of the life cycle of ink and toner print cartridges to identify areas for CU Boulder to improve printing of cartridges, including a study conducted on the health effects of production and disposal of cartridge components, and a recommendation for socially responsible purchasing.

http://www.colorado.edu/envs/envs-3001


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)?:
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 other areas:

There’s a new office space on the CU Boulder campus that anyone can use. The rental is free, the WI-FI works great and, being outdoors, the views are spectacular.

The office wraps around a Linden tree and includes a custom-designed wood and metal conference table and six custom desks. A sculptural steel screen that is both functional and artistic colorfully reflects the sun’s rays and protect users from the wind. The tree’s canopy serves as the roof.

Called TREExOFFICE or TxO, the structure was inspired by 2015-16 visiting artist Natalie Jeremijenko and designed and built by the university’s Program in Environmental Design (ENVD) students under the guidance of ENVD senior instructor Marcel de Lange. The project was built in collaboration with Marda Kirn, the executive director for EcoArts Connections, and David Dadone, executive director of the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA).

“The tree office demonstrates the design skills and workmanship of ENVD students,” said Brian Muller, Community Engagement, Design and Research Center (CEDaR) faculty director. “It’s wonderful to see the tree office on the CU Boulder campus, and it’s a testament to what our students can do for the university and Boulder community.”

https://www.colorado.edu/cedar/projects/designbuild/treexoffice


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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