Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.27
Liaison Linda Kogan
Submission Date Feb. 15, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

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

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Linda Kogan
Director
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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:

The Office of Sustainability hosts an Ozone garden that supports citizen science and links to the National Climate and Atmospheric Research facility in Boulder. As part of a class, students grew specific plants that display the effects of ground level ozone when present and report this information to NCAR. This program is ongoing.


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:

In many of our LEED buildings, we provide education in the form of kiosks/web-sites, posters, and tour guides about our high-performance buildings and how they contribute to a better workplace as well as reducing our energy use, water use, and carbon emissions. https://www.uccs.edu/~kiosk/seng/. In the Osborne Science and Engineering Building there is a green building tour that is assigned by faculty to help students learn about sustainable buildings. Tour guide is uploaded at end of this credit.


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:

Multiple solar installations on the campus have served as an awareness tool and as a subject of research for students. Student projects, as part of academic courses and independent study have included efficiency comparisons between thin film and regular photovoltaic panels and have also focused on our solar thermal system that provides heating for the Recreation Center pool and domestic water.


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:

The connection between academic integration and promotion of health and wellness through food service transition began to solidify in an overarching inter- and transdisciplinary framework, now called Sustainability, Wellness & Learning or SWELL.
1. SWELL leverages the emerging synergies when health promotion and sustainability (e.g., economic, environmental, social) are integrated.
2. An example of this synergy is found in Food Next Door. Food Next Door is entering its second year of operation, managed by graduate students in Health Sciences and Sport Nutrition, and is located at Roaring Fork Dining Hall. At Food Next Door you will find delicious, locally grown, sustainably focused dishes carefully crafted with nutrition expertise to bring you a well-balanced, tasty lunch.
3. Grain School - On-site 3 day program run by faculty and students regarding the local grain shed, supporting heritage grains, working with farmers to grow more for the school, etc.
4. Farmhouse Fridays - Faculty and students from Sport Nutrition hold open sessions for campus community members on various farm to table topics with goal of meeting farmers and getting more local food on campus.
5. The Roaring Fork is not a Screaming Utensil - field trip with Dining student employees to Roaring Fork River to learn about namesake and clean the waterway.
6. Sea to Shining Sea - Event funded by students to bring in Chef Bart Seavers and teach about sustainable seafood and support the Marine Stewardship Council designation.

Students in our Health and Nutrition programs frequently partner with our food services operations to educate about local and organic food and the role they play in health and wellness. Dining services has converted to either re-usable materials or compostable to-go containers. Shadow boxes in the dining service areas demonstrate where waste goes and the campus community have reacted very positively. Additionally, students from nutrition classes conduct food waste audits.


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

1. Funding of the new Tava trail with interpretive nature signage and more sustainable design for water drainage and protecting native landscape
2. As part of a Sustainability Seminar course, students funded, designed, and planted an edible garden in a high visibility location on campus to raise awareness of growing food where you water.
3. Students funded mulching kit for mowers to pilot project of leaving grass clippings on lawns to protect and keep moisture.

Students, as part of coursework, have studied our irrigation systems and have developed and funded proposals to reduce water use utilizing technologies such as a smart clock, which utilizes weather, moisture and other sensors to control and limit, when appropriate, water used for landscaping and grounds.


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:
---

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:

There are several projects that students and faculty have collaborated on in the realm of transportation.
1. Drive - Electric vehicle battery research on dune buggy vehicles
M. Scott Trimboli, Ph.D., Dept of ECE, College of EAS,
Gregory L. Plett, Ph.D., Dept of ECE, College of EAS, with 8 students.
Our research team at UCCS is globally recognized for its leadership in modeling and controls for high-capacity battery systems spanning 15 years. There are over 3,600
citations in the literature to our publications and our approaches are implemented in commercial products. Applications of this research have had an impact on the trajectory of xEV design and on the broader interest of reducing the use of fossil fuels for transportation. Research conducted at UCCS has focused on developing a deep understanding of how batteries work and leveraging that understanding to build state-of-the-art battery controls that extract maximum performance while simultaneously maximizing lifetime – and thereby extending range and reducing size, cost, and
charge times – of battery packs for future xEVs.
2. Hyperloop Space-X competition and demonstration project - 2016 through the Math and Physics departments. The prototype is displayed in the Engineering Building and the team has made several presentations and showcases of the technology. Colorado is one of several locations in the running for a hyperloop installation.
3. Lotspot Application - Students and faculty in the Bachelor of Innovation program came up with an idea for an app that lets drivers know where there are available spots to cut down on chasing around parking lots and idling.
4. Bus transportation study - a Bachelor of Innovation course will focus on how to increase ridership on the Metro bus to support a new $5 bus pass for students.


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:

1. OZZI - Reusable to-go containers. Resulting Green2Go program. This has had two stages of student involvement: the first to purchase the machine and containers and start the program, and the second as part of a sustainability capstone course, GES 4800 - Sustainability Seminar, to improve the structure of the program and increase marketing.
2. Cardboard baling was instituted on the campus in 2013 as a result of research and analysis by a student. The program is now run by students and is very visible with a solar cart driving to every building to pick up cardboard. This has increased our rate of cardboard recycling.


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:

As a result of student research in GPS 001 Sustainable Me and GES 4800 Sustainability Seminar, students have researched, developed, and funded projects to install low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucets in housing. Staff members in Facilities are continuing to find more retrofit projects to finish the campus.

GES4980 Professional Experience II
Stormwater project - Independent Study student worked with Facilities Services to research and catalog the stormwater structures on campus and to contribute to improving practices.


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:

UCCS is on its 3rd sustainability strategic plan and sustainability is incorporated in the overall strategic plan for the university. This material is assigned to all students who work in the Sustainability Office and in a number of sustainability classes. Students participate in the strategic plan processes, including the Master Plan, which includes sustainability. Students in leadership courses have completed projects analyzing the sustainability leadership of the university with recommendations for improvements.


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:

Dissertation: Reduction in public funding for postsecondary education in Colorado from 1970 to 2010: A study documenting change and the resulting shift from public good to private good. This dissertation has been referenced and utilized often to understand the difficult situation for CU with Colorado being 48th in the nation for higher education funding.

Open session on affordability with decreasing state funding for higher education
http://communique.uccs.edu/?p=16617


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

Students for Environmental Awareness and Sustainability worked with their Geography and Environmental Studies faculty representative to research and make the case for divestment from fossil fuels. They wrote letters and presented to the Colorado University Board of Regents. As of yet they have not been successful, but they will continue their efforts.


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:

UCCS is a founding and board member of the regional group, Peak Alliance for a Sustainable Future (PASF). Students are involved in this organization and have assisted with outreach and marketing for the organization in an effort to recruit and engage young people in the millennial generation.


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:

Housed in the Lane Center for Academic Health Sciences at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, UCCS HealthCircle is a unique and cutting-edge partnership that fuses the various mental and physical health services of UCCS to create an outstanding model for integrated healthcare education, research, and preventive primary, and specialty care services. Students are involved with the delivery of services in a building that includes the Center for Active Living, The Peak Nutritional Clinic, which includes a demonstration kitchen. Numerous student/faculty projects are sources from this department.
Example:
Presenteeism and Physical Activity (Poster presentation)
Paige Whitney (student), Mary Ann Kluge, PhD; Margaret Harris, PhD; Michele Okun, PhD
The phenomenon of presenteeism is defined as a decrease in on the job performance and productivity due to the presence of physical and/or psychosocial symptoms or conditions. Research indicates a powerful intersect between employee health and productivity. In addition, physical activity is recognized as a key component to both mental and physical health; however, little research has examined the impact physical activity has on presenteeism. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between physical activity and presenteeism through extracting evidence from both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. A purposive sample of University of Colorado Colorado Springs faculty and staff (n=33) participated in a one hour focus group followed by the completion of validated questionnaires highlighting
the following areas: general health, physical activity, perceived stress, and presenteeism. Initial findings suggest a negative association between physical activity and levels of presenteeism. Findings from this study will add dimension to
the topic of presenteeism while also demonstrating the potential positive impact of physical activity interventions in the workplace.

Students in our health and nutrition programs utilize the campus infrastructure, including our food service outlets and events, to educate students about local, organic, healthy food, nutrition, and wellness. The students in the program developed the The Flying Carrot, a collaboration between UCCS and the Pikes Peak Community Foundation. The bus bearing its carrot logo travels to schools and sustainability events to promote food literacy off campus.


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:

Matt Barton, a Visual and Performing Arts professor, taught two courses on 'creating place' at the Heller Center for Arts & Humanities utilizing reclaimed material for the seating, canopies to divert water to the nearby student garden, and traditional techniques and local material.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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.