Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.01
Liaison Patrick McKee
Submission Date March 6, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

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

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Richard Miller
Director
Office of Envirnmental Policy
"---" 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:

Green Campus Academic Network
Through the Green Campus Academic Network, and beginning in the 2016-17 academic year, Asst. ENVE Prof. Kristina Wagstrom, established several ongoing projects with students to monitor air quality on campus. The overarching goal of her laboratory is to bridge the gap between the basic scientific understanding of the transport and transformation of atmospheric pollutants and the tools policy makers and communities use to develop potential air pollution abatement strategies. They survey multiple locations on UConn's campus to determine the amount of pollutants in the air. The students also survey UConn faculty, staff, and students to determine what areas the UConn population deems to be most air-polluted. The results from Kristina Wagstrom's study inform faculty on the need for better education about pollution on campus. https://cace.lab.uconn.edu/. A list of publications and presentations can be found here: https://cace.lab.uconn.edu/publications/

UConn Climate Corps
The UConn Climate Corps is a 2-part undergraduate classroom and service learning course that consists of students learning about local impacts of, and adaptation to climate change during the first semester course, using examples at UConn’s campuses, and an independent study during the second semester, in which students work with CT Extension faculty to assist Connecticut communities in adapting to climate change.
https://climate.uconn.edu/climate-corps/

GHG Inventory
Every year a student intern at the Office of Sustainability (OS) creates a greenhouse gas inventory for the campus using SIMAP, an online emissions calculator. The inventory tracks all scope one and scope two emissions, as well as offsets and several scope three emissions categories. This data is used to monitor progress on emissions reduction strategies while identifying areas in need of being addressed. A report summarizing the findings is then drafted by the student intern and shared with internal stakeholders who oversee various functions contributing to the majority of the GHG 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:

Presidents Working Group on Sustainability and the Environment
In November 2019, in response to the Sept. Climate Strike held on campus UConn’s President Tom Katsouleas announced the creation of a new working group focused on addressing climate change which includes representation of faculty, senior administrators, and six undergraduate and graduate students. Subsequently, the President’s Working Group on Sustainability and the Environment’s sole deliverable for the spring 2020 semester was to research and recommend a series of economically viable solutions to accelerating the University’s climate action goals, from a 40% reduction by 2030 compared to a 2007 baseline, to a 60% reduction by 2030, compared to the IPCC’s 2010 baseline, as well as carbon neutrality by 2040 accelerated from the previous deadline of 2050. The working group met bi-weekly since December 2019, reviewed existing university energy studies, consulted with master planning architects and engineers, and researched solutions employed by peer institutions. Several meetings were focused on the impact that scheduled new construction would have on campus energy demand and potential mitigation strategies, including prioritizing renewable energy options, like geothermal, solar photovoltaic (both on and off campus), and anaerobic digestion. Research culminated in the recommendation to halt new fossil-fuel based energy generation and steam infrastructure projects and to transition UConn’s existing heating and cooling infrastructure by 2040 to zero carbon solutions. The Working Group delivered its preliminary report with recommendations based upon their collective research to the President in early-May 2020.

Energy/Water Dashboards converted to Green Campus Digital Posters
In 2017, in order to raise awareness among more students, a UConn engineering student, who was also an intern and webmaster at the OS converted a large-screen monitor, in the lobby of McHugh Hall (a LEED Gold classroom building used by 10,000 students a day) from a dormant energy/water use dashboard into a digital poster with continuously looping information slides. The new slideshows highlight McHugh’s green building attributes and promote sustainability events and activities on campus in user-friendly formats. The slides are designed, maintained and updated, by OS interns using stimulating info-graphics, photos and concise text. The OS has since purchased primary rights to display content on this monitor using the Campus Sustainability Fund, a UConn Foundation account. The OS continually works with faculty and academic program staff to ensure that this display is used to raise awareness and stimulate projects that engage students in exercises related to sustainability.

Low Impact Development (LID)
There are six different types of LID, or Green Stormwater Infrastructure, features in more than 20 locations across campus. Stormwater runoff from about 400,000 square feet of campus area is diverted from catch basins and conventional storm drainage systems using these LID practices (i.e., green roofs, rain gardens, bio-retention basins, permeable asphalt and concrete walkways and parking lots, and porous pavers and snow shelves). In 2017, the Director of UConn's Water Resources Institute used grant funding to install educational/interpretive signs in the various LID features at most of these locations, thus, quickly educating students, faculty and staff about the environmental benefits of LID as they walk on campus during their normal daily routine. Several UConn faculty members created an on-line, virtual LID tour, also completed in 2019, on the website of UConn's Center for Land Use Education & Research/NEMO program.
Through an organization called Soil and Water Conservation Society, students on campus work to maintain on-campus rain gardens and roofs while learning about low-impact development.
https://uconntact.uconn.edu/organization/ECC


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:

Statistics Campus Energy Modeling Project
In 2019, Professor Chen Ming-Hui in the Department of Statistics began development of a software program that would monitor and display real-time energy usage on campus at the building level. This new tool for UConn’s energy management team in Facilities Operations is used to identify and address anomalies in building energy profiles in a much quicker time frame than previous tools. Once identified, spikes in energy consumption can readily be addressed through the adjustment of building controls or completion of energy efficiency projects.

EcoMadness Competition
Each year student interns in the Office of Sustainability lead a month-long educational competition in residence halls called EcoMadness, focused on reshaping energy and water consumption behaviors while improving recycling culture. EcoCaptains are recruited to serve as point persons in their halls and a formalized training program is conducted by interns to help them assess behaviors and engage with their fellow hall mates. A portion of the training is also focused on conducting waste and recycling audits in common areas to quantify proper material sorting practices. These quantitative assessments are useful tools in monitoring how well residents both understand and adhere to recycling guidelines. Submeter data for buildings’ energy and water consumption is shared with interns to monitor progress compared to a September baseline for each participating residence hall. Weekly progress report emails are delivered to all building residents with tips for reducing water and energy use each week. At the end of the competition the winning halls in each category are awarded an ice cream party. A follow up meeting with EcoCaptains is then held to discuss their experience with the program and to share best practices they employed throughout the competition. In 2019, the event generated a 6.7% reduction in energy usage, and 8.1% reduction in water usage while achieving an average recycling compliance of approximately 80%. Data trends from this annual event are monitored and compared with previous years to ensure that the program is maintaining its effectiveness year over year.


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:

Sustainable Community Food Systems Minor
Sustainable Community Food Systems offers a unique opportunity to connect theory and practice through classroom-based work with service learning and hands-on experiences in the local community. Focusing specifically on the issues of food sustainability, environmentalism, and social justice, students gain vital skills that will enable them to become a leader in society’s slow and contentious, but ongoing, shift to a more equitable, just and sustainable future. At the heart of the Sustainable Community Food Systems minor is an intensive internship (16-20 hours per week). Over the course of the summer and fall, students gain practical experience through more than 450 hours of paid and credit-bearing internship, including 100 internship work hours at UConn’s Spring Valley Student Farm and the balance with a single community partner that is part of the food system. This experiential learning is then critically analyzed through an intersectional lens on the complexities of the entire food system that becomes a part of the students’ written portfolio. This portfolio, plus the internship hours, reflect the summation of their work. https://sl.engagement.uconn.edu/sustainable-community-food-systems/

Spring Valley Student Farm
Students living at the on campus Spring Valley Student Farm (SVSF) are meant to gain practical skills in sustainable community living, organic food growing methods, and business aspects of how food is harvested, processed, and presented to the UConn dining community. This site is also used by students and faculty as a learning laboratory. One such project began with SVSF resident, Kelly Pfeiffer, starting up a new aquaponics facility on the farm in 2018, which has since opened up new opportunities for aquaponics research for students interested in business, engineering, and microbiology.
https://today.uconn.edu/2018/05/growing-projects-aquaponics/

Food Security IDEA Grant
In 2019, two students at UConn received an IDEA grant to conduct a study on food insecurity. The grant provided them with $4,000 to complete their research. The goal of the research itself was to collect evidence of student food insecurity on campus, and to then use that evidence to engage in advocacy to help raise awareness of the problem and to develop possible solutions. They collected data through a survey that got over 1,400 responses from students, staff, and faculty. They went further and used grant money combined with donation money to host a pop up food bank for students at the university as well. https://today.uconn.edu/2019/02/student-driven-project-seeks-to-address-food-insecurity-on-campus/


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:

Study of Pesticide Drift
Undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty in UConn’s Computational Atmospheric Chemistry and Exposure Lab are evaluating the amount of pesticide and herbicide drift between the University of Connecticut conventional farmlands and campus’s Spring Valley Student Farm and EcoGarden which both employ organic farming practices. They are also working to measure the amount of nitrogen depositing at these sites and other sites throughout the state to estimate the impact on water resources, ecosystems, and farmlands. This project utilizes campus grounds in order to compare farming practices and analyze the environmental impact.
https://cace.lab.uconn.edu/available-undergraduate-research-projects/

Landscape Architecture Students Design Pollinator Gardens
In spring 2020, students in the undergraduate course, LAND 3330: Landscape Architecture Construction III: Planting Design instructed by Dr. Sohyun Park worked to design and plan a pollinator garden, with an associated pavilion or hardscape, for an assigned location at UConn’s Hillside Environmental Education Park (HEEP). Aspects of many of the designs will be incorporated into the final design of the pollinator garden scheduled to be constructed on campus this fall. The goals of this course are to gain knowledge and theory of the role of plants as visual, spatial, ecological, and cultural design elements and systems. It included analysis and creation of planting plans that support and develop design concepts and respond to physical site and conditions.

UConn Forest Management
The UConn Forester, a faculty member in the Natural Resources & the Environment Department, and his student crew, are responsible for the majority of the harvesting, logging, and milling operations for the Stormwise research demonstration sites within nearly 2,000 acres of UConn Forest on or surrounding the main campus. This Stormwise research is done pursuant to a partnership with a major utility company in order to build a more resilient electric grid by preventing storm damage along utility rights-of-way. Working on research projects in the UConn Forest, they gain valuable on-the-job training about sustainable forestry practices, land cover types, forest inventory and woody plant identification. These projects also help to ensure UConn’s Forest parcels remain healthy, biodiverse, and safe for visitors. Research also includes methods for minimizing fragmentation, invasive species, tree mortality along roadsides, and more. https://stormwise.uconn.edu/


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

Water Bottle Refilling Stations Purchase
In 2019, UConn’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG) and members of the Take Back the Tap student group met with leadership in the Purchasing, Facilities Operations, and Sustainability Offices to propose the need for additional water bottle refilling stations in specific buildings on campus. Based on their survey of students, they recommended priority locations for up to $100,000 worth of water bottle refilling stations to be installed. Projects are underway with financial support from Coca-Cola. https://dailycampus.com/stories/editorial-we-need-more-water-bottle-refilling-stations?rq=refilling%20stations


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:

Student Rideshare Projects
Aside from faculty research, students at UConn have been working on transportation related issues, specifically issues that directly impact the campus. UConn recently decided to update the bus lines on campus, and this also involved updating the bus tracking app. To get an updated app, several different students submitted their own apps to be reviewed by the University. One of these students also used his app design as a starting point for a new transportation service, called Gogodoggo. This design is meant to be a more local and safer version of Uber, allowing only qualifying UConn students and faculty to drive for the app, for rides on-campus or to nearby destinations.. https://gogodoggo.rocks/

Bicycle Working Group
In 2018, a working group was formed (formalized in 2019 as a subcommittee of the University’s Transportation Advisory Council) to evaluate and make recommendations regarding bicycling infrastructure on campus. The working group includes representatives from multiple UConn departments, faculty, community members, and students. In 2019-2020, a research project to catalogue the location of all bike racks on campus, along with attributes such as style, capacity, and proximity to building entrance, was completed. A map was created in ArcGIS which will be used as a tool to guide bike infrastructure upgrades and to help inform cyclists of biking amenities on campus as well.


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:

Food Waste Collection in Res Halls
During the spring 2020 semester, UConn undergraduate student, Becky Feldman, instituted a food-waste reduction project for residential apartment-style housing on campus using funds from a UConn Co-op Legacy Fellowship Change Grant. She utilized her grant and to coordinate with campus Dining Services and Facilities, and to purchase and distribute food waste containers to students living in Hilltop Apartments. She educated students about proper use of these food waste containers and coordinated collection of food waste from them into the larger curb-side pick-up bins. These bins are also used to collect food waste from all eight campus dining, and are then hauled off-campus to Quantum BioPower, a commercial anaerobic digestion facility, to create a renewable biogas.
https://dailycampus.com/stories/2020/3/12/feldman-fires-up-food-to-fuel-uconn-junior-tackles-food-waste-in-hilltop-apartments
https://ugradresearch.uconn.edu/co-op-legacy-fellow-rebecca-feldman/

EcoMadness Competition (Waste)
Each year student interns in the Office of Sustainability lead a month-long educational competition in residence halls called EcoMadness, focused on reshaping energy and water consumption behaviors while improving recycling culture. EcoCaptains are recruited to serve as point persons in their halls and a formalized training program is conducted by interns to help them assess behaviors and engage with their fellow hall mates. A portion of the training is also focused on conducting waste and recycling audits in common areas to quantify proper material sorting practices. These quantitative assessments are useful tools in monitoring how well residents both understand and adhere to recycling guidelines. Submeter data for buildings’ energy and water consumption is shared with interns to monitor progress compared to a September baseline for each participating residence hall. Weekly progress report emails are delivered to all building residents with tips for reducing water and energy use. At the end of the competition, the winning halls in each category are awarded an ice cream social serving UConn’s popular Dairy Bar ice cream. A follow up meeting with EcoCaptains is then held to discuss their experience with the program and to share best practices they employed throughout the competition. In 2019, the event generated an average 6.7% reduction in energy usage, and 8.1% reduction in water usage, across 23 dorms, while achieving an average recycling compliance rate of approximately 80%. Data trends from this annual event are monitored and compared with previous years to ensure that the program is maintaining its effectiveness year over year.


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:

Bioretention Design
UConn’s Civil & Environmental Engineering Department’s core curriculum includes a class called Ecological Principles of Environmental Engineering as a graduation requirement for any students majoring in Environmental Engineering. One major component of this class is the year-end project, which requires the students to pick a building on campus and design a bioretention basin to deal with strormwater runoff from the building. Over the years, these student design projects have served as a starting point for Facilities and others to determine whether low impact design (LID) features, such as rain gardens and bioretention basins, can replace more conventional stormwater management techniques to control building-related runoff on campus.

Conservation Ambassador Program
The UConn Natural Resources Conservation Academy Conservation Ambassador Program is a unique opportunity for high school students to learn about natural resources science and conservation biology from UConn professors, graduate students, community environmental professionals and each other. The NRCA Conservation Ambassador Program (CAP) is an exciting program that engages high school students in land use planning and natural resource conservation. Students participating in the NRCA CAP will learn about a wide range of topics related to natural resources and the environment, including units on water, forestry, soil, fish and wildlife, landscape ecology, and habitat protection. Students will actively engage in each of these units in both classroom and field activities during a week-long field experience at the University of Connecticut (UConn). The classroom portion of each of these units will be illustrated and reinforced via field visits and fieldwork. The mission of CAP is to engage high school students from diverse of backgrounds in natural resource science and to provide transformative learning opportunities for students to interact physically, intellectually, and creatively with local environments-- all while contributing to environmental solutions in their own communities. During the one-week training experience in July, students will stay in college dorms and eat in the dining halls. With the 2,100 acre UConn Forest as a classroom, students will explore various components of the natural environment, as well as nearby lakes, streams, and wetlands. With help from local conservation leaders, students will apply new knowledge and tools to complete a conservation project in their local community and obtain credit through their high school. Students present their work at the annual Connecticut Conference on Natural Resources in March. https://nrca.uconn.edu/students/about.htm

EcoMadness Competition (Water)
Each year student interns in the Office of Sustainability lead a month-long educational competition in residence halls called EcoMadness, focused on reshaping energy and water consumption behaviors while improving recycling culture. EcoCaptains are recruited to serve as point persons in their halls and a formalized training program is conducted by interns to help them assess behaviors and engage with their fellow hall mates. A portion of the training is also focused on conducting waste and recycling audits in common areas to quantify proper material sorting practices. These quantitative assessments are useful tools in monitoring how well residents both understand and adhere to recycling guidelines. Submeter data for buildings’ energy and water consumption is shared with interns to monitor progress compared to a September baseline for each participating residence hall. Weekly progress report emails are delivered to all building residents with tips for reducing water and energy use. At the end of the competition, the winning halls in each category are awarded an ice cream social serving UConn’s popular Dairy Bar ice cream. A follow up meeting with EcoCaptains is then held to discuss their experience with the program and to share best practices they employed throughout the competition. In 2019, the event generated an average 6.7% reduction in energy usage, and 8.1% reduction in water usage, across 23 dorms, while achieving an average recycling compliance rate of approximately 80%. Data trends from this annual event are monitored and compared with previous years to ensure that the program is maintaining its effectiveness year over year.

Stormwater Corps
UConn Professor Michael Dietz serves as director of the UConn Stormwater Corps for the Center for Land Use Educations and Research & CT NEMO. This program trains UConn undergrads to conduct an analysis for a CT town that results in an impervious cover disconnection “action plan.” Students study dozens of LID stormwater management features installed at UConn’s main campus and learn how to design and manage LID features.


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:

USG Sustainability Subcommittee
The Undergraduate Student Government (USG) allows students to gain hands-on experience in the legislative and regulatory process. This includes many on campus educational jobs for students, a 60-student Senate, Judiciary Branch, and an Executive Branch composed of the President, Vice President, and Executive Committee. There are also five committees, which encourage active participation from the entire undergraduate body. Within the Student Services Committee, the Sustainability Committee operates to encourage environmental action on campus. In the spring of 2019, the USG’s Sustainability Committee was instrumental in composing and sending a letter to the UConn Board of Trustees, later co-signed by officers from EcoHusky and other student groups, urging the Board’s presidential search committee to only hire a president with a demonstrated track record in sustainability in previous university positions

2025 Student Summit
In 2019, the UConn OS invited student leaders of environmental organizations to join part in a 2025 sustainability goal planning student summit. Over 25 students participated in this event and developed a series of draft goals which will be considered as UConn’s 2025 sustainability goal plan is finalized.

UConn Collaborative Organizing
Through the UConn BOLD Women’s Network program, undergraduate student Kat Morris conducted research on how cross-cultural engagement and intersectional activism on campus could be promoted and mobilized for the benefit of marginalized communities. The research consisted of two components: conducting surveys and a needs-based analysis, and forming a coalition with an intersectional framework focused on social and environmental justice. Morris then founded and served as president of the advocacy and activism organization, UConn Collaborative Organizing, which worked with University stakeholders and community leaders to mobilize on grassroots movements for climate and social justice. UCCO was instrumental in the September student climate strike on campus which subsequently led to the creation of the President’s Working Group on Sustainability and the Environment by UConn President Thomas Katsouleas. They were also active in a march against racism, and a march of solidarity, which combined women’s rights, anti-racism, and environmental justice movements on campus. All of these issues have received further review and attention by UConn administration. https://www.facebook.com/collaborativeorganizing/?ref=page_internal


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:

Environmental Justice Toolkit
Undergraduate student, Himaja Nagireddy, with help from UConn faculty, staff, and students, local environmental rights groups, and national environmental advocacy groups, created an environmental justice toolkit for her 1-credit assignment as part of the UConn@COP Fellowship Program. The content of the toolkit explains environmental justice, various university, community, and international case studies, and specific action items that people can take to advocate for and to promote environmental justice. This toolkit is intended to be distributed to as many students and faculty on campus as possible to expand understandings of how diversity and equity are essential to environmental movements. The toolkit can be found here: https://spark.adobe.com/page/xNgukWjyqEnYi/

Food Security IDEA Grant
In 2019, two students at UConn received an IDEA grant to conduct a study on food insecurity. The grant provided them with $4,000 to complete their research. The goal of the research itself was to collect evidence of student food insecurity on campus, and to then use that evidence to engage in advocacy to help raise awareness of the problem and to develop possible solutions. They collected data through a survey that got over 1,400 responses from students, staff, and faculty. They went further and used grant money combined with donation money to host a pop up food bank for students at the university as well. https://today.uconn.edu/2019/02/student-driven-project-seeks-to-address-food-insecurity-on-campus/

Minority Voices in the Environmental Movement
Through the BOLD Women’s Network program on campus, undergraduate student Xinyu Lin created a photo story exhibit aimed at exploring the experiences of people from marginalized backgrounds in the environmental movement. The qualitative research project incorporated interviewing 18 environmental leaders across the US from underrepresented identities and designing/organizing an exhibit in September 2019 to share these experiences. This exhibition content is still shared through other opportunities. The project can be found here: https://www.xinyu-lin.com/work/exhibition/


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:
---

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:

Living and Learning Communities
EcoHouse is an interdisciplinary learning community that provides a culture of sustainability for students who are passionate about environmental issues through diverse service learning experiences and academic discourse. Students in the EcoHouse learning community also take a one-credit course and are required to complete service-learning hours related to sustainability. During the Spring semester of 2020, students planned and organized a public film screening of “The Pollinators” where local residents, farmers, and students gathered together to watch the documentary with a live panel and Q&A session with the film’s director and producer immediately after.

UConn@COP Assessment
Led by UConn Extension faculty member Dr. Miriah Russo Kelly, a group of Higher Education & Student Affairs graduate students conducted an assessment of the impacts the UConn@COP Fellowship Program had on alumni throughout their careers after graduation as a result of their participation in the program. A survey administered to 27 UConn@COP alum measured the ways in which program participation has affected outcomes related to environmental identity development, environmental leadership capacity, and career related goals. As a result of the survey, the data suggest that participants who benefited from the abroad experiential learning offered via the UConn@COP program have enhanced their professional network, developed an awareness of social justice in climate change, gained applicable knowledge to their future career, enhanced their understanding of global politics, and improved their understanding of other cultures. Participants are additionally motivated to be committed to pro-environmental behaviors. Their commitment is supplemented by an increased level of confidence in their leadership capabilities. Most students who participated in the UConn@COP program reported developing more confidence in their communication style, and ability to discuss, teach, and advocate for climate change issues. Related to career outcomes, the survey found that 70% of survey respondents currently work in jobs related to climate change. Recommendations were made to continue the program and ensure continued contact with alumni and annual surveying of returning Fellows.

UConn@COP25 U.S. Higher Education Information Booth
In December 2019, UConn sent 17 students and 5 faculty and staff delegates to the UN COP25 climate summit in Madrid, Spain. UConn participated alongside several other U.S. universities in managing an outreach booth that showcased climate action at each respective university. Representatives from countries all around the world had an opportunity to learn about UConn’s climate action initiatives and the UConn@COP Fellowship Program. Upon returning, two UConn@COP25 Fellows completed a research exercise to gauge opinions and attitudes toward climate change amongst differing departments across the university. A video was made to document the dialogue between participants: https://youtu.be/ZO9KaSt5Fps


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:

Mental Health Coalition
Students from many Undergraduate Organizations have banded together in the 2019-2020 school year to create a Mental Health Coalition to promote better practices at the University surrounding mental health. This coalition plans to organize with administrators to improve mental health services on campus through a list of demands they have derived from student input across campus.

Wellbeing & Work - Faculty and Staff
Student interns at the Office of Sustainability manage the Green Office Certification Program which encourages faculty and staff to employ sustainable behaviors in their offices. A representative from each office completes a survey which evaluates environmentally friendly behaviors. As part of the program, participants are given weekly tips for improving the environmental sustainability of their workplace activities and for living more active lifestyles (e.g., encouraging faculty and staff to go for walks during lunch, etc.). Each year, a Green Office Team Organizer (GOTO) breakfast is held to share trends and best practices identified through analysis of survey results with point persons in each participating office.
https://ecohusky.uconn.edu/green-office-certification-program/


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:

Animal Science
Students in this department interact with the livestock on campus and use the grounds for training and handling the animals. Courses include: Behavior and Training of Domestic Animals, Horse Science, Principles of Poultry Science, Dairy Cattle Management, and Livestock Management.

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Natural Resources:
Students in several courses under these two departments conduct research and observational surveys of plants and animals on campus. These courses include: Field Animal Behavior, General Ecology, Dendrology, Wetlands Ecology, Ornithology, Summer Flora, Forest Ecology, Stream Ecology, Aquatic Plant Biology, Mammology, and Herpetology.


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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