Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 29.22
Liaison Navin Tagore-Erwin
Submission Date March 3, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Hawaii Maui College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Meagan Jones
SSM Faculty
Sustainable Science Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Campus Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Campus Engagement:

No comprehensive list has been developed, however an example includes:

The Sustainable Living Institute of Maui (SLIM) at UHMC has created an ethnnobotanical garden on campus called Kauluwehi, meaning a place for beautiful plants to thrive in Hawaiian, showcasing a unique collection of endemic and indigenous plants for conservation, education and food production. The original space was transformed from a drainage basin into a community garden and a center for learning about food sustainability, rain gardens, home gardening and island food security. Due to lack of community engagement, the garden was redesigned as a living lab for ethnobotanical programming and food production fields to support community food security and create a new green space on campus for the community, students, faculty and staff to enjoy.

SLIM has also launched the WaiPono Farm at UHMC to develop, model and promote innovative, sustainable food systems methods and practices in controlled environment greenhouses in urban and rural settings using aquaponics and hydroponics growing technologies, capacity building frameworks, and education programs to support food security, economic development through food innovation and regenerative agriculture and engagement with the United Nations Sustainable development goals in Hawai'i and the Pacific Region.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Public Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Public Engagement:

No comprehensive list has been developed, however an example includes:

SLIM at UHMC coordinates living lab environments on campus where community members from the public are invited to engage in continuing education programs, volunteer and engage in applied learning and continuing education trainings for regenerative agriculture, food production, conservation and cultivation of Hawaiian endemic and indigenous plants, and support food security. With Hawaii importing up to 90% of its food, the Kauluwehi garden provides applied learning opportunities for college and high school students to engage in work-based learning programs to grow, harvest and donate up to 4,000 lbs of food per year to local community organizations serving at risk populations. Training participants, faculty, staff and community and campus volunteers cultivate and harvest plants in the garden and adjacent fields, apply agroforestry, regenerative agriculture and indigenous cultural practices including green mulch, propagation of native plants and canoe crops, and carbon sequestration techniques.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Air & Climate?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Air & Climate:

No comprehensive list has been developed, however an example includes:

Through the application of agroforestry, regenerative agriculture, and indigenous agriculture practices including cultivation of indigenous microorganisms, soil building, and green mulch using on-site cultivation of nitrogen-fixing plants like vetiver and gliricidia, the Kauluwehi Garden at UH Maui College promotes the understanding and advancement of sustainability practices to support improved air quality through more abundance of oxygenating plants as well as climate issues through carbon sequestration techniques. The garden project has planted over 100 native and fruit producing trees in an orchard planned to supply fresh produce to the culinary academy on campus as a model of less-than-a-food-mile food production over the past two years.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Buildings?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Buildings:

No comprehensive list has been developed, however an example includes:

UHMC has one LEED certified building that is used by some instructors as an applied teaching tool for courses such as SSM 201 "Sustainable Building Design". This building houses most science programs and was designed to model and teach students about sustainability through its design including passive cooling features, rooftop solar, shaded windows to reduce heat, EV charging stations for prioritized parking to promote EV usage on campus, a green rooftop garden, low water xeriscaping landscaping, and low water plumbing features.

The WaiPono Farm 5,000 square foot on-campus greenhouse project promotes sustainability practices for local agriculture structures by promoting reduced use of water for local food production, potentially using less than 90% of the water used in traditional agriculture through its recirculating aquaponics systems and reducing the impact of pests through a controlled environment building.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Energy?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Energy:

No comprehensive list has been developed, however an example includes:

The recent 'net zero' project (both positive and negative aspects were discussed/analyzed) serves as a model of a grid-connected energy system with a solar field and batteries intended to offset campus energy use. UHMC students have also researched and applied landscaping as a means of reducing energy requirements through heat reduction with strategically placed shade trees.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Food & Dining?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Food & Dining:

No comprehensive list has been developed, however an example includes:

Through a Waste Resolution project coordinated by the Sustainability Committee and Student Ohana for Sustainability, the campus has prioritized a plan to eliminate the use of plastic bottles in the cafeteria and on-campus vending machines and bookstore. As a result, the dining hall has stopped buying plastic bottled beverages and only purchases glass or aluminum, initiating a system-change that required local vendors to source aluminum water bottles. The campus also conducted a waste audit to identify opportunities to reduce food waste. The campus cafeteria has designated separate bins for food waste which are then donated to a local pig farmer with plans to also procure a rapid composting machine on-site.

The campus also sources fresh produce grown in aquaponics systems from the WaiPono Farm greenhouse in campus. The dining hall features lettuce grown in the greenhouse in its salar bar which encourages farm to table initiatives.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Grounds?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Grounds:

No comprehensive list has been developed, however an example includes:

UHMC has engaged with students to identify & implement landscaping techniques to reduce energy requirements as well as planting native trees that require less water, planting native plants with the same water requirements together, using ground cover to reduce weeding and overwater of grass areas, and other xeriscaping techniques.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Purchasing?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Purchasing:
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IIs the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Transportation?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Transportation:
---

Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Waste:

No comprehensive list has been developed, however an example includes:

Students, faculty and staff collaborated to design and complete a waste audit in order to work towards a zero waste campus. This audit resulted in data-driven interventions to reduce waste--starting with a resolution signed by the Chancellor on Earth Day, 2019. These activities, which are described in the "Waste Revolution" plan put together by the student/faculty group have resulted in a phase-out of plastic water bottles on campus, among other interventions.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Water?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Water:

No comprehensive list has been developed, however an example includes:

The UHMC water quality lab provides new educational opportunities, courses, internships, and research experiences for UHMC students. They primarily focus work in coral reef ecosystems, but also work with agricultural water and freshwater systems. Andrea Kealoha is the director of the Water Quality Lab on campus and has provided this information.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning:

No comprehensive list has been developed, however an example includes:

The WaiPono Farm Aquaponics Greenhouse and Kauluwehi Garden provide applied project opportunities in living lab environments for students to engage in coordination and planning activities. For example, in November 2020, students coordinated planting of 50 trees in the Kauluwehi Garden for the statewide ReTree Hawaii initiative that included developing a planting plan, coordinating a budget, sourcing trees and consulting services from a local nursery and implementing a volunteer planting day. Students are also currently engaged in coordinating research and implementation of energy efficiency strategies in the WaiPono Farm Aquaponics Greenhouse.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Diversity & Affordability:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Investment & Finance?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Investment & Finance:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Wellbeing & Work:

No comprehensive list has been developed, however an example includes:

Kauluwehi Garden supports student and community well-being by providing an open air space for immersion in nature, meditation and contemplation among native plantings and a water garden, and communal tables for social gathering in the open air, a critically important resource during the COVID pandemic. UHMC is also an approved Blue Zones site promoting health eating, exercise and best practices for healthy living among long-lived communities. The campus UHMC Wellness Hui coordinates campus well-being activities modeled on Blue Zones programs (https://maui.hawaii.edu/pd/tag/blue-zones-project/).


Website URL where information about the institution’s living laboratory program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Additional Notes:
Through its Sustainability Committee and landscaping and environments subcommittee, UH Maui College has also planted native trees throughout the campus to help reduce the outdoor temperature on pathways for students to move between buildings, and therefore reduce ambient temperatures within buildings as students move from exterior to interior environments. The strategic placement of trees next to buildings also provides shade to reduce the energy load of buildings. This project supports energy efficiency of campus buildings to require less expenditure of energy for air conditioning in buildings, and therefore supports positive impact on Climate through overall reduced use of fossil fuels for energy within Maui County and leveraging of campus-supplied solar power.

Data sources:
The above information was gathered from numerous sources and contacts through UHMC. Meagan Jones, SSM Faculty, Timothy Botkin, SSM Program Coordinator, and Nicolette Van Der Lee, Program Manager, Sustainable Living Institute of Maui.

SSM degree https://catalog.maui.hawaii.edu/sustainable-science-management/sustainable-science-management-bas
SSM 201 Sustainable Building Design: https://catalog.maui.hawaii.edu/sustainable-science-management/ssm-201

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