Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 56.33
Liaison Ryan Kmetz
Submission Date Feb. 25, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Maryland, Baltimore County
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00
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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 Campus Engagement?:
Yes

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

UMBC hosts an annual Sustainability Student Leadership retreat open to all students at no cost. The goal is to connect, discuss and explore in order to develop skills, tools, and actions that leverage change.
Participants who attended will:
- Gain and practice tools for staying sane and motivated when facing the challenging work of making a difference

- Set a practice for remaining grateful and joyful while engaged in difficult campaigns

- Learn about driving purpose driven action when facing frustrating inertia

- Cultivate skills to bring together those our community who want to enact change and coordinate unified action


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:

1) The Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) is located on the UMBC campus in the Technology Research Center and conducts research on metropolitan Baltimore as an ecological system. The program integrates biological, physical, and social sciences. As a part of the National Science Foundation’s Long-Term Ecological Research Network, BES seeks to understand how Baltimore’s ecosystems change over time. The ecological knowledge created by BES supports educational and community-based activities, and interactions with the Baltimore community.

2) The Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education (CUERE) advances the understanding of the environmental, social and economic consequences of the transformation of the urban landscape through research, conferences and symposia, support of university teaching programs and assistance to K-12 education. CUERE fosters interdisciplinary approaches to environmental science, engineering and public policy.


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:

The Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET) operates under a cooperative agreement between the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). JCET meets the common interest of UMBC and GSFC to develop new technology for environmental remote sensing. JCET includes tenured faculty, research faculty, research support staff, students and administrative support staff.


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:

A good example project is Patapsco Hall addition which houses 190 students in single, double and triple rooming arrangements.
The addition features a green roof research platform as a focus on sustainable design and construction. Supporting ongoing research efforts by UMBC faculty and students, the project features a green roof and an identically-sized control area, each with dedicated drainage systems and rainwater quantity and quality measurement devices. UMBC researchers plan to use the data generated by the system to document annual storm water retention by the green roof.
Storm water retention totals and storm hydrographs are displayed in real-time in the building lobby and the monitoring facility is available for educational tours.


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:

Maryland Clean Energy Technology Incubator@bwtech (CETI) is designed for early-stage companies working with solar power, wind power,biofuels, electric grid, and energy management and storage. The technology incubator is located about a mile from the main UMBC campus. CETI has a joint venture with the Maryland Clean Energy Center to encourage statewide networking of clean energy entrepreneurs.


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:

1) Community Garden: The Garden student organization describes the mission of the garden as “Seeking to reimagine the role of higher education in addressing problems of the world through the creation and engagement of our food garden that enables creativity in: research, applied learning, campus-community partnerships, pedagogy, social equity, diversity, and food sovereignty." The UMBC community garden is managed by a student organization, who allocates plots to campus groups. The group also provides plot recipients with an orientation to learn how to grow in their section of the garden’s raised beds. The groups choose what to grow and do with the food they grow in their plot. The garden also provides a shared tool shed, compost pile, fun events, and community work days. https://sustainability.umbc.edu/explore/garden/

2) Permaculture Food Forest: The Food Forest on the UMBC campus seeks to create a long term source of food, medicine, fuel, education, and habitat for a range of different species. The food forest provides healthy food for students on campus and for the surrounding non-UMBC community. The project is focused on food security, building community resilience, and decreasing the community’s need for outside food and fertilizer. https://sustainability.umbc.edu/explore/food-forest/

3) Dining Hall Hydroponic Garden: hydroponic garden, which allows us to grow herbs and vegetables year-round with fewer resources than those required in traditional gardening. The system does not require soil, and produces relatively high yields because the plants don't have to work as hard to obtain nutrients. It is also sustainable—since water is always kept in the system, it is not lost as groundwater like it is in soil-based agriculture. This leads to a 90% more efficient use of water. Every fall and spring semester, we host informational events about the hydroponic system to raise awareness and give students the chance to get involved by planting their own seeds. Once they germinate, they are transplanted into the garden, and can be featured in our meals at True Grit’s and the Skylight Room after just a few weeks.
https://dineoncampus.com/UMBC/sustainability

4) Dining Hall Food Recovery Network: similar to animal-based agriculture landfills emit significant amounts of greenhouse gases. Food waste being a large portion of their contents signifies that it is a contributor to these emissions as well. Since the fall of 2013, we have been partnered with UMBC’s Food Recovery Network to reduce our waste by distributing leftovers to those in the community. So far, we have donated 6,798 lbs of food, which is the equivalent of 5,665 meals!
https://dineoncampus.com/UMBC/sustainability


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:

1) UMBC’s diverse landscape of lawns, plazas, gardens, forests, ponds, and streams requires regular and thoughtful maintenance. Grounds maintains 90+ stormwater landscape features and partners with various academic departments and student organizations to help accomplish many different sustainability related projects.

2)UMBC's Environmental Task Force is a student organization that hosts weekly campus clean-ups to remove litter and invasive weeds from woods and stream.


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

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

The dining hall partners with Just Food UMBC to serve locally sourced stir fry featuring fresh veggies and chicken from Locus Point Farm - Elkton, MD, Gehman Family Farm – Teleford, PA, Eagle Road Produce – Quarryville, PA and Butter Valley Harvest – Bally, PA along with honey graham and strawberry flavored local ice creams from Taharka Brothers based in Baltimore.


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

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

Committed to utilizing bio-diesel. One of our shuttles is presently committed to be fueled solely with fuel supplied by UMBC organizations dedicated to its production. As testing and experience dictate, use of this product will be increased to the entire fleet as we seek fuel providers who will incorporate UMBC bio-diesel fuel into their product which, when blended, will provide a sustainable fuel source for delivery to us. Doing so, will limit UMBC's financial investment in separate fuel depot receptacles for bio-diesel, on-site fuel containment costs, material, and liability associated with blending.


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:

1) Recyclemainia: Grounds has partnered with Student Activties and student organizations to participate in recyclemainia every year since 2008.
2) Resuable To-go containers: This system, like the compostable cups and Skip the Straw, also reduces unnecessary waste, and therefore reduces our contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and harm to the ozone.
3) Dining Hall Food Recovery Network: similar to animal-based agriculture landfills emit significant amounts of greenhouse gases. Food waste being a large portion of their contents signifies that it is a contributor to these emissions as well. Since the fall of 2013, we have been partnered with UMBC’s Food Recovery Network to reduce our waste by distributing leftovers to those in the community. So far, we have donated 6,798 lbs of food, which is the equivalent of 5,665 meals!
https://dineoncampus.com/UMBC/sustainability


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:

The US Geological Survey (USGS) maintains an office dedicated to collecting and interpreting water resource data and information from the MD, DE, and DC area in the UMBC Research Park. These data are used in research and hydrologic studies to describe the quantity, quality, and distribution of the area’s water resources. The collection, analysis, and interpretation of these data are done in partnership with other federal, state and local agencies, universities, and research centers.


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:

Student eco-ambassadors work with the Office of Sustainability, Facilities Management, and various University offices to conduct Green Office Certifications, workshops, and audits.


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

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

UMBC is proud to launch RETRIEVER ESSENTIALS: a new faculty, staff, and student partnership to tackle food insecurity in our university community.

Across the United States, a large number of college students are skipping meals to make ends meet, often despite working full- and part-time and carefully juggling their finances to pay for housing, tuition, and other expenses. Lacking a steady source of nutritious meals can affect students’ physical and mental health, grades, and ability to engage in life on campus, and stigma can worsen the problem, discouraging students from seeking help. Retriever Essentials is designed to tackle these challenges head-on.

Retriever Essentials is launching three ways for students to access healthy foods and other essential supplies, free of charge. Paired with these resources are opportunities for UMBC community members to offer support.

UMBC offers multiple avenues of assistance to help all of our students succeed. Retriever Essentials is a community partnership that offers:

FOOD ZONES
Students can now pick up groceries, toiletries, and other essentials at a number of private, but also very accessible, locations across campus. Just stop by, fill out a short, anonymous form regarding your needs, and pick up items to help you get through the week.
SAVE-A-SWIPE creates a pool of meals that become available to UMBC students who have been identified by trained staff as food insecure. If you are in need of meals, call Lauren at 410-455-2765 or email at retrieveressentials@umbc.edu to be assisted.
COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS
Retriever Essentials is partnering with local organizations to help refer students to access holistic supports off-campus and to meet their longer term needs. https://retrieveressentials.umbc.edu/


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:

UMBC is committed to providing students with the resources they need to have a healthy, well-balanced, and successful UMBC experience. College isn’t just about test scores and accolades; it’s also about personal discovery and growth. To support students on their journeys, UMBC provides a range of resources for physical, mental, and emotional health and wellbeing.

1) Counseling Center: The Center provides free and confidential short-term individual and group counseling for personal, emotional, relationship, substance abuse, and vocational concerns. Psychiatric services are available for students engaged in counseling at the Center. In addition, the Center offers workshops on topics like healthy relationships, how to help a friend you are concerned about, stress management, time management, procrastination, test anxiety, motivation, and preparing for finals. https://about.umbc.edu/health-wellbeing/

2) Registered Dietitian : UMBC's dining vendor provides the community with free access to a registered dietitian to help our community make informed nutrition related decisions. https://dineoncampus.com/UMBC/meet-your-dietitian

2) Women's Center: The Women’s Center at UMBC advances gender equity from an intersectional feminist perspective through programming, support services, and advocacy for marginalized people. The Center has a community gathering space, offices, and a lactation space in the lower level of the Commons, next to the Yum Shoppe. Women’s Center staff provide resources and support in key areas, including sexual assault prevention and response, women’s leadership, and critical social justice. https://about.umbc.edu/health-wellbeing/


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