Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.00
Liaison Mindy Granley
Submission Date Nov. 4, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Minnesota, Duluth
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Mindy Granley
Sustainability Director
UMD 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:

To reduce carbon emissions and other pollutants that come from burning fossil fuels and work on fighting climate change, the UMD Solar University Network (SUN) Delegation is a group of students taking action and encouraging the University of Minnesota Duluth to invest in solar energy. Their objective is to expand solar at UMD, whether through installations, subscriptions, or solar purchases. The SUN Delegates have also raised awareness and support for solar on campus. Students can apply to join the SUN Delegation at any time. For an overview of the group and their recent successes (including tripling solar resources on campus) see:
http://www.d.umn.edu/sustainability/take-action/student-organizations

2019 How to Talk about Climate Change - produced by UMD Graduate Students: Maria Gomez, Riley Pizza, Marissa Spear (Integrated Biosciences M.S.) and Eva Robinson, Leslie Bucar, Steve Gebhard (Master’s in Environmental Education) See CAMPUS SUSTAINABILITY OUTREACH section of Student Project page for link:
https://www.d.umn.edu/sustainability/take-action/student-projects

Students developed a video about the solar-PV tripling and reducing greenhouse gas emissions on campus (Oakland Apartments), featuring student Madelaine Sinclair at: https://youtu.be/OCzy1yazjd0

The 2017 Energy Assessment of the Bagley Outdoor Classroom by Vidar Sanchez was a project that helped asses whether our net-zero designed building was meeting its goals.
See ENERGY section at https://www.d.umn.edu/sustainability/take-action/student-projects

UMD students in several classes (engineering, energy courses, air quality permitting) tour the UMD Lund Heating Plant, and learn about its history (from coal, to natural gas) and reducing emissions. The students learn about the process of making steam and distributing it around to buildings, along with the air quality permit and reporting required for burning fossil fuels on campus.


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:

UMD campus buildings are continually a place of learning about energy, carbon, and more. Undergraduate research opportunity projects and class presentations focus on how buildings are a critical component of our campus carbon footprint.

Examples include:
2017 The Effect of Room Temperature on Productivity and Performance by Haley Lenzen (UROP)
2017 Energy Assessment of the Bagley Outdoor Classroom by Vidar Sanchez

For links, see BUILDINGS & GROUNDS and ENERGY sections of Student Projects at:
https://www.d.umn.edu/sustainability/take-action/student-projects

Duluth Shines! projects: In the Swenson College of Science and Engineering, the class divides engineering students into groups for hands-on, real-life projects, partnered with community businesses and organizations. The student teams also work on campus improvements, such as water-saving actions, solar-PV siting, and energy efficiency projects. Projects include:
2016: Ianni Hall Solar Thermal Project: DFKL Engineering: Nate Doolittle, Brittany Fossell, Xavier Kopp, Zach Lucas
2016: UMD Athletic Field Water Conservation: Kyle Fritz, Patrick Dalbec, Chad Grady, Eric Schreiner

See 2016 DuluthShines! projects are under ENERGY at:
https://www.d.umn.edu/sustainability/take-action/student-projects

Student interns also use data from solar arrays atop UMD buildings to create solar updates on campus that are given on Instagram and social media. Solar data available at: d.umn.edu/solar


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:

Recent energy projects using our campus as a living lab include:
- 2017 Energy Assessment of the Bagley Outdoor Classroom by Vidar Sanchez
- 2017 Economic Analysis of the UMD SUN Delegation’s Solar Pavilion Design (IE 5352 Advanced Engineering Economics class)
- 2016 Various UMD Shines! projects (Ianni Hall solar thermal and UMD Solar PV)

For more projects and links, see ENERGY section of Student Projects at:
https://d.umn.edu/sustainability/take-action/student-projects

In addition, the College of Swenson Science and Engineering hosts DuluthShines! projects, where two engineering classes (Sustainable Design & Construction and Sustainable Energy Systems) divide students into groups for hands-on, real-life projects, partnered with community businesses and organizations. The student teams also work on campus improvements, such as water-saving actions, solar-PV siting, and energy efficiency projects.

- The UMD Solar University Network (SUN) Delegation student group has accomplished 1) Tripling solar power production on campus, 2) Encouraging campus investment in community solar gardens, and 3) Empowering campus leaders to add solar on all new buildings: https://d.umn.edu/sustainability/take-action/student-organizations

The SUN Delegation have completed many solar-related projects, including:
2015 Feasibility of photovoltaic systems at UMD, by Jake Bray (UROP)
2016 Solar Summit: Students’ Role in the Future of Solar at UMD

For links, see ENERGY section of Student Projects at:
https://www.d.umn.edu/sustainability/take-action/student-projects


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:

Food waste awareness day has become a twice-annual event (once per semester) to raise awareness in the Superior Dining Center about preventing food waste. Data is tracked by number of meal swipes to look at trends over time. See: https://d.umn.edu/sustainability/campus-initiatives/waste-reduction/audits

The UMD LandLab connects students to growing and cooking food. Much of the produce is sold to UMD Dining Services, for inclusion in the Dining Center and/or the UMD Food Court (mostly in the Salad Bar). Over 20,000 pounds of food has been sold to UMD Dining Services since 2013. http://www.d.umn.edu/landlab/

Two recent student projects include:
2019 White Paper: Revitalizing & Sustaining the Land Lab at UMD by Alyssa Minder & Cole Grotting
2019 Food Waste Monitoring and Outreach in Superior Dining by Cole Grotting

For links, see FOOD section of Student Projects at:
https://www.d.umn.edu/sustainability/take-action/student-projects


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:

A UMD Pollinator pledge was developed by students and adopted into campus Operational Policies was led by students (David Herrera, Mike P, etc.) Link under the UMD Operational Policies at: http://www.d.umn.edu/shared-governance/umd-policy-library

Other examples include:
2016 Stormwater Master Plan for the Natural Resources Research Institute by Micki Grover, Aaron Gustafson, Chris Gass, Tyler Untiedt, and Madeline Carlson
2016 Sustainable Sidewalks at UMD (sustainable concrete mix research) by Matthew Jansen and Robert Larson
2014 What are Rain Gardens and Why Does UMD Have Them? This video produced by ChemE Intro to Environmental Engineering students. See video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAlWXnpNVgM

See BUILDINGS & GROUNDS and WATER section of Student Projects at:
https://d.umn.edu/sustainability/take-action/student-projects

A Salt Smart campaign: Graphic Design student Madelaina Kelner developed a small sticker to go on "salt buckets and scoops" by grounds/maintenance keepers in the community and around campus. This was picked up by the State Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Minnesota Extension professionals, and included in their state-wide messaging: See the sticker and guidelines at:
http://www.lakesuperiorstreams.org/stormwater/rspt.html

2017 Sustainable Sidewalks at UMD by Matthew Jansen and Robert Larson, with the Swenson College of Science and Engineering's Sustainable Concrete Research program developed signs for their research on more sustainable mixes of concrete that reduce Portland Cement in the mix:
Link under BUILDINGS & GROUNDS section of Student Projects at https://www.d.umn.edu/sustainability/take-action/student-projects


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:

UMD students help promote sustainable transportation options, including examples:
2019 Why Students Avoid Free Public Transportation at UMD | Poster - Juliana Epstein, mentored by Dr. Amy Versnik Nowak
2018 Wellbeing + Sustainability: Connecting the Dots Through Campus Outreach by Synneva Hackman (includes walk, bike, bus, carpool strategies)

See TRANSPORTATION and CAMPUS SUSTAINABILITY OUTREACH sections of Student Projects at:
https://d.umn.edu/sustainability/take-action/student-projects

A UMD Environmental Health intern started a Bike-Friendly campus application. Because of this initiative, areas of improvement were identified and the UMD Transportation and Parking Services hired an intern to work on completing the application and improving campus for bikers and walkers.

The UMD Bike to Campus program tracks miles ridden and carbon reduced-- Wellness points for employees extra incentive for full-time staff and faculty
http://www.d.umn.edu/transportation-parking-services/sustainable-transportation/bike-campus

UMD Transportation and Parking Services is also currently expanding Electric Vehicle charging infrastructure at UMD. The campus will soon have 4 stations, with 2 ports each, instead of only one station with 2 ports.


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:

At UMD, we're committed to reducing, reusing, recycling, and composting to cut the amount of waste our campus sends to the landfill. We use waste reduction, reuse, and recycling as a learning opportunity--- most of these involve student projects and leadership. Examples include:
2019 Sustainable UMD: DO YOUR PART- Four Year Marketing Plan - Cole Sherwin, Megan McCarty, Grace Wateland, David Voss, Riley Primus
2019 Waste Reduction Video (for campus announcement boards) Cole Sherwin, Megan McCarty, Grace Wateland, David Voss, Riley Primus
2018 Waste Disposal Behavior Research and Reduction Internship by Tamara Schmidt
2017 Waste Bin Assessment: Executive Summary & Recommendations by Dave Herrera, Juliana Epstein, Tamara Schmidt, & Wesley Sisson
2017 Waste Awareness Internship by Nicholas Olsen
2017 Trash Audit of Labovitz School of Business and Economics by Corey Pletsch, Austin Paul, and Chris Gass
2017 Waste Reduction and Recycling Survey by Kasey Smith & Makenzie Lamphere
2016 NRRI Waste Audit Report: What We Learned by Cassandra Ortberg

For links, see WASTE & RECYCLING section of Student Projects at:
https://d.umn.edu/sustainability/take-action/student-projects

Students regular lead 1) waste bin assessments, 2) trash audits, and 3) Food Waste Awareness days, with data posted at:
https://www.d.umn.edu/sustainability/campus-initiatives/waste-reduction/audits


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:

UMD staff in Sustainability, Facilities Management, and Environmental Health and Safety manage the campus' stormwater permit, and student involvement and outreach is key. Faculty use stormwater practices in their research work as well, including Rain Gardens.

Students intern with Minnesota Sea Grant to protect Lake Superior from aquatic invasive species.

A Graphic Design intern designed a Salt Smart sticker for the Smart salting campaign that got state-wide reach! Graphic Design student Madelaina Kelner developed a small sticker to go on "salt buckets and scoops" by grounds/maintenance keepers in the community and around campus. This was picked up by the State Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Minnesota Extension professionals, and included in their state-wide messaging: See the sticker and guidelines at:
http://www.lakesuperiorstreams.org/stormwater/rspt.html


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

The LSBE Financial Markets Program provides students with an educational experience that can be directly applied to the Financial Services Industry. With the support of the local financial community, they have the opportunity to apply learned ideas, theories, and tools directly.

This non-traditional learning environment offers students the opportunity to apply fundamental, technical, and quantitative analysis techniques and encourages development of methodology towards analyzing investment options within the financial markets. The three key elements of Academic Studies, the Wells Fargo Financial Markets Lab, and the Bulldog Fund, LLC, make the program's foundation.

The Bulldog Fund, LLC, challenges students to make strategic investment decisions directly applicable to a portfolio of more than $1.7 million. Hands-on experience is gained through active research and analysis conducted in the on-campus, Wells Fargo Financial Markets Lab, a state-of-the-art lab designed to replicate a real-world investment setting.

Learn more at:
https://lsbe.d.umn.edu/about/academic-departments/finance-management-information-sciences/majors-minors/financial-markets


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:

UMD students engage in public engagement through coursework, class projects, and student organizations. Two recent examples of recent public engagement projects are:
2019 How to Talk about Climate Change - produced by UMD Graduate Students: Maria Gomez, Riley Pizza, Marissa Spear (Integrated Biosciences M.S.) and Eva Robinson, Leslie Bucar, Steve Gebhard (Master’s in Environmental Education) This work was presented at the Our Climate Futures summit, a major climate change summit at UMD https://www.d.umn.edu/climate-futures/
2018 Wellbeing + Sustainability: Connecting the Dots Through Campus Outreach by Synneva Hackman

See CAMPUS SUSTAINABILITY OUTREACH section of Student Project page for links:
https://www.d.umn.edu/sustainability/take-action/student-projects

Students also support other large public engagement projects that UMD works on. For example, an online solar evaluation tool was developed by partnership between community organizations, the City of Duluth, UMD Sustainability, and the UMD Geospatial office to provide Solar Suitability mapping for the City of Duluth: z.umn.edu/DuluthShines The tool is showcased during community solar tours and meetings, and also contains case studies of solar installations at the University of Minnesota Duluth.


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:

Sustainability interns and undergraduate researchers work on areas of health education related to recycling, greenhouse gas emissions education/outreach, "Take the Stairs" campaign, walk/bike-to school activities, water bottle filling stations, and composting outreach.

A recent example of a project with a Wellbeing & Work focus was a student Haley Lenzen's research on our UMD Campus Temperature Standard, researching
the effects of room temperature on performance in the workplace and classroom
setting. See the paper at:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-MueZCp49_vSeHK-QfLJ51zMvmtZZppC/view


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:

U-Spatial at UMD: UMD has a geospatial analysis center that uses spatial data to analyze sustainability issues in our community and world. A recent project collaboration was making a solar suitability map for Duluth at: z.umn.edu/duluthshines

U-Spatial is a nationally recognized model that serves and drives a fast-growing need for expertise in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, and spatial computing across the University. This infrastructure eliminates duplication and fragmentation of resources by providing a framework of spatial data, equipment, and expertise. In its first five years of operation, U-Spatial has supported over 2,000 researchers across 150 departments and centers at the University through the help desk, training, consulting, and events. U-Spatial has been integral to making the U of M one of the world’s first "Spatial Universities" at a time when public and private sector interest in spatial thinking and approaches is increasing exponentially.

The USpatial Office at UMD website: https://research.umn.edu/units/uspatial


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Air and Climate: added link to UMD SUN Delegation student organization page, and youtube video of project that tripled solar to fight climate change.
Buildings: added titles of specific student projects, link to student project page
Grounds: added titles of specific student projects, link to student project page
Transportation: added titles of specific student projects, link to student project page
Waste: added titles of specific student projects, link to student project page
Public Engagement: added titles of specific student projects, link to student project page

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.