Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.27
Liaison Prabhakar Shrestha
Submission Date Feb. 20, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Nebraska - Lincoln
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Cale Brodersen
Graduate Assistant
UNL Office of Sustainability
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Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Air & Climate?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Air & Climate:

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s (UNL) Partners in Pollution Prevention (P3) program has helped both area college students and Nebraska businesses since 1997. P3 is an outreach assistance program operated by the University of Nebraska Extension and College of Engineering and funded by the USEPA Region 7, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, and a wide variety of businesses and industrial partners.

Undergraduate student interns provide one-on-one Pollution Prevention assistance to Nebraska businesses by performing waste assessments or other waste reduction and resource conservation projects, and providing each client with a written report detailing waste minimization suggestions. Clients who have participated in this program over the years range from small businesses such as dry cleaners and auto body shops to large manufacturing plants and agriculture producers.


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:

An undergraduate student partnered with Dr. Richard Sutton (a faculty member) to create a green roof on campus. They used a grant from the ASUN Green Fund to build a green roof on a balcony of the East Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. Now the green roof is used for education in a class, the balcony is a great place for group yoga classes and studying, and provides an opportunity for all students to learn about the benefits of green infrastructure.


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

This spring a student group revitalized UNL's student organic farm, called Bugeater Farms. They received a grant from the ASUN Green Fund and worked all spring, summer, and fall to build new hoop houses, raised beds, and grow 2000 pounds of produce. This produce was given to students through organic food educational programming, and donated to the People's City Mission to give underprivileged people more access to healthy food.


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 variety of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture courses are taught using the physical campus landscape, arboretum, and greenhouses. For Example, Horticulture 467 focuses on not only the business side of horticulture but provides a hands on experience for students throughout the East Campus greenhouses.


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?:
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 Transportation:
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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:

A group of students through the Environmental Leadership Program performed waste audits and worked with the Adele Learning Commons (part of the UNL city campus library), to improve their recycling system. Last fall the building did not have recycling, however, through the student project they have started recycling and have changed their labeling and education.


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:

For an advertising and public relations capstone course, a group of students worked with UNL's office for storm water management. They created an awareness campaign, created models and signage, and worked with ASUN student government to educate students about how the university deals with their storm water, and the importance of the infrastructure.


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?:
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:

Student volunteers partner with the UNL Center for Civic Engagement every year to create the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) to provide tax services to students, their families, and even community members that cannot otherwise afford these services. This project involves diversity and affordability because the largest users of these services are low-income, and often minority groups.


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:

ASUN student government houses the ASUN Green Fund which provides grants to students looking to perform sustainability-related projects. The establishment and operation of the green fund is done entirely by students. This allows students to find the investment that they need to perform large-scale sustainability projects that were not possible before.


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:

There are a number of engagement living lab initiatives on campus, here are a few:
-ASUN student government has "The Big Event" every year where thousands of students enter the community to perform volunteer work like trash cleanups, building upkeep, etc.
-A number of student Interns at the Center for Civic Engagement work closely with community organization to set up Alternative Spring Break Trips, Service Day program, and other volunteer opportunities for UNL Students.
-The Architecture 107 class encourages students to get involved with sustainability projects within the community.


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:

The Office of Sustainability partnered with UNL Recycling last year to perform a "recycling at work: living lab experiment". Employees in the Facilities Maintenance and Operations building had their trash cans switched out with very small waste containers and they were made responsible for emptying them. The intention was to reduce people's waste, and change their workplace behavior. For example, if they have to empty their trash every day, then they have an incentive to bring their own lunch in reusable containers instead of eating out everyday and generating more waste.


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:

Last spring a design student on campus created LEAF: Lincoln Environmental Arts Festival in order to celebrate the natural world using fine and performing arts. The festival had an art show, documentary screening, and art competition. The festival brought students together from all over campus to explore the application of art to topics of sustainability.


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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