Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.94
Liaison Trey McDonald
Submission Date Oct. 13, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of San Diego
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Michel Boudrias
Associate Professor
Marine and Environmental Studies
"---" 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:

The University of San Diego Climate Action Plan (CAP), approved Fall 2016, will have major effects on the infrastructure of USD’s campus and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This research sought to analyze and predict the implementation strategies for the CAP as well as measurement techniques and engagement opportunities. Through literature review and
analysis of the CAP document, this research found that campus and community engagement, cross-collaboration between campus departments, and structured analysis will be essential to the success of the CAP at USD. Additionally, the research looks at the effects and benefits that CAP will have on USD students. Overall, the research sets guidelines and recommendations for implementation of the University of San Diego Climate Action Plan.


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:

Since 2014 the office of sustainability has worked with Professor Horton in the School of Business to audit campus buildings and index them in the context of Energy Star and LEED Standards. Students get hands-on practical experience auditing buildings and work with a national expert on the subject.


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:

In the Spring of '17 a Supply Chain course from the school of business and an environmental and ocean studies class teamed up to take a look at the impact of beef from the university's primary supplier. Investigations into the carbon intensity embedded in food products were researched and covered.


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:

Investigating the Relationship Between Physiological Properties of Exotic Plant Species and their Impacts on the Hydrological Cycle in Tecolote Canyon CAMERON HEYVAERT, Paul Kemp and Zhi-Yong Yin
Understanding the spatial distribution of vegetation among a watershed is an important component of efficient watershed management. With varying physiological requirements, plant composition can greatly alter components of the hydrological cycle including surface runoff, infiltration, evaporation, and transpiration rates. Alterations in these components can be particularly important in regions like Southern California where local water supply is extremely limited. While it is well supported that exotic plant species can transform native ecosystems, their cumulative effect on natural hydrologic processes is poorly understood. This study seeks to explore the hydrological impacts of exotic plant species with consideration to their physiological characteristics. Specifically, we will be investigating the physical components of soil moisture content in correlation with photosynthetic activity, transpiration rates, and available radiant energy of exotic species on a north facing slope in Tecolote Canyon. Based on this study, grander implications can hopefully be applied toward more efficient and informed watershed management decisions.


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 Review of E-waste Recycling Behaviors at Drop-off Centers HANN AH ADAMS and Arthur Atkinson
To reduce the amount of waste entering community landfills, various recycling and waste reduction programs such as curbside bin and drop-off center recycling programs have been implemented. However, the success of these programs largely depends on household participation. A better understanding of individual recycling behavior will help to improve the effectiveness of recycling resources. The central aim of this report is to provide a summary of existing literature on recycling research, particularly in determining factors that affect public participation in e-waste recycling activities at drop-off locations. The findings show that demographic factors, such as age and education, convenience, and pro-recycling attitudes have the greatest influence in an individual’s willingness to participate in recycling activities. Furthermore, this study relates the literature findings to the results of a survey performed at USD Electronic Recycling Center. The results of the study suggest that e-waste recycling can be intensified by promoting societal moral norms, increasing general recycling education, and making options for the public to responsibly and sustainably recycle e-waste more convenient.


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:

"Feasibility and Incentives of Water Reuse at the University of San Diego
HAILEY GORDON and Michel Boudrias"
Drought in the Southwestern United States has already begun to severely affect certain areas and is only predicted to worsen. Although the feasibly of transporting water reduces impacts from the current drought, water scarcity will lead to future economic and social impacts to the community and region. As an educational institution the University of San Diego has the opportunity and obligation to make sustainable changes. This extends greatly to the current drought San Diego is facing. Under NFPA 25 regulations, the Shiley Center for Science and Technology releases sanitary wastewater used in mandatory weekly fire protection tests. This study quantifies how much water is disposed each week to determine a yearly average. The fire pump supplies approximately 32,600 gallons of water a year. Although reusing wastewater may not have significant economic benefits now, it can be a necessary step to reduce economic, social and environmental costs in the future.


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:

Understanding Differences ISIAH KING , Daniel Kurzweil, Pat Moschetti, Martin Cazarez, Alex Michail and Alberto Pulido
Our group will be focusing on how school organizations incorporate and include people of different cultures and backgrounds. The group that will be getting our information from will be the Center for Inclusion and Diversity. We feel that if any group will be pushing change on this campus it would be this particular organization which seems to cover everyone. From our talks with the Center for Inclusion and Diversity we will analyze the steps they are making to truly create an accepting environment at USD but also what improvements can be done from student’s perspective.


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:
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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:

Promoting Civil Civic Discourse AMANDA KRASULICK and Karen Shelby
In this project, I focused on researching methods to get the community involved in a civil civic debate over tough issues. In doing so, I looked up syllabi for college courses and community guidebooks that worked towards discussing these tough issues in a productive way. I also helped strengthen the social media accounts for the organization (Institute for Civil Civic Engagement) and thereby broadened the reach of this initiative.


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:

"Survey Design to Conduct a Validation Study on a Health Promotion Program
BRIANA CAPUCHINO and Stephen Pearlberg"
Wellness and Health Promotion (WHP) programs are believed to provide many benefits to the workplace. While organizations seek to improve the health of their employees, many healthcare providers and insurers support these efforts by subsidizing program budgets in order to reduce their long-term costs. However, research suggests that WHP programs affect worker productivity, satisfaction, and presenteeism only modestly, at best. Current research was proposed as an assessment of a private university’s recently introduced employee WHP program. After attending an informational seminar, employees’ immediate perceptions were measured with a brief survey. However, in-depth analysis of employees’ responses to these surveys indicated the need to construct a more diagnostic instrument. This new questionnaire was developed to identify the strongest and weakest aspects of each informational seminar and to assess the validity of the entire 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:

Redefining Navigation- The USD Experience NOAH THOMAS and Eric Jiang
The University of San Diego is visited by tourists, parents, and students year round. Though not very large in size, navigating the campus can be difficult due to the variety of names given to and similar architecture of each building. Because of this problem, there is a need for an app that gives users the campus information they need at their fingertips. This project resulted in an intuitive mobile application, available for download from the Apple and Google Play Store, that can be used by students and visitors alike to navigate the campus of the University of San Diego.


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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All Creative Collaborations 2016 info except for air and climate and food and dining. More info here: https://www.sandiego.edu/ugresearch/conferences/cc-urc/

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