Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 57.01
Liaison Meghna Tare
Submission Date April 3, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Texas at Arlington
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Meghna Tare
Director
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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:

College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs launched the Community Design Build Lab in fall 2021 as a part of an adaptive reuse project with the City of Arlington. CAPPA students completed two micro-houses and constructed three single-family residences in east Arlington, funded by the Housing Channel. CAPPA is involved in community design-build projects through architecture studios through which students are engaged in designing and contributing to the construction of various structures.


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:

Community Partnerships

We are focused on working with cities in the DFW Metroplex on fostering relationships with community organizations and the individuals who would be impacted by design in the built environment.

The College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs and its School of Architecture formalized a partnership in 2020 to create a new design lab to accelerate experiential learning and research opportunities. This facility serves as a learning hub for students to apply classroom architecture concepts to tangible and real-world ways. It exists at the intersection of learning and doing – a venue where the application of knowledge meets community resiliency. CAPPA’s School of Architecture restarted the Design-Build Program in 2016 based on the advocacy and financial support from Mr. John Mullen. Mullen’s vision for creating efficient and quality housing solutions has been a catalyst for the Design-Build Program since 2016. These have spurred important collaborations with groups like the Housing Channel and bC Workshop in Dallas and Tarrant counties that serve as vital partners.

In building on this innovative foundation, the program at UTA’s School of Architecture has partnered with the City of Arlington and a nonprofit housing organization, The Housing Channel, over the years. Year-by-year, projects have grown and evolved, becoming more sophisticated as faculty have identified new opportunities.


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 UT Arlington GHG Emissions Inventory was developed as MS Thesis project at the College of Engineering.

https://sustainability.uta.edu/campus-initiatives/carbon-management/


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:

Design Build La Projects at UT Arlington include:

2017 Micro Homes
The objective of a micro home is to minimize the footprint on a landscape, allow for design with recycled or repurposed materials, and to emphasize the sustainability in the project as well as the lifestyle for one to take up residence in a micro home.

2016 Situational Kiosks
Project focused on a series of pavilions to be setup at various locations throughout Arlington. Each student was tasked to design a pavilion, propose a location and secondary programs. These proposed pavilions served as bus stops, seating, bike racks and small business pop ups.

2020 Oak Crest Meadows
Project focused on six smaller homes in the 1,200 square foot range that would be grouped in a neighborhood setting. These houses would provide affordable housing for senior citizens, while creating a larger neighborhood context for the students to consider during the design phase.


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:

Dr. David Wetz of UTA’s Electrical Engineering department, automates the microgrid on top of the Engineering Lab Building that consists of 2 solar arrays, 4 wind turbines, and 2 batteries. The microgrid is monitored and controlled remotely via a LabView DAQ platform and real time information including production data and weather conditions will be made available via a public dashboard.


https://wiki.uta.edu/display/PPELab/Microgrid+Lab

https://sustainability.uta.edu/capturing-the-power-of-the-sun/

https://www.uta.edu/academics/schools-colleges/engineering/research/centers-and-labs/esrc


Other Projects:

Another project that touches on sustainability with the Architecture department’s Community Design Build Lab working with green building from design to operation. And a energy efficiency project with the City of Dallas where we plan to have students do data analytics on energy consumption for homes that are part of the weatherization assistance program.


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:

The student volunteer of the MavsgoGreen group host "weigh the Waste" event in the student cafeteria to educate about food wastage. The food leftover in the plates by the students is weighted to have the final number.

UT Arlington also has a Food Recovery Chapter Food Recovery Network is a national nonprofit that unites students at colleges and universities to fight food waste and hunger by recovering perishable food that would otherwise go to waste from the campus’ dining halls and donating it to those in need. The goal is to change the norm from food waste to food recovery – resulting in the recovery of surplus food to feed everyone who is hungry in the U.S. In 2020, UT Arlington started a chapter of the Food Recovery Network in partnership with OneNation Relief.


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:

Through a class project, where students conduct informal biodiversity surveying through the iNaturalist program. Approximately fifty students a year survey the campus informally for biodiversity through both the Biology of Texas and Plant Science classes.


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:

These two courses teach students valuable skills in biodiversity identification while increasing aptitude in field observational skills. They also provide us with a rudimentary list of species found on campus and some estimate of their abundance.


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:

In spring 2021, Office of Sustainability and Parking and Transportation Department assembled a committee with various representatives on campus to formulate and organize a Bicycle Coordinating Committee for the campus. The group consists of representatives (both cyclists and non‐cyclists) from students, faculty, staff, Student Government Association, Transportation and Parking Services, UTA Police Department, a representatives from Walkable Arlington– an advocacy group for walkability and bikablity in Arlington. The BCC aims to support bicycle culture on campus, promote and advocate for infrastructure upgrades, and conduct audits and and survey to encourage a bike friendly campus. June 26th, 2021 Downtown Arlington Walk Audit Results. The Bike committee also mapped the bike racks on campus and also support the Bike Share Program on Campus.


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:

The Office of Sustainability and the Mavericks Go Green organization hosts many program and events for students to engage in reducing and diverting waste on campus and promoting recycling.

We have hosted and organized these events

Hike and Trash Clean up at Crystal Canyon Natural Area
https://events.uta.edu/event/hike_and_trash_clean_up_at_crystal_canyon_natural_area#.Ye7tuFjMJ6c

Pumpkin Recycling during Halloween
https://sustainability.uta.edu/isgi/campus-sustainability-month-2021-2-copy/

We have the Stop the Waste Programs. Every April Maverick Dining participates in Stop Food Waste Day. This initiative helps illustrate to our guests the impact of the food they throw away after eating. Stop Food Waste Day is an initiative with the goal of encouraging others to be more mindful about the food waste they create. Instead of guests placing their plates on the dish return line, the team along with volunteers take the plates to scrape the uneaten food into bins. This food waste is then measured and recorded. To see the impact of the event, the amount of food waste is measured before and after the event in order to compare the amount of waste.

https://sustainability.uta.edu/campus-initiatives/dining-services/


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:

David Hopman, associate professor in landscape architecture and landscape Arch students, assisted in creating a master plan for a proposed Lakefront Park in southeast Fort Worth that includes a marina, amphitheater, yacht club, and educational facilities. The Living Waters is a local nonprofit seeking development idea to revitalize the lakefront destination, the area's historically underserved community. The lakefront property resides on the Fort Worth side of Lake Arlington, which has been all but forgotten. The lack of activity relates to access problems and a history of neglect in the primarily African American, economically disadvantaged section of the city.

The proposed design of Living Waters will provide the much-needed revitalization of the area and create a valuable destination without gentrifying the neighborhood to the point that existing residents will have to move on to less expensive districts. The nine-acre property will blend opportunities found in both the city and the natural environment. The proximity of Interstate 820, local bus routes, and the lake bolsters the location's ability to accommodate all community members. The proposed design includes an events pavilion with a great lawn, a waterfront amphitheater with a boardwalk, a discovery play area for children, and a lodge complemented with lustrous gardens. Development avoided the flood plain and the precious oak forest to preserve the natural landscape. In addition, the use of native plant materials, curvilinear pathways, and a carefully controlled view of the environment evoke the landscape's spirit to link with the community.

https://www.uta.edu/academics/schools-colleges/cappa/news-events/news/2021/11/09/fw-lakefront-revitalization


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:

The Office of Sustainability help launch a student chapter of the United Nations Association. UNA-USA community chapters consist of active leaders and members who are passionate about taking action for the UN in their local community. The UNA student led chapter are required to host, coordinate and organize 3 events related to sustainability every year. These events support the UN SDGs. The student led chapter has been coordinating with the Office of Sustainability on hosting events like the the Hunger Banquet- to educate about food security. They also support recycling and waste reduction efforts.


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:

The University of Texas at Arlington embraces diversity among its students, staff, faculty and administration. Diversity is essential in the achievement of the University’s academic mission. Diversity means sustaining an intellectual, ethical, cultural and sociological environment that embraces and fosters academic freedom without prejudice, intimidation, intolerance, or discrimination. UT Arlington promotes an environment that accepts and appreciates every individual’s uniqueness and characteristics regardless of race, gender, gender identity, language, age, ethnicity, physical abilities, sexual orientation, spirituality, socioeconomic status, or national origin.

The University recognizes the value of diversity in preparing students for employment upon graduation. Students are encouraged to be receptive to unique and differing points of view. Thereby, the University recognizes the value of diversity in its curriculum.

There is commitment to attracting and retaining a critical mass of diverse faculty and staff. This provides an environment that ensures unique work and educational experiences that occurs with interactions of people with diverse backgrounds, different perspectives, life experiences, beliefs and ideology. The University leadership acknowledges the importance of diversity on an academic campus and therefore supports the following:
an annual lecture series on diversity
identification and support of minority student, faculty and staff organizations
recommends a course that emphasizes the value/importance of diversity for every student


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:

The University of Texas at Arlington and Texas Health Resources, one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States, are collaborating to offer undergraduates pursuing medical careers a unique opportunity to experience a physician’s work first-hand.

The Pre-Medical Preceptorship Program's mission is to assist motivated students interested in the medical or physician assistant fields to gain an understanding of the field through shadowing experiences. It is intended for students that have limited shadowing opportunities.

The program allows students the opportunity to shadow practitioners affiliated with THR’s Arlington Memorial Hospital and John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth (tentatively starting spring 2022) while tying in academic components for course credit. The program is open to all current UTA undergraduate, post-baccalaureate and master’s students from any major with an interest in medicine. Students are selected through a competitive application process
https://www.uta.edu/academics/schools-colleges/science/degree-programs/health-professions/special-programs-volunteering-research-opportunities/pre-medical-preceptorship-program


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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.