Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.65
Liaison John Gardner
Submission Date Nov. 27, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Kate Nelson
Chief Sustainability Officer
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?:
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 Air & Climate:
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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:

Architecture for the Birds

Bird fatalities landed right at the doorstep of UWM’s School of Architecture, literally. “Architecture for the Birds” is a unique example of one discipline’s area of study leading directly into another’s. Geography professor, Glen Fredlund created an app to monitor bird fatalities on campus, caused by a building’s glass façade. Students as citizen scientists on campus tracked these bird strikes and deaths all over campus. The highest rate of mortality turned out to be at the School of Architecture. After being exposed to this data, Professor Furgiuele of SARUP picked up on this discovery and built a course to address it. Student design work was born out of solving this problem of bird fatality. The School of Architecture building in turn has been used as a test-ground for design solutions aimed at reducing bird fatalities.


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:

UW-Milwaukee's University Services and Research Building operates as part of a diverse micro-grid. Wind, solar, and a diesel-fueled generator powers the system. The work in conjunction with Eaton is funded in part by the Midwest Energy Research Consortium. Professor Nasiri's patented technology allows renewable energy produced when demand is low to be stored and then released when the demand is high. UWM engineering students are working with Eaton on software that allows communication among the various energy sources, giving the microgrid the ability to customize the mix of energy sources in its “arsenal” in order to improve efficiency.


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:

During the summer of 2018 , an Urban Studies PhD intern in the Office of Sustainability refined and completed UWM's second Real Food Challenge assessment. Her examination of our food purchases were summarized in a report and recommendations for our Restaurant Operations.


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:

In the spring of 2019, the Office of Sustainability launched a new sponsored internship to research, monitor, and manage all green infrastructure on campus. A UWM Alumni, running her own native landscaping company, is mentoring students throughout the summer.


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:

A master's student in Urban Planning ran the 2017 UWM Transportation Survey. The student revised the survey, passed it through IRB, administered the survey, reported the results, and set forward strategies for alternative transportation based on the results.


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:

Service learning students aided the Office of Sustainability in regular waste audits from 2018 to 2019. Conservation and Environmental Science capstone students reviewed all campus waste and recycling strategies for improvements and response to market challenges.


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:

The Office of Sustainability and a professor of policy in UWM's School of Freshwater Sciences undertook the Alliance for Water Stewardship Standard.

AWS International Water Stewardship Standard (AWS Standard) is a globally-applicable framework for major water users to understand their water use and impacts, and to work collaboratively and transparently for sustainable water management within a catchment context. The Standard is intended to drive social, environmental and economic benefits at the scale of a catchment.

Students assessed UWM's site, drafted and assessed a new stewardship plan for UWM, specific to our uses and needs.


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

An Architecture and Urban Planning course undertook the first stage of a UWM carbon and resiliency plan. Students evaluated other campus and community climate action and resiliency plans. They hosted/facilitated the first campus-wide workshop on the plan and completed a strategy for full implementation of such a planning effort as their final deliverable.


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:

UWM's Student Association undertook a food security assessment of campus, focused on affordable healthy food, and who has access to it. The study and the focus groups that followed, led to a fully implemented food pantry on campus.


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:

UWM is known for applied student research in the community. One particular program of note is The School of Architecture and Urban Planning's Community Design Solutions (CDS). CDS has worked on many sustainable design projects on campus including a bike infrastructure study and stormwater design for the campus southwest quadrant. As for Public Engagement, CDS works throughout the community and region to collaboratively plan and design projects. Projects vary year to year.


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 mission of The HUB is to provide wellness-related programming for UWM employees and community members while facilitating opportunities for experiential student learning and research. The HUB started with group-based exercise and mind and body classes and heart healthy food demonstrations by students in the Nutrition Sciences program.
Everyone benefits – students gain practical experiences to complement their studies, scientists have additional resources for health-related investigations, and of course, UWM employees and community members really reap the rewards… high-quality health and wellness services and programs conveniently located on the UWM campus.


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)?:
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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:
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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