Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.33
Liaison Brad Spanbauer
Submission Date Jan. 29, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

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

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Brian Kermath
Sustainability Director
Sustainability Office
"---" 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:

1. There is a student run Change the Climate Campaign that meets weekly, Tuesdays 5:30-6:30 pm, in Sage Hall 3208.

But you don't need to be able to attend the meetings to be part of the campaign. The point is doing things that make a difference.
Here are some things that are focused on:

Raising awareness on campus of the urgency of global warming.
Moving the university to divest from investments in fossil fuel companies., joining the national Go Fossil Free movement.
Participating in national days of action concerning special climate change issues, su ch as Drawing the Line against the Canadian Tar Sands and the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Influencing public opinion about climate change, joining with the organizations such as Citizens Climate Lobby and Al Gore's Climate Reality Project.
Connecting with climate activism campaigns on campuses across the country, such as Bill McKibben's 350.org.
Outcome: The CCC has been effective in opening a dialogue with the administration about divesting from fossil fuel investments.
http://www.uwosh.edu/es/change-the-climate

2. The campus uses the campus biodigester as a tool for understanding emissions of carbon from both long- and short-term carbon cycling and the importance of renewable energy generation in combating climate change. Both introductory chemistry and biology classes uses the facility in all lab classes. Moreover, most quest classes use the facility at some point as a resource for addressing the issues.


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:

Classes, as well as community groups routinely tour campus buildings in order to experience green buildings first hand. Highlighted buildings include: Sage Hall (LEED Gold), Horizon Village (LEED Gold), and the Student Success Center (LEED Silver). Fact sheets are made available that explain the benefits of green buildings.
Outcome: Student/stakeholder learning for better informed input during the design phase of new buildings that currently include: the soon to open Alumni Welcome and Convention Center, which is expected to earn LEED certification; and Clow an academic building that will be submitted for LEED certification after certification.


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:

The University biodigester currently produces about 9% of campus electricity demand. Student research at the digester has led to improvements in the mix of feedstock. There was a partnership pilot program with the University of Wisconsin Madison to pick up curb-side organic waste. The purpose of the program was to examine the feasibility of their university building their own biodiversity.


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:

There is a fair trade intern working out of the Sustainability Office that plans events and raises awareness of fair trade items and impacts. Earth Week and Earth Charter banquets feature local food as planned by the student run committee. Local food providers are also featured at sustainability events throughout the year. Campus now has 9 internships focused on the Real Food Challenge and campus food production in tower gardens and the campus garden.


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:

Students, faculty and staff established and maintain native prairie plantings on campus. As a result of this initiative, campus grounds now maintains an increasingly larger percentage of campus under native prairie plantings. UWO is also a regular recipient of Tree Campus USA from the National Arbor Day Foundation for five years in row. The designation requires student involvement for certification, which generally occurs during Earth Week, Earth Charter week and periodically through classes.


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

Through student managed projects the campus is buying compostable waste bags that go to the biodigester. Local dairy, and cage free eggs are now being purchased due to student requests. Fair trade items of coffee, tea, and crafts are sold on campus and promoted by a student intern.


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:

Pursuing alternative transportation options to reduce the campus' carbon footprint. Through a senior research project, campus planners have learned the locations of all parking permit holders on campus and will use the information to better target commuters for alternative commuting options. Students, staff, and faculty all have access to Zimride, the ride sharing application on campus. A commuter survey was done this year by a student intern to assess the number of commuters, and modes of transportation on campus. The survey also asked opinions, and suggestions on available public transportation.


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:

Students have been working towards installing compost bins throughout campus to be sent the on-site biodigestor. Students are looking for a solution to reducing contamination within the bins and avoiding attracting pests into campus buildings.
Interns in the sustainability office have started a program to recycle plastic film from our central shipping location, and are working on increasing plastic bag recycling throughout campus.


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:

A riverfront clean-up along campus is organized annually by student organizations and residential advisers. Also, Student organizations partner with the local Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance for cleanup along campus and throughout the community. The river is used for various biology, geology, environmental studies, and chemistry classes for water, and soil testing. Landscaping techniques for decreasing pollution from runoff along riverside buildings are utilized by faculty.


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:

The student government includes a student sustainability director who also serves on the Campus Sustainability Council and is involved in student led campus sustainability efforts.


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:

One of the signature questions of the general education program involves "Intercultural Knowledge" and requires student to participate in community service, which includes the 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:

20% of the campus investment portfolio is in the campus biodigester, which is used as a learning resource for curricular and co-curricular activities.


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:

All three of the signature questions of the general education program requires students to participate in community service, which includes public engagement. Students are involved in an on-going project called "building stronger communities," which targets start-up organizations in 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:

Healthy Titans (http://www.uwosh.edu/hr/healthy-titans) encourages wellness through a range of programs that includes students as activity and class instructors. Healthy Titans recently earned a Gold award: http://www.uwosh.edu/today/31833/uw-oshkosh-earns-well-workplace-gold/.
Nursing interns also work at the Community Clinic in Oshkosh which brings healthcare and prevention programs to underserved members of the community.


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)?:
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 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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