Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 59.65
Liaison Mark Klapatch-Mathias
Submission Date Feb. 26, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

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

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Mark Klapatch
Sustainability and Custodial Supervisor
Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution utilizing the campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in the following areas?:
Yes or No
Air & Climate Yes
Buildings Yes
Dining Services/Food Yes
Energy Yes
Grounds Yes
Purchasing Yes
Transportation Yes
Waste Yes
Water Yes
Coordination, Planning & Governance Yes
Diversity & Affordability Yes
Health, Wellbeing & Work Yes
Investment Yes
Public Engagement Yes
Other Yes

A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Air & Climate and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Multiple classes tour the heating plant to discuss Scope 2 emissions and efficiency annually. It's important to note that all grade levels, from elementary to university, tour the Plant as well as UWRF employees by request.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Buildings and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The Ag Engineering, Renewable Energy Class toured the Solar Photovoltaic System at the Regional Development Institute Building on campus to learn about the fixed roof panels, pole-mounted dual-axis tracking array, inverters and controls.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Dining Services/Food and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The Biology Department has been conducting a research program focused on honey bees since 2011. In addition to the classroom work during the fall and spring semester, the Biology Department has 4 students that also work on research projects over the summer. The byproduct of building up the bee population for the various genetic studies is honey. The Biology department and the UWRF food service provider, Chartwells, has now formed a partnership. Since Chartwells has already established UWRF Falcon Foods as a vendor to purchase product through, the Biology Department now goes through Falcon Foods so Chartwells can purchase the honey.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Energy and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

AGEN 325, Alternative Energy Systems:

Students in Ag Engineering Technology are pressing soybeans to produce oil for Biodiesel production.

Students in Agricultural Engineering Technology are participating in an Undergraduate Research Project (URSCA) to evaluate and refine a small scale methane digester using Dairy manure from the Mann Valley Farm.

Students in AGEN 325 Alternate Energy Systems - use data from campus solar panels at RDI for class study. Also, field tours for understanding installation details.

Students in AGEN 240 Structures - tour the University Center and study the energy saving characteristics of the building.

Students in Agricultural Engineering Technology are evaluating the efficiency of LED lighting for food production in a garden tower.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Grounds and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Ag Engineering Technology uses the campus land to teach land surveying techniques, and also has assisted with the design and construction of surface water best practices at the Mann Valley Farm in the past for farmyard runoff control.

Horticulture students have also been working on retention basins and rain gardens within the institutional boundary.

In 2016, we anticipate further work in this area to assist in several landscape improvements (KFA/CSH amphitheater) as well as water mitigation issues around Davee Library.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Purchasing and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Purchasing arranged contracts to recycle pallets with student involvement.

As the Purchasing Agent for UWRF Facilities Management, Roxanne Schneberger has provided information to students for their reports and classroom work:
1. Requests for lists of the vendors that are used in our area of Wisconsin and Minnesota are utilized to show outsourcing to local and area vendors for Building and Construction.
2. The heating fuel delivered, including the costs per delivery, for the Mann Valley Farm annually is provided to students. They use the figures for the energy costs to support their animals.

FY 2015-The central Purchasing Services North Hall office sets an example by administering the office supply contract which offers many green/ecological alternatives to standard products. We have a high usage of remanufactured ink toner cartridges for campus printers and we use recycled paper exclusively. We are also assisting our IT Department to reduce the amount of printing in general. We only purchase energy-star appliances and try to reuse furniture on other areas on campus whenever possible. We utilize green cleaning products exclusively.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Transportation and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Enterprise Car Share program is available to students. Mark Klapatch, Sustainability and Custodial Supervisor has shared information on the program with professors to share in their classrooms as well as promoted the initiative on the UW-River Falls Sustainability Facebook page.
https://www.uwrf.edu/Sustainability/CampusInitiatives/CarShare.cfm

WeBike River Falls
We Bike River Falls promotes bicycle friendly transportation and recreation options through education and awareness programs for a safe, healthy, and sustainable community. We Bike River Falls is a collaborative project through the St. Croix Institute for Sustainable Community Development (SCISCD) and the UWRF Office of Student Life and engaging a broad group of university faculty and staff, students, River Falls citizens, city officials, and others.
https://www.uwrf.edu/WeBikeRiverFalls/Index.cfm

The campus and community are also partnering on a community-wide bike sharing program which will officially be unveiled in 2016. A great deal of planning efforts have occurred in calendar year 2015. The campus will have an initial hub and likely add another along with a bike repair component, which is a student led enterprise, when the new Falcon Center opens in 2017.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Waste and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

UWRF incorporates the topics of refuse and recycling in many aspects of campus operations and culture.

Our considerable waste diversion effort includes a comprehensive recycling program and a surplus property program. Each year, more and more types of items are recycled as we find additional recycling streams. We have also increased our communication to campus regarding our refuse and recycling operations. We have switched from 2 surplus sales each year to a monthly sale. We also do regular online auctions. The switch to monthly sales has also provided us with the opportunity to sell used computers and computer components. We had previously been paying to have these items properly recycled. We have also increased the variety of items we try to sell through the surplus program to divert even small items from landfills. If items do not sell after a few sales, they are given away for free or donated to area nonprofit organizations. We have a student who works closely with the surplus program who has a passion for recycling and she has utilized several marketing avenues to better promote surplus to the students on campus. We are now starting to have regular customers as monthly sales are really becoming a standard on campus and people look forward to the variety of items we come up with.

We also have students that coordinate campus cleanup days. There is also an increasing number of students requesting interviews for papers or other coursework.

Participation in RecycleMania tournament, 2015.
UWRF participates in the national RecycleMania competition each year. In 2015 we promoted our involvement with student posters in the residence halls and academic buildings.
RecycleMania is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities. Over an 8-week period each spring, colleges across the United States and Canada report the amount of recycling and trash collected each week and are in turn ranked in various categories based on who recycles the most on a per capita basis, as well as which schools have the best recycling rate as a percentage of total waste and which schools generate the least amount of combined trash and recycling. With each week’s updated ranking, participating schools follow their performance against other colleges and use the results to rally their campus to reduce and recycle more.

Overall Goals for RecycleMania
1. Motivate students and staff to increase recycling efforts and reduce waste generation.
2. Generate attention and support for campus recycling programs.
3. Encourage colleges to measure and benchmark recycling activity in their effort to improve their programs over time.
4. Have a fair and friendly competition.
http://recyclemaniacs.org/about

Each semester in the Environmental Sustainability class (ESM 220) students are asked to conduct a modified waste assessment in campus buildings and a short survey of campus-members about waste and recycling habits. Students choose a building on campus and visually inspect the trash and recycling containers throughout the building. They note the types of materials most commonly found in receptacles, the percentage of "contamination" in each container (i.e. Trash in the recycling containers and recycling in the trash containers), and the informational materials provided to guide users as they decide which container is most appropriate for their waste disposal.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Water and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Courses use the South Fork for water monitoring ESM 360 (Hydrology and Water Quality).

Retention ponds behind Hathorn Hall are used to educate students on hydraulic pressure.

The KinniConsortium project also utilizes the South Fork waterway for research purposes and hopes to further this activity in partnership with the City in 2016 (Jill Wasik-Coleman and Jarod Blades).

The campus also hosts each Spring a St Croix River Basin conference and provides free registration to students to encourage their participation.

Several courses in CAFES use the South Fork of the Kinnickinnic River for lab exercises.

Through MAMAC Systems, the institution provides UWRF student, faculty, and staff with a national pilot demonstration project for 24/7 energy and water use data in a variety of buildings across campus. The first two such buildings are Grimm and McMillan Residence Halls. The Regional Development Institute building will soon join that group. This real-time availability of data allows the campus community to see the impacts of our conscious decisions on the conservation of these resources and the direct costs to students and taxpayers in the form of utility bills.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Coordination, Planning & Governance and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The Student Senate has introduced sustainability-based initiatives like Enterprise CarShare and Divestment from oil. This fosters campus consciousness of fossil fuel dependence, climate awareness, and the national divestment campaign.

The Student Senate's Committee for Advancing Sustainability Efforts (CASE) was created Fall 2015 with the goal of raising awareness and support for a sustainability student fee. A vote will occur on Earth Day, 2016.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Diversity & Affordability and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Multicultural programming is a foundation of UWRF Student Life.

Inclusivity is an underlying value system for UWRF's Strategic Initiatives.

All students take a course in American Cultural Diversity as a requirement of graduation.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Health, Wellbeing & Work and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Each spring students, faculty, and staff focus on health and wellness in the Wellness Challenge https://www.uwrf.edu/StudentHealthAndCounseling/WellnessChallenge.cfm

Additional Wellness activities and initiatives include:
Therapy dog time: http://www.uwrf.edu/StudentHealthAndCounseling/Wellness/WellnessEvents.cfm

Health Fair activities: http://www.uwrf.edu/studenthealthandcounseling/healthfair.cfm

CPR training offered each February.

Campus Recreation offers a number of opportunities for students and staff to be physically active and involved with campus. Intramurals, Sport Clubs, Falcon Outdoors Adventures, and Fitness programs provide unique activities for all interest. We promote the use of our Open Recreation, open climbing, and open skating opportunities as a chance for individuals to create active lifelong habits of physical activity. http://www.uwrf.edu/rsf

Smoke-free campus initiative that went into effect July 2013.

Students are also active members on the Health and Wellness Committee as well as the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug (ATOD) Committee.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Investment and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

The Falcon Investment Team (students), under CBE faculty supervision, has been allocated investable funds by the UWRF Foundation focused on a portfolio of ESG companies as part of the Glenn Potts Trading Room in South Hall.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory for Public Engagement and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

UWRF students are actively involved with the community Powerful Choices committee. Programs like the Bike Share and Community Solar have been offshoots of that activity.


A brief description of how the institution is using the campus as a living laboratory in Other areas and the positive outcomes associated with the work:

Faculty and Students are currently actively engaged with the City of River Falls in exploring plant options for underneath the new Community Solar Array on the North side of town.


The website URL where information about the institution’s campus as a living laboratory program or projects is available:

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.