Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 28.79
Liaison William Ghrist
Submission Date May 23, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Washtenaw Community College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.60 / 4.00 Dale Petty
Professional Faculty
Industrial Technology
"---" 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?:
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:

When the Occupational Education building was remodeled a few years ago, a large geothermal system was installed to supply all of the heating and cooling for the building. In addition to the primary building equipment, the ground loop is connected to the HVAC lab and all the residential heat pumps installed there for student use. Students in HVA 105: Residential and Light Commercial Heating Systems learn about residential heat pump operation and repair in the context of this large commercial system.


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:

A small solar energy system is used by the Renewable Energy and Environmental Science classes.
Students in ELE 106 Renewable Energy Technology: visit the panels, measure tilt angle and collect nameplate data on the panels and micro-inverters; measure the panel output current with full sun and simulated partial shade; visit the Enlighten micro-inverter web site to review the historical data from the panels; perform a shade analysis of the panel location and predict total yearly energy output.
A significant benefit to the college occurred a year after the system was installed by an outside party, when the class first tested the panels. The class discovered that because the inverters had not been connected correctly no power was being produced. Facilities was notified and the system was connected properly and began producing power.
Environmental Science classes also visit the panels and review the historical data on the website.

As part of WCC’s theme Year of Energy, a tour of the Geothermal energy system was given to interested students by the Facilities staff. Geothermal tours are given to the ELE 106 class every fall.


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:

Our Culinary Arts program works with students to understand how to minimize food waste, and proper method of food prep waste disposal. Food prep waste is collected by the Recycling Department and composted in Earth Tubs and worm bins on campus. Collaboration between Culinary Arts faculty and students, and the Recycling department helps make our campus more sustainable from a waste perspective.

Culinary Arts faculty also emphasize the importance of supporting local agriculture and demonstrate this in their buying practices for food used in classes and the on-campus Garrett's Restaurant.

As part of the WCC Year of Food, in September 2014, George Hedgepeth from Nature Learning Community led an hour long educational Foraging Walk in the Woods, looking for wild edible foods on the WCC campus.

In October 2014, a special sustainable dinner was created and served by Culinary Arts Chefs Alice Gannon-Boss and Derek Anders and their students using locally-grown food, including produce from the WCC CORE Garden. Students, staff, faculty and community members were invited. Students received a discount.

The Core Garden was conceived and managed by a full time college counselor with a passion for healthy food and healthy students. For four years, the hoop house and garden was used by culinary classes to learn about food growing, harvesting and preparation. In addition, a specific class CUL 103: Farm Harvesting and Management was created to use the garden to educate students further about sustainable agriculture.
The garden had a part time student manager and help from student volunteers and various classes. In 2017, management of the garden was shifted to the on campus high school, Washtenaw Technical Middle College.
https://www.washtenawvoice.com/2016/05/16/bee-hives-come-add-wcc-core-garden/
https://www.washtenawvoice.com/2015/03/09/new-culinary-class-teaches-organic-gardening/
https://www.washtenawvoice.com/2017/10/23/farewell-core-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:

As part of the WCC Year of Trees 2016-2017, an Urban Trees Day program in September 2016 was presented on campus in September 2016 including talks by campus and outside experts.
Part of the day included a Nature/Tree Walk by Greg Vaclavek if the Native Plant Nursery. A similar walk was led in September 2015 as part of the WCC Year of Conservation.

The Facilities Department, as part of Tree Campus USA does one educational event and tree planting each year for students and others. In 2016 the tree planting occurred during fall Free College Day.
Students, staff and community members participated.

About once a year the Facilities Department gives tours to students, staff and faculty of the green building and landscape features on campus including geothermal heating and cooling, small scale solar electric and solar hot water, porous asphalt parking lots, bioswales and other features.

Biology classes, including BIO 107: Introduction to Field Biology use the woods and ponds on campus to study animal and plant life.


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:

Annually in the fall, David Wooten’s field biology class forays into the woods that enclose Washtenaw Community College’s campus to pick up litter and collect as much trash as possible.” After the collection, the trash is taken to the campus recycling center where students learn about the campus recycling program and help sort the materials they collected. https://www.washtenawvoice.com/2015/11/30/one-mans-trash-another-mans-extra-credit/


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:

Students in the environmental club at WCC have been working for a couple years to try and ban the sale of bottled water on campus. Their efforts have included a talk with the college President, a presentation to the Board of Trustees and a petition drive to get students to pledge to not buy bottled water. They have also worked with the Facilities Department to encourage the installation of more water bottle filling stations.

Environmental Science classes do water quality sampling in the ponds next to the parking lots, and analyze and discuss the results.


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?:
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 Diversity & Affordability:
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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:

Every year, one of the Graphic Design Technology classes design posters for WCC Earth Day based on the criteria expressed by the Earth Day Committee. The posters are used to promote WCC Earth Day and remain up through the month of April.

In April 2016, the WCC Political Action Club presented a Climate Change Summit with speakers from local organizations and politicians. The summit was attended by environmental science classes, other students, faculty and community members. https://www.washtenawvoice.com/2016/04/04/political-science-club-hosts-climate-change-summit/


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:

Once a semester, WCC nursing students hold a Wellness and Health promotion clinic. The nursing students pick health topics from Healthy People 20/20 to educate the campus community about. The initiative topics are put out by the federal government, looking at issues that affect populations in the area. Students all pick different topics of importance, then research and create boards and handouts.
Some of the topics covered included the importance of safe sex, sleep, stress management, creation, and relaxation; breast cancer; as well as exercise, and blood pressure and heart health.
https://www.washtenawvoice.com/2016/05/02/nursing-students-promote-positive-health-care-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)?:
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:

In November 2017, and annually for several years prior, the college has held an Empty Bowls event.
This event was a collaboration between students and faculty in the Ceramics and Culinary Arts departments. Beautiful handcrafted pottery bowls made by the WCC Ceramics Department were made available for purchase and then the buyer could have it filled with delicious soup made by the Culinary Arts Department students and faculty. The project which has continued for several years now is a benefit to fight hunger in our community. https://www.washtenawvoice.com/?s=empty+bowls

As part of the WCC Year of Trees, an Urban Tree workshop was held which included internal and external expert speakers and poetry about trees by the WCC Poetry Club and WCC Students for Sustainability Club.


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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