Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 46.55
Liaison Keaton Schrank
Submission Date Aug. 16, 2022

STARS v2.2

Westminster College - Utah
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Keaton Schrank
Environmental Center Manager
Environmental Center
"---" 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:

Students in ENVI 361, Writing the Environment, wrote 3 grants to increase campus engagement in sustainability initiatives. One of the grants allowed the Environmental Center to purchase more accessible tools for the Organic Garden so that more of the campus community can get involved. Another grant allowed for more educational signage around food waste and composting in our dining hall. The last grant funded educational signage in our on-campus orchard, allowing the campus community to learn more about the food growing in the space.


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:

The Environmental Center donates produce grown in the Organic Garden to the Maliheh Free Clinic in South Salt Lake. Students and community members who work in the garden learn about food justice and the relationship between environmental and social justice.

Seniors in the Environmental Studies Capstone class (ENVI 405) work in partnership with local community organizations, government agencies and individuals to identify and address environmental needs through community-based action. While this takes many different forms, students work with local organizations to address their needs through a tangible product developed throughout the semester.


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:

Students in an Economics 325 course completed a Cost Benefit Analysis of Westminster's Plan for Carbon Neutrality, and came to the conclusion that there was room for improvement in the college's purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), and suggested the purchase of wind turbines.


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:

Students in Social Justice by the Numbers course used campus energy/GHG data to identify impacts and potential reduction strategies. Students identified over lighting as a problem and proposed interventions to address the issue.


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:

Student energy analyst conducted research into comparative building energy intensity on campus and made recommendations about which buildings to target for future improvements.


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:

Campus garden, orchard, and beehive areas are used for class-based student learning about food production, sustainable urban agriculture, and soil improvement.

Students have worked with dining services to conduct research about plant-based food preferences, bottled water purchasing, and food waste generation. These all have identified specific challenge areas and proposed strategies for improvement.


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:

In addition to the learning in the orchard and garden, students have used the grounds for projects, research, and learning related to pollination, wildlife habitat, native species, restoration, and water conservation. Student projects have led to improvements in all of these areas. Gardens and natural areas have been research foci in history, biology, and environmental studies.


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:
---

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:

Students have conducted research into campus bike use, preferences, and barriers. Their research identified key barriers that allowed the college to revise bike services to better meet the needs of our campus community.

Students also assessed the potential demand for electric vehicle charging 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:

Students conducted a campus-wide waste inventory and used that, along with waste hauler data, to inform a campus waste management 3-year plan.

Students also conducted a post-consumer food waste audit to help determine the feasibility of sending food waste to new biodigester in our city.

Computer Science students also built a database for tracking and analyzing campus waste.


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:

The natural area surrounding Emigration Creek, which flows through campus, serves as a source of student learning related to water quality and ecology. The college partners with the local Division of Water Resources to collect and analyse data on stream flow and aquatic life. This work has identified challenge related to the urban water way.

Computer Science students also built a database for tracking and analyzing campus water use.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning:

---


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:

Students in a Fielding History course researched the college's historic participation in assimilation and conversion of Native American students. The work informed and was incorporated into a land acknowledgement proposal.


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:
---

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:

Students in Psychology hold an annual mental health assessment day and analyze the findings from our campus population.


Website URL where information about the institution’s living laboratory program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

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.