Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 50.03
Liaison Caroline Bruno
Submission Date May 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Williams College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Caroline Bruno
Sustainability Coordinator
Zilkha Center
"---" 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:

In the summer of 2016, 3 students studied the possibilities of emissions reductions on campus as a way of confronting climate change. In the summer of 2018 a student researched climate solutions based on global Drawdown rankings for New England Higher Education.


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:

In the summer of 2018, a student researched green building initiatives on campus, such as dorm thermal comfort, sustainable building planning, and Envi Center Tours. In the fall of 2017, a student assessed the cost of energy efficiency of Clark Hall. In Fall 2016, one student researched Williams' Living Building Challenge initiative, another assessed the sustainability initiatives of Horn Hall, and another researched the benefits of creating a dormitory that followed the Living Building Challenge criteria.


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:

In the Fall of 2016, one student researched solar power investment at Williams, another researched wind power at the College, another researched sustainability initiatives of Horn Hall, another researched the geothermal feasibility of the new Garfield House (a dorm), another researched alternate campus heating solutions, and another examined how changes in population size and demographic categories of gender and national origin of the Williams College community affect levels and patterns of energy consumption.


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:

In the spring of 2018, a student intern brought together the Williams College Dining Services and The Humane Society of the United States's food team for a day of plant-based culinary training and a day of plant-based meals at Whitman's Dining Hall. In the fall of 2017, a student researched food waste reduction possibilities on campus. In the spring of 2017, a student examined the numerous facets of introducing sustainable, local seafood to institution dining halls. In the fall of 2016, one student researched the possibility of increasing vegan/vegetarian food accessibility at Williams, another looked at reducing industrial beef, and another investigated the sustainability of produce at Williams College.


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

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:

In the spring of 2018, a group of students researched current College carbon offset purchases and the potential biodiversity impacts. In the fall of 2016, a student looked at the possibility of building a lasting green revolving fund.


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:
---

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:

In the fall of 2017, a student sought to extend previous research regarding compost, specifically what happens to food and compostable items outside of the dining halls. Another student researched ways to increase diversion rates at Williams. In the fall of 2016, a student researched the feasibility of the college starting its own on-campus composting operation, while another student researched expanding composting at Williams. Another researched electrical waste in Gladden house.


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:

In the fall of 2016, a student researched water use in the dining halls, while another researched the potential of affecting shower time in an effort to reduce water use at Williams College. As a senior thesis completed for the spring of 2016, another student researched the water balance and hydrologic performance of the Class of ‘66 Environmental Center in 2015-2016.


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:
---

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:

In the summer of 2018, a student researched increasing garden accessibility at Williams’ LBC Environmental Center. In the fall of 2018, a group of students researched ways to inspire unity among different socioeconomic classes on campus, facilitate conversation about class, and foster mutual understanding and respect. Similarly, every summer, before the academic school year begins, Williams college organizes freshman orientation trips. One trip is called "Root" and its goal is to connect with grassroots community organizations to foster informed change-agents on campus and beyond, and explore Soul Fire Farm, where students interactively learn and participate in workshops focusing on environmental justice.


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

In the fall of 2016, a student tracked the development of Williams College’s impact investing strategy and analyzed how other funds, endowments, and high net worth families are thinking about their carbon footprint beyond campus infrastructure.


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:

Various courses, volunteer opportunities, and college-funded research projects encourage positive and productive student engagement with the local community. Please see additional Google Sheet page for projects.


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:

Ultimate Wellness: Concepts for a Happy Healthy Life is a course that provides an opportunity to drastically improve one's life by introducing concepts that can start making a difference in the way one feels. The class approaches nutrition, lifestyle, and happiness from a holistic perspective. Students will learn how to tune out mixed media messages and look within to find ultimate health and wellness. Topics include: Ayurveda, cleansing, preventative medicine, mindfulness and meditation, food intolerance awareness, healthy eating and meal planning, deconstructing cravings and overcoming sugar addiction, healthy skin care, and finding your happiness. Adjunct Instructor Bio: Nicole Anagnos is Health Coach and Director at Zen Tree Wellness in Williamstown. She is co-founder of the organic skin care company, Klo Organic Beauty. She also holds a master’s degree in education.


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:
---

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.