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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 51.16
Liaison Juliana Goodlaw-Morris
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

California State University, San Marcos
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Juliana Goodlaw-Morris
Sustainability Manager
Safety, Risk and Sustainability
"---" 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:

Within the environmental studies department, students have conducted projects relating to climate - specifically climate action planning.


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

A number of students have been interested in food and dining on our campus. Specifically, we have had students conduct research into how to make our food options more sustainable, including seeking more vegetarian and vegan options.


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:

An example of student/faculty research focused on grounds is available via this link: http://news.csusm.edu/research-hydroseeding-natural-landscape/


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:

The College of Business Administration (COBA) received a campus as living lab grant from the Chancellor's Office to specifically focus on making our purchasing and procurement practices more sustainable. The course looks at supply chain management, bulk purchasing and other good business practices. In addition, a recent MBA student conducted her thesis project on purchasing and made suggestions that would save the campus significant money and be more sustainable.


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:

Since transportation is our largest carbon footprint, students have conducted a GHG inventory and are researching alternatives to single occupancy vehicles.


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:

A student conducted a project that focused on how we can increase waste diversion at our housing facilities. Specifically, he developed an app, similar to how Uber/Lyft work- where a student could say they are taking out their recycling if any other student needs help and the reverse if a student needs help with their recycling they could post that and hopefully a student would help them out.


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 variety of Art classes and faculty are working on different water related research and projects. Currently a professor and a team of students are conducting research to see if they can create art sculptures that collect moisture from the atmosphere. In another art class, students have looked at stormwater management, campus water usage (i.e. water bottles) and conducted research, created videos and webpages about different aspects of water.


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?:
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 a Business Sustainability class, student projects focused on how to reduce our financial costs as a university- with the main overarching theme around sustainability. This was shared with our Procurement department.


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

A Master in Public Health student is conducting is developing a strategic plan for the campus that connects the dots between wellness and sustainability. Also, another MPH student is developing a plan regarding smoking, wellness, a food pantry- all connected by the theme of sustainability.


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:

Within our arts department every semester a professor has students use her art and technology course to creatively come up with projects that inform the public about a sustainability issue or problem. Over the past two years some projects include: invasive species, storm-water management, carbon in the atmosphere and others.


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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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.