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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 Gold
Overall Score 66.70
Liaison David Gibson
Submission Date March 30, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Hampshire College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Steven Roof
Dean of the School of Natural Science
Natural Science
"---" 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:

Seeta Sistla, Assistant Professor of Ecosystem Ecology, is incorporating campus nitrogen footprint analysis into her Spring 2018 class "Biogechemical consequences of Global Change." Anthropogenic nitrogen emissions affect smog, acid rain, forest dieback, coastal 'dead zones', biodiversity loss, stratospheric ozone depletion, and an enhanced greenhouse effect. Professor Sistla and her students are using the Nitrogen Footprint calculator and resources at http://www.n-print.org/ and SIMAP, a carbon and nitrogen-accounting platform that can track, analyze, and improve campus-wide sustainability. (https://unhsimap.org/). Professor Sistla plans to establish long-term nitrogen flux monitoring research projects with students.


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:

A team of faculty and their students are using the new R.W. Kern Center on campus as a teaching and research tool. At least 8 classes since Fall 2016 have focused on the unique Kern Center, including study of its grey water treatment system, monitoring energy use within the building, and developing intriguing puzzles and innovative educational programs for visitors to the building. All of these efforts are designed to explore and promote the principles of the Living Building Challenge (https://living-future.org/lbc/) embodied in the Kern Center.
https://www.hampshire.edu/news/2015/10/14/wetlands-boxes-as-water-filters
https://www.hampshire.edu/news/2016/11/05/game-design-professor-embeds-hidden-puzzles-in-rw-kern-center
https://www.hampshire.edu/alumni/what-buildings-should-do


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:

Starting Fall 2016, Professor of Earth and Environmental Science created a new course "Designing a Net Zero Building" which focused on the new R.W. Kern Center on campus meeting the Living Building Challenge Net-Zero Energy challenge. This course was part of an integrated science learning experience combining water resources, mathematical modeling and energy using the new Hampshire College Kern Center, built to the Living Building Challenge Standard, as a case study. Students enrolled in NS-143, "Designing a Net Zero Energy Building", assessed how the Kern Center is meeting the Living Building Challenge "net zero" energy requirement, which requires the building to generate all the electricity it uses. Students learned about electrical power and energy, solar photovoltaic systems, energy efficiency features of modern buildings, and behavioral strategies for conserving energy. Using Kill-a-Watt meters, students monitored the energy use of electrical appliances in the building including desk lamps to computers, copier machines, and the coffee/espresso machines in the cafe. Students helped staff with offices in the building better understand the impacts of their electrical energy use. Student work in this class helped ensure the Kern Center achieves Living Building Certification. Professor Roof continues monitoring energy (and water) use in the Kern Center and has received funding to expand energy use monitoring to other buildings on campus during the 2018-2019 year.
https://www.hampshire.edu/discover-hampshire/rw-kern-center
https://emoncms.org/dashboard/view?id=41197
https://buildingos.com/s/hampshire/KernCenter/?chapterId=1246



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:

1. Hampshire student April Nugent designed and implemented a heritage pig breeding program on campus 2016-2018 as part of her Division III (senior thesis) project. She's researching the nutritional and animal-welfare benefits of raising pigs on pastures versus woodlots.
https://www.hampshire.edu/news/2017/10/12/student-research-on-the-hampshire-college-farm-raising-pigs-outdoors-in-natural

2. For decades, Associate Professor of Entomology and Ecology Brian Schultz has taught the course "Agriculture, Ecology, and Society". This course looks at agriculture as a set of ecological systems and issues. A broad range of topics are covered, including pesticides and alternatives, soil fertility and erosion, the role of animals, genetically modified crops, biofuels, global vs. local trade, and more.
https://www.hampshire.edu/faculty/brian-schultz

3. During Summer 2018, Associate Professor of Microbiology Jason Tor will be teaching a course "The Science of Food." This course builds on Professor Tor's previous courses on fermentation and food science. This summer course will blur the line between kitchen and laboratory and explore the chemistry and microbiology of good food and cooking. Students will get hands-on experience with a variety of techniques and approaches to cooking and fermentation while learning the scientific principles that make them possible.
https://www.hampshire.edu/summer-programs/the-science-of-food

4. Mixed Nuts Cooperative is a student run, volunteer-based collective that aims to promote equality, respect, honesty, and responsibility within the context of food systems and cooperatives - https://engage.hampshire.edu/organization/mixednuts


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:

1. Assistant Professor of Ecosystem Ecology Seeta Sistla and her students are researching how photovoltaic arrays on fallowed farmland and other disturbed landscapes can unite energy production with ecological restoration and the sustained conservation of ecologically valuable land. Research sites include Hampshire's new 20 acre PV array as well as other sites in New England.
http://www.seetasistla.com/characterizing-the-effects

2. Visiting Assistant Professor of Forestry Robin Sears is working with students in several of her classes ("Twelve New England Forests, Fall 2016; "Forests in Transition" Spring 2017, and "Forest Management Systems" Spring 2018) to develop a comprehensive forest management plan for the Hampshire campus. This project will be continued by a new, tenure-track professor arriving Fall 2018.


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?:
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:

Hampster Wheels, a student rental bike program, aims to build a stronger bike community on campus while decreasing the college’s carbon emissions and providing student organizers with business management experience. Hampster wheels was initiated in 2015 by students developing a business model in their "Entrepreneurship" class. In 2015, the students obtained funding to initiate the loaner program with the purchase 15 bicycles and the program remained active through 2017. Students are trying to resurrect the program in 2018.
https://www.facebook.com/hampsterwheels/


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:

1. During AY 2017-2018, students in the student group New Leaf are collaborating with Post Landfill Action Network (PLAN - http://www.postlandfill.org/) to educate the campus community on the importance of waste reduction, with the goal of reaching the Hampshire Climate Action Plan of goal of "zero waste". Students are working with Residential Life and Campus Facilities to organize improved composting and recycling, providing staff with information for purchasing compostable and/or recyclable eating utensils, and organizing "fix-it" clinics to reduce electronic waster. During spring 2017, Hampshire students coordinated Hampshire's participation in RecycleMania, which promotes waste reduction activities to campus communities. As a result of their education and outreach activities, Hampshire placed in the top 10% for diversion rate.
https://www.hampshire.edu/news/2017/05/08/hampshire-places-high-in-national-recyclemania-tournament
For Earth day 2017, New Leaf hosted a picking up trash in the Hampshire woods hike (photo at the end of this article- https://www.hampshire.edu/news/2017/05/08/hampshire-places-high-in-national-recyclemania-tournament) and and upcycling art space with found objects (photo here-https://www.instagram.com/p/BT7QawLjodv/?hl=en), helping to raise awareness about leave no trace and the importance of paying attention to waste for sustainability and environmental justice.


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:

1. Three Hampshire faculty members, Associate Professor of Hydrology Chris Cianfrani, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Sarah Hews, and Associate Professor of Microbiology Jason Tor have been coordinating a series of integrated science courses since 2014 that focus on the grey water treatment system in the new Kern Center. Students in the courses water budgets, systems thinking, and the microbiology of greywater treatment and make connections among fields of science, develop innovative collaborative projects, and create a vibrant science community.
https://sites.hampshire.edu/ccianfrani/teaching/integrated-sciences-first-year-program/
https://sites.hampshire.edu/ccianfrani/research/greywater/
https://www.hampshire.edu/news/2016/07/22/students-win-top-design-prize-at-national-conference

2. For his senior research project, Division III student Augie Brinker is analyzing whether Hampshire's new ground-based photovoltaic arrays alter rain and snow melt runoff patterns on the landscape. He presented his initial results at the 2018 spring meeting of the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissioners.

3. Professor of Chemistry Dulasiri Amarasiriwardena teaches his introductory level course "Pollution and our Environment" nearly every year since 2003. This course explores environmental pollution problems covering four major areas: the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, the biosphere, and energy issues. Water related topics include acid rain, salt runoff from roadways, and nitrogen pollution from dairy farms in small streams.
https://www.hampshire.edu/faculty/dula-amarasiriwardena


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?:
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:

The office for diversity and multicultural education oversees the general advancement of diversity in the life of the College (https://www.hampshire.edu/dof/the-office-for-diversity-and-multicultural-education). This includes racial, ethnic, gender, disability, and class diversity, as well as diversity based on sexual orientation. There are many active student groups leading projects that provide peer-to-peer education and activism for social change including promotion of social and environmental justice, economic stability, and support for diversity and affordability.
Active student/faculty groups and projects include:
- FIRST Network - FIRST is a network of faculty and staff that aims to support the holistic well-being of first generation college students at Hampshire College by fostering a sense of belonging in community. The network provides access to information, guidance, mentorship, and academic, social, and career support.
https://www.hampshire.edu/dof/first-network
The FIRST Network works closely with the FIRST on the Journey student group - https://hampshire.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/firstonthejourney

- James Baldwin Scholars Program - The James Baldwin Scholars Program provides a full scholarship year of college courses to talented students from underserved communities who would benefit from a year-long program of a modified course schedule, close academic support, and intense advising. JB Students and College
staff arrange a series of workshops, public events, film screening for the entire campus. https://www.hampshire.edu/admissions/james-baldwin-scholars-program
https://www.hampshire.edu/james-baldwin-scholars/james-baldwin-scholars-program

- Queer Community Alliance student group sponsors the annual Five College Queer Gender and Sexuality Conference. The 9th Queer Conference took place March 2-3, 2018. The Queer Conference is student-led, and strives to provide a safer space for engaging, learning, and fostering community with a wide range of workshops, panels, performances, and lectures by student leaders, Five College faculty and staff, off-campus educators, and nationally-known performers and speakers.
https://engage.hampshire.edu/organizations
https://www.hampshire.edu/qcac/five-college-queer-gender-and-sexuality-conference

- Hampshire’s American Sign Language (ASL) Collective student group organized and hosts the annual "Deaf Studies Conference" on March 24-25, 2018.
The goal of this event is to provide a space for all individuals to discover and explore the multifaceted experiences of Deaf lives and to remove barriers between hearing and Deaf communities. Among subjects of workshops and presentations will be Deaf folklore, education, Deafness in the media, poetry, art, and queer identity. The 2017 Deaf Studies Conference attracted over 300 participants:
https://www.hampshire.edu/news/2017/03/08/students-in-hampshires-american-sign-language-collective-plan-second-deaf-studies
News story on the 2016 conference: https://www.hampshire.edu/news/2016/03/01/student-plans-hampshire-deaf-studies-conference-to-remove-barriers


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:

Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Geremias Polanco Encarnacion, developed and teaches two classes focused on investment: "Math to Survive in the World" (100-Level) and "Mathematics of Investment and Credit” (300 level). During spring 2015 and through 2016, students from these classes established the "Hampshire Socially Responsible Investment Fund", which integrated values of sustainability and social responsibility and hands-on educational experience in investing. Two students, Garrett Furo and Hayden Cifrino completed their senior Division III research projects on sustainable investing.
Hayden Cinfrino Div III title was: Creation of Hampshire's Student Led SRI Investments Fund
Garret's Div III title was: On Creating the Hampshire College SRI Investment Fund


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:

Hampshire students and faculty have long worked with the local environmental education center, the Hitchcock Center for the Environment - http://www.hitchcockcenter.org/
In October 2016, the Hitchcock Center opened its brand new facility including its new building built to Living Building Challenge standards, on the Hampshire campus. As a result, The Hampshire College campus will be a place of learning for some 10,000 more students of all ages each year as the college’s latest Cultural Village partner
https://www.hampshire.edu/news/2016/10/01/hampshire-college-welcomes-hitchcock-center-for-the-environment-to-its-cultural
The two institutions share many values and goals, including deep commitments to innovative, hands-on educational programs, and sustainability. This alliance has extended to academic collaboration. For example Hampshire Assistant Professor Tim Zimmerman worked with the Hitchcock Center to research ways to better teach 21st century science, using funding from a National Science Foundation grant.
https://www.hampshire.edu/news/2014/03/13/researching-better-ways-to-teach-21st-century-science


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