Log In
  • 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 67.20
Liaison Suzanne Hansen
Submission Date May 31, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Macalester College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Suzanne Savanick Hansen
Sustainability Manager
Macalester Sustainbility Office
"---" 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:

Two environmental studies senior seminar classes developed the first greenhouse gas emissions inventory for the college and developed recommendations for the college climate action plan. An environmental studies senior seminar class developed recommendations for integrating renewable energy into our campus energy sources. Another senior seminar wrote outreach material for the Ordway Natural History Site.


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:

Classes tour Markim Hall as an example of green architecture. Data is also available on the Markim Hall's energy and water consumption as well as the amount of energy generated by the solar array on the building.


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:

An environmental studies senior seminar class developed recommendations for renewable energy to fulfill the ACUPCC. A student used campus data as the basis for his math and computer science senior research project. He also analyzed the energy use of the EcoHouse and the Japanese House. The recommendations of this student led to the purchase of a new and more efficient dehumidifier for the EcoHouse. Energy data is available on the sustainability website for classes to use.

Real-time energy use is available here: http://www.macalester.edu/sustainability/living-laboratory/meters/


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:

Several classes tour food service and meet with dining service staff as part of their class.


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:

A student research project focused on the benefits of the green roofs on campus, which were also designed by students. An environmental studies class analyzed the potential for an additional green roof on a dorm. The campus prairie and storm water projects are used for class tours. A hydrology class calculated storm water runoff from campus. An urban ecology class has used different campus grounds projects as the basis for research as well.


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:

A student researched the environmental impacts of compostable products for a class research project.


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:

A student working as an intern for St. Paul Smart Trips worked with the college to collect and analyze data on faculty and staff commuting. A geography senior seminar researched and analyzed student study away travel as their group project. The process developed by this senior seminar for data collection is still used today.


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:

An environmental studies senior seminar conducted a waste audit that is still used today. The class also researched zero waste projects and recommended college actions. A student at the EcoHouse collected data on waste and actively tried to make the house "zero waste" as an independent study. Her recommendations are still used today.


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:

As part of a student internship with the Clean Energy Resource Teams a student successfully installed water saving fixtures in a significant number of college sinks.


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

Students in the Sustainability and the Campus class have made recommendations for the Athletics Department, Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, High Winds Office, Special Events and Off-campus housing.


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:
---

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:
---

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:
---

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 class recommended ways to improve sustainability and health. Students in the Cities, Sustainability and the Campus class developed outreach material for as smoking cessation program that showed the storm water effects of cigarette litter.


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:

The Sustainability Office keeps a potential student projects list to connect students with campus-based research needs. The EcoHouse has been a site for student independent study projects. The Sustainability Plan includes using the campus as a teaching tool as a goal.


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.