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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 66.74
Liaison joni newcomer
Submission Date Jan. 26, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

New Mexico State University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Carol Campbell
Associate Professor
Geography
"---" 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:

The USDA Jornada Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Station is located on campus and this LTER includes the Climate HUB (http://swclimatehub.info/) which conducts research into the characteristics and processes associated with changing climates in arid regions. This station employs many undergraduate and graduate students. Partnerships with faculty support research into the effects of prolonged drought, the impact of climate change on the Rio Grande and productivity agricultural areas in arid landscapes. Wind erosion research is conducted to quantify the effects of dust and erosion on air quality. Student projects include models to estimate and manage locations and potential for wind storms and "Dust Devils" that move large volumes of soil and material annually.


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:

Doña Ana Community College Pre-architecture Program holds a summer Architecture Discovery Camp where faculty, staff, and students work with middle and high school students during a two-week class to teach about LEED and designing green buildings. Often, the projects they work on are actual locations on campus or in local areas. They tour green buildings and locales on campus to learn from actual sites.
https://dacc.nmsu.edu/at/architectural-discovery-camp/

The Office of Sustainability has an interactive GIS map of green-focused locations on campus such as LEED certified buildings, bike racks, and our hydration stations. This map is on the Office of Sustainability website for all to use. It was designed and created by a GIS student for a paid internship in 2014.
http://nmsu.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Viewer/index.html?appid=60ba3ee83bd34bd48c00ca9c655ca764


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:

Satellite Chiller Plant tours - the Utilities Director gives tours to engineering students and other interested students to show off how our energy savings are due to the design of the plant.

Central Utility Plant tours – the Supervisor of Plant Operations gives tours to engineering students every semester as well as to the public. The tours focus on the energy savings we are getting by how we manage the plant by training our operators to use the Niagara Energy System.

Skeen Hall exhaust remodel – the Utilities Director and an electrical engineering professor are working with students in an electrical engineering class to make use of the exhaust coming out of the top of this very large science building.


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:

As an agriculture college, we are very fortunate to have a USDA certified organic farm. The students work the farm and the food goes to our Sam Steele Café for sale, as well as Café 100 our Hotel Restaurant Tourism Management (HRTM) managed restaurant.
Sodexo is our food contractor on campus. They work with faculty, staff, and students on two important programs:
1) Weigh the Waste is a competition with housing students that educates them on how much waste they have when eating in our Taos Café buffet.
2) PB+J donation project is where Sodexo donates the peanut butter, jelly and bread and student, faculty, and staff volunteers make sandwiches which they then donate to a Las Cruces homeless shelter. Working as a team, our students learn about food waste and the benefits of giving of their time and hearts.


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:

Keep State Great is an annual community service celebration that takes place in the fall before the week of Homecoming. Students, alumni, faculty and staff commit their time to beautify the NMSU Campus. Projects include, cleaning, painting, and picking up trash on main campus. Keep State Great is a time to celebrate what being an Aggie is about. The student volunteers learn what it means to maintain the grounds of a 250 acres campus. http://asnmsu.nmsu.edu/ksg/

Cruceño Clean-up is a local group started by an NMSU student to help keep the campus and the city of Las Cruces clean. Students and other volunteers pick up trash on campus and other locales and they learn the importance of volunteering and taking care of the area in which they live and study and call their home for four years. https://www.facebook.com/CrucenoCleanup/


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:

1. Electric golf carts and Prius for campus travel, on and off campus
2. Electric and propane carts for grounds and facilities and services shops - phasing out of gas-run carts
3. Bike rentals and repair shop in Activity center - encouraging our students to ride their bikes to school
4. Aggie Bike Expo - The Aggie Bike Expo is an annual gathering for bike education, bike inspections and maintenance, instruction for tire repairs, and a bike swap. The campus police are there to register bikes. Several groups from the Las Cruces area were there to educate students on bicycle safety and encourage use if biking.
http://bikes.nmsu.edu/2016/08/22/aggie-bike-expo-nmsu-activity-center/

The above resources make conservation of energy used for transportation obvious to visitors and residents of campus.


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:

Food Recovery Network
Compost at Gerald Thomas eateries
Leave no trace - outdoor recreation.
Recycling center tours and signage across campus.
Student led research into the most effective locations for recycling bins on campus involved graduates students and undergrads to.map bin locations and designate "best" sites for bin placement based on population densities.
Tours of campus recycling center identify the volume of materials processed and strategies to improve efficiency of processing.


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:

Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) on the NMSU campus supports an interdisciplinary degree in Water Science and Management. from (https://nmwrri.nmsu.edu/) The New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute is located in Las Cruces, New Mexico at New Mexico State University. The NM WRRI was established in 1963 by the New Mexico legislature and approved under the 1964 federal Water Resources Research Act. The institute funds research conducted by faculty and students from universities across the state to address water problems critical to New Mexico and the Southwest. The institute also participates in joint efforts to solve water-related problems along the U.S./Mexico border. Through its support of research and its interaction and cooperation with other water resources entities, the institute continuously strives to alleviate water problems, working toward ensuring an ample supply of high quality water for future generations.
Brewer receives $395,332 from NASA for NDMA adsorption research for contaminated water. https://chme.nmsu.edu/brewer-receives-395332-from-nasa-for-ndma-adsorption-research/


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:

Sustainability Council facilitates coordination of the various college faculty and student groups to promote green-spaces, sustainable building practices, wildlife habitat management, reduction of carbon footprint, mapping public transportation routes. Signage informs public of the presence of nesting birds, wildlife corridors and the importance of restricting the release of domestic animals on campus (cats and gold fish).


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:

Red/Green Money Management program. Housing options on campus reduce the cost of daily transportation, rent and the overall cost of education and support single or married students. The Diversity Task Force was established to "build an inclusive community/culture of humility, respect, trust, and dignity to engage, understand, value and support all individuals."


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:

Go fund me account to identify interest and investment in supporting biodiversity and wildlife on campus - Living laboratories at NMSU.


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:

News articles report nest progress of Swainson's hawks on campus.


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:

1. The NMSU Student Counseling Center offers help and education for physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual self-care techniques. They provide information on healthy lifestyle, mindfulness, sleep benefits, and they manage our Relaxation Room where anyone on campus can sit in silence and refresh.
https://counselingcenter.nmsu.edu/relaxation-self-help/

2. Relaxation Room
The Relaxation Room is a free service provided to all students, faculty, and staff at NMSU. Individuals may use the services of the Relaxation Room to improve skills in relaxation and to train the mind and body to respond to stressful situations more calmly.
https://counselingcenter.nmsu.edu/relaxation-room/

3. Employee Assistance Program is where faculty and staff can meet with our psychologist on campus. We provide confidential counseling for faculty and staff experiencing personal and work related issues affecting their job performance. Faculty and staff experiencing issues with alcohol or drug abuse are encouraged to contact the EAP office. A faculty and staff’s spouse or significant other are also eligible for services. There is no cost for counseling.
http://chc.nmsu.edu/eap/


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:

Greening the Curriculum is a project funded by the chancellor to create minors in sustainability as well as sustainability certificates. The group of volunteers was from all areas of campus in curriculum and student engagement. Several talks were given from different areas from the arts, pre-architecture, and engineering.

Our Discover Sustainability Symposium also was multidisciplinary with speakers from stormwater industry, American Indian connection to Mother Earth, and soils.
https://sustainability.nmsu.edu/discover-sustainability-symposium/


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.