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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 61.96
Liaison Briar Schoon
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Portland Community College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Briar Schoon
Sustainability Analyst
Facilities Management Services
"---" 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:

At our Rock Creek campus, we have a weather station atop one of our natural building structures made from clay and straw. Students use this to study weather and climate patterns/trends as part of their coursework.


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:

During Bond construction, project managers have engaged with faculty and students to educate throughout various building and construction phases, allowing some students hands-on experience. Additionally, our alternative building technology class has created many structures throughout its curriculum that are housed on campus, including: a cob oven, clay and straw tool shed, homes with styrofoam insulation, green roof structures, and many others.


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:

Our renewable energy certificate program utilizes the renewable and alternative energy systems, including solar and fuel cells, throughout the district to teach concepts and provide real life examples. Facilities has also worked with HVAC students and lead them in hands-on training in best efficiency examples.


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:

Two of our campuses have learning gardens that classes, faculty, and staff utilize for hands-on education around organic and sustainable food production. Some of this produce is utilized by dining services in our cafeterias and donated to local food gleaning efforts, but the majority goes back to our students through our farm stand and compensation for volunteering. Our Rock Creek garden hosts a Lunch 'N Learn series where students and staff can learn about a variety of things including gardening tips, seasonal cooking, food preservation among others. This year the Rock Creek garden will also be hosting the Seed to Supper program through the OSU Extension. Pre and sometimes post-consumer composting also occurs in the learning gardens and students help tend the worm bins and learn about nutrient recycling. There is also beekeeping at our Rock Creek garden, which classes utilize for educational opportunities around colony collapse disorder and beekeeping. We have two more gardens in development, which will increase the hands-on learning opportunities in sustainable food systems.


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:

Our landscape technology program works closely with our Grounds department and learning garden staff to provide students with hands-on learning opportunities in sustainable grounds management. Our LAT program students and faculty have worked on several projects, including: identifying and labeling plants on campus, planting native trees, planting native ground cover to reduce occurrence of weeds, rain water harvesting, and propagating plants to be used on campus.


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 Sustainability Manager has worked with a Business cooperative education course to analyze college spending patterns, assess scope III greenhouse gas emissions, create sustainable shopping lists, and promote the college's sustainable purchasing policy and practices.


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:

We have a Transportation Demand Coordinator and an active bike rental program that promotes education around sustainable alternative transportation methods, bike safety, etc. This program is managed through Student Government and engages with over 50 students each term.


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:

The Environmental Center, Sustainability Office, Student Government and volunteers complete annual waste audits on the various campuses. These audits promote awareness around the college's waste diversion efforts, proper waste management, and the college's commitment to sustainable resource management. Students also help manage the on-site composting efforts including post-consumer collection, vermi-composting and using the inskinerator for compostable paper products.


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:

Biology courses test and monitor water quality at various sites around our campuses and utilize the data to teach concepts like water pollution, runoff, etc. Our CLIMB Center has a green roof and educational stormwater plaza where students, staff, and community members tour and learn about proper rainwater mitigation and the historical context around water quality and the Willamette River in an industrialized Portland area.


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 have developed green event guides for Student Government as part of their coursework. This includes tips and resources for planning and coordinating events that have low environmental impacts and support sustainable practices and local business.


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:

Students working with the Multicultural Center complete projects focusing on campus climate around issues of race, diversity, and equity. These reports are shared with faculty, students, and staff and used as educational resources to promote equity and inclusion at the college.


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:

Students are currently working with our Finance Department on a sustainable investment policy amendment ensuring all future investments align with the college's commitment to sustainability and social equity.


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:

Our Center for Civic Participation hosts events to promote education and dialogue around current events. Students participate in developing the events and students, classes, faculty, and staff participate. There are also Sustainability, Sociology and Policy courses in which students produce letters to send to their elected officials as coursework.


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:

Our Southeast Center has a Chinese-inspired tranquility garden that staff and students utilize to promote meditation and alternative health practices. There are also many health and wellbeing community education courses, such as an alternative medicine series, herbal applications, healthy cooking classes, etc. that are offered and provide applied and hands-on learning opportunities.


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)?:
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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.