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 Silver
Overall Score 50.89
Liaison Nicholas Kordesch
Submission Date Feb. 15, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

San Francisco State University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Nick Kordesch
Sustainability Coordinator
Office of 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:

Professor of Geography and Environment Barbara Holzman created a general education course that will introduce concepts of environmental science to undergraduate students. Using the campus as the primary lab site, students will investigate campus biodiversity, air quality, waste streams and other environmental concerns.


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:

The Campus Sustainability course in the Environmental Studies department uses campus buildings as a test case for lighting surveys, water efficiency upgrades, and energy use. The Facilities Department frequently uses their research to direct efforts to upgrade buildings.


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:

The Office of Sustainability and Facilities have worked with numerous classes to conduct energy efficiency audits of buildings. Projects implemented as an outcome of the course have included motion sensors for lighting, energy efficient lighting upgrades, de-lamping, and energy efficiency audits.


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:

The student-run Environmental Resource Center has created a vendor sustainability certification that rewards campus vendors for sustainable practices. The criteria, outreach and audits are conducted by students.

The campus also has a vegetable garden and fruit orchard that is used to educate students about urban agricultural practices.

The Hospitality and Tourism department's restaurant management class hosts an annual locally-sourced, vegetarian community lunch in partnership with the Office of Sustainability to educate the campus community about where their food comes from.


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:

Biology classes frequently use the campus grounds as a botanical garden and to observe habitat. The Grounds department maintains educational signage. A biology course also uses our campus orchard to learn about urban agriculture. The campus Grounds department receives feedback on their operations from faculty.


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:

Associate Professor of Decision Sciences Susan Cholette redesigned an upper-division elective within the decision sciences department as a part of a Campus as a Living Lab grant. Students analyzed SF State’s purchased goods and service deliveries and developed recommendations for ways to reduce emissions. Outcomes have included a preference for electronic hand dryers instead of paper towels where possible.


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:

SF State has a Bicycle Geographies class in the Geography department that was funded through a California State University Campus as a Living Lab grant. The course focuses on researching and recommending policies and infrastructure changes to increase cycling for transportation. Outcomes have included new bike racks, fix-it stations, directional signage, and increased interaction with the SF Bike Coalition.


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:

Students in the Campus Sustainability class use SF State's recycling and composting program to understand outreach and education. Associated Students maintains an ongoing compost outreach program that teaches their interns how to conduct effective zero waste outreach to students, faculty, staff, and food vendors.


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:

SF State's Campus Sustainability class has conducted a water efficiency audit of campus buildings. The class recommended efficiency upgrades to fixtures based on potential water savings.


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:

SF State's Bicycle Geographies class advocates for bike-friendly city planning.


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?:
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:

SF State's Fossil Fuel Divestment campaign started as a class related research project. Students used their research to start a conversation with the University Foundation board. The major outcome of this interaction was a commitment to divestment of the University's edowment from coal and tar sands.


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:

SF State's Philosophy Department is teaching a course on Environmental Ethics, funded by a campus as a living laboratory grant, that involves training students to give educuational tours to local high school students. The goal of the tours is to educate the local community about environmental ethics issues related to campus sustainability.


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:
---

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:
---

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

From the California State University sustainability policty: The CSU will develop employee and student workforce skills in the green jobs industry, promote the development of sustainable products and services, and foster economic development.

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.