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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 53.23
Liaison Ryan Kmetz
Submission Date Dec. 14, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

St. Lawrence University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00
"---" 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:

As an Environmental Studies class project students surveyed the University's forested lands and calculated their carbon sequestration abilities.


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:

In 'Sustainable House' students use a campus building/farmhouse as a typical North Country house (big, old and drafty). They do assessments of the energy efficiency and sustainability of the house and house systems, make proposals for upgrades and ultimately take action on one of their recommendations.


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 Facilitates Operations department has a student intern working with the department and consulting engineers on the University's first Energy Master Plan. The student is responsible on helping to conduct building surveys and research established and emergency energy technologies.


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:

A seminar class is investigating how the development of local food processing in our community or region might allow the University to increase our commitment to local food purchasing.


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:

Various biology and GIS students worked with faculty and staff to identify and GPS every tree on our 200 acre main campus. They also assessed the health and age of the trees and developed text about the natural history and economic value of each species. This effort was the beginning of conversations about future tree planting and maintenance on campus as well as the development of a campus arboretum.


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 Greenhouse student organization hosts an annual North Country Folk Festival. This festival celebrates local living and low impact purchasing by featuring local artisans, crafters, and food. The guests interact with students to share knowledge, give demonstrations, and to sell their goods on campus. and provide demonstrations to student's on local living.


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:

Students collaborate with faculty to run a Green Bikes Program. he bikes are available for loan to SLU students, faculty and staff during the spring, summer and fall. To borrow a bike (and helmet and lock) just stop by the Launders Science Library's circulation desk. The program is an initiative to make bikes readily available to the campus community while encouraging healthy and sustainable modes of transportation.


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:

A group of four students wrote and were awarded a NYSP2I grant for their work on reducing single-use plastic water bottles on our campus. This began a larger 'SLU ReUse' campaign with a focus on developing reuse as a social norm on campus. Two additional projects include reusable bags at a to-go style eatery and reusable to-go containers at the main dining hall.


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:

One of our professors (and project director for Nature Up North) works with students to collaborate with the St. Lawrence Land Trust and Grasse River Heritage to pilot a community-based water quality program along the Grasse River. This partnership seeks to explore how to empower local communities and individuals to adopt standard scientific protocols to “crowd source” data on the health of North Country rivers.


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 participate in all campus tripartite committees including those working on climate neutrality plan updates, campus master plan updates (which includes sustainability) and institutional planning (which also addresses issues of sustainability).


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 and staff have an LGBTQ Ally group (meets monthly) where they are working together to address policy, infrastructure and educational needs on campus and in the community.


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 worked with the tripartite sustainability committee and senior administration to research and present (to our trustees) information about reinvesting the University endowment using principles of sustainability.


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:

Students in the sustainability program take a class where they learn theories and practices of communicating environmental education and sustainable advocacy to hone their communications skills as environmental leaders. The Sustainable Communication: Education, Advocacy, and Activism course will particularly focus on how you communicate to different audiences and with different purposes. In the course assignments you will provide an environmental education session to a local youth group, write articles for digital audiences, and target a college-audience with persuasive communication. Certified Interpretive guide training, an internationally recognized training through the National Association of Interpretation, will be offered as part of the course and will require a time commitment over fall break or two weekend of the semester.


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:

First year students may elect to fulfill their first year program requirement by taking the Smarter Living: Cultivating a Mindset for Well-Being course. This class will help students develop the habits to flourish as they live on their own for the first time. Significant time will be spent focusing on the foods we consume and evaluating changes that can be made to improve our overall nutrient intake and, ultimately, our general health. Other factors that can impact our future well-being, such as physical activity and stress reduction, will also be explored. During the course, students will read a variety of texts, as well as undertake a series of written and oral assignments and group projects to foster a critical understanding of the development of personal values that will promote healthy decision making for a lifetime of well-being. The class will also share their knowledge of nutrition and wellness with members of our community.


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 University offers a course focused in Theater, Sustainability, and the Natural World. This course focuses on dramatic literature and performances with ecological themes, as well as sustainable theatrical production practices. Students will have an opportunity to explore the ethical and practical relationship between theater, issues of sustainability, and the natural world through course readings, discussions, and practical production projects.


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.