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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 52.49
Liaison Alexi Lamm
Submission Date Nov. 1, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Utah State University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Kristin Brubaker
Community Engagement Specialist
Center for Civic Engagement and Service-Learning
"---" 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:

Through the Blue Goes Green Grant program, students have been given the opportunity to work directly with Facilities to install these green features in USU buildings. Students are required to collect impact data for the final report. Students also study air quality in Cache Valley and communication strategies for these issues.


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:

Students in the Foundations of Sustainability class tour LEED buildings on campus. Interior design students have the options to take a LEED certification test at the end of one of their courses.


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:

Students have proposed daylighting projects on campus through the Blue Goes Green program. They also proposed and installed a small solar array.


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:

Yes, the USU campus has a permaculture garden and several native plant beds with interpretive information. Nutrition and dietetics students volunteer in the garden. Students in the College of Agriculture both grow produce in the student organic farm and use it for soup, available in Aggie Ice Cream on Campus to the community through a CSA program.


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:

Landscape architecture students do work on select project sites, including native and water-wise landscaping.


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:

The campus has covered bike parking and three bike fix-it stations, many of which were projects implemented by students. The institution funds Aggie Blue Bikes, a program that provides bicycle education and lending. Aggie Blue Bikes employs students. In addition, Zimride rideshare and the Enterprise carshare program have been implemented on the USU campus. Students in the bioregional planning MS program occasionally choose projects relating to multi-modal connectivity.


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 environmental engineering regularly do waste audits on campus and in the community. The recycling center is open for class tours.


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:

Yes, students have proposed projects for high efficiency faucets and dual flush toilets, which have been installed on campus with interpretive information explaining how much water is being conserved. Part of the project was collecting water use information to evaluate the fixtures. In addition, 2015 was USU’s Year of Water: http://www.usu.edu/yearofwater/


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:

Yes, students serving in leadership positions with the Center for Civic Engagement, the Sustainability Council and the Student Sustainability Office are given opportunities to coordinate and plan campus-wide events such as Earth Day, True Blue Reuse Collection & Sale, and the Open Streets Festival. A student is regularly employed in the university planning office on master planning projects.


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:

Yes, students are given opportunities to work with the refugee and immigrant communities through multiple service-learning classes and volunteer opportunities. For example, student designed curriculum and implemented a citizenship class for refugee community members and drivers license training class for Latino/Hispanic adults.


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:
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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:

Yes, the USU Center for Civic Engagement and Service-Learning provides students with opportunities to take designated Service-Learning classes, provide sustainability education and service as an AmeriCorps member, participate in alternative breaks or volunteer with local non-profits in the areas of social justice, environment, youth/education, or health & ability.


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:
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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:

Yes, art and sustainability have come together through the Art Truck outreach education program. The art truck is powered by solar panels and provides art and sustainability education at community events.


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.