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 58.11
Liaison Jennifer Kleindienst
Submission Date Dec. 1, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Wesleyan University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Barry Chernoff
Director
College of the Environment
"---" 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:

Profs. OConnell, Thomas, and Royer carry out a lot of paleoclimate research. Much of this research includes student participation.


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:

Clara Pinsky's student forum had students learning how to rehabilitate campus buildings working with a team of tradespeople from Physical Plant. This course is expected to repeat in 2016-17 due to popular demand.


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:

Prof. Haddad had a student course analyzing campus residential energy data using GIS and mapping.


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:

Multiple student forums have used the campus as a learning laboratory, including those studying Wesleyan's food purchases, food justice, and Long Lane Farm (campus farm).


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:

A student forum annually studies permaculture in relationship to student group WILD Wes's two permaculture gardens on campus. A research methods course has studied bed bug infestations on Wesleyan and other college campuses. A soils class has analyzed the soil at Long Lane Farm. Multiple students have analyzed and mapped different aspects of Wesleyan's tree cover.


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:

In Summer 2015, a student worked on a College of the Environment grant under direction of the Sustainability Office to study the life cycle of different disposable coffee cups that Wesleyan purchases to determine which were the most/least sustainable and influence future purchasing.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Transportation?:
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 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:

Through a GIS class, students have mapped composting locations on campus and examined the composting process.


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:

Profs. Ku, Varekamp, Thomas, and Patton research many dimensions of water health. Much of this research includes student participation. This includes local bodies of water such as the Connecticut River, Long Island Sound, and various Connecticut lakes. Prof. Ku’s Environmental Geochemistry class typically includes community-based research projects that are water themed. Prof. Chernoff's Aquatic Conservation course has included analysis of Middletown waters, which serve the campus's drinking water.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
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 Coordination & 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?:
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:
---

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:

Earth & Environmental Studies (E&ES) has offered many service-learning courses:
Environmental Geochemistry& Lab (E&ES 280/218, Prof. Ku): Fall 2005 (Middletown North End Landfill), Spring 2007 (Lake Beseck), Spring 2009 (Jobs Pond), Spring 2011 (Eight Mile River / Dam), Spring 2014 (Lake Wononscopomuc), Fall 2015 (Lake Hayward)
Geographic Information Systems (E&ES 322)(GIS) & Lab (E&ES 324) (Profs. Resor and Diver) Offered at least once per year for the past seven years. Students partner with various community groups to carry out GIS-themed projects, for example creating a map for a new town park.
Science on the Radio (E&ES 121) (Prof. O’Connell, last taught Fall 2011)
Soils & Lab (E&ES 305/307) (Prof. Royer, Spring 2013) Partnered with two New Haven elementary schools where students developed and delivered soils-based classroom lessons and analyzed soil from the school gardens for health and fertility.

E&ES department colloquium series often has sustainability-themed talks. And, some of our Senior Seminar research projects from Puerto Rico have been published in the Puerto Rican journal Acta Cientifica.


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:

Aquatic Conservation examines health impacts of water quality and conservation. A soils class has studied soil samples for contaminants that can be harmful to human health.


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)?:
---

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:
---

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.