Dean for Research Innovation Fund for the Campus as a Lab: Faculty Research in Sustainability, Energy and the Environment

Proposals due: November 20, 2017

The Campus as Lab program was recently featured at the semi-annual Spring Flexitarian Night dinner at Forbes College. While students enjoyed barbecue jack fruit tacos and made-to-order salad bowls, a screen projected rotating slides with fall courses and research opportunities that use Princeton’s campus as a test bed to solve real-world sustainability issues. The Campus as Lab team then touched on these opportunities in a brief presentation, and met with students afterwards for further discussion.

This past fall, students in Dr. Shana Weber’s seminar, ENV 327: Investigating an Ethos of Sustainability at Princeton, engaged with faculty and staff of diverse expertise to examine global sustainability issues and how they manifest locally on the Princeton campus. For the final assignment, students proposed demonstration-scale campus interventions with the overall goal of strengthening the sustainability ethos at Princeton.

Below is a summary of the students’ recommendations by topic:


This spring, Dr. Sander van der Linden, a social psychologist based in the Department of Psychology with joint appointments in the Woodrow Wilson School and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, taught a course titled The Psychology of Environmental Decision Making. Students in the course split up into three teams to explore environmental education and climate change, recycling behavior, and different prompting strategies in the context of plastic bottle consumption.

Highwire Earth is a new blog, led by Princeton graduate students and alumni that focuses on topics related to human development and sustainability. It features the work, experience, and opinions of members of the Princeton University community, including students, researchers, faculty, visitors, and alumni.

They are inviting University-affiliated contributors spanning all academic disciplines (i.e. engineering, natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities). Please consider writing a post if you:

AgriArk Spring/Summer Research Internship

Environmental Impact Comparison of Multiple Food Waste Conversion Techniques

The Office of Sustainability welcomes four new undergraduate Campus as Lab Research Assistants!

The Research Assistants will work under the guidance of Christian J. Rivera ’14, Campus as Lab Fellow, to conduct research on Princeton’s sustainable systems and contribute to the development of the Campus as Lab program.

Princeton University Professor Paul Chirik and his research group, in collaboration with Momentive Performance Materials, have discovered a new class of catalysts based on earth abundant transition metals such as iron and cobalt that have superior performance to existing platinum catalysts, generate less waste, and require fewer processing steps.

On October 19th, the Office of Sustainability hosted an Ideas Workshop as part of its Campus as Lab program. The goal of the workshop was to gather undergraduate students from a range of academic departments in order to generate sustainability-related research questions that can be explored here on Princeton’s campus.

Princeton University researchers will join 14 academic institutions and partners nationwide on a $12 million project funded by the National Science Foundation intended to address the challenges that threaten urban water systems in the United States and globally. Read more on the Princeton University website.


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