Need a Research Question?

The following topics have been identified in partnership with University operational departments and faculty from various academic departments to assist students in identifying potential JP, Senior Thesis and graduate research topics using the campus itself as a living laboratory for sustainability problem-solving.

Please browse below, or use the sorting options to the right to narrow your search by topic or discipline. Contact the Campus as Lab team, Caroline Savage and Gina Talt '15, for more information or questions!

If you have a campus as lab research question that should be included on this list you can submit it using our contact form.

Incorporate educational components (e.g. how to decrease usage or energy usage calculator of an office/dorm) on the Tiger Energy platform.

Disciplines: engineering

Incorporate mitigation efforts (e.g. how Frick uses much less energy than a traditional lab building) on the campus energy Heatmap.

Topics: energy, buildings
Disciplines: engineering

Conduct an ecological assessment of campus natural systems including habitat types, biodiversity, soil characteristics, and more.

Topics: landscape
Disciplines: natural sciences

Evaluate the efficacy of long-term gamification to promote sustainable behaviors by developing a smartphone app that creates a year-long competition around recycling quality.

Disciplines: engineering

Conduct a full economic analysis of green roofs to evaluate their dollar savings, including: Protection from UV radiation, temperature volatility/HVAC costs, stormwater runoff, air quality, CO2 sequestration, biodiversity, aesthetics. Use data on soil moisture, rainfall, and other meteorological parameters from the Butler green roofs.

Disciplines: engineering, natural sciences, social sciences

Explore several types of energy pricing forecasts. Are there any forecasts under which pursuing green energy alternatives makes more financial sense than conventional energy systems, and, if so, what are the benefits and drawbacks of using those forecasts?

Topics: energy
Disciplines: engineering, social sciences

What behavioral interventions can be deployed to reduce food waste in the dining halls and eating clubs?

Disciplines: humanities and arts, social sciences

What are the direct and indirect benefits and costs of installing campus electric commuter vehicle charging stations?

Disciplines: engineering, social sciences