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.
How do artificial athletic turf fields compare in temperature to natural grass athletic fields? Is there a significant difference in heat profiles?
What zero-waste strategies for large campus events (e.g. Reunions) or for daily operations in selected buildings are the most effective?
How is climate affecting the physiology of tree species? Monitor metrics of tree health over time to determine whether there is a correlation between changing climate patterns and tree health or decline.
Improve the campus energy Heatmap by adding features to increase engagement with the app.
Collect baseline data on dorm waste left behind during move-out, both through empirical analysis of the waste, and qualitative surveys, to greater clarify and inform the need for a more reliable, less economically challenging avenue of dorm item management.
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.
A pilot waste collection bin is being implemented at 20 Washington. Assist with baseline data collection and assess the efficacy of design interventions. Propose recommendations for improvements.