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.

Princeton Vertical Farming Project: Assist in carbon sequestration, energy consumption, and/or economic comparative analyses to traditional growing methods (e.g. greenhouse production)

Topics: energy, buildings, food, water
Disciplines: engineering, natural sciences, social sciences

How much food is being wasted in different campus buildings?

Disciplines: social sciences

Princeton Vertical Farming Project: Assist with outreach/marketing efforts of the sale of the farm's harvest production to Campus Dining, Terrace Eating Club, and/or greater community

Topics: food, purchasing
Disciplines: humanities and arts, social sciences

Which non-recyclable materials are the most prevalent contamination in recycling bins?

Topics: waste reduction
Disciplines: natural sciences, social sciences

Refine and update the campus energy Heatmap by filling in data for as many of the greyed-out buildings as possible.

Topics: energy, buildings
Disciplines: engineering

Do diners waste more food when they know leftovers will go to a composting facility? If so, what interventions might be effective at changing behavior?

Disciplines: social sciences

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

Incorporate weather-normalized data into the residential college ranking on the Tiger Energy platform.

Topics: energy, buildings
Disciplines: engineering

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