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.
Determine the efficacy of free food listserv compared to a free food camera at MIT. How could Princeton's current Free Food listserv be improved to optimize consumption of leftovers?
Evaluate the baseline heat island effects on the University and investigate cost-effective methods for reducing those effects (e.g. lighter colored asphalt installed at Grounds and Building storage area vs normal asphalt).
Use data about energy systems on campus to understand energy use over time. Plot energy use from different campus systems relative to the academic year or a smaller period of time. Do usage patterns exist?
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.
Perform a thermal camera assessment on cold days to identify thermal leaks.
Are sustainability/recycling efforts at Reunions effective at capturing recyclables and/or changing behaviors?
Use your design skills to think about how Princeton might communicate and enact its sustainability initiatives more effectively through e.g. signage, logos, iconography, and so on.
Collect baseline data on water clarity, oxygen levels, and organic carbon in Lake Carnegie to determine the effect of gasoline loads on water quality