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.

Expand the campus energy Heatmap to include all buildings in the campus carbon footprint (e.g. the High-Performance Computing Research Center at the Forrestal Campus).

Topics: energy, buildings
Disciplines: engineering

Propose a cost-benefit analysis for issues like stormwater management, analyzing different alternatives and the impact on broader systems.

Disciplines: engineering, social sciences

Evaluate the psychological, social, and cognitive effects of entering dark spaces to more accurately quantify the cost and benefit of turning dorm corridor lights off more frequently.

Disciplines: humanities and arts, social sciences

Are sustainability/recycling efforts at Reunions effective at capturing recyclables and/or changing behaviors?

Topics: waste reduction
Disciplines: social sciences

What zero-waste strategies for large campus events (e.g. Reunions) or for daily operations in selected buildings are the most effective?

Disciplines: humanities and arts, social sciences

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

Design and test an inexpensive, small-scale compost system to prevent compostable diningware from campus events from going to the landfill.

Disciplines: engineering

Analyze campus water quality data.

Topics: water
Disciplines: natural sciences