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.

Collect baseline data on water clarity, oxygen levels, and organic carbon in Lake Carnegie to determine the effect of gasoline loads on water quality

Topics: water
Disciplines: natural 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

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

Is there a connection between habits formed at Lawnparties and later behaviors at Reunions?

Disciplines: social sciences

Investigate the relationship between fuel prices and transportation-mode choice of University faculty, staff, and commuting students.

Disciplines: social sciences

Are current strategies effective at improving the water quality of Carnegie Lake? Which regional strategies would improve it further?

Topics: landscape, water
Disciplines: engineering, natural sciences

Use Tiger Energy/Heatmap to analyze how energy usage compares across campus buildings in terms of intended use, size, or other variables.

Topics: energy, buildings
Disciplines: engineering, 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: humanities and arts, social sciences