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.

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

Topics: waste reduction
Disciplines: social sciences

Incorporate educational components (e.g. how to decrease usage or energy usage calculator of an office/dorm) on the Tiger Energy platform.

Disciplines: engineering

Assist Transportation Parking Services with evaluating parking garage and lot usage to determine the price at which a parking fee would encourage University faculty and staff traveling in single occupancy vehicles to switch to alternative modes of transport to and from campus. [Potential to use sensors to measure garage/lot occupancy]

Disciplines: engineering, social sciences

What behavioral interventions can be deployed to reduce food waste in the dining halls and eating clubs?

Disciplines: humanities and arts, social sciences

Build and pilot a “Red Light – Green Light” visual system for bathroom showers and sinks that indicates an individual’s water usage and assess its effectiveness on water conservation 

Disciplines: engineering

Use sensors to study whether conference rooms are being underutilized or inefficiently heated, cooled, and lit.

Disciplines: engineering

Assist the Purchasing Department in pursuing opportunities to partner with local catering/food delivery services to enhance commitment to sustainability in areas such as food sourcing, packaging and food waste. How could caterers who bring food to campus use more sustainable processes/materials, and what would be the economic and time costs to the vendors of doing so?

Topics: food, purchasing
Disciplines: social sciences

How would the carbon footprint of Princeton University be affected by a measured percent reduction in animal product consumption per student?

Topics: energy, food
Disciplines: natural sciences, social sciences