Research Questions

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 search the questions below, or use the sorting options to narrow your search by action area or discipline. Contact Kristi Wiedemann for more information.

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  • How much energy are research labs using, and how can we improve consumption rates to promote sustainability without compromising research quality?

    Action Area:
    Discipline:
    Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Studies, Geosciences, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Molecular Biology, Physics
  • In which spheres of campus sustainability do we see conflicts between environmental and societal interests? 

    Discipline:
    Environmental Studies, Psychology, Sociology
  • Princeton's Office of Information Technology wants to conduct environmental monitoring using sensors inside a set of High Performance Computing Research Center (HPCRC) cabinets. 

    1)     What can the sensor data (temp/humidity/air flow/particulate) tell us about the overall health of the equipment running within the HPCRC data center?

    2)     How can we use environmental data (temp/humidity/air flow/particulates) to optimize the amount of energy usage within our HPCRC data center as a whole?

    3)     With our fully deployed IoT system at the HPCRC data center, how vulnerable is the system to malicious or unauthorized users and access (security posture of an IoT system)?

    Discipline:
    Architecture, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Studies, Robotics
  • Use a habitat integrity metric developed at Princeton, PILEA, to model how adding buildings to currently undeveloped areas of campus could alter habitat quality.

    Action Area:
    Discipline:
    Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Studies, Geosciences
  • Use mass spectrometry to compare the concentrations of organic pollutants in Princeton and Trenton.

    Discipline:
    Chemistry, Environmental Studies, Molecular Biology
  • What are some possible impacts of geoengineering on Princeton’s campus and community?

    Action Area:
    Discipline:
    Astrophysical Sciences
  • What are the best opportunities for Princeton's campus to increase textile sustainability? This study could survey current purchasing and reuse efforts.

    Action Area:
    Discipline:
    Environmental Studies
  • What are the best practices for sustainability in costumes, set design, lighting, etc., and how is Princeton’s Theatre program demonstrating best practices for sustainability?

    Discipline:
    Environmental Studies, Theatre
  • What are the economic, quality of life, and/or social justice impacts of Princeton’s purchasing, consumption, and waste of food on surrounding communities?

    Action Area:
    Discipline:
    Anthropology, Environmental Studies, Politics, Psychology, Religion, Sociology, Public and International Affairs
  • What impacts of climate change should Princeton expect to see in 2046, and what should we be doing now to prepare?

    Discipline:
    Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Studies, Geosciences, Physics