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 bathroom hand dryers bad for human health? Corroborate or dispute past studies with ties to the paper industry that paper towels are more effective than hand dryers at reducing the spread of germs.

Disciplines: Chemistry, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Studies, Geosciences

Design a rewards system for recycling properly, possibly in collaboration with existing student-designed app EcoTracker, then test to see whether recycling behavior is sustained after the reward is given.

Topics: waste reduction
Disciplines: Computer Science, Environmental Studies, Psychology

How do religious beliefs or lack thereof, of students, staff, and/or faculty on campus interact with their behaviors related to sustainability?

Disciplines: Religion

In which spheres of campus sustainability do we see conflicts between environmental and societal interests?

Disciplines: Environmental Studies, Psychology, Sociology

Develop less environmentally harmful prototype alternatives to single-use consumer products (e.g. disposable water bottles, straws, utensils).

Topics: waste reduction
Disciplines: Chemistry

Assess forested areas of campus for species diversity and make recommendations to the campus planning team about best practices for preserving ecological integrity as campus expands

Topics: landscape
Disciplines: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Studies, Geosciences

What is the environmental impact of bonfires on campus? Are there more environmentally friendly but still culturally salient ways to celebrate as a campus community?

Disciplines: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Studies, Geosciences, Sociology

What should Princeton’s energy sources and infrastructure look like in 2046? Provide evidence-based recommendations to the campus energy team for which sustainable energy options we should plan to use to power campus in the future.

Topics: energy
Disciplines: Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, Geosciences, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Physics

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