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.

Develop a visual dashboard of Princeton University fleet vehicles to assist Transportation Parking Services with fleet management

Topics: transportation
Disciplines: engineering

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

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

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

Study the changes in the movement and location of the campus Adirondack lawn chairs to evaluate the cultural significance and utilization of campus green spaces.

Disciplines: humanities and arts, social sciences

Monitor and analyze water levels in stormwater retention basins under athletic fields to evaluate their effectiveness in reducing flooding

Topics: landscape, water
Disciplines: engineering, natural sciences

Evaluate the baseline heat island effects on the University and investigate cost-effective methods for reducing those effects (e.g. lighter colored asphalt installed at Grounds and Building storage area vs normal asphalt).

Disciplines: engineering

How is climate affecting the physiology of tree species? Assist the Campus Tree Research Group in monitoring metrics of tree health over time to determine whether there is a correlation between changing climate patterns and tree health or decline.

Topics: landscape
Disciplines: natural sciences