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.

Use mass spectrometry to compare the concentrations of organic pollutants in Princeton and Trenton.

Topics: landscape
Disciplines: Chemistry, Molecular Biology

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

Help us visualize campus data to create ethnographies of sustainability on campus.

Topics: energy, landscape
Disciplines: Anthropology

How do ancient and/or modern religious scholarship inform how sustainability should be practiced on Princeton’s campus?

Disciplines: Religion

Assess concentrations of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere near Princeton and make predictions about impact on the local systems, e.g. prevalence of algal blooms.

Topics: energy, landscape
Disciplines: Astrophysical Sciences

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 messages, if any, do current campus physical and social infrastructures send about a sustainability ethos on campus? How can campus best cultivate an atmosphere of powerful daily experiences that embody sustainability?

Disciplines: Anthropology, Art & Archeology, English, Environmental Studies, Politics, Religion, Sociology, Woodrow Wilson School

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