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.
Conduct a full economic analysis of green roofs to evaluate their dollar savings, including: Protection from UV radiation, temperature volatility/HVAC costs, stormwater runoff, air quality, CO2 sequestration, biodiversity, aesthetics. Use data on soil moisture, rainfall, and other meteorological parameters from the Butler green roofs.
Collect baseline data on water clarity, oxygen levels, and organic carbon in Lake Carnegie to determine the effect of gasoline loads on water quality
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
Access research questions (.pdf) on the long-term monitoring and data analysis of the Washington Stream Restoration.
What are the bottled water purchase patterns on campus and what are the most effective way to reduce those purchases?
What is the optimal ratio of sand:clay:silt for campus plant health? What is the optimal ratio of sand:clay:silt for stormwater mitigation?
Monitor and analyze water levels in stormwater retention basins under athletic fields to evaluate their effectiveness in reducing flooding