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.

Design a robot that reduces contamination in campus recycling by removing common non-recyclable items from recycling bins, or uses machine learning to prompt individuals about the appropriate bin (compost, recycling, or trash) to use.

Topics: waste reduction
Disciplines: Computer Science, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Robotics

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

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

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

Topics: energy, landscape
Disciplines: Anthropology

Design prototype energy storage and generation devices that can be deployed on campus to enhance our microgrid.

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

How can art, literature, theatre, and/or film inspire sustainable behavior change and an ethos of sustainability in ways that science alone cannot?

Disciplines: Anthropology, Art & Archeology, English, Environmental Studies, Psychology, Religion, Sociology, Theatre

Which interventions are most effective at reducing contamination in the recycling stream?

Topics: waste reduction
Disciplines: Psychology

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

Topics: landscape
Disciplines: Chemistry, Molecular Biology