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 robot to detect water or energy leakages in buildings

Topics: energy, water
Disciplines: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Robotics

Develop a tool to help visualize interactions between complex campus systems, e.g. energy and water use, transportation and storm water runoff, purchasing and waste, etc.

Disciplines: Anthropology, Computer Science, Environmental Studies, Psychology, Sociology, Theatre

Build on a past light pollution study of campus to suggest improvements in campus lighting design to minimize disruption for wildlife and create more dark sky areas.

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

Conduct a comprehensive sustainability audit of the Rescue Mission in Trenton.

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

Conduct a before-and-after study of renovations to the Frist Gallery food waste disposal area. Test whether upgrades to the area (tentatively planned for March 2019) result in less contamination of the compost or recycling streams, ease of access of the new system, or other variables.

Topics: food, water
Disciplines: Anthropology, Art & Archeology, Computer Science, Environmental Studies, Geosciences, Psychology, Robotics, Sociology

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

Apply research methods examining molecular mechanisms of efficient photosynthesis to the Princeton Vertical Farming Project.

Topics: food
Disciplines: Molecular Biology

Design an app that tells users whether or not a certain item is recyclable in a given location (e.g., some types of plastic are recyclable on campus but not in the Municipality of Princeton).

Topics: waste reduction
Disciplines: Computer Science, Environmental Studies

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