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.

Incorporate mitigation efforts (e.g. how Frick uses much less energy than a traditional lab building) on the campus energy Heatmap.

Topics: energy, buildings
Disciplines: engineering

Conduct ethnographic studies of faculty experiences with sustainability on campus

Disciplines: humanities and arts, 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

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

Investigate the CO2 storage capacity of campus trees and impervious surfaces using LiDAR.

Topics: landscape
Disciplines: natural sciences

Study the life cycle costing of common campus building materials (stone, metal, etc.), energy technologies, and labor analysis and establish recommendations.

Disciplines: engineering, social sciences

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.

Disciplines: engineering, natural sciences, social sciences

What is the difference between the quality of harvested rainwater compared to domestic water? Are the impacts on plants of each different over time?

Topics: landscape, water
Disciplines: natural sciences

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