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 sensors to study whether conference rooms are being underutilized or inefficiently heated, cooled, and lit.

Disciplines: engineering

Use archived data from the Sensor Network Over Princeton (SNOP) project to assess different mitigation strategies of the urban heat island effect.

Disciplines: engineering

Access research questions (.pdf) on the long-term monitoring and data analysis of the Washington Stream Restoration.

Topics: landscape, water
Disciplines: natural sciences

Investigate approaches to stimulating and financing new on- and off-campus renewable energy projects, such as offshore wind power or solar arrays, to aid in the University’s low-carbon planning effort 

Topics: energy
Disciplines: engineering, social sciences

What is the effect of "living walls" on indoor air quality? Use sensors to monitor the indoor air quality in the Office of Sustainability's trailer, comparing the West side (with wall plants) vs East side (no wall plants).

Topics: buildings
Disciplines: engineering, natural sciences

Propose an internal carbon pricing scheme for the University with the aim of shifting institutional and/or individual behaviors. 

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

Research the extent of sustainable practices of University food suppliers to determine benefits associated with their social responsibility and environmental stewardship

Topics: food, purchasing
Disciplines: social sciences

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