Research Opportunities

Students interested in conducting sustainability research can apply for academic year and summer research funding. Boatwright Library’s Sustainability LibGuide features recommended readings as well as specific books and articles and is a great resource for anyone working on sustainability research. The annual School of Arts & Science Symposium also supports and encourages sustainability research through the A & S Symposium Student Sustainability Award program at the end of each spring semester.


Campus as a Living Lab

Campus as a Living Lab engages students, staff, and faculty in utilizing campus (e.g., infrastructure, policies, and operations) for applied learning, research, and projects in sustainability. Through partnership between staff and faculty or students, the Living Lab program encourages innovative problem-solving for campus-based challenges and research in sustainability.

Multiple “living lab” projects - which involve faculty, staff, and students in a collaborative venture that helps solve a problem, answer a question, or meet a University sustainability goal – happen every year. Research into best practices in electronic waste management, audits on recycling rates, and analysis of our campus food system have all led to ideas to improve campus practices.


Types of Living Lab Projects

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  • Match Making Projects
    The Targeted Approach for Living Lab projects involves the Office for Sustainability staff pairing specific faculty working on certain issues with certain challenges
  • Faculty-Driven Projects
    Many faculty across the campus utilize the campus as a living laboratory for sustainability in their teaching and research. Many of these applied Campus as a Living Lab projects also support the requirements of AASHE’s STARS Report. More information on some of these projects can be found here.
  • Emerging and New Ideas
    Interested in submitting an idea for a living lab project on campus? Email Daniel Hart at


Criteria for Living Lab Projects

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  • Partnership
    Must have an academic and operational (or administrative) partnership.
  • Place Based
    The scope of the project must take place on campus.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Learning outcomes of the project must be clearly stated.
  • Measurable Outcomes
    Measurable outcomes should be either quantitative or qualitative in relation to
    campus improvement, social change, or academic inquiry.
  • Findings
    A summation of the findings should be produced either as an executive summary,
    report, paper, video, storyboard, poster, or graphic visualization.
  • Implementation
    Living Lab projects can be conceptual and theoretical, but priority is given to
    implementable projects.

Faculty Involved in Sustainability Research


Faculty from 20 different departments have been involved in sustainability research. These
faculty members include:

Jeremy Drummond (Art)
Erling Sjovold (Art)
Emily Boone (Biology)
Jory Brinkerhoff (Biology)
Kristine Grayson (Biology)
Rafael de Sa (Biology)
Jennifer Sevin (Biology)
Peter Smallwood (Biology)
Amy Treonis (Biology)
Carrie Wu (Biology)
Christopher Stevenson (Chemistry)
Erik Craft (Economics)
Tim Hamilton (Economics)
Patricia Stohr-Hunt (Education)
Julietta Singh (English)
Mary Finley-Brook (Geography)
Todd Lookingbill (Geography)
David Salisbury (Geography)
Danielle Stokes (Law)