As part of the
2014 CSU Sustainability Policy, the California State University is tasked with integrating sustainability into the academic curriculum.
To that end, CSU campus faculty have developed courses in which students confront real-world sustainability problems and address the planet’s environmental challenges. One of these is the “Campus as a Living Lab” (CALL) grant program, an outcome of funding from the National Science Foundation.
The CALL initiative set an ambitious goal: to seek interested faculty and facilities operations staff who would work together to incorporate a specific university challenge into the curricula of courses.
Simply put, the program helps to address a sustainability goal while at the same time providing students with an opportunity to work to solve a real-world campus problem. Faculty redesign a course to incorporate student learning and activities that respond to that particular campus’s challenge.
To date, 57 CALL projects have been developed, including two learning communities. Here are some examples:
Students collected data about the ecology around Copeland Creek, which runs through the campus, to help inform future restoration of the area.
This project assessed the feasibility of restoring the Hayward campus using green/food-waste-derived compost and other campus resources.
Students in civil engineering studied how ecologically efficient CSUN’s buildings are and identified ways to make them more efficient.
Theatre and dance students looked at the waste created by theatre set and architectural model construction to make these processes more sustainable.