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Use the campus as a living laboratory for developing global solutions.

Looking for a meaningful project to work on? Want to make lasting change on campus? Contribute to a more sustainable university by helping advance one of the projects in our database. Have an idea for a project or want more people involved? Please email and we'll add it to the database.

Progress Terms:

living lab
1. Idea: Project is in the beginning stages of development. Little to no formal research or documentation has been conducted.
2. Proposal Developed: Formal research and proposal have been generated. Includes methods of implementation, recognition of barriers, and potential calculation of return on investment and emissions savings.
3. Pilot Completed: Project has been implemented on a small-scale or temporary basis for the purpose of data collection and large-scale feasibility testing.
4. Revised and Ready for Implementation: Revisions to the project proposal were completed following the results of pilot test data. Project has passed feasibility testing and is ready to be implemented on campus.
5. Complete: The project has been approved by all parties involved, and a timeline of implementation is set. Some projects may have already been completed before being added to the database.
Faculty Living Lab Examples

Faculty use the campus as a living lab space to educate their students on issues of sustainability. Below are faculty examples across a variety of disciplines reported in our 2015-2016 Academic Survey to inspire further usage of the campus as a living lab.

Usage of Campus as a Living Lab

In Environmental Communication, student teams research and develop communication materials for the SCU Center for Sustainability to influence behavior on a host of issues on campus.

In 2015, students in Dialogue and Deliberation organized a campus dialogue on how the University should conserve water during the California drought and made policy recommendations to the University.

Economics Student teams led a sustainable agriculture simulation in the Forge Garden. Roles included farmers, agriculture lobbyists, and government bodies.
Electrical Engineering

Students studying microgrids used the SCU grid as an example. This also initiated additional thought on the future of the SCU microgrid and the future of microgrids in general.


A student research group used social media to study food and farming. They posted articles, facts, stories, and more related to the topic to get their groups talking about sustainability. This group also featured the Forge Garden frequently and learned a great deal about the produce in the garden.