Living Labs

 

In keeping with AASHE STARS criteria, Cal Poly proudly promotes CALL, or Campus As a Living Lab, to encourage students to participate in projects related to sustainability on campus. Whether it is teaching students in theater classes how to use materials that can be upcycled or having an engineering class assess monthly energy and water data for campus, Cal Poly has a robust portfolio of sustainability-related CALL projects. Living Lab projects can belong to one or more of the following categories:

Air and Climate Water Buildings
Energy Coordination and Planning

Diversity and Affordability

Food and Dining Grounds Investment and Finance
Public Engagement Purchasing Wellbeing and Work
Transportation Waste Other (arts, culture, etc)

You can find more information about Campus As a Living Lab at the STARS website here. If you want to see information about CALL at Cal Poly, you can view our STARS report here. Below is a listing of many of Cal Poly's CALL projects. If you believe you have a project that is not listed but may qualify, you can fill out the form here to have your project added to the portfolio.

 

 


CAFES


     

Cal Poly Organic Farm

Swanton Pacific Ranch Summer Internship Program

Agroecology Learning Garden

Cal Poly Organic Farm

Associated Professor: Ashraf Tubeileh
Department: Horticulture and Crop Science
CALL type: Food and Dining
Submitted by: Hunter Francis

The Cal Poly Organic Farm is a nine-acre production unit on the campus farm that offers students a place to experience hands-on learning in organic and sustainable farming and gardening practices. Since 2000, it has been home to an array of classes and projects for students interested in agro-ecological approaches to growing food. Current vegetable production...
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Swanton Pacific Ranch Summer Internship Program

Associated Professor: Grey Hayes
Department: Swanton Pacific Ranch
CALL type: Other
Submitted by: Grey Hayes

Our summer interns complete 'career projects' centered on a better scientific understanding of how Swanton Pacific Ranch can improve the sustainability of its crops, livestock, and forest production while better caring for water quality, greenhouse gases, soil health, and conservation of biological diversity. Student interns accomplish hands-on learning in various disciplines...
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Agroecology Learning Garden

Associated Professor: Nicholas Babin
Department: Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sciences
CALL type: Air and Climate; Energy; Food and Dining; Grounds; Water; Public Engagement
Submitted by: Nicholas Babin

The Agroecology Learning Garden is located at the Cal Poly Student Experimental Farm. The goal of the garden is to support student and faculty research and teaching related to agroecology and sustainable food systems. The garden is comprised of 27 raised experimental beds, pollinator hedgerows, a storage shed, and an outdoor classroom with seating for 32 students...
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Student Experimental Farm

Evaluating vegetable intercropping systems at the Student Experimental Farm

Associated Professor: Nicholas Babin
Department: Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sciences
CALL type: Energy; Food and Dining
Submitted by: Hunter Francis

The Student Experimental Farm (SEF) is a unique campus resource perched on a hill next to the Compost Unit with a panoramic view of Cal Poly. It is home to an array of interdisciplinary projects focused on sustainable agriculture, permaculture, alternative energy and appropriate technology. Staff at the SEF facilitate academic, research, club and other student activities...
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CAED


     

Architecture Technology Fundamentals and the Student Experience

Cave Studio Site Specific Public Benches

Architecture Technology Fundamentals and the Student Experience

Associated Professor: Carmen Trudell
Department: Architecture
CALL type: Air and Climate; Buildings; Energy; Grounds; Water; Wellbeing and Work
Submitted by: Carmen Trudell

Over a three-course sequence, all second year architecture students engage directly with study of the campus, both for sustainability related and non-sustainability related inquiries. In fall quarter, ARCH 241, when studying daylighting, students use light meters to measure illuminance in the design studios and produce graphics displaying light...
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Cave Studio Site Specific Public Benches

Associated Professor: Jonathan Reich
Department: Architecture
CALL type: Buildings; Grounds; Diversity and Affordability; Public Engagement; Other
Submitted by: Jonathan Reich

Site-specific public benches designed and built by Architecture Professor Jonathan Reich's 4th-year architecture design studio called "Cave Studio." Benches are fixed and added to public sites that are leftover, in-between, under-utilized and available. The benches bring to life the latent potential of such leftover spaces and turn them into vital...
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CENG


     

Sustainable Research Lab Alternatives

Teaching renewable energy in ENVE 480 using Cal Poly Facilities

Water-Energy Sustainability Training Team (WESTT)

Sustainable Research Lab Alternatives

Associated Professor: Kristen Cardinal
Department: Biomedical Engineering
CALL type: Waste
Submitted by: Ben Goodwin

My project was focusing on the amount of waste produced in research labs around the world. While working in Dr. Kristen Cardinal's Tissue Engineering lab for the past year alone I've noticed how much plastic waste is produced since everything in the lab has to remain sterile in order to perform the cell setups. Each pipette tip, sample tray...
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Teaching renewable energy in ENVE 480 using Cal Poly Facilities

Associated Professor: Yarrow Nelson
Department: Civil and Environmental Engineering
CALL type: Air and Climate; Buildings; Energy
Submitted by: Yarrow Nelson

As part of our renewable energy labs in ENVE 480, students organize and lead class field trips to campus facilities, such as the Cal Poly Solar Farm, The Cal Poly Wind Energy station, the Cal Poly dairy waste lagoons, Poly Canyon Village cogeneration facility and an anaerobic digestor we set up at the Experimental Farm. Students collect data from...
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Water-Energy Sustainability Training Team (WESTT)

Associated Professor: Tryg Lundquist
Department: Civil and Environmental Engineering
CALL type: Air and Climate; Energy; Waste; Water; Coordination and Planning; Diversity and Affordability; Public Engagement
Submitted by: Tryg Lundquist

WESTT conducts research, education, and planning projects related to water and energy, particularly wastewater recycling and biofuels. We have collaborated with Facilities and Agriculture Operations on wastewater treatment and biogas energy topics. We host 50 students per quarter participating in hands-on research.

Cal Poly Food Pantry Community Garden

Stormwater sustainability of planned or recently completed building(s)

Building Energy Performance Audits

Cal Poly Food Pantry Community Garden

Associated Professor: Gregg Fiegel
Department: University Honors Program
CALL type: Food and Dining; Wellbeing and Work
Submitted by: Gregg Fiegel

The Food Pantry Community Garden project was conceived and implemented by Campus Health and Wellbeing, Facilities, and the University Honors Program. Students working on this project are able to apply horticultural principles in planning and managing outdoor food-producing gardens, explain best practices related to sustainable gardening and organic...
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Stormwater sustainability of planned or recently completed building(s)

Associated Professor: Misgana Muleta
Department: Civil and Environmental
CALL type: Water
Submitted by: Misgana Muleta

As part of a graduate course, students are asked to design a sustainable stormwater management solutions for a site of their choice. Every year, several groups select planned or recently completed building(s) on campus, and design/analyse stormwater sustainability of the project.
Building Energy Performance Audits

Associated Professor: Jennifer Mott Peuker
Department: Mechanical Engineering
CALL type: Buildings; Energy
Submitted by: Jennifer Mott

The course project is doing a ASHRAE Level 1 Building Audit. As part of the audit, the monthly energy usage (electricity, hot and cold water for heating and cooling) is analyzed for a building on campus. Students tour the building, including the mechanical rooms and take measurements to confirm thermal comfort. The final report includes suggestions...
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Campus Waste Audit

Psychological Effects on Thermal Comfort in Educational Settings

Campus Waste Audit

Associated Professor: Amro El Badawy
Department: Civil and Environmental Engineering
CALL type: Waste
Submitted by: Amro El Badawy

I am the advisor of the Zero Waste Club. The club did a waste audit on February 2020 for campus facilities to quantify contamination in recycling bins. The audit focused on dormitory waste and seeing what overall is being thrown out at the dorms and how much of it is contaminated with items that could have been diverted...
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Psychological Effects on Thermal Comfort in Educational Settings

Associated Professor: Jennifer Mott Peuker
Department: Mechanical Engineering
CALL type: Buildings; Energy; Wellbeing and Work
Submitted by: Jennifer Mott

We are developing an app that can be used to log people's thermal comfort in classroom on campus. We will use the data and the app to learn about and then influence people's perceptions of thermal comfort. The goal is to also help improve student performance by identifying locations on campus that are particularly uncomfortable and work with...
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CLA


     

Testing Campus Blue Light App

Reducing waste through the use of reusable mugs at Cal POly

Campus Sustainability Discourse and Waste Management

Testing Campus Blue Light App

Associated Professor: Benjamin Funston-Timms
Department: Social Sciences
CALL type: Diversity and Affordability; Other
Submitted by: Benjamin Funston-Timms

Students were able to Beta test a new GIS App on how best to place safety Blue Lights on campus taking into account building footprints and lines of sight for blue lights. It was a success and presented to our Dean's council meeting. Here are the specifics: Opportunity for several Cal Poly GIS students to help test and refine a prototype...
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Reducing waste through the use of reusable mugs at Cal POly

Associated Professor: Ryan Alaniz
Department: Social Sciences
CALL type: Air and Climate; Food and Dining; Waste; Public Engagement
Submitted by: Ryan Alaniz

Students ran a campaign at Kennedy Library to end single use plastics. Please contact Carlin Hardy (CP student) for details.
Campus Sustainability Discourse and Waste Management

Associated Professor: Jason Peters
Department: English
CALL type: Waste
Submitted by: Jason Peters

Students use Social Life Cycle Assessment, a research methodology developed by the UN Environment Program, to study the social dimensions of implementing sustainable waste management practices on campus. They write three report genres outlined in the 2009 UNEP "Guidelines for Social Life Cycle Assessment of Products." Their research and writing...
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Campus Recycling and Waste Container Locational Analysis

Campus Recycling and Waste Container Locational Analysis

Associated Professor: Benjamin Funston-Timms
Department: Social Sciences
CALL type: Waste
Submitted by: Benjamin Funston-Timms

Students used Global Positioning Systems and Geographic Information Systems to track usage of waste receptacles for waste and recycling by sampling usage of them and mapping them out with usage to find best locations that are most utilized. Informed facilities about best locations, and those that are underutilized.

COSAM


     

Collaborative Global Sustainability Development

Solar-Powered Refrigeration and Cooling Systems

Collaborative Global Sustainability Development

Associated Professor: Peter Schwartz
Department: Physics
CALL type: Air and Climate; Buildings; Energy; Food and Dining; Purchasing; Transportation; Waste; Water; Coordination and Planning; Other
Submitted by: Peter Schwartz

We work mostly on improved cooking / electricity access for the global poor. However, everything is studied in our lives and interactions with others.
Solar-Powered Refrigeration and Cooling Systems

Associated Professor: Nathan Heston
Department: Physics
CALL type: Air and Climate; Buildings; Energy; Food and Dining; Waste
Submitted by: Nathan Heston

Together with my students and collaborators from SunDanzer, I conduct research on solar powered refrigeration, cooling, and ice production systems. In 2019 we built a solar power ice-production and water purification system in the remote fishing village of Agbokpa, Ghana and we have continued collaborative work with Ashesi University in Ghana. This...
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