During the spring 2014 semester, the ENVS 187 Campus Sustainability course focused on key operational aspects of campus sustainability using our own campus as a case study. This Service-Learning course was co-taught by Tarah Rowse and Elizabeth Palchak with Gioia Thompson as the lead instructor.
Previous classes explored campus operations through the lens of the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS), a framework of the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). After an overview of sustainability in academics, culture, and policy across the campus system, the class learned through guest lectures, class field trips, readings, and projects about nine campus operation themes: buildings, climate, dining services, energy, grounds, purchasing, transportation, waste, and water. The class assessed the current state of each operational aspect and identified best management practices within each theme. The final presentation to university officials and managers reported UVM's STARS results and best practices for further action.