Transform UW’s campuses into living laboratories for sustainability research by integrating academic, and research areas of interest with operational targets and sustainability actions thereby providing opportunities for all UW members to collaborate on innovative strategies to address some of the most urgent challenges at different scales. This action entails expanding our work beyond the walls of academia, across local, regional and global scales; viewing our campuses and the surrounding communities as living laboratories that provide rich opportunities for action-oriented research, community-engaged scholarship, service learning, and inter-community collaborations to address the complexities of sustainability challenges in a responsive and equitable way. Through this action, UW will deliver more sustainable communities, students fluent in climate justice, sustainability, and resiliency.
Steps we will take in FY 2021
Identify and promote opportunities in which UW researchers and students can create and participate in projects that engage UW Facilities and central administration units to transform the campuses and reduce the operations environmental footprint.
Promote existing tools, trainings, and internal funding to promote culturally responsible forms of research and engagement and appropriate interactions with non-UW members.
Seek opportunities for meaningful forms of engagement and research with local, regional, and global communities to address environmental challenges.
UW Sustainability, Population Health Initiative, Campus Sustainability Fund, EarthLab
Statuses and linkages
This is intricately tied to Target II. These could be overseen by the positions suggested for the UW-Wide Sustainability Definition Task Force and coordination with existing efforts at Population Health, EarthLab, Urban@UW, ChangE, and UW Tacoma and UW Bothell centers.
Additional financing needed in FY 2021.
- Use revolving funds from any savings in operations linked to the decarbonization program.
- Create a special endowment or fund coming from donations.
- Identify and strengthen existing sources of funding for research (EarthLab’s Innovation Grants, Population Health Initiative pilot research grants, Campus Sustainability Fund).
- Work with UW Advancement for identifying donor funding.
The first year will develop a process for gathering input from across our campuses and piloting collaboration projects between academic research and campus operations. Quantitative and qualitative data will assess the following:
Representation of faculty and staff from Seattle, Bothell, Tacoma campuses.
Representation of diverse co-curricular groups and RSOs from Seattle, Bothell, Tacoma campuses.
Qualitative impact of pilot project(s) with campus operations for faculty research.
UW has already earned the maximum points available in the relevant STARS credits AC-8 Campus as a Living Laboratory and EN-10 Community Partnerships. This Action can gain points in STARS credits AC-9 Research & Scholarship where UW shows a point gap of 3.97 and EN-13 Community Service where UW shows a point gap of 3.77.