Background and scope
Student research fellowships provide an opportunity for students of any discipline to participate in furthering sustainability efforts by researching existing practices and uses of resources on or around the PLU campus and examine best practices on other campuses and facilities in the local area. They will also investigate and propose strategies and solutions to address improvements to sustainability practices on our campus. These Fellows will then report their results back to the PLU community, contributing directly to our University-wide conversation and commitment towards sustainability at PLU.
Fellowship topics can be from any area of sustainability at PLU – water, energy, food, landscape, and shelter – and have often intersected with diversity and justice issues. Projects align both with student interests and provide useful contributions towards a more sustainable PLU.
Students interested in applying should view the fellowship application and begin speaking with potential mentors. Questions should be directed to the chair of the Sustainability Committee, Tarka Wilcox (firstname.lastname@example.org).
2016-2017 Sustainability Fellows
``Carbon Emissions and the Evolution of Meat Consumption at PLU``
How has meat consumption in PLU on-campus dining changed in the past five fiscal years? Rainey Aberle studies our carbon emission reports, calculates consumption, and investigates the student body response to recent sustainable efforts in food options.
``Biking to the Future``
How can biking become a bigger part of the PLU experience? Reza Refaei develops educational workshops, compares PLU’s biking culture to those of other universities, and devises plans to ensure the longevity of PLU’s Bike Co-op.
2015-2016 Sustainability Fellows
“How Can PLU Students Be More Involved in Parkland Food Justice?”
My research sought to better understand the relationship between PLU students, the Parkland community, and Food Justice, based on three engagement components: community gardening, food reclamation, and on-campus gleaning. Site visits and interviews were conducted with numerous gardens and community programs in Tacoma, Seattle, and Olympia, in addition to participant-observation in gardening programs to better understand and document the student volunteer experience.
``What can we do to further sustainability efforts in unique and innovative ways? How can we offer new, inspiring resources for environmentally conscious thought and action? What will excite and engage our community toward the creation of positive and lasting change for the health of the earth?``
These questions got me thinking about what a “resource” for sustainability could mean. I posed the idea that our greatest resource for sustainability is ourselves—the ways we see and value the world, and thus the ways we decide to take action to care for it. I proposed a sustainability outreach campaign, explicitly designed for all students, faculty, staff, and alumni, to think about the intersections of their individual visions and environmental needs. This outreach campaign, through creation of a brand website, posters, and other promotional materials, would inspire campus community members to creatively engage in thought and discourse around sustainability, to transcend disciplinary boundaries, and to apply imaginative thinking in their academic journeys, careers, and life goals.
Past Sustainability Fellows and Projects
Steelquist, Emily – 2015-2016. Unearthing Parkland: PLU Involvement in Food Justice, with Appendix and Presentation Youtube Video
Scott, Amy – 2014-2015. The PLU Sustainability Map.
Smith, Bailey – 2014-2015. From Food to Compost: An examination of food waste at Pacific Lutheran University.
Sadler, Jessica – 2013-2014. Fairtrade/Shade Grown Coffee purchasing for PLU.
Rafaei, Saiyare – 2012-2013. Carbon emissions and meat consumption.
Stancil, Kenny – 2012-2013. Examining irrigation practices and rainwater usage.
Wilson, Tyler – 2012-2013. Restoration of the Morken Meadow.
Hylander, Carrie – 2011-2012. Food Justice.
Jackson, Caitlyn – 2011-2012. The Sustainability of Sustainability.
Rousseau, Brett – 2011-2012. Investigating the Role of Sustainability in the Curriculum.
Siroky, Karly and Carissa Davidson – 2010-2011. A green welcome to PLU.
Straus, Emma – 2010-2011. Public Transit Access at PLU.
Stromberg, Josh – 2010-2011. A Bike Coop Business Plan.
Bucholtz, Lauren – 2009-2010. Promoting Can the Can.
Krzmarzick, Becca – 2009-2010. STARS: Sustainability, tracking, assessment, & rating system.
Pfaff, Eric – 2009-2010. Bike Coop proposal.
Power-Drutis, Tamara – 2008-2009. The softer side of sustainability: community based education, leadership, and action at Pacific Lutheran University.
Esbjornson, Rachel – 2006-2007. Focus on food: PLU’s sustainable foods movement.
Fontana, Kate – 2006-2007. Common ground: proposal for an organic community garden at Pacific Lutheran university.
Stark, Michelle – 2004-2005. The Bresemann Forest and its Urban Environment.
Henson, Michael – 2003-2004. Sustainable Street Renovation Project at Pacific Lutheran University.