A laboratory exercise for
an introductory environmental course was developed to gather environmental
data on academic buildings while providing service learning opportunities
for students. This project was valuable both as an assessment tool
for the University as well as a practical exercise for the students.
The information gathered was intended to
provide baseline data for a monitoring program on campus focusing on building
occupants’ actions with respect to energy conservation and waste reduction.
The variables chosen for evaluation were selected not only for usefulness
of the findings but also for the ease of data collection by untrained undergraduate
This exercise also involved students in
issues on their own campus and most students reported a heightened awareness
to lights being left in and the need for improved recycling as a result.
The data collected could then be used by the University to guide future
programs to reduce energy use, waste and expenses.
During this first year of implementation
we experienced problems with data consistency, and were unable to draw
statistically significant conclusions from the data gathered and therefore
the data was not used to establish a baseline as intended. However,
the project was still a valuable learning experience for the students.
Since then the design has been altered to avoid some of the problems we