Academic Sustainability Program

Students in SUST 5000: Senior Capstone in Sustainability produce a wide variety of outcomes each semester. Some of these have been integrated as functional features within the ASP’s website (such as the Sustainability Map), while others are showcased here. These projects demonstrate the students’ mastery over and real-world application of complex systems-thinking, detailed knowledge, and professional skill sets.

The ASP also provides funding for work by graduate students, contributing to the completion of Masters and Doctoral degrees. Summaries of these projects provided by the grant recipients will be posted here.


Creating a Greener Future: Public education on Auburn University’s stormwater management features

By Logan French, Erin Bryson, & David Mulligan, Fall 2021

Through the use of interpretive signage, Auburn University can label their green infrastructure around campus. This project developed signage for the bioswale in front of Mell and the Foy raingarden, providing passersby with information about the functionality and uniqueness of each green infrastructure. It included research on the Parkerson Mill Creek Watershed Management Plan, the purpose of a bioswale and raingarden, and how to engage the public with educational web design and graphic design for signage. The project’s deliverables also include a virtual map of stormwater management sites on Auburn’s campus, available on our website.

Sensory Garden

By Lila Perry, Lauren Deck, & Kate Marszalek, Fall 2021

Land Acknowledgment: Auburn University and the Morrill Act

By Lily Herbert, Anna Lyle, & Elizabeth Dudle, Fall 2021

This project’s ultimate purpose is to lay the groundwork in order to encourage more upper-level administration dialogue about how necessary land acknowledgement is at Auburn University. Our project focuses on Auburn’s history with the Morrill Act and how our land-grant title is rooted in stolen lands and the displacement of Native Americans; a fact largely unacknowledged by the university. Outputs related to this history, land acknowledgement statements, and potential action plans have been developed for this project and can be accessed throughout this site. We also hope that this project inspires further research in this area on the local level and a statement acknowledging the land that the university sits upon is developed in the near future, potentially by future SUST 5000 students. For more information, see our website.

Green Labs Project

By Camille Colter, Holly Mann, & Hannah Wiesehan, Fall 2021

The Green Labs Project was designed with the intention of promoting more sustainable lab practices on the Auburn campus. To implement these changes, we partnered with a few labs that allowed us to study their inner workings and to build a comprehensive plan. We also contacted AU Waste Reduction and Recycling, Science in Motion, and the Surplus Property on campus, all of which need to be involved in the implementation and management of sustainable practices. We focused on working with local schools, simplifying greener lab practices, and signage, and hope that this project continues to grow in the years to come.

Acknowledging the Past to Change the Future: A Timeline of Lee County’s Racial and Economic Disparities

By Danielle Shelley, Ashley Armas, and Laurie Pisciotta, Spring 2021

The South has a well-known dark past of racial injustice, and Lee County, Alabama (named after Confederate commander Robert E. Lee) is no exception. In fact, although the U.S. Supreme Court declared segregation in schools to be unconstitutional in 1954, the majority of Lee County schools remained segregated up until the 1970s (Lee v. Lee County Board of Education, 1981). While progress has been made, the remains of racial and economic disparity still have a hold on the current climate of Lee County.

The intention of this project was to acknowledge the past yet change the future. To illustrate this in a captivating manner, our team has created an informative timeline on Prezi that portrays the racial past of Lee County, Alabama, and encourages viewers to aid in progress towards harmony.

Online Map of Sustainability Features at Auburn University

By Courtney Eagle, Laine Harrington, Evanthi Hettiaratchi, Andrew Holley, and Matthew Manning, Spring 2021

This map provides images, descriptions, and other information on dozens of physical features of Auburn University’s campus related to sustainability. Each location is also tagged with the relevant United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Check out the map to learn about resources for outdoor wellness, stormwater management sites, LEED-certified buildings, and more.

Food Waste & Recycling Awareness Campaign on Auburn’s Campus

By Hailey Conquest, Alli Record, Rocky Wang, & MP Moore, Spring 2021

The goal of our project was to make Auburn’s students more aware of exactly how much food waste and food-related waste is produced on campus and in specific areas of campus, while also marketing the new sustainable initiatives coming to campus such as the industrial-sized food digester and freight farms. We also hope to educate Auburn students and faculty on how to properly recycle.

Auburn Refuge Project

By Breck Bowen, Cecily Anderson, and Hollen Terry, Spring 2021

To address the decline of human and ecological quality of life within the local community, as well as biodiversity and mental health, the Auburn Refuge Project aims to establish five distinct oases, or “ecological pockets,” in which students, faculty, and Auburn residents may convene or spend time alone to recharge. They would support users’ mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs and make Auburn University’s campus more habitable. Informed by a survey conducted in the fall which found a major correlation between biodiverse spaces and positive mental health, the project re-imagines reclusive monoculture lawn spaces as small, private refuges geared toward sustainable initiatives that shrink the campus’s ecological footprint. It integrates concepts of biophilic design, outdoor rooms, environmental and design psychologies, permaculture, and green infrastructure.

Connect Auburn

By Anna Graben, Emma Rohde, Brannan Cliver, Sammie Brown, and Cassie Atchley

A comprehensive analysis of the City of Auburn’s multi-use trail systems, the factors that have inhibited further development, and recommendations for moving forward.

Last modified: December 9, 2021