Students in SUST 5000, Senior Capstone in Sustainability, produce important student projects each semester. Through interdisciplinary groups, the students work with a real community partner to develop solutions to real-world sustainability problems. These projects demonstrate the students’ mastery over the real-world application of complex systems-thinking, detailed knowledge and professional skills.
Changes to the Auburn University Campus Master Plan
This project integrates sustainability into the Master Plan with guiding principles, proposed themes and other recommendations.
This project encourages a greener environment in Auburn University labs by providing information on what items can be recycled, repurposed or donated.
This project proposes the creation of pocket parks in underutilized outdoor spaces at Auburn for the individual, community and environment.
Planting it Forward
This project assesses local food sourcing and plant-based dining food options at Auburn University dining halls.
Mapping Bike Networks and LEED Buildings
This project assesses connectivity from campus to the community to enhance the bike network and complete streets around campus.
This project contributes to the education, service and advocacy efforts of Period, a national coalition of members committed to the eradication of period poverty and the stigma that surrounds it.
Interpretive Design in the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center
This project proposes interpretive signage at the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center.
The Freezer Challenge
This project aims to optimize sustainability of freezer management in laboratories at Auburn University.
Examples of Student Projects
Creating a Greener Future: Public education on Auburn University’s stormwater management features
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 the green infrastructure. The project 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.
The Auburn University Sensory Garden project promotes a high quality and connected system of open spaces designed to improve the appearance of the campus and provide a pleasant context for campus life. The project resulted in a design for a sensory garden in front of Foy Hall on Auburn’s campus.
Land Acknowledgment: Auburn University and the Morrill Act
This project lays the groundwork 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. The project outputs are land acknowledgement statements and an action plan.
Green Labs Project
The Green Labs Project promotes more sustainable lab practices at Auburn. The project partnered with a few labs that allowed students to study their inner workings and to build a comprehensive plan. The students also worked with 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. The project focused on working with local schools, simplifying greener lab practices and signage.
Acknowledging the Past to Change the Future: A Timeline of Lee County’s Racial and Economic Disparities
The South has a well-known past of racial injustice, and Lee County, Alabama, is no exception. While progress has been made, the remains of racial and economic disparity have a hold on the current climate of Lee County. The intention of this project was to acknowledge the past yet change the future. The project's informative timeline portrays the racial past of Lee County, Alabama, and encourages viewers to aid in progress toward harmony.
Auburn University Sustainability Map
This project created a map with images, descriptions and other information about 41 physical features of Auburn University’s campus related to sustainability. Each location is tagged with the relevant United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The map contains resources for outdoor wellness, stormwater management sites, LEED-certified buildings and more.
Food Waste & Recycling Awareness Campaign on Auburn’s Campus
This project raises awareness among Auburn’s students of 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.
Auburn Refuge Project
To address the decline of human and ecological quality of life, 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. The project was informed by a survey, 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.
This project comprehensively analyzes the City of Auburn’s multi-use trail systems, the factors that have inhibited further development and recommendations for moving forward. The project aims to identify what is preventing trail and greenway development, propose alternate funding sources for greenways and trails, advocate for the prioritization of trail and greenway development, and engage the Auburn Community in advocating for trails and greenways.