Ohio University

Class Projects


Students Staff Faculty Class Projects

Students, faculty and staff each have important roles to play in promoting sustainability at Ohio University. The most effective sustainability change is accomplished when all three collaborate, and by working together, we can reduce waste, increase energy efficiency, encourage sustainable behavior change and make important progress on the path to sustainability.

Class sustainability projects are a way to encourage cooperation among students, faculty and staff while simultaneously encouraging intersectional sustainability implementation at Ohio University. Through these projects, students, faculty and staff team up to pursue projects aimed at helping achieve one or more benchmarks in OHIO's Sustainability Plan.

Students enrolled in ES4832/5832 and other participating courses work with academic and administrative teams across campus to identify sustainable solutions to institutional issues. Previous projects have included work on Zero Waste Athletics, Take Back the Tap and the Real Food Challenge, along with studies to analyze how to reduce post-consumer food waste in dining halls and a cost-benefit analysis of the compost facility, among many others.

Through this effort, our vision is to transform Ohio University into a model institution for sustainability leadership and action.

Our mission is to fulfill the Ohio University Sustainability Plan and Climate Action Plan by empowering students, faculty and staff of different educational and experiential backgrounds to engage in open dialogue, develop strong capacities for leadership, and embed sustainability into every facet of academic, operational, and institutional practices.

A collection of student projects previously done can be found below.


Students can take an active and hands-on role in encouraging environmental, social and economic sustainability at Ohio University by working with faculty and staff members to complete sustainability projects through participating courses. Students have previously worked with staff from Culinary Services, Campus Recycling, Facilities and more.

Students typically work on a project for one semester, although this can be extended depending on the students? interests and the needs of the project. Students can also work individually or with a small group on a project based on its expected scope.

Are you a current student and want to get involved next semester? Sign up to take Sustainability Implementation, or ES 4832/5832, for an opportunity to help create change and improve the campus community.


Staff members are essential in implementing more sustainable practices on campus, which is why we strongly encourage staff at Ohio University to propose sustainability-related projects for students. We want this platform to provide support for sustainability-related, low-budget projects different departments and offices would like to see pursued.

Each project presenter will have the opportunity to work with students enrolled in affiliated courses at OHIO and course instructors to decide which students will work on which project. Once a project "team" is finalized, the staff member acting as project supervisor will oversee the implementation of the project and will be asked to meet with the group member(s) at least three times throughout the semester. The project supervisor will not be responsible for grading the students working on the project.

Are you an academic or administrative unit on campus that is interested in working with student leaders? Propose project ideas to the Office of Sustainability by emailing sustainability@ohio.edu. An ideal project will use the application of sustainability methodologies to solve a problem currently being experienced within your department or office.


Sustainability projects are great ways for students to practice hands-on application of various skills they learn in the classroom, from marketing to design to conducting studies to finance. Additionally, they have the opportunity through this program to learn about working within a professional setting and a university system. When supplemented by in-class development, these sustainability projects can help both students and the university grow.

Because sustainability has many dimensions, we look forward to working with a wide variety of courses and departments. The project supervisors (staff members who work with the students on their projects) will oversee the implementation and progress of the projects, while teachers are asked to help assign students projects (in cooperation with the students and staff) and develop and implement a way to grade students on their work.

In Spring 2016, students in a Sustainability Marketing course worked on various institutional projects. Here is a video showcasing their work:

If you would like to further explore how to incorporate sustainability projects into your courses, please email sustainability@ohio.edu or call our office at 740-593-0460.