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FAQ Sustainability Project Laboratory

What is the Sustainability Project Laboratory (SPL)? The Sustainability Project Laboratory (SPL) is a database of sustainability-related project proposals.  The goal is to create projects and project ideas that can be adopted by faculty, staff, and students. The time and effort required for each project is varied: some projects are suitable as a lesson or short experiential learning project intended to be assimilated into a course, some projects are semester or year length and are appropriate for a course or student project (e.g., senior design or honors thesis), lastly some projects are longer and more involved and would be best suited for graduate theses. Each project will at minimum have a brief description and contact information.  
Who can use the SPL?

1) Faculty interested in incorporating sustainability-related, multi-disciplinary, outcomes-based projects into their courses.

2) Graduate students seeking a sustainability-related topic for a thesis or dissertation.

3) Undergraduates seeking a sustainability-related capstone, community service, or honor thesis project.

4) Staff  or community members needing student assistance with a sustainability-related initiative.

What learning outcomes are expected?

All projects align with goals in the Ohio University Sustainability and Climate Action Plan, the OHIO Common Goals Learning Outcomes (particularly Critical Thinking, Teamwork Skills and Integrative Learning), and Strategic University Initiatives, such as:

  • Enhance and increase momentum towards sustainability goals and commitments.
  • Provide additional opportunities for students to engage with faculty and academic programs across campuses as well as with local communities where campuses and centers are located.
  • Embed innovative opportunities for high-impact practices, linked co-curricular experiential learning, and evidence-based pedagogies.
  • Increase applied research to inform the development of vibrant communities, leveraging expertise and scholarly activity that address challenges of our region.
  • Leverage strong undergraduate research activity and the OHIO Honors program to become a national leader in engaged undergraduate research focused on building and enhancing community success.
  • Develop and adopt innovative student success intervention and programming that reflect the differing needs and goals of many student populations.
  • Deploy comprehensive marketing strategy to reflect needs and expectations of target audiences.
  • With a Digital Transformation University in mind, rethink how space should be deployed to meet the needs of a dynamic institution.
What requirements must be met? Projects require engagement of stakeholders for data collection and analysis of potential solutions including impacts on the sustainability triple bottom line of people, planet and prosperity.  Project teams should recommend solutions, and pitch their recommendations to stakeholders at the conclusion of the project.
How can I get involved?

Propose a sustainability project whose outcome will be a simultaneous benefit to people, planet and prosperity.

Request a sustainability project for an Ohio University course.

Is there funding and support available?

Coming soon! Contact Elaine Goetz ( for information, or so suggest potential funding sources.

Funding sources: 

  1. Experiential learning award


Please contact Elaine Goetz ( for further information.