The UA Community and School Garden Program hired a Graduate Research Assistant to develop and conduct a systematic assessment of the Garden Program’s impact on community participants and UA interns. Participating interns observed and evaluated their peers in consultation with each other, the graduate assistant, and faculty instructors. The quantifiable data this system produces hopes to secure outside funding from the likes of the National Science Foundation and the William T.
Through the UA Community and School Garden Program, UA interns use garden-based lessons to help K-12 students understand abstract ideas like the carbon cycle and photosynthesis, and larger topics ranging from nutrition to food security and social justice. In the summer of 2013 eight interns attended a sustainability-in-education summer institute in New York.
A new solar-powered high tunnel greenhouse examines the nexus of resource use and sustainable food production strategies in hot, arid climates or challenged regions where access to food production resources may be limited.
Students and employees in Parking and Transportation Services noticed that the energy from 2nd Street Garage solar panels was being used to fuel inefficient light bulbs. In the summer of 2011, students and employees tested 15-Watt and 18-Watt LED light bulbs in the garage, but noticed that summer temperatures were causing many of the LED lights to fail.
The UA Campus Arboretum consists of 7,810 mature trees spread across 387 acres. Using i-Trees software, which accounts for the location, species, size, and age of each tree, students are assessing the value of campus trees both in economic terms—maintenance expenses and energy cost savings—as well as environmental—atmospheric carbon reduction and air quality benefits.
The SolarCats club very first mission was to get photovoltaic solar panels on their PSP residence hall. After nearly 3 years of research and more research, presenting for funding, and waiting for installation, the 44 photovoltaic solar panels were finally installed atop the PSP roof in September 2011. This marked the culmination of the club's original project and the beginning of the club's exploration into new projects involving solar energy at the University of Arizona.