Sustainability Action Research

An Institutional Guideline for Ecologically Sound and Aesthetic Landscaping

The Biodiversity and Landscaping Team is a group dedicated to enhancing the ecology of the UCLA campus. We believe that being ecologically sound and aesthetically pleasing are not mutually exclusive. UCLA was once a biodiversity hotspot along with the rest of the LA Basin. With our project, we hope to formulate a policy that the university can implement that...

Assessing Impacts of Education on Food Waste Behaviors at UCLA Dining Halls

Our sustainability project is motivated by the belief that students’ lack of awareness on food waste is a major driver of excessive food waste at UCLA. Our stakeholder, Charles Wilcots, wants us to address this issue by furthering the research of previous SAR teams while still making our research differentiable and unique. Thus, our team...

Assessment and Revitalization of the Boneyard at Sage Hill for Mixed Use Purposes

The Boneyard at Sagehill The Urban Nature Laboratory team will be focusing on three main objectives this year. Firstly, we will be conducting research and reaching out to other institutions and facilities to develop improvement and management strategies for the Sagehill/Boneyard site. Secondly, we will conduct surveys and interviews of targeted faculty members, staff, and students to gauge how...

Diverting Landfill Waste in UCLA’s Graduate Housing

By building on past student research, we hope to perfect a waste diversion program implemented in Spring of 2017 at two of UCLA’s graduate housing apartment complexes. We are focused on improving the infrastructure currently in place as well as fostering a healthy relationship with residents of the buildings we are working in. Through in-person site visits and...

Enhancing the feasibility of Zero Waste Practices at UCLA Recreation Events

Our project’s goal is to make Zero Waste events achievable for all sides involved in event planning. To accomplish this goal, we plan to create a Zero Waste Event guideline system that uses Green incentives, clear & precise criteria, and a centralized communication network. This guideline system would be catered toward the nature of the event. As a group,...

Evaluating Sustainable Cleaning Products Purchased by UCLA Facilities Management

The 2018 SAR Sustainable Purchasing team will evaluate new green cleaning products to replace the cleaning products currently used by UCLA Facilities Management. We will research the effectiveness and safety of these products by researching online databases and conducting our own tests. From those results, we will analyze which green products are most sustainable, safe, and cost-effective, and recommend...

Implementing Sustainable Supply Chain Initiatives Within UCLA Health

UCLA Health has committed long-term to providing high-quality health care while protecting the health of the environment as well. A few of its current sustainability goals include diverting 50% of total waste by 2020, achieving a carbon-neutral system by 2025, and attaining LEED Silver certification for all new buildings. To help further UCLA Health’s sustainability...

Assessment of Food Waste Behaviors in UCLA Residential Restaurants

Our team wants to decrease food waste in UCLA dining establishments by educating students and staff on current food waste issues on campus and how to change current food waste levels. Our motive for doing so is to try to change the mindset regarding food waste with the main issue being that it is on...

Developing an Attainment Model for LEED Re-certification at Pauley Pavilion.

It is estimated that people spend nearly 90% of their time in buildings, so indoor environmental quality profoundly impacts human health. Maximizing the safety, livability, and sustainability of a space is essential in maintaining an exceptional public venue, which is our team’s goal for Pauley Pavilion, UCLA’s on-campus arena. Using the LEED (Leadership in Energy...

Diverting Landfill Waste in Graduate Housing Communities

This year, Sustainability Action Research’s Graduate Housing Team has set out to accomplish a variety of ambitious goals in a branch of UCLA housing that hasn’t traditionally been associated with progressive environmental policies. As the newest SAR team and with the additional challenge of few previous attempts to address issues of sustainability in Graduate Housing,...

Enhancing Institutional Resilience through Sustainable Water Planning.

The objective of our team is to implement a rainwater capture system on UCLA’s campus. The purpose of the capture system is threefold: 1) to capture rainwater for irrigation reuse purposes to contribute to water conservation on UCLA’s campus, 2) to provide a template for future similar projects on campus, and 3) to educate staff,...

Biodiversity at Sage Hill

2016’s Biodiversity Action Research Team conducted research at Sage Hill on the UCLA campus. The team studied proof of concept for best methods of restoration. The project looked into the ways certain assemblages of native flora affected abiotic environment and invertebrate diversity. The team’s goal was to create a space on Sage Hill on the that...

Environmentally Preferred Purchasing

The current UC procurement guidelines are vague with respect to sustainability, which is not conducive to sustainable purchasing. The 2016 Housing Team evaluated current procurement practices in the UCLA Housing & Hospitality Services and research sustainable office supplies that are available through the BruinBuy system. The team made recommendations to UCLA H&HS in order to...

Green Spaces & Buildings

The Green Spaces & Buildings team approached the Green Buildings sector of sustainability practices in an alternative way with the goal of maximizing use of spaces already existing on UCLA campus and thereby eliminating the need for unnecessary construction.  The team worked on two projects. The first project’s objective was to repurpose an underused space...

Hospital Sustainability

This year’s Hospital Action Research Team is excited to be working with the Sustainability Programs Manager of UCLA Health, Teresa Hildebrand, on a research project to update and implement an interactive module to educate staff about hospital sustainability. We hope to provide environmental information and resources to the module-users and to increase the effectiveness and...

Indoor Air Quality

The 2016 Recreation Team tested the indoor air quality in various rooms across UCLA Recreation’s John Wooden Center. The team specifically focused Yates Gym, which was been equipped with an air purification system, to other rooms that are only affected by air handlers. Another project component involved testing the overnight vampire load (standby power) of...

Krieger Daycare Sustainability

The team worked with the Krieger Center, a child care center on UCLA’s campus, to improve sustainability at the facility. The center serves the 165 children of UCLA faculty, staff, and students. With a STEM-based curriculum, the team worked to effect long-term change in the children’s lifestyle and create the next generation of sustainable citizens....

Resilience Planning

The Resilience Team worked on two components. The first is an assessment of UCLA’s current resilience, which will be measured relative to the Rockefeller Institute’s resilience framework. To produce a cohesive report, the team identified notable faculty, staff, and students who play a key role in UCLA’s resiliency and provided recommendations for the future. The...

Biking in On-Campus Housing

The team worked with UCLA’s Housing & Hospitality Services and UCLA Transportation to encourage and better accommodate bike ridership on the residential Hill.  The team advised on the addition of a bicycle repair station in addition to the tools and equipment sold in the residential hill student stores.  With more supplies, stations, and education, bike...

Biodiversity survey of manicured and non-manicured areas of UCLA

The 2015 Biodiversity Action Research Team indexed the biodiversity of flora and fauna between manicured and non-manicured regions of campus. The data helped indicated what ecosystem is more beneficial for the campus in terms of attracting a greater diversity of fauna. The project also compared the water use between these regions with a culminating goal of...

Campus Energy

The Energy Team conducted an energy audit of the Physics and Astronomy Building on campus, using light and occupancy data loggers to examine if unoccupied rooms had lights consistently turned on. The team distributed surveys and trial devices to gauge student interest in purchasing solar-powered phone chargers. Using the data collected, the team submit a proposal...

Green Labs: Recycling Initiative

The goal of the project was to create a simple waste program for lab representatives of each lab category (biological, chemical, and engineering) that would emulate and expand campus-wide.  The team worked to increase awareness and educate researchers on best management practices for recycling. The team surveyed the researchers and conducted waste audits to quantify...

John Wooden Energy Audit

The team’s goals were to improve energy efficiency in John Wooden Center by gathering data from electrical audits with an emphasis on large-scale lighting and air handlers.  In addition, the team aimed to measure usage of television monitors, treadmills, and computers in an attempt to remove unused equipment that hinders electrical savings for the facility. ...

Waste Diversion at University Apartments

The University Apartments Team worked toward increasing the diversion of waste to recycling at the UCLA University Village graduate apartments on Sawtelle and Sepulveda Avenues. The team educated residents about the importance of proper recycling and waste diversion. The team implemented a variety of behavior change initiatives and encouragement methods, from image-based signage to providing residents...

Water Conservation in Campus Buildings

The focus of the 2015 Water Action Research Team was to decrease water consumption in on-campus restrooms.  The team worked towards getting aerators installed on faucets across campus.  Aerators attach to faucet spouts to increase water pressure which decreases water usage.  The team found that over 10% of faucets at UCLA are in need of...

Action Research Team: Hospital Sustainability

The 2014 Hospital Sustainability Team focused efforts on three main sustainability projects for the UCLA Health System: assessing the sustainability of the food system, assisting with the Earth Day Fair at Ronald Reagan Medical Center (RRMC), and improving educational initiatives through an online module for new hospital staff.

ART on ART

ART On ART is the first-ever auditing team, responsible for reviewing previous teams' results and gaining insights to improve future teams. The team researched, analyzed, and identified past teams' research methodologies, metrics, and goals in order to evaluate their efficacy.

Campus Recycling

The Recycling Team audited waste on campus and consequently, made recommendations for the campus’ recycling program. The recommendations include but not limited to: optimal bin placement, new types of bins that should be introduced (e.g. compost bins for specific products like pizza boxes), and specific signage that can be added to the bins to increase recycling...

Energy Efficiency Education

The 2014 Team Energy worked on raising awareness about energy usage, by creating a culture of stair-taking that will benefit the environment, public health, and UCLA's bank. Burn calories, not electricity!

LEED certification of Residential Buildings

The Green Buildings Team worked on LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for all the on-campus residential buildings for UCLA Housing. In order to do so, they collected LEED credits for energy, water, waste, indoor air, site purchasing and green cleaning.

Sustainable Food Systems: Food Waste

The 2014 Sustainable Food Systems Team (SFS)  measured food waste in on-campus eateries and educated the UCLA campus about the many linkages between food, waste, water, and climate change. The team worked to revolutionize mentalities held about food and inspire a conscious behavior of sustainable practices through their educational outreach about their finds. Their goal...

UCLA Grand Challenges Assessment

 2014 was first year for a ART Grand Challenge Team. The team’s primary goals for the year are to figure out how research being done by professors at UCLA can be applied to achieving the “Thriving in a Hotter Los Angeles” (THLA) Grand Challenge, and how opportunities can be created for students to become involved...

Water Action Research

The 2014 Water Team is collaborated with UCLA’s Water Task Force to research, develop, and implement water conservation efforts aimed at helping the university meet the standards set by UC policy and the UCLA Final Water Action Plan. The team assessed student attitudes towards specific conservation techniques including drought-tolerant landscaping and artificial turf . The garnered information was used...

Zero Waste Pauley Pavilion

The Zero Waste Pauley Pavilion Team worked on making Pauley Pavilion, UCLA’s indoor sports arena, a zero-waste facility, ensuring that all waste is either composted, recycled, or re-purposed. The team conducted  waste audits at Dance Marathon to gauge waste disposal habits in order to make appropriate recommendations to UCLA Recreation. The team also formulated a Green Events...

ASUCLA Sustainability

The 2013 ASUCLA team worked to educate students on proper waste disposal practices, particularly with respect to recycling. Through extensive surveying, waste audits, student feedback, meetings with Athens Services and more, the team gathered data about the effectiveness of various waste disposal signs displayed in ASUCLA eateries, the campus climate regarding trash sorting, and the necessity for composting infrastructure...

Energy Efficiency Action Research

The 2013 Energy Team focused on campaigning and outreaching to students and faculty on campus to spread awareness and encourage the adoption of energy-efficient behavior. To accomplish this, the team piloted a project to display energy-saving tips on display monitors in Ackerman Union and across campus. They furthered the outreach at the Earth Day Fair, where they raised...

Hospital Sustainability

The 2013 Hospital Team focused on two buildings, the Ronald Reagan Medical Center (RRMC) and the Medical Plaza in Westwood. Through the collection of original data and analysis, the team were able to carry out three objectives: assess the possibility of energy efficient appliances in hospital restrooms, aid in the planning of the first Earth Day Fair held...

Space Utilization

The team researched patterns of student space-use, functional needs, and student preference of spaces to discover how spaces should be created for students. It was done through a student survey, a video interviewing students about space and a map we had participants create at UCLA’s Earth Day Fair. The team also analyzed campus space efficiency in terms of multi-functionality (amenities and...

Sustainable Food Procurement

The 2013 Sustainable Food Systems Team aimed to help UCLA meet its campus goal of 20% sustainable food by 2020. The project focused on the new sustainable and health-themed Sproul Dining Hall (set to open Fall 2013). The project had two main objectives: research and outreach. The team created a report that analyzed the sustainability...

Tobacco-Free Campus

In conjunction with UCLA’s new tobacco-free policy, the team focused on creating and structuring a research study and media campaign for several Earth Day events. The overall objective of the team’s research was to analyze the change in tobacco use before and after the implementation of the ban. The research segment of the project focused on cigarette butt...

Water Action Plan

The team made substantial progress in helping the UCLA Water Task Force and UCLA Housing & Hospitality identify areas in which substantial water savings may be realized. The team conducted primary research in each of our two focus areas: campus plumbing fixture changeovers and residential landscaping changeovers. The results of our data and analyses are being used by...

Zero Waste Pauley

The 2013 Zero Waste Team worked to plan a smooth and effective transition for Pauley Pavilion into a zero-waste facility. With the ultimate goal of complete waste diversion at all events by the end of the year, the team spent the majority of winter quarter researching if, and how, it would be possible. Much of the...