Projects – Student Projects

Add your project to the list

If you are looking for project ideas, check out the Macalester College Sustainability Plan.  The plan is full of strategies and goals for sustainability at Macalester.  In addition, the Sustainability Office updates the potential student projects list below.  If you are interested in a project, please contact the Sustainability Office (

Category Possible Disciplines Topics
Buildings Biology/Environmental Studies Develop a study of bird/building collisions on campus and recommend bird safe guidelines for campus buildings.
Buildings Geography/Environmental Studies Develop a neighborhood green building tour (City of 
St. Paul).
Buildings Environmental Studies Investigate alternatives to standard air conditioning 
for EcoHouse.
Community Engagement Education Create hands-on displays and activities for sustainability
tours for school groups.
Community Engagement Geography Create an interactive map of a Macalester Sustainability 
Community Engagement Geography/History/Biology Develop a field guide to Macalester and the surrounding environment with cultural and environmental points of
Community Engagement Environmental Studies/Biology Develop potential signage for sustainable landscaping 
Community Engagement Biology/Education Develop a sustainable landscaping tour of campus.
Community Engagement Psychology/Environmental Studies Analyze the reasons for and impact of cigarette bud 
pollution on campus and recommend actions.
Energy Economics Research energy efficiency investments on campus – how they compare with endowment returns.
Energy Environmental Studies Research the effectiveness of the energy star mini-fridge policy in the dorms and recommend actions.
Energy Environmental Studies Develop a way to display real-time energy monitoring systems for campus buildings.
Energy Psychology Develop an energy reduction outreach plan or event for dorms and/or offices.
Environment Environmental Studies Research light pollution on campus – impact on surrounding area and create mitigation strategy.
Food Service Psychology Research reactions to Bon Appetit’s Low Carbon Diet Changes and how to increase acceptance.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Statistics/Environmental Studies Analyze the CO2 data from Markim Hall.  Why does the graph look odd?
Health Environmental Studies How are health and well-being connected to sustainability at Macalester?  Recommend changes.
Purchasing Environmental Studies Develop a Sustainable Events at Macalester guidebook.
Purchasing Geography Create a GIS map of community sustainability businesses/institutions.
Purchasing Psychology/Environmental Studies Research the effectiveness of paper reduction campaigns in the Library and Computer labs.
Transportation Economics Conduct a cost benefit analysis of Macalester vans – could a more fuel efficient or alternatively-fueled model create a net gain for the school?
Transportation Geography/Environmental Studies Create a bicycling plan for the campus.
Transportation Environmental Studies/Geography Compare air travel emission from Carleton and Macalester.
Waste Psychology/Environmental Studies Research the effectiveness of different communication options on dorm (or office) recycling rates.
Waste Event Develop composting awareness events for campus.
Waste Geology/Environmental Studies Analyze the effectiveness of storm water projects on campus.
Waste Biology/Environmental Studies Water usage – how is it used and how can usage be reduced cost-effectively?
Waste Geography/Geology Research location and history of underground river on campus.