Evaluating A Seven Year Footprint of Action Research

By Trevor McDonald

UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability calls for all hands on deck through the Education for Sustainable Living Program’s Action Research Teams (ART)!

The Education for Sustainable Living Program, which is part of the California Student Sustainability Coalition, has been in action since 1998, making UCLA one of the first campuses to start such a program. Since then, various student-led Action Research Teams have been paired with campus stakeholders to not only research solutions to various sustainability challenges but also develop educational materials to create more student, faculty, and patron awareness.

This year, stakeholders and students alike are eager to get the ball rolling on initiatives to add to the increasingly sustainable community of UCLA.  My teammates and I have the great opportunity to be a part of the first ever ART on ART team. We consider ourselves to be the audit and consulting team responsible for reviewing previous teams' results and gaining insights to improve future teams. We are identifying past teams' research methodologies, metrics, and goals in order to evaluate their projects' efficacy. Final reports from previous years can be viewed here

In our efforts thus far, we have identified the successes and shortcomings of many of the ART projects from years past. It is evident that no new sustainability idea is too large or too small for Action Research Teams to dream up, and institutionalize.

Clockwise from top left: waste audits enacted by the 2013 Zero Waste Pauley Pavilion Team; educational material created through the 2012 LEED Assessment team; educational material from the 2010 Drinking Fountains team; tabling, educational efforts and cigarette butts found on the “Great Butt Hunt” in 2013; educational material created by the 2013 Energy Efficiency Team.

Clockwise from top left: waste audits enacted by the 2013 Zero Waste Pauley Pavilion Team; educational material created through the 2012 LEED Assessment team; educational material from the 2010 Drinking Fountains team; tabling, educational efforts and cigarette butts found on the “Great Butt Hunt” in 2013; educational material created by the 2013 Energy Efficiency Team.