Campus as a Laboratory

A central challenge of our time is sustaining the world’s developing population while minimizing damage to the environment. The Campus as a Lab (CaaL) Initiative uses Chicago’s own campus as a test bed for creating innovative solutions and developing skills in analyzing systems of energy and resource flows. CaaL involves education in quantitative environmental analysis, research into practical energy management strategies, and communication that explains our campus and environment. Projects reflect our core values: data-driven and quantitative analysis, implementable solutions, and open-source tools and data.

What is Campus as a Lab?
Who: undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and Facilities staff working in collaboration.
When: ongoing, launched in Spring 2016 and featuring 4 core events in 2016-2017
What: data hackathons on campus energy and resource, demonstration events on waste and energy, and opportunities to be involved in research on campus energy, water, and waste. Focus areas include operation of campus facilities and infrastructure, economics of U Chicago’s energy purchases, building retrofit suggestions, transportation planning, and behavioral incentives.

How to Get Involved:
Check out the upcoming events listed below! If you're interested in helping out, have a question, or want to be added to the Campus as a Laboratory listserv, email: To learn more about winning a competitive research fellowships, come to the first hackathon.

Upcoming Campus as a Lab Activities