Research Projects

Campus Climate Lab projects seek to harness Boston University’s campuses as testbeds for innovative climate solutions. Efforts can range from science and engineering to health and communications.

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Project Spotlight

Influence of Landscape Management Practices on Urban Greenhouse Gas Budgets

Winner of the 2021 Campus Sustainability Research Award in Undergraduate Research from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education!

Research: Professors Lucy Hutyra (Earth & Environment, CAS) and Pamela Templer (Biology, CAS) brought a team of students together to investigate how much biological fluxes contribute to the campus CO2 budget. The team measured biological carbon uptake and loss processes from the ecosystems across BU’s campus. The team then digitized the university land cover to scale the results and merged estimates of BU’s fossil fuel emissions.

Findings: The team was surprised to learn that the lands that comprise BU’s campus were a net source of CO2 emissions.

Implementation: The research team met with BU Facilities Management & Operations to share these findings. As a result, in collaboration with the Hutyra Research Lab, BU will pilot changes to its landscape management practices to reduce emissions.

Next steps: The next phase of the project will evaluate how much difference these landscaping changes make to our emissions and community responses. In addition to putting their research to practical application, the team also submitted a scientific paper reporting their findings for peer review.

Citation: Hundertmark*, W.J., Lee*, M., Smith, I.A., Bang*, A.H.Y., Chen*, V., Gately, C.K., Templer, P.H., Hutyra, L.R. Influence of Landscape Management Practices on Urban Greenhouse Gas Budgets. Carbon Balance and Management, 16: 1 (2021).

* denotes undergraduate students

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