Jessica Hsu, 2010, Civil and Environmental Engineering

The project focuses on improving water quality and ecological balance across the University and within an entire watershed, with its center, Lake Carnegie. Two central questions provide the framework for this project: First, how will land use changes, driven by the Campus and Sustainability Master plans, impact the biological, chemical, and physical characteristics, e.g. health, of 1) Lake Carnegie and the regional watershed; 2) natural habitats surrounding the lake; and 3) landscapes within campus? Second, how might this information influence the University’s implementation of sustainable practices and environmental policies, e.g. reduction in energy footprint, in the future?

The initial phases of this project will track the impact of three major campus sustainability initiatives on the health of Lake Carnegie: 1) restoration and extension of streams, 2) enhancement of forested and wetland areas, and 3) storm-water run-off and energy balance of Butler College green roofs. In the third phase of the project, sensors were installed in the green roofs. Temperatures readings of ground surfaces and roof surfaces across campus are compared to determine their contribution to the urban heat island effect.