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Research, Education & Civic Engagement


While the University is committed to aggressively pursuing improvements in the sustainability of its operations, its greatest global impact derives from its commitment to research and education. Investing in faculty research and teaching — including initiatives that engage the campus as a laboratory for new ideas and encourage civic engagement — is the most effective way that Princeton can use its resources to address sustainability issues such as the problem of global climate change.

Princeton faculty members are conducting research in climate science, energy technologies, alternative fuels, mitigation strategies and climate policy as well as contributing to the international dialogue on a new energy future, climate negotiations and global sustainability.

Students involved in sustainability research and other environmental initiatives will be prepared for lives of leadership and active civic engagement in a time when such engagement is critical to achieving a sustainable future.

Princeton aspires to provide all members of its community with a sense of how their personal commitments and choices can contribute to progress toward a sustainable future. It does this through formal and informal multi- and cross-disciplinary education programs, outreach efforts and collaborative initiatives among departments, both academic and operational.

Here are some examples of research by faculty and students:

Students at Isles' future headquarters

A group of Princeton engineering students have worked with Isles to improve the energy efficiency of the Trenton-based nonprofit agency's future headquarters in a vacant factory. Read about the green makeover.


Selection of Student Thesis and Paper Titles

  • Provisions for Sustainable Agriculture in the 2012 Bill: A Climate Change Perspective, Candice Chow '09
  • How Low is Your Flow? Water Conservation at Princeton University, Rebecca Nyquist '09
  • From Wild Apples to Modern Cultivators: Chemical Profile Changes of Sugars, Acids and the Phenolics Over Selective Time, Ruth Schwab '09
  • A Delicious Revolution: The Greening Princeton Farmers' Market Manual, Katie Anderson '08