UNH-Developed Tool for Campus Footprinting, Used Nationwide


University of New Hampshire was an early proponent of sustainability through on-campus sustainability efforts, research initiatives, and student support. All three of these facets came together for 2018 Ph.D. recipient Allison (Alley) Leach's experience with UNH, who today continues her work on campus footprinting as a researcher in the UNH Sustainability Institute.

Alley came to UNH in 2014 to work with advisor Dr. John Aber on campus nitrogen footprints and the organic dairy compost operation. One reason Alley chose UNH was because of its leadership in campus footprints and its' development of the first and most widely used campus carbon footprint tool.

UNHSI Project Director and carbon footprint lead Jenn Andrews worked with Alley to bring together the campus carbon and nitrogen footprints. The two footprints are driven by the same activities, but lead to different environmental problems. The nitrogen footprint helps campuses understand their contribution to local environmental quality issues, such as water and air quality impacts. Through their work, Jenn and Alley launched SIMAP (www.unhsimap.org), a web-based carbon and nitrogen footprint tool, in November 2017. Since then, the tool has grown to support hundreds of colleges and universities that span the country and the globe. For their work on SIMAP, Jenn and Alley received the 2019 UNH Innovators of the Year Award. “SIMAP has put me at the intersection between sustainability research and its application. I have found it very rewarding to conduct research with real-world sustainability benefits,” Alley said of her work on SIMAP.

Interested to learn more?

Jenn and Alley are teaching the upcoming virtual course through UNH Professional Development & Training:
Introduction to Carbon Footprinting
May 6 | 1-5 p.m.
This course is free for all UNH faculty, staff, and students.
Register

Allison Leach is a postdoctoral researcher with the UNH Sustainability Institute. She is a developer of the nitrogen footprint approach and led the integration of the nitrogen footprint into SIMAP. She currently works on SIMAP research & development. Read more about Alley.