You are here

Projects Updates for iSEE Campus as a Living Lab (CALL) Projects

Search tips:
  • This form will search for words in the title OR the description. If you would like to search for the same term(s) across both the title and description, enter the same search term(s) in both fields.
  • This form will search for any of the words you enter in a field, not the exact phrase you enter. If you would like to search for an exact phrase, put double quotes (") around the phrase. For example, if you search for Bike Path you will get results containing either the word Bike OR the word Path, but if you search for "Bike Path" you will get results containing the exact phrase Bike Path.
  1. iSEE Quarterly update for Winter 2022

    Greetings, Colleagues,


    I hope the start of 2023 is going well. I’m reaching out today to send you iSEE Quarterly update for Winter 2022 from the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment.


    For more up-to-date news from iSEE, please sign up for our E-newsletter at





    • Registration is open for iSEE Congress 2023 — “Addressing Crises of a Planetary Scale: Lessons from Pandemics and Climate Change.”
    • The Fall 2023 Critical Conversation is expected to bring together stakeholders to discuss climate-smart commodities.
    • iSEE’s Environmental Leadership Program for Spring 2023 is already more than past the midway point; check out our student blog for some perspective on the immersive learning experience.
    • Read a Certificate in Environmental Writing (CEW) success story in former Q author and CEW recipient Zack Fishman.



    • Our Grind2Energy video explored how dining hall food waste produces energy and fertilizer; its release spurred coverage by The News-Gazette and WCIA-TV.
    • iSEE’s new, more comprehensive Student Action webpage offers listings for iSEE jobs, volunteering, and student organizations to join.
    • Illini Lights Out fall semester featured RECORD totals: more than 640 volunteers turned off 20,303 bulbs, saving the campus as much as 35,000 kWH, $3,090, and nearly 25 tons of GHG. Spring dates: Jan. 27 (130+ volunteers, 5,043 bulbs, 8,700 kWH, $760, 6.2 tons of GHG), Feb. 10 and 24, March 24, and April 21.
    • At the November Zero Waste basketball game (see video) more than 280 pounds of beverage containers and other recyclables were diverted from the landfill. The next Zero Waste basketball game March 2 seeks 100 volunteers. iSEE partnering with F&S, Housing, Athletics, and Union for a #don’twasteWednesdays twitter campaign all spring. FALL PLAN: a ZW football tailgate.
    • A new Waste Transfer Station video shows the great work by Facilities & Services — but also the need for all campus community members to pre-sort their recyclables to prevent them from becoming landfill waste.
    • Greener Campus certifications in the new year: One new office (Visit Champaign County!), one new chapter (Sigma Lambda Gamma sorority), and nine new events (including Illini Lights Out) certified in January.
    • Read our article about the sustainable features of Campus Recreation and our feature about the new beekeeping club on campus.


    Thanks for reading, and best wishes for the remainder of the spring semester!



    Madhu Khanna



    Madhu Khanna

    Pronouns: she, her

    Alvin H. Baum Family Chair & Director, Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment

    ACES Distinguished Professor in Environmental Economics

    Co-Director, Center for Economics of Sustainability

    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

    1301, W. Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801




  2. Ammonia Sampling Research

    On Oct 20, 2021 Christopher Tessum reached out to Morgan White to discuss two projects he and a collaborator were working on.

    The follow is a segment of that email:

    A collaborator and I are thinking about submitting two proposals to the ISEE campus as a living laboratory program, and when I discussed them with Jeremy Guest he mentioned that it could be good to reach out to you first to see if one or both of them would be something that F&S would be okay with being implemented.


    The first project is to develop a new method to estimate traffic related air pollution exposure using deep learning based on traffic camera footage. We would plan to collect video footage and air pollution data with equipment in a compact vehicle parked along the busier roads around campus. There would be someone in the vehicle monitoring the equipment at all times.


    The other project would involve using passive samplers to collect ammonia air pollution measurements. These passive samplers have no sound, no light, no smell (please see the attached picture), and need to be placed on things like utility poles, fences, signs, trees, etc. We already have permission to place them at the research farm and animal science facility, and would like to find about 10-15 locations throughout the rest of campus.


    If you would be willing to share your thoughts about whether there would be any issues from the perspective of F&S for either of these projects, we would greatly appreciate it. If you would like to meet to discuss further that would be great too. Thank you for your consideration!


    Morgan replied to Christopher, providing a few suggestions of people to inform of their research plans. 

    On March 14, 2022  Mei Tessum sent Morgan White and update on their projects. Mei explained that the researchers did not receive funding from ISEE but obtained other funds to proceed with their research. The researchers attached an ammonia sample to a light pole outside of the CEE building. She also stated that more samplers would need to be put around campus and asked Morgan for further advice. Mei attached a photo of this sampler which is attached to this thread.

    Morgan replied to Mei stating that they would need to contact the Architectural Review Committees (ARC) for permission to make temporary or permanent installations.

    On June 21, 2022 Bradley Klein responded to Mei Tessum, stating that the ARC had reviewed their request and had the following comments and questions:

    We want to approve specific locations. 

    It is not acceptable on the Main Quad. 

    How long will these be installed? 

    Remove when complete. 

    Mount higher up to avoid tampering.

    Mei replied to Bradley and the ARC's questions with the following:

    1. We would like to put those samplers at following locations: outside of the CEE building, ABE building, Illinois water survey building, Oak Street Library building, National Petascale Computing Facility building, Printing Services South Building, Spurlock Museum building, and UIUC Surplus building.
    1. We will NOT set any samplers on Main Quad.
    1. Samplers will be set up for a year, so by the end of June 2023 all the samplers will be completely removed. 
    1. Because we are measuring the air pollutant at the breathing zone level, we will have to set the samplers about 5.5-6ft above ground. We will put our contact information on each sampler shalter. 

    All the samplers have no noise, no odor, no light, and will be maintained biweekly.



  3. iSEE as Living Lab Proposals

    Chris Tessum, assistant professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering reached to Morgan White to discuss the submission of two proposals to the iSEE campus as a living laboratory program. The first project concerns developing a new method to estimate traffic related air pollution exposure using deep learning based on traffic camera footage. The second project involves using passive samplers to collect ammonia air pollution measurements.

    Morgan White redirected Chris to Bill Sullivan, director of the Smart, Health, Connected Communities in the Provost's Office, Stacey DeLorenzo, Transportation Demand Management Coordinator in F&S, and Brad Klein, chair of the Architectural Review Committee.

    Mei Tessum, research assistant professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, provided a picture of the ammonia air pollution measurement instruments which can be found attached.

    Attached Files: 
  4. Query Regarding iSEE Campus as a Living Lab Proposals

    Mei Tessum reached out to Morgan White to ask for approval to put ammonia air pollution sensors around campus. Morgan redirected Mei to the Architectural Review Committee who is responsible for requests regarding temporary and permanent installations on campus. 

    A picture of the ammonia air pollution measurement instrument is attached:

    Attached Files: 
  5. Faculty/Staff Carpool Survey

    The University of Illinois (UIUC) is interested in achieving its Climate Action Plan’s transportation sustainability goals by “reducing single-occupancy vehicle usage” and “promoting the use of electric vehicles” on campus. This survey is designed to evaluate the commuting needs of UIUC faculty and staff, so as to inform future actions on two fronts: (i) feasibility of developing a faculty/staff carpool service, and (ii) expanding electrified vehicle charging infrastructure on campus.

    Survey link: 

  6. Request for Meeting

    From: Guest, Jeremy S <jsguest at>
    Sent: Saturday, November 20, 2021 8:07 AM
    To: Verma, Vishal <vverma at>; Cusick, Roland <rcusick at>; Geiger, Sarah Dee <smurphy7 at>
    Cc: Rosenbery, Amy Nichole <husted at>; Khanna, Madhu <khanna1 at>; Cai, Ximing <xmcai at>; White, Morgan <mbwhite at>; Kokini, Eugenie Jenny <jkokini at>
    Subject: iSEE Campus as a Living Lab Proposal - Request for Meeting


    Vishal, Roland, and Sarah,


    Thank you for submitting a proposal for Campus as a Living Lab funding from the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE). I am pleased to share with you that your proposal was well reviewed. In particular, it was noted that the focus engaging with the 5th and Hill neighborhood is directly in-line with campus goals to address local sustainability challenges, as highlighted in the Illinois Climate Action Plan ( 


    At this time, we would like to move to the next step the proposal review process and meet with you and your team to learn more about your plans, discuss iSEE expectations for funded teams, and answer any questions you may have. I am copying Amy Rosenbery, who will help coordinate scheduling for a meeting some time between November 29-December 3 or December 6-10. For the meeting we will try to include (if possible) your full team, Madhu Khanna, Jenny Kokini, and me, as well as Ximing Cai and Morgan White who lead our Campus as a Living Lab efforts.


    One additional items is that we noted that CVs and Current & Pending documents were not included in the original submittal. Please submit these documents in advance of our meeting. Templates (if you require them) can be found on the seed funding website: Any similar format is acceptable, however.


    We look forward to discussing your proposed project in more detail. Amy will be in touch in the coming week to help find a time for us to meet.


    Have a wonderful weekend!

    - Jeremy


    Jeremy S. Guest, Ph.D.

    Pronouns: he, him, his
    Associate Professor

        Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

    Acting Associate Director for Research

        Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE)

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    3221 Newmark Civil Engineering Laboratory, MC-250
    205 North Mathews Avenue
    Urbana, IL 61801-2352
    Phone:  (217) 244-9247
    E-Mail:  jsguest at 
    Guest Group Website:
    iSEE Website:

    IBM-Illinois DAI Website:

    Google Scholar Profile



    Eugenie Kokini replied saying that there is approved funding available and is expecting the budget to be released.

  7. iWG meeting minutes April 9th, 2018