Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Fall 2021

Department 1

Environmental Studies


By tracking the overall emissions put out by a college campus, mitigation strategies can be researched to lower total emissions. This study utilized a survey for both the student body and faculty and staff members at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. This survey allowed this study to answer three research questions; what is the total number of Scope 3 emissions at Gettysburg College, how do these findings compare to findings from 2009 and the 2016 STARS report for Gettysburg College, and if any potential mitigation strategies are welcomed by the campus community. This study examined five major driving related emission totals in order to come to the overall emissions number. These five groups include: the daily commutes of faculty and staff, faculty and staff travel related to Gettysburg College official business, student commutes to and from home, daily commutes of students while on campus and the total amount of carbon emissions related to abroad travel for both the Fall and Spring worldwide programs in 2021. The total of Gettysburg Colleges Scope 3 emissions that are related to commutes and travel is estimated to be 1,219 tons. These findings were compared to a report from 2009 by Gettysburg College students about emissions from several overlapping categories in 2007 and 2008. It was found that staff and faculty now travel less of a distance from work to home and also make fewer trips to campus than they did in the previous decade and emissions are significantly less regarding study abroad air travel. Additionally, for the 2020-2021 academic year, the largest category of Scope 3 emissions comes from students going abroad. The 2021 study also investigated which mitigation strategies would be supported by faculty and staff and students. Proposed strategies included increasing or instituting parking permit fees, receiving a stipend for alternative transportation options, creating a bike share program, and creating a carpool matching system. We found that students are more open minded to such mitigation strategies than are faculty and staff. Future studies should further investigate these strategies alongside additional Scope 3 emission categories.


Written for ES 400: Senior Seminar