Spring 2020 Sustainability Fellows: Andrea Zang

Laurelin Haas
Andrea Zang headshot

Project: Where can FSU students, employees, and visitors find recycling on campus?

Partner: FSU Grounds

Program: Second Year Graduate Student in Urban and Regional Planning

Andrea is a second-year master's student in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning (Go DURP!) focusing on sustainable affordable housing policy, asset-based community development, and the impact of gender and sexuality on the urban experience. She's excited to leverage her background in project management, public participation, and GIS to understand and map recycling facility access across FSU's campus - you'll find her biking around campus with a GPS all of spring 2020!

When Andrea began her research as a Spring 2020 Sustainability Fellow, no inventory of recycling infrastructure had ever been compiled. Andrea worked with the FSU Grounds department and Fellow Jacob Doty to digitally map campus recycling locations and analyze patterns of waste infrastructure distribution.

Utilizing GPS technology and ArcGIS software to gather information, Jacob and Andrea mapped over 400 recycling locations across the University. While progress was slowed due to the COVID-19 situation, the team was able to compile preliminary analyses, compile a guide for future research, and present their initial findings to the FSU Grounds team.

Andrea’s campus partners described her as “capable and competent,” noting that she brought new ideas to the project that the team will be able to execute in the future.

“I have worked with a lot of people who want to prescribe a technical solution without fully taking time to understand the situation,” said Elizabeth Swiman, project supervisor. “Jacob and Andrea didn’t take that approach at all.”

As a Sustainability Fellow, Andrea enjoyed exploring new areas of campus and learning how to build a quantitative study from the ground up. She believes the program gave her valuable experience in managing data, on-site data collection, and working with a team.

“It was so cool to work on a project that’s something I can leave for FSU after everything the University has done for me,” said Andrea. “This experience has also inspired me to think of how I can do this kind of research in a way that’s casual, fun, and rigorous. As a planner, I want to be able to answer questions people have about the places they live, work, and play.”

To learn more about the continuation of Andrea's project in Fall 2020, visit sustainablecampus.fsu.edu/blog

To learn more about the Sustainability Fellows program, visit sustainablecampus.fsu.edu/sustainability-fellows