CSU Campus or Other Affiliation

California State University Bakersfield


With the intersectional challenges of the climate crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, and mental health challenges in various forms, empowerment can hold a significant key to mitigating and preventing traumatic experiences at post-secondary institutions. Campus as Lab (CaL) is a growing trend in higher education whereby students, faculty, and staff use experiential learning and applied research projects to advance sustainability on their campuses. It is a unique, empowering learning methodology that can synergistically benefit academic and operational sustainability efforts at post-secondary institutions. In July 2021, a group of professionals who support or lead CaL initiatives gathered to participate in four Summer Series webinars to explore the use of trauma informed practices in CaL programs. This paper provides a high-level overview of the Summer Series webinar structure and explores how participants identified opportunities to use a trauma informed framework for future CaL initiatives. Because of the Summer Series webinars, we believe there is a need for greater familiarity of trauma informed practices on campuses and amongst sustainability staff. Future research could explore the broader application of trauma informed approaches in the various fields of sustainability within post-secondary institutions.