Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Science and Policy

First Advisor

Ashraf Ghaly




carbon, neutrality, footprint, environmental science, transportation


Union College has established a Climate Action Plan with the goal of carbon neutrality by 2060 as part of its commitment to sustainability. A significant component of Union’s carbon footprint, however, is student and faculty transportation. The purpose of this research was to analyze the transportation behavior of students and faculty to determine the carbon emissions that result from the use of various transportation methods. Two campus‐wide surveys were conducted; one was distributed to students and the other targeted faculty. For comparison purposes, survey questions were designed to be compatible with, but more focused than, those of a survey conducted in 2007‐08 by the students taking an Introduction to Environmental Science course. The surveys asked students and faculty about the modes of transportation utilized, and parking and travel habits. Using standard formulas, transportation carbon emission analysis determined that a typical faculty member emitted 824 and 1020 kg of carbon in 2011 and 2007, respectively. Similar calculations showed that a typical student emitted 998 and 784 kg of carbon in 2011 and 2007, respectively. By compiling the data related to the type of cars students drive, as well as carpool and trolley participation habits, the study proposes recommendations to improve the transportation culture on campus to make it more sustainable.