CU Green Labs Engagement of University of Colorado Boulder Laboratories Post-Pandemic Through Student Leadership

Nicholas Alter, CU Boulder Green Labs

The CU Green Labs program at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) has conducted personalized outreach to campus laboratories since its inception. The pandemic left Green Labs unable to utilize personal outreach and instead the program relied on electronic methods and zoom meetings. While these initiatives were still somewhat effective, the program finds that personalized outreach is historically proven to be the most effective.

In 2022, CU Green Labs has been able to start up its in-person outreach and engagement efforts again and will be going forward utilizing both virtual and in-person outreach. Presently, the program is piloting assigning specific lab buildings to an undergraduate student to lead.

This presentation will share how student leadership in the Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (MCDB) department is utilizing recruitment and orientations presentations (for new MCDB graduate students), signage efforts, regular meetings with MCDB lab members, and implementation of lab attendee-requested sustainability efforts to re-engage with laboratories and continue its work to grow a climate of efficiency and sustainability practices in MCDB.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn how Green Labs practices and student-led engagement with CU Boulder laboratories build efficiency and sustainability programs;
  • Learn about Green Labs' use of recruitment and orientation presentations, meetings, and signage efforts in the MCDB department to improve laboratory efficiency and sustainability practices;
  • Learn about how personalized outreach has suffered during the pandemic and how personalized outreach is now being revitalized at CU Boulder; and
  • Learn about how the pandemic has opened up new tools to be used by Green Labs to improve sustainability in laboratories.


Nicholas Alter is a pre-medical undergraduate student at the University of Colorado Boulder, majoring in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. He has been a student assistant for the Green Labs Program for one academic year. Nicholas has worked to lead sustainability efforts in the Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB) department to reduce energy and waste consumption.


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