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Grantee Research Project Results

Software Dashboard for Sustainability

EPA Grant Number: SU833540
Title: Software Dashboard for Sustainability
Investigators: Xu, Li , Clark, Janet , Hochberg, Rick , Kuhn, Sarah , Sloan, Thomas
Current Investigators: Xu, Li , Clark, Janet , Yang, Zhi
Institution: University of Massachusetts - Lowell
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Project Period: October 31, 2007 through April 30, 2008
Project Amount: $25,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2007)
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Information Technology



This project will develop the "Sustainable Project Dashboard", an interactive software application for data collection, analysis and visualization that shows measures of social, economic and environmental performance for sustainability projects. This dashboard would be used as a tool for managing a project, for learning about complex systems and sustainability, and for education and outreach. The target project is campus composting, a robust interdisciplinary initiative at the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) that is part of a state of the art campus recycling and organic land care program. Our community partners in this effort--which are a landscaping service, and a teen-managed organic vegetable farm and culinary services program--have sustainability goals for their projects. Organizations that have user-friendly, dynamic and flexible tools such as the dashboard, we propose, are better able to utilize real-time data to promote continual improvement in their benefit to people, prosperity and the planet.


The UML approach will be for faculty and students in the Biology, Management and Engineering Departments to work with the campus sustainability team and project partners at the United Teen Equality Center of Lowell (UTEC) and Coppinger Company to create a list of project scale indicators. This list will be expanded, vetted and then streamlined to provide only the most critical and informative data needed. Zhi Yang, doctoral student in computer science, will design and implement Project Dashboard components, including the user interface (UI) providing the data views and editors to collect, analyze, and visualize data; database schema and mappings to store and link data to GIS maps and images and other external databases; a mini-scripting language interface to allow users to write simple query commands to analyze and process data and its user interface.

Supplemental Keywords:

Data interface, Project metrics, systems approach, complexity, interdisciplinary,

Progress and Final Reports:
Final Report

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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