Green Labs logo

CSU’s Campus Energy Coordinator, Stacey Baumgarn, and the Research Safety Culture Program Coordinator, Anthony Appleton, have partnered to bring more visibility to the intersection of Sustainability and Research Safety – via a CSU Green Labs program. As the program is always evolving, check out some of the current initiatives:

…for safety sake
…for sustainability sake
Shut the sash!

Fume hoods are one of the most energy intensive pieces of equipment in a laboratory. And, they can be the location or source of real dangers. When you and your lab practice “shutting the sash” anytime you are not working in the hood – you make your lab safer and your hood will use a lot less energy!

To encourage and remind everyone in the lab to “Shut the Sash” – we have FREE stickers!

All you need to do is contact Stacey Baumgarn or Anthony Appleton and invite us to your lab – together we will install a sticker on each of your fume hoods. Viola! You are practicing improved safety and sustainability. Hope to hear from you soon!

(And, yes yes, we know – some labs have constant volume hoods – and those hoods use the same amount of energy whether they are open for work or shut between tasks – but please, for safety sake then – let’s put a sticker on it so we all shut that sash!)

Tracy Webb Lab – CSU’s first Shut the Sash participant!

International Laboratory Freezer Challenge

The International Laboratory Freezer Challenge is a friendly competition designed to promote best practices in cold storage management. The Freezer Challenge is coordinated by the non-profit organizations My Green Lab and the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL). The International Laboratory Freezer Challenge is held annually, and labs are encouraged to participate on an annual basis. The competition is run from January-June. Join the fun and add your lab name here!

For more information on the Challenge, visit the Freezer Challenge website. Or, contact Stacey Baumgarn, CSU Green Labs Champion and CSU Freezer Challenge Site Coordinator.

International Laboratory Freezer Challenge – Participants:


  • Gregg Dean Lab – Microbiology, Immunology, & Pathology – CVMBS
  • Ifigenia Geornaras Lab – Animal Sciences – CAS
  • Eduardo Gutierrez-Rodriguez Lab – Horticulture & Landscape Architecture – CAS
  • Esten Mason Lab – Soil & Crop Sciences – CAS


  • Susan Bailey Lab – Environmental Health & Radiological Sciences – CVMBS
  • Laurie Biela Lab – HPCRL, Health & Exercise Science – CHHS
  • Josh Daniels Lab – Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory – CVMBS
  • Sue Lana Lab – Tissue Biorepository and Clinical Trials Lab – CVMBS
  • Christie Mayo Lab – Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory – CVMBS
  • Kristy Pabilonia Lab – Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory – CVMBS


  • Ellen Fisher Lab – Chemistry – CNS
  • Sue Lana Lab – Clinical Sciences – CVMBS
  • John McKay Lab – Bioagricultural Sciences & Pest Management – CAS
  • Mahesh Narayanan Nair Lab – Animal Sciences – CAS
  • Frank Peairs Lab – Bioagricultural Sciences & Pest Management – CAS
  • Brendan Podell Lab – Microbiology, Immunology, & Pathology – CVMBS
  • Eric Ross Lab – Biochemistry & Molecular Biology – CNS
  • Melinda Smith Lab – Biology – CNS


CSU earned an Honorable Mention in the 2018 International Laboratory Freezer Challenge and the Hoover / Mathiason Lab at CSU earned a specific Honorable Mention for outstanding work. CSU had 14 participating labs – and together, we had one of the highest normalized scores of any participating entity – meaning more of our labs participated more fully – maximizing our commitment and actions: saving energy, resources and practicing sustainability.

  • Lucas Argueso Lab – Environmental & Radiological Health Sciences – CVMBS
  • Brad Borlee Lab – Microbiology, Immunology, & Pathology – CVMBS
  • Barry Braun Lab – HPCRL, Health & Exercise Science – CHHS
  • Gregg Dean Lab – Microbiology, Immunology, & Pathology – CVMBS
  • Karen Dobos Lab – Microbiology, Immunology, & Pathology – CVMBS
  • Ray Goodrich Lab – Infectious Disease Research Center – OVPR
  • Edward Hoover & Candace Mathiason Lab – Microbiology, Immunology, & Pathology – CVMBS
  • Mary Jackson Lab – Microbiology, Immunology, & Pathology – CVMBS
  • Anne Lenaerts Lab – Microbiology, Immunology, & Pathology – CVMBS
  • Jessica Metcalf Lab – Animal Sciences – CAS
  • Stephen Pearce Lab – Soil & Crop Sciences – CAS
  • Jessica Prenni Lab – Horticulture – CAS
  • Pankaj Trivedi Lab – Bioagricultural Sciences & Pest Management – CAS
  • Sue VandeWoude Lab – Microbiology, Immunology, & Pathology – CVMBS


  • Lucas Argueso Lab – Environmental & Radiological Health Sciences – CVMBS

Thank you to all of the CSU participating labs – your efforts make a difference at CSU.

Since 2015 CSU Facilities Management has worked with researchers who are purchasing ULT freezers – by providing a cash incentive to choose an energy efficient model. Since the program began, we have incentivized over 100 ULT’s across CSU – for researchers replacing older/inefficient units and teams just adding a freezer to their fleet. If you find yourself in the market for a new ULT – can we help you choose energy efficiency? See program guidelines below.

ULT Freezer Incentive Program

Launching in spring 2021, 11 CSU labs, representing six colleges and labs across the institution – will begin the process of pursuing the My Green Lab Certification process. The pilot program is funded by CSU Facilities Management and coordinated by Stacey Baumgarn, Campus Energy Coordinator. The purpose of the pilot is to utilize the My Green Lab Certification process:

  • To evaluate, understand, and promote sustainability best-practices in laboratories at CSU
  • Lab members will take a baseline assessment of current practices and processes
  • My Green Lab will provide individualized feedback and recommendations to the lab
  • Labs will have 3-6 months to implement any changes based on feedback received
  • Lab members will complete a post-implementation assessment which will
    • Allow/encourage the pilot participant labs to earn a My Green Lab Certification
    • And together, we’ll determine if use of a third-party certification process adds more value than a certification process CSU might create in-house

More information about My Green Lab certification here.

Laboratories are resource intensive spaces. The practice and output of world-class, global-impact research is an expectation at Colorado State University. Concurrently, sustainability is at the core of CSU as an organization. Students and researchers learning and working in CSU labs desire integration of the two; both students and researchers have been asking for and actively seeking pathways to improve sustainability practices in the lab. From teaching labs to BSL-3 labs, every lab has a role to play and an opportunity to embed sustainability best practices into their day-to-day research.

The CSU Green Labs program is proud to have received funding through the President’s Sustainability Commission FY21 Sustainability Fund – to develop four Green Lab Training Modules.

The first objective is the development of the Green Lab training modules to be used in various laboratory types and settings. This resource will be a foundational step in the shift of CSU laboratories toward more sustainable practices. Funds will support student researchers to work with our staff and faculty group to synthesize sustainability information that applies to any laboratory regardless of research focus. The modules proposed include energy, water, waste, purchasing and behavior.

The second aim is further the integration and adoption of the laboratory sustainability training modules. We plan to promote these laboratory sustainability resources alongside existing research training classes (e.g. Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR), lab safety trainings, lab-based teaching assistant trainings, and unit-based lab trainings). Finally, the team will develop a framework for the launch of a CSU Green Lab Ambassador program – based on the modules developed here. CSU Green Lab Ambassadors will be a voluntary group of laboratory personnel who, through peer-to-peer outreach, will further influence laboratory sustainability culture and best practices.

For more information about these Green Lab Training Modules, contact Stacey Baumgarn.

Did you know YOU can become a Green Lab Ambassador? While a program specific to Colorado State is under development, you can still complete the My Green Lab, Green Lab Ambassador Assessment and earn their certificate of completion.

Head on over to the My Green Lab Ambassador Program page.

A note from My Green Lab: “The My Green Lab Ambassador Program is designed for scientists and laboratory professionals who are motivated to encourage their lab to be more sustainable. This free, online learning program will provide you with a quick introduction to lab sustainability and ideas for how sustainable actions can be implemented at your organization. By becoming a My Green Lab Ambassador you will be able to jumpstart your lab’s journey into sustainability.”

If you earn a certificate of completion and become a My Green Lab Ambassador, please let Stacey Baumgarn know! We want to keep a list and get connected as CSU Green Lab colleagues!

CSU is an I2SL Institutional Member

What does that mean? Well, first of all, free resources and more learning! Read more…

I2SL or the International Institute of Sustainable Laboratories is “a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the design, engineering, and use of sustainable laboratories and other high-technology facilities worldwide”

  • Mission: To engage all stakeholders in advancing the safety and sustainability of laboratories and other high-tech facilities globally.
  • Vision: I2SL will be the global leader and primary resource connecting all stakeholders and providing information and education to ensure safe, sustainable laboratory design, operation, and use.

As an I2SL Institutional Member you have access to tools, training, and opportunities to serve as a leader in the high-tech facility community as we work toward creating more sustainable facilities. You may also be eligible to take advantage of additional benefits from the Colorado I2SL Chapter.

If you are trying to access specific I2SL Member Benefits through the I2SL Member Portal that require administrative access, please contact Stacey Baumgarn for the CSU username and password.

Stacey Baumgarn, CSU Campus Energy Coordinator, has been a member of the Colorado Chapter Board of Directors since 2015. Learn more and keep up to date on upcoming events, activities and education from the Colorado Chapter of I2SL here:

If you are interested in learning more or would like to suggest future initiatives, please fill out the form below. We will be in contact with you soon.