AASHE 2023 Conference & Expo Logo

Experiential Learning Opportunities (ELOs) are intended to advance conference objectives by allowing participants to see and explore attractions in the community. They offer attendees additional content-rich experiences that enhance learning and provide a forum to engage with each other. ELOs are not included in the conference registration price and are offered for a separate fee.

All Experiential Learning Opportunities (ELOs) & Tours leave from the Sheraton Boston Hotel.

Experiential Learning Opportunities (ELOs)

  • Boston University ELO: Behind the Scenes at Boston’s Largest Fossil Fuel-Free Building
    Date: Sunday, October 29, 2023 – 12:30PM – 3:30PM
    Pick Up Location: Boston Sheraton Main Lobby
    Duration: 3 hours
    Transportation Method: Walking and/or Subway
    Price: $10

    Behind the Scenes at Boston’s Largest Fossil Fuel-Free Building

    Join BU Sustainability for a tour of Boston University’s LEED Platinum Center for Computing and Data Sciences. This building features net-zero carbon emissions, zero fossil fuels, and is designed for Zero Waste. It is Boston’s largest fossil fuel-free building and BU’s most sustainable building to date. The Center exemplifies the goals outlined in BU’s Climate Plan and Zero Waste Plan: net zero carbon emissions by 2040 and Zero Waste by 2030. Standing 19 stories tall and 345,000 square feet, the building utilizes the thermal capacity of the earth for heating and cooling. 31 geothermal boreholes go 1,500 feet beneath the earth’s surface as part of a closed-loop ground source heat pump system.  On this tour, the BU Sustainability team will showcase the mechanical spaces of the building that allow this geothermal system to function, along with additional sustainability elements, including: 

    • State-of-the-art exterior shading that reduces solar heat gain;
    • How BU is reducing waste at the source through Choose to Reuse and utilizing technology to track waste disposal data in tandem with the goal of obtaining TRUE Zero Waste Certification for the building;
    • BU Wind, a new renewable energy project designed to match all of BU’s electricity demand;
    How solar arrays on campus are matching 23% of the electricity demand for the building;
    Green roofs that capture rainwater and help reduce the urban heat island effect; and,
    If there is time, we will share other campus sustainability activities from dining to transportation.

    The Center for Computing & Data Sciences is a short 25-minute walk from the Sheraton. Join us for a walk (weather permitting*) through Boston’s Back Bay to the BU campus and the Center for Computing & Data Sciences. The tour group will depart Sheraton Boston at 12:30 pm. The tour of the Center will begin on the First Floor of the building (next to our interactive Sustainability Wall), then proceed to the mechanical rooms on the 18th and 19th floors to learn about how the geothermal systems work. From there, the group will descend to the 17th floor to enjoy the outdoor patio and views of Boston, Cambridge, and the Charles River. The group will visit the 5th floor pavilion terrace and one of the building’s 8 green roofs, then at 3:00 pm head back to the Sheraton.* For those who would prefer to take the subway, or if the weather is not cooperating, guides will lead you to the Hynes Convention Center MBTA station for a short ride (three stops) on the B Line to Boston University East stop. Round-trip MBTA subway tickets will be provided.

  • Northeastern University ELO: A Tour of Northeastern University: Arboretum to World Class Research Building
    Date: Sunday, October 29, 2023 from 12:45PM – 3:15PM
    Pick Up Location: Boston Sheraton Main Lobby
    Duration: 2-2.5 hours
    Transportation Method: Walking
    Price: $5

    A Tour of Northeastern University: Arboretum to World-Class Research Building

    Just steps away from the conference, join us for a tour of Northeastern’s beautiful campus arboretum and brand new science and engineering research building.  Learn about our successes and challenges of implementing sustainability and placemaking initiatives throughout Northeastern’s urban campus with a focus on our Level II Accreditation arboretum and our brand new research building, EXP, that is seeking LEED Platinum certification.  Northeastern University has transformed its campus from a few buildings surrounded by parking lots to its current build out of a campus integrated within Boston’s urban fabric. Along the way, Northeastern focused on cultivating a diverse and natural landscape, including beehives, and made investments in high performing new buildings. EXP, which opened in August 2023, is a modern research space designed to promote collaboration between students across disciplines, and will include teaching and research labs, classrooms, makerspace, dedicated space for innovative work. EXP achieves its energy reduction measures from triple glazing building envelope, heat recovery chiller, 77 ductless fume hoods, and sharing cooling systems with its neighbor ISEC.  All these elements and more lead to a 50% reduction in energy use and a 74% reduction in natural gas usage compared to a baseline research facility. ELO participants will meet at the lobby of the conference Hotel (Sheraton Boston) at 12:45 and walk over as a group to the heart of Northeastern’s Campus, Krentzman Quad, to start the tour at 1pm.  The first hour will be a walk through campus with a focus on the landscape.  The second hour will be a tour of the new research building, EXP (815 Columbus Ave).  All sites will be fully accessible, but the tour will be on the move throughout the session, so please dress accordingly.   The tour will be finished by 3pm and a staff member will walk back  participants to the conference hotel (Sheraton Boston) by 3:15.

  • Tufts University ELO: Artful Sustainability: Fine Arts, Sustainability and a Wampanoag Artist Exhibition
    Date: Sunday, October 29, 2023 from 1:00PM – 3:00PM
    Pick Up Location: School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts, 230 Fenway, Boston, MA 02115
    Duration: 2 hours
    Transportation Method: Walking or Public Transit
    Price: $5

    Artful Sustainability: Fine Arts, Sustainability and a Wampanoag Artist Exhibition

    Our SMFA campus is just 1 mile from the Sheraton; an easy 20 minute walk or public transit journey!

    Join us at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts (SMFA), where art education meets sustainability. With a legacy spanning nearly 150 years, SMFA is at the forefront of innovative art instruction with long integrated sustainable practices, prioritizing students’ well-being and longevity in their chosen art practices. You’ll gain insights into our commitment to sustainability and creative expression:

    1. Metals and Jewelry Studio: Step into the world of sustainable jewelry-making with faculty member Tanya Crane. Witness how our students transform unwanted jewelry into future heirlooms, demonstrating the art of recycling and renewal.
    2. CArte Util: Explore our donation program, a beacon of resource efficiency where we reduce art material waste while providing free supplies to students.
    3. Library Innovations: Visit our remarkable library, where we’ve established a seed library, plant exchange, and clothing swap lockers.
    4. Pollinator Gardens: Journey through our captivating courtyard and balconies adorned with pollinator gardens. These spaces not only beautify our campus but also support local biodiversity. 
    5. Double Arrows Exhibition: Experience the captivating “Double Arrows” exhibition in SMFA’s Grossman Gallery. Featuring the artistry of Aquinnah Wampanoag artist Elizabeth James Perry and invited guest artists, this showcase presents sustainably harvested treasures, including hand-carved Wampum jewelry, hand-tanned deer hide, and woven fiber and reeds.


  • Back Bay History & Culture Walking Tour
    Date: Sunday, October 29, 2023 from 1:00PM – 3:30PM
    Pick Up Location: Boston Sheraton Main Lobby
    Duration: 2-2.5 hours
    Transportation Method: Walking
    Price: $65

    Boston’s Back Bay History & Culture Walking Tour

    Boston’s Back Bay is characterized by its grid-like layout, resulting in a picturesque landscape of tree-lined streets and elegant brownstone buildings. The neighborhood is also home to the stunning Copley Square, dominated by the architecturally stunning Trinity Church and the iconic John Hancock Tower, showcasing the area’s architectural diversity. Back Bay’s proximity to the scenic Charles River Esplanade provides a delightful escape for outdoor lovers, offering jogging and biking paths, as well as serene views of the water. 

    Community Impact

    • We mindfully design our tours to explore areas on foot to lessen our environmental impact.
    • We are committed to a “360-degree view” of storytelling, featuring stories about under-represented groups, such as women, immigrants, and people of various ethnicities, ages, religions, and sexual orientations.
    • During our visit to the Back Bay, we will  offer opportunities to patronize small and local businesses to help them against rising gentrification.
    • Your guide will speak about the important role of Boston’s green spaces, including Boston Public Garden and the entirety of the Emerald Necklace, which has directly improved air quality for Bostonians.

    As you will be outside on this tour, please dress appropriately. 

  • Boston Ghosts & Graves Tour
    Tourists boarding the Boston Ghosts & Graves Tour BusDate: Monday, October 30, 2023 at 6:30PM
    Pick Up Location: Boston Sheraton Main Lobby
    Duration: 100 minutes
    Transportation Method: Open-Air Trolley, Walking
    Price: $140

    Hear all about Boston’s darker side!

    What better way to celebrate the Halloween season than by exploring the spookier side of Beantown by guided trolley? Guided by a ghoulish band of the undead and a roguish gravedigger, the Trolley of Terror will go back in time as you relive grisly murders, heinous torcherings and cold-blooded executions like the ones that took place on the Boston Commons. Learn about the paranormal hi-jinks going down at the Omni Parker House, the legend of the Boston Strangler and visit King’s Chapel cemetery where the bones of the dead served as currency for a man named Ephraim Littlefield.  In a city nearly four hundred years old – troubled with war, murderers, strife and the occasional bout of stray molasses, it is hardly any wonder that Boston remains one of the most haunted cities in America and stories of the glory days of Colonial Boston only scratch the surface of Boston’s darker side.

    Please note: Each tour will visit 2 of the following 3 burying grounds: Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, The Granary Burying Ground and King’s Chapel Burying Ground.