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Global Change Biology Service-Learning Project

Course taught by Dr. Phil Camill, Biology Department, Carleton College. Example compiled by Suzanne Savanick, Science Education Resource Center.
This material is replicated on a number of sites as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service Project


The class engaged in a service learning project to craft a draft sustainability vision for Carleton. The students worked in teams of 3-4 students and the statements that each of the teams developed were shared with the Environment and Technology Studies Program (ENTS) and the Carleton Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC). The EAC and ENTS will then refine the ideas into a statement that will eventually go to the president and trustees and become incorporated into the day-to-day business of the college.

Learning Goals

The service-learning component of the course provides:

Context for Use

Carleton is on the cusp of both a 100-year campus planning initiative and a major capital campaign. This involves the possibility of adding several new buildings, renovating older ones, adding parking lots, and dealing with the energy and water consumption of all of these endeavors and the waste that they produce. Thus, there is a lot of opportunity for considering alternative approaches and the issue of designing a campus that is more sustainable in terms of energy use and waste production. This course, an introductory non-majors biology course, used a service-learning approach to teach about biology and connect the course to a local project.

Teaching Materials

Website for the Global Change Biology Service Learning Project.

Teaching Notes and Tips



Grading Criteria

References and Resources

Course information

Example student projects


Biology, Education, Environmental Science

Resource Type

Activities:Project:Service Learning, Activities

Special Interest

Local Issue:Campus-Based

Grade Level

College Lower (13-14):Introductory Level

Ready for Use

Ready to Use

Earth System Topics

Biosphere, Human Dimensions


Biosphere, Human Dimensions/Resources, Education


Teach the Earth:Enhancing your Teaching:Service Learning, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Environmental Science, Teach the Earth:Teaching Environments:Intro Geoscience

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