What is a Campus Living Laboratory?

Initial Publication Date: October 27, 2006

In a living laboratory, the campus is explicitly linked with education; the campus buildings and grounds are used as teaching tools.

  • At the smallest scale, an instructor can illustrate a concept during a lecture by using a campus example. For instance, during a lecture on greenhouse gases and global warming, the instructor could have the students brainstorm the campus sources of greenhouse gases (i.e. energy for heat and electricity, transportation to campus etc.).
    Carleton College

  • At a much larger scale, a multi-year interdisciplinary project could be undertaken with facilities management to have students research and design a new campus building with environmentally beneficial components. For example, see Carleton College's Eco-House Class.
At any scale, the campus can act as a teaching lab where students can see the local, concrete links to theoretical concepts. For some ideas to get started on a geoscience campus-based activity, visit a list of tips and examples.