Since 1997, the Center for Earth and Environmental Science (CEES) and the Department of Earth Sciences have coordinated environmental service learning projects that include locations on the IUPUI campus as well as numerous central Indiana parks, greenways, and natural areas. Through the service learning program, IUPUI faculty, staff, and environmental managers work with IUPUI students and community members to address urban environmental issues.
Environmental service learning
The focus of CEES's environmental service learning program is to raise awareness of ecological health issues as they relate to water quality. Service learning projects work towards improving Indianapolis-area water quality and combating nonpoint source pollution through restoring wetland and floodplain ecosystems and through public education programs. Working on these projects provides students with an opportunity to directly experience many of the topics discussed in their courses, as well as a chance to observe how communities can work together to solve environmental issues.
Each semester, we conduct 8-10 work days with the ability for 20-40 students to participate in each event. In a typical semester, the Center's service learning program engages 15 sections with 10 instructors from four schools, university-wide; over 300 students participate.
Our project sites and community partners include long-term and continuing relationships with Indy Parks and Recreation, City of Indianapolis Department of Public Works, the Central Indiana Land Trust Incorporated (CILTI), Eli Lilly and Company volunteers, and the Department of Natural Resources, among others. Additionally, CEES has formed partnerships with several campus units, including Campus Facility Services, to address environmental sustainability issues on campus.