Dickinson College joins Eco League

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Dickinson College in Carlisle, Penn, recently accepted an invitation to join the Eco League, a consortium of liberal arts colleges dedicated to sustainability across the curriculum, facilities and operations.

Dickinson is the first college to be added to the five-member Eco League since 2003 when it was founded. Currently led by Northland College in Wis., the Eco League also includes the College of the Atlantic in Maine, Green Mountain College in Vermont, Prescott College in Arizona and Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage.

“The things that bind us all together are an emphasis on the environment, community, outreach, experiential learning and the liberal arts,” said Northland College President Michael A. Miller.

Dickinson recently completed a robust application process that included a report documenting its academic programs and commitment to sustainability and a campus visit from Eco League representatives.

Dickinson’s participation adds new experiences for their students and faculty and enhances the current consortium.

“Our partnership with the Eco League will provide our students with opportunities to study in areas that are ecologically distinct from what they find in the Carlisle region,” said Nancy Roseman, president and professor of biology at Dickinson College.

“Dickinson's philosophy is rooted in ‘hands on’ learning, so providing our students with the opportunity to be exposed to and do research in the geographic and ecologically diverse areas represented by our Eco League partners is very exciting for us,” Roseman said.

Dickinson brings to the Eco League a Center for Sustainability Education, an organic farm, The Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM) that works with local communities on citizen-science initiatives, a vibrant global studies program and an active student body.

“Dickinson students are fully dedicated to the liberal arts. They utilize their education and access to amazing facilities and a dynamic faculty to help drive environmental change,” Miller said. “ Dickinson will provide great opportunities for all of our students and faculty.”

The Eco League roster gives students access to learn about sustainability in three oceans, Lake Superior, the Sonoran Desert, northern forests, glaciers, coastal islands and on organic farms in five different growing regions. Through an exchange program, students are able to attend any of the Eco League colleges while enrolled at their own college.

Faculty members collaborate through guest lectures, curriculum development and co-teaching of courses. Currently, the Eco League offers three joint courses focused on marine biology, sustainable business and natural and cultural history interpretation. Most recently, a course at Northland College took students out into the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior for three weeks. Over the next couple of years, the Eco League plans to strengthen and expand its program offerings. “This is just the beginning,” Miller said.

For more information, visit http://www.ecoleague.org/