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Environmental Leadership Program

Providing the skills, confidence and inspiration to make a difference!

Be part of an award-winning team! (2015 UO Sustainability Award – Excellent in Teaching).

About us

The Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) is a collaborative, interdisciplinary service-learning program housed in the University of Oregon Environmental Studies Program. We match student teams with non-profit organizations, governmental agencies and businesses to address local environmental needs. Our students gain leadership, communication and professional skills by engaging directly in applied problem-resolution while providing valuable assistance to our community partners.

Our goals are to provide:

  1. Undergraduate students with unique and practical learning experiences that develop field-based research, writing and presentation skills;
  2. Graduate students with project management and team-building experience and skills; and
  3. Organizations with cost-effective and high-quality services.

About our projects

We develop our projects cooperatively with community partners. Depending on partners’ needs, projects can address environmental education and outreach, natural resource management, habitat restoration, species conservation, environmental monitoring, sustainable business practices, ecotourism, recreation management, environmental justice, and other topics.

Currently, we have four primary focal areas.

In our Conservation Science in Action projects, students assist community partners by completing hands-on restoration projects, creating assessments and management plans, or acquiring and analyzing needed environmental data.

In our Environmental Education projects, students develop, implement and share transformative learning experiences for children in nature. Students create scientifically rigorous curricula, teach programs in classrooms and conduct field trip activities.

In our Community Engagement projects, students collect and share information with different audiences using creative methods, such as interpretive signs, social media, technical assistance documents, and oral histories. For example, in our MyMcKenzie project, students promoted conservation of the beautiful and ecologically important McKenzie River through photography, creative writing and conservations with community members.

In our Sustainable Practices projects, students implement solutions that address and integrate concerns regarding environmental health, social equity and economic success. Example projects include renewable energy, waste prevention and recycling, alternative transportation, sustainable business, and organic agriculture.