Service Learning Projects

Service-learning projects are an active way to learn while providing service to others in need. The projects take many forms in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University. They may be one-time, semester-long, year-long, or multiple-year projects that enhance student learning and contribute to the greater Ames, Iowa, or global community. The projects may be led by student groups or clubs or even might be part of a course. This website lists current service-learning projects in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Consider participating and becoming engaged in activities that provide both service and learning!

EARTH Service-Learning program

When you dig into the EARTH Program, you’ll find much more than a well-grounded education. Through the EARTH Program, Iowa State students travel to the island of St. John for a summer or an entire semester to work, live and help in the community. You’ll assist with school gardens and help grow local fruits and vegetables sustainably. Service-learners have the chance to help teachers in culinary arts and environmental science classes and create learning opportunities for school children. You’ll learn about the lives of U.S. Virgin Islanders in the Caribbean and what it means to protect beautiful ecosystems. Due to recent hurricane devastation to the islands, the need for helpful hands and reconstruction is high. Students can apply to participate in this program through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Global Programs Office.


Skunk River Navy

The Navy was formed in 1998 as a community service activity for the Freshmen Biology Learning Community - BEST, by Jim Colbert, associate professor of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology. As a regular user of the rivers and streams of central Iowa, he became concerned by the increasing problems facing those waters. BEST students, needing a community service project were the perfect group to tackle some of the issues. Not only was it a community service opportunity but also an educational activity, as the students and volunteers learned about and experienced the issues like water quality, organismal diversity and land stewardship.

Service Learning in Uganda

You’ll never be so happy to work so hard. Working side by side with Makerere University students from Uganda and Iowa State University Uganda Program staff lets you experience a new culture while helping to create incredible school gardens. These school gardens are outdoor laboratories for children’s classes and provide nutritious foods to the school lunch. You’ll assist teachers in integrated science classes and clubs and learn from local farmers who cultivate the soil along the Nile River. Contributing to a development project that is part of Iowa State’s impact in improving global food security hones your skills and makes the most of your education. Students apply to participate in this study abroad course through the Agriculture Study Abroad Office.