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Upper Iowa University’s Earth and Environmental Science curriculum is particularly suited to involve students in service learning. Many students majoring in conservation management also engage in service learning through courses or for their senior project. In addition, some preservice science teachers and other students interested in informal science education create projects in which they educate school children on science or environmental themes. UIU’s Science and Environment Club welcomes students from any major with an interest in the environment and has a decades-long history of active participation in river clean ups, highway roadside clean up, recycling and other similar efforts.

Within the last several years, students taking the Environmental Science GIS course have been involved in community mapping projecting, including:

  • Locating large items for removal during river clean up events
  • Mapping safe routes to school in Calmar, Iowa
  • Sidewalk mapping and improvement recommendations at UIU’s Fayette Campus (Iowa)
  • Mapping of ash trees to aid the City of Fayette Tree Board in planning for the loss of ash trees to the emerald ash borer insect
  • Developing an early proposal for a connector trail between Fayette and the trail systems of the Volga River Recreation Area and Echo Valley State Park
  • Students taking the ecology course and members of the UIU Science and Environment Club often participate in prescribed prairie burns and other events to promote native vegetation, restore wildlife habitat or control invasive species

Students in hydrogeology have created posters to educate citizens on water quality concerns and serve as volunteer leaders in river clean-up projects on the Volga and Turkey Rivers.

In addition, students completing senior projects and theses have also carried out projects, including:

  • Water quality education
  • Water quality sampling
  • Volga River water trail design and proposals
  • Design and deployment of streamside containers for collecting fishing line, hooks and lead weights
  • Trumpeter swan habitat restoration
  • Assessment of habitat for birds, butterflies and fish
  • Forest tree surveys
  • Testing invasive species control methods