Defining Real Problems & Real Solutions

Students in Dickinson's biodiesel shop.

The Dickinson College campus and communities beyond campus borders are living laboratories for learning about sustainability problems and solutions through direct experience. Dickinson students work with each other, faculty, staff and community members to identify and define problems, understand their causes, develop solutions, and test their ideas.

Dickinson College Organic Farm:

Student farmers, interns and volunteers grow vegetables and raise livestock using sustainable, organic practices on Dickinson's 50-acre farm, supplying the campus and community with nutritious food while building soil health, protecting the Yellow Breeches watershed, and enhancing habitat for native pollinators and other wildlife.


The Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring's student and professional staff work with community organizations across the state of Pennsylvania to provide training and other assistance for monitoring water quality and using monitoring data to protect watersheds.


The Center for Sustainable Living, aka the Treehouse, is a residence hall for students committed to reducing their ecological footprint, building community, and educating their peers about sustainable living.

Idea Fund:

The student initiated and managed Idea Fund supports student-innovators to implement social and environmental projects with consulting services, revolving loans and innovation grants.

The Handlebar:

Our on campus bike shop provides hands-on programming by faculty, staff & student volunteers to learn the skills and habits of a sustainable mode of transportation.

Biodiesel Production:

Renewable fuel to power farm equipment other college machinery is produced from waste vegetable oil by students at our College Farm.

Reducing Dickinson's Carbon Footprint: 

Students collaborate with Campus Operations staff to analyze and recommend actions for reducing Dickinson's greenhouse gas emissions in this community-based research course.

Campus Buildings & Facilities:

Students learn from observing and studying Dickinson's LEED Gold buildings, solar arrays, and energy efficiency, recycling and composting programs, and by participating in planning new buildings, solar panel installations, and other campus projects.