Living Laboratory

The Living Laboratory is an effective methodology and practical environment where students use resources on campus to engage with partners to explore, test and solve real-world problems relating to the land-based sector.

A Living Laboratory project combines: 

  1. Students – Engaging in real-world problem solving through practical application and research.
  2. Academia – Either individual academics or researchers.
  3. Partners – These include Māori organisations, land-based sector, industry, community, government and schools.

Examples of Living Laboratory projects

ECOL103 Ecology I: New Zealand Ecology and Conservation  

There is an outdoor class session in the Arboretum where students do some weeding and prepare an area for some fresh native plants.   

ERST620 Environmental Management Systems 

In Semester 1 2022, a group of students from ERST 620 undertook a sustainability analysis of the Lincoln University Dairy Farm (LUDF), which entailed gathering data on farm operations and assessing this against several sustainably frameworks in order to suggest future actions that would improve environmental performance.  A big thanks to Jeremy Savage for assistance with data and insights into the LUDF. 

LASC211 Planting Design and Management 

There is an outdoor class session in the Arboretum where students do some much needed weeding. The timing of this Living Laboratory is important because it is in the autumn and the weeds are usually overgrown after the summer season. 

LASC216 Site Design 

In Semester Two 2021, students did one of their projects in the Arboretum where they had to come up with design solutions around the native section. We had a great set of projects with students focusing on the experience of walking through the area, understanding its cultural and ecological values while promoting educational activities. 

RECN213 Event Planning and RECN343 Sport and Recreation Management  

Over the years, the course examiners in the Sport and Recreation Management Degree have spent many hours of networking in order to collect a long list of professional contacts in the sport and recreation sectors. Currently there are over 1200 people on that list! Many of these professionals are graduates of the Sport and Recreation Programme and are part of our unique Lincoln whānau. From this list, the examiners have highlighted a cohort of 90 professionals in Canterbury and throughout NZ who have agreed to be interviewed by Lincoln University students. 

In Semester One 2022, students in RECN213 completed an assignment where they had to contact an event professional on the list and conduct an interview to learn more about the “day in the life of an event professional”. In RECN343 students interviewed a sport or recreation professional and then had to give a presentation to the class so that all students could learn more about professionals. These living lab projects provided students with a networking opportunity with professionals and better knowledge of the sector. 

First year ecology students get some fantastic hands-on experience at our Arboretum.

Want to know more?

You can see some of the other Living Laboratory projects on the Lincoln University website.  

If you need help including a Living Laboratory project in your course, please contact one of the Living Laboratory Steering Group members below. We would also like to hear from you if you have a Living Laboratory project. 

Roslyn Kerr  Convenor
Wim de Koning  B.linc Innovation representative
Tim Curran AGLS representative
Jacob Kambuta AGCM representative
Crile Doscher ESD representative
Tracy-Anne De Silva   LTL representative