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Community for Environmental Leaders

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Community for Environmental Leaders

What is the Community for Environmental Leaders?

When you join the Community for Environmental Leaders (CEL), you get to live and learn with peers who share your passions. You will live together in the same hall while exploring sustainability through field trips, volunteer service events, and course work. This program begins with a four-day orientation trip during which residents camp together and learn about local food, alternative transportation, water management, or coastal ecology. Throughout the year, CEL residents have priority registration for several environmental issues courses. You will also have opportunities to explore Eugene’s quirky corners and the natural world beyond with knowledgeable resident assistants and other mentors.

Who can be an Environmental Leader?

If you’re interested in raising backyard chickens, learning how to build a bike, or backpacking through old-growth forests, CEL is for you. Enthusiasm and curiosity are the only requirements. CEL welcomes students from any academic track, regardless of existing environmental knowledge. No matter what you hope to do for the environment, CEL is a great place to begin the journey. You’ll have the opportunity to learn from and work with urban farmers, forest ecologists, bike mechanics, and other community members who are actively shaping a sustainable future.

What kind of time commitment is CEL?

You’ll get out of it what you put into it. Besides the orientation trip, you’re expected to complete three general education environmental studies courses. That’s one per term. Then there are numerous optional activities like hikes, special lectures, tree plantings, and weekend camping trips. You can participate in as many or as few of these as you like.

What classes will we take?

  • ENVS 201 Environmental Studies (4 credits)
  • ENVS 202 Environmental Studies (4 credits)
  • ENVS 203 Environmental Studies (4 credits)
  • These courses satisfy specific environmental studies minor/major requirements and are social science, science, and humanities group satisfying respectively.


This community is currently located in Walton Hall. Please note that Academic Residential Communities can be moved to different residence hall buildings if the size or need of the community changes. 

Who is eligible and how do I apply?

All first-year students are eligible. 

  • First - Apply for University Housing and select Community for Environmental Leaders on the "Community Preference" section.
  • Second - Complete the "Community Questions" section on the housing application. This will ensure that the faculty director will be able to review your application to live in this community. The faculty director will be in contact with you before summer to determine your placement in this community.

To find out more information, please visit the Community for Environmental Leaders website or email or call (541) 346-3489