The Living Laboratory concept brings together research partners and Lincoln University students to research and explore the challenges that face our world
Lincoln’s Living Laboratory creates an effective methodology and practical environment where as a student using the resources on the Lincoln University campus, you engage with partners to explore, test and solve real-world problems relating to the land-based sector.
A Living Laboratory project combines:
- Students: Engaging in real-world problem solving through practical application and research
- Academia: Either individual academics or researchers
- Partners: These include Māori organisations, land-based sector, industry, community, government and schools
These three groups are pulled together and supported by B.Linc, which facilitates their connections. A Lincoln-based steering group including a representative from each Faculty works with B.linc to establish connections with other organisations. The current convenor of this steering group is Roslyn Kerr.
Living Laboratory projects
Revitalising the Arboretum
In 2021, a Living Laboratory Guardian Group was established to provide leadership and governance of the Arboretum area on campus through ensuring its continued use as a Living Laboratory for the staff, students and external partners of Lincoln University. Lincoln Envirotown acts as our community partner.
The Arboretum has been a feature of Lincoln University’s campus for nearly forty years. Located on the western side of the Lincoln University Campus, the area comprises half a hectare of exotic and native flora and fauna, including the largest collection of magnolias in the South Island. It acts as a space for students to learn and relax, and a bridge between the community and the University, in line with the objectives of the Living Laboratory.
The following courses integrate or have integrated the Arboretum into their learning:
Future Dairy Living Lab
The ‘Future Dairy Living Lab’ consists of two mini-farms or farm-lets (currently 12 ha each) within the larger Lincoln University Research Dairy Farm. Both farm-lets have the strategic goals of reducing inputs, improving recycling of nutrients and reducing waste whilst maintaining or improving profitability.
Our farm-lets have established a future need to enhance the landscape and promote biodiversity and resilience in soils, plants, animals and people and to reflect the values of New Zealanders. Both properties have adopted either a conventional best practice approach (Best Now) or alternative future design approach (Dairy Future) to achieve these outcomes. Decision rules on both farms apply science-based principles. Or where the science is limited, test new approaches and measure the outcomes.
Mt Hutt Forest and Bike Park
The establishment of a Living Laboratory at Mt Hutt Forest and Bike Park, owned by Sir Graeme Harrison, allows a partnership-based focus on the challenges of land use, parks and outdoor recreation. Sir Graeme Harrison has funded two Masters scholarships and one Summer studentship to:
- Evaluate the degree to which New Zealand’s planning framework and national-level greenhouse gas policy is fit-for-purpose in managing multi-valued, multi-purpose land such as Mt Hutt Forest and Bike Park, and what should be changed (or recommended) in the new planning and policy framework.
- Assess the recreation demand potential for the Mt Hutt Forest and Bike Park.
- Develop a restoration plan for Mt Hutt Forest and Bike Park.