2008-09 Catalog

Decorative graphic

Program Description

Into the Woods: Communities, Conflicts, Alliances

NEW! Last Updated: 08/29/2008

Fall quarter

Faculty: Joe Tougas philosophy, Lori Blewett communications

Major areas of study include Pacific Northwest social and environmental history, written and oral communication, philosophy, cross-cultural studies and forest ecology.

Class Standing: This lower-division program is designed for 50% freshmen and 50% sophomores.

Forests and trees have always played an important role in shaping and sustaining human communities, yet forest conservation and use are more controversial than ever before. Around the globe, forests are sites of conflict between people with competing social, cultural and economic interests. The Pacific Northwest is an ideal place to study such conflicts and to observe some creative problem-solving alliances.

This lower division program is designed to connect students with the richness and beauty of Northwest forests while building our own learning community as we examine the challenges facing communities around us. Through field trips and reflective writing, students will develop a deeper understanding of the significance of forests and trees in their own lives and in local cultures.

We will study conflicts facing forest dwellers and forest workers both in this area and elsewhere in the world. By investigating the political economy of forest communities, we will gain insight into the challenge of sustaining forests while equitably and ethically balancing the needs of complex human societies. In order to better understand competing perspectives on forest-related controversies, we will analyze public rhetoric and investigate its philosophical and ethical underpinnings. We will also become familiar with the main concepts of forest ecology, so as to better understand what science can tell us about the health and needs of forests.

Students will sharpen the skills necessary for participation in dialogue, decision making, and advocacy related to forests and forest communities. Such skills include critical thinking, expository writing, academic research, argumentative writing, persuasive speaking, conflict analysis and management, and intercultural communication.

By combining personal, community and global analyses of the relationship between humans and forests, this program aims to prepare us all for the essential task of building alliances that can effectively address long-term environmental problems.

Freshmen in this program are encouraged to enroll in Trees and Humans: Ecology, Art and Culture for Winter and Spring 2009.

Credits: 16 per quarter

Enrollment: 46

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Special Expenses: $160 for overnight field trips

Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in liberal arts, environmental studies, writing, communications, philosophy, cultural studies and community development.

Planning Units: Programs for Freshmen, Culture, Text and Language, Environmental Studies

Program Revisions

Date Revision
May 6th, 2008 This is a new Core program, not printed in the catalog.
August 29th, 2008 This program is now accepting sophomores as well as freshmen.