The Pacific Northwest: History, Culture and Environment
Last Updated: 12/31/2007
Faculty: Liza Rognas American history
Major areas of study include Pacific Northwest social and environmental history with emphasis on natural resources, gender, expository writing and basic research.
Class Standing: This Core program is designed for freshmen.
What is historical thinking and why is it important to an understanding of the Pacific Northwest? How can knowledge about the past be used to create a more environmentally and socially sustainable present and future? In this one quarter program, students will have the opportunity to explore the history of this region through five specific themes: Culture, Environment, Gender, Labor and Sustainability. Program reading materials, films, lectures and other resources will introduce students to key historical ideas and concepts in each of the themes and from this foundation students will engage in their own research. Working in groups and individually, students will craft research questions and project ideas linking the past with present-day sustainability initiatives. For example, how does the language used in American Indian Treaty documents over a hundred years ago play a vital role in natural resource protection policies today?
This program is intended to introduce students to the unusual world of historical thinking, to the practical and creative applications of history, and to the important current-day concept of sustainability. While attempting this intellectual feat, students will learn and hone research skills, listening and seminar skills, writing and deep reading skills.
Research will emphasize primary and secondary resources and information obtained through observation and participation. It will also rely upon standard library materials such as newspapers, photographs, government documents and electronic databases. Activities will include workshops and guest speakers, trips to area museums and archaeological digs, and a two-night field trip to the Columbia River.
Using program materials, field trip notes and the products of their own research, 16-credit students will write two short papers and complete an end-of quarter project on a topic of their choice that incorporates one or more of the program themes. 12-credit students will write two short papers. All students will keep an annotated bibliography and research log throughout the quarter.
Credits: 16 per quarter
Special Expenses: $75 for 3-day field trip expenses, museum entrance fees and guest speakers. A deposit of $50 is due by April 10, 2009.
Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in history, environmental studies, cultural studies, gender studies and labor studies.
Planning Units: Programs for Freshmen