Columbia River

The Columbia River
Overview and Covenant      Spring 2006
This is a Core Program designed for first-year students.  Enrollment: 46

            Liza Rognas                                          867-5851           
Rob Cole                                      867-6714           
Teaching Assistant
            David Smith                                          866-8079           

            Teresa Woods-Santoso            867-6525           

Writing tutors:

Office hours:
            Liza                                          CAB                                                    Tuesdays 1-2  Otherwise TESC Library
            Rob                                          Seminar 2 E 4112                                 Friday 9 - 10


Special Expenses:  $175 for field trips to various locations in the Columbia Basin to be paid by
April 7, 2006.
Description:  The story of land and sky, of people and place, is told by water in the Pacific Northwest.  Our program will focus on a river called the “most dammed river in the west,” the mighty Columbia. Our combined efforts will investigate the rich study of place. Students in this program will learn this river’s story, its many names and faces, by studying the natural, environmental and social history of the Columbia River watershed. Because several salmon species and their associated migration runs offer an important thread connecting these themes, we will also study the ecology of salmon and their historical cultural, spiritual and economic values to humans.
We will take field trips to the river to study both its natural ecosystems and the impacts that humans have had throughout the river basin. We will engage ourselves in the hydrological, geological and geographical legacy of the river and the land through which it flows. We will read and hear the stories told by native peoples and new comers who have made the river their home. Throughout the program, we will ask how place shapes human lives and how human action changes place. We will ponder the nature of transformation and investigate the many transformations endured by this river and its people. Part of our learning this quarter demands we inquire how political, cultural and technological power informs these transformations and manifests itself in the stories told by and about this river. We also will study the changes brought by the hydroelectric dams, the irrigation system for agriculture, the creation of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, and the emergent recreation industry associated with the river.

Students will engage in research related to the Columbia’s history and its future. Topics will include natural history, introductory salmon ecology, hydroelectricity, literature, Native American history and culture, social and political history, and public policy connected to the many themes of the Columbia River.  This program is preparatory for careers and future studies in environmental studies, history, science, geography, political and policy studies, teaching, and Native American studies.

Class Schedule

  • Wednesday      9  -  12 .                       Workshop/Lecture                   Sem 2  C1107
  • Thursday        10 - 12:30                      Workshop/Lecture                   Sem 2  E1107
  • Thursday          1:30 - 4                        Seminar                                                            Sem 2 D2107;   Sem 2 E1107
  • Friday              10 – 2                          Seminar/potluck lunch   Longhouse 1002


Evaluation criteria

You will be evaluated on class participation, individual and group in-class assignments, homework assignments, and papers.  You must attend class and regularly complete homework assignments in order to get credit. 

Credit Policy

Credit is not the same thing as high quality work. Full credit is given when students fulfill the minimum requirements and standards of the program. The evaluation is used to describe the QUALITY of the student's work. Thus, a student could actually receive credit, but also receive evaluations that reflect poor quality work. On the flip side, a student could attend regularly but receive partial or no credit because of poor quality or missing work.

Mid-quarter and of quarter portfolio

You will submit a complete portfolio of your work both week 5 and week 10.  This portfolio is merely a compilation of all of the work you have done during the quarter. 

Late Work Policy

In all but the most extenuating circumstances, faculty will not read late work and you should expect to lose credit if you do not complete the work on time.

Academic Honesty

While collaboration is encouraged and expected, plagiarism will not be tolerated and will be considered grounds for loss of credit or expulsion.  In particular, take-home exams are required to be individual work; any collaboration on exams will be grounds for loss of credit and/or discussion in the evaluation.  Any student who plagiarizes material, through failure to attribute and acknowledge sources or through failure to acknowledge joint authorship, or who cheats on quizzes or exams, is likely to lose all credit for the quarter. Ask your faculty members if you have any questions.

Alcohol and Drug Policy

Absolutely no use of alcohol or drugs will be allowed in any class activity or field trip.  Attending class events under the influence or using these substances during program activities or field trips will result in loss of credit, expulsion from the program, and possibly expulsion from the College.

The Columbia River
Student/Faculty Covenant
Spring Quarter 2006


We agree to enter into a learning community with you and the other students and to:
• Be prepared and punctual when leading program activities;
• Be available for consultation during office hours or by appointment;
• Provide timely feedback on student work;
• Notify students at risk of reduced credit by the end of week five;
• Be aware of our own needs as scholars and as human beings, reserving the right to reevaluate and adjust the pace of the program should it be deemed necessary in order to achieve personal and program goals;
• Prepare an evaluation of each student at the end of the quarter following the guidelines of section 7.620 in the Faculty Handbook;
• Support your overall academic interest.


We will all promote a cooperative and supportive atmosphere within our program that helps to ensure that all people have the opportunity and encouragement to speak freely; we will treat each person with civility and respect, especially when disagreeing with someone’s ideas, attitudes or assumptions; and we will remain sensitive to issues of racism, classism, sexism, homophobia or other forms of discrimination within the program context.


We expect a high degree of personal commitment from you—to your own learning, to group work, and to the class as a whole.  The basic assumption of this course is that learning results from a continuing process of rational discourse.  Within the course there are both opportunities and responsibilities. You have opportunities to learn about a variety of subjects and your responsibilities are to maximize your learning from the course, maximize the learning of your classmates, and apply what you have learned.


  • Come on time to all program activities
  • Carefully read all written material passed out in class. 
  • Turn in all required assignments on time. 
  • Show a positive, cooperative attitude towards the faculty, other students, and the program as a whole. 
  • Maintain a portfolio of all of your work.
  • Write a detailed, thoughtful self-evaluation at the end of the term. 
  • Write a thoughtful evaluation of each program faculty.



Credit will be awarded for participating in and completing the entire body of work for the program.  Evaluations will be based on attendance, participation in program activities, written work, and final project materials.  The quality of your work, the level of your understanding, and the extent of your improvement will all be reflected in your evaluation.  All work must be completed by the end of the term.
1. Each student who regularly attends and participates in lectures, workshops, and other scheduled activities, who completes the papers, and all assignments, and who turns in self and faculty evaluations—all with acceptable content and quality—can expect to receive full credit.
2. Any student whose work appears not to be meeting standards for credit will be so informed by the faculty in writing by the end of the fifth week of the term. Students who do not receive a written fifth week warning may be denied credit based on unsatisfactory performance after the fifth week.
3. While collaboration is encouraged and expected, plagiarism will not be tolerated and will be considered grounds for loss of credit or expulsion.  Any student who plagiarizes material, through failure to attribute and acknowledge sources or through failure to acknowledge joint authorship is likely to lose all credit for the quarter.

A student may be asked to leave the program for failure to meet the responsibilities and guidelines set forth in this covenant, for violating the Evergreen Social Contract, or for behavior that is consistently disruptive, antagonistic, or detrimental to the conduct of the program.  Use of drugs or alcohol during any program activities or attending program activities under the influence of drugs or alcohol constitutes grounds for immediate dismissal from the program.
A student who is doing unsatisfactory work or seems to be out of touch with the program’s goals may be advised to leave but not forced to do so.  We will make reasonable efforts to help such students overcome their difficulties.  A student who is asked to leave and wishes to appeal may do so by arranging to meet with us to discuss the matter.  Our decision after this meeting will be binding.  The usual avenues of higher appeal remain open, of course.


Your continued enrollment in this program will serve as your acknowledgement, acceptance and agreement to the conditions outlined in this covenant.



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