Syllabus for Fall 2008 

Lori Blewett                                                               Joe Tougas

Office: Sem II 2127                                                   Office Sem II 2102

Office Phone: 867-6590                                             Office Phone: 867-5052                              

Office Hours: Wed. 12:30-2:00,                                Office Hours: Mon, 2:00-3:30

       Mon. and Fri. afternoons by appointment               Wed. and Fri. afternoons by appointment

Course Description

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 program is designed to connect students with the richness and beauty of Northwest forests while building a learning community and examining the challenges facing communities around us.  We will study conflicts facing forest dwellers and forest workers in the NW and elsewhere in the world.  We hope to 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 Northwest forest ecology, so as to better understand what science can tell us about the health and needs of forests. 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.



1) Short (1-2 page) seminar papers generally in response to readings or assigned activity.  Seminar papers will be due every Tuesday at 2:00. Additional writing assignments/exercises or revisions may be due on Fridays.


2) Written feedback for two other students in your seminar writing group (almost every week).  Students will post their seminar papers for each other by Tuesday at 2:00.


3) Group Project Part I: Annotated Bibliography.  Each member of a project group will research and annotate 4-6 significant resources related to conflict in a particular forest region. Bibliographies will be collected into a class book.  Groups will present a Poster Session summarizing their research during week 5.


4) Group Project Part II: Conflict Analysis.  Each member of the group will analyze and write about a forest conflict, highlighting the perspective of a major stakeholder constituency (Due Week 9). The group will present a panel discussion of the various stakeholder perspectives during week 10. 


5) Integrative In-Class Writing Exercises (i.e., Quizzes). These quizzes may cover the readings, lectures, workshops, and/or films of the week. 


6) Active Participation in all aspects of the learning community. This includes helping out with “housekeeping” tasks on the fieldtrips, around the classroom, in small groups, in addition to  contributing to class and seminar discussions.


7) End of the quarter Evaluation materials: Portfolio of accumulated work including feedback from other students and faculty, Self-evaluation, and Faculty Evaluation.


                                               Weekly Schedule

NOTE: Parts of this schedule will be updated as the quarter progresses in order to better meet the needs and interests of our learning community.

 Week One; Sept. 29 - Oct. 3     Reading: Final Forest (Mon.); Stilgoe, Ch. 1, 2 (Tues); Kruckeberg, Preface, Ch.1, Ch2 (Fri) 

Monday: Due: Written response to Final Forest (see website for summer assignment description)

  • 9:30—Course Introduction. Complete questionnaire (turn in to faculty office if not finished during class)
  • 1:30—Walk in woods on campus (Organic farm, beach, etc. Meet in A-Dorm 205)

Tuesday Due:   Notes from walk (based on Stilgoe reading). Due at 2:00 (email faculty)

Wednesday Due: Bring 2 hard copies of writing about walk and your Final Forest essay.

  • Seminar/writing workshop on Final Forest and Stilgoe. Covenant discussion.


  • 9:30—Campus Tour.  Discussion w/Andrea Seabert. Film on Olympia.
  • 1:30—Lecture/Discussion: The Hows and Whys of Teaching and Learning at Evergreen.
  • 7:00—Reading by Nalini Nadkarni at Orca Books (optional)

Friday Due: Kruckeberg Chap 1-2; in-class book quiz

  • Lecture: Orientation to N.W. lands and forests
  • Lecture: Introduction to This Fissured Land, and sentence outlines.
  • Form triads for group project part I.

Arts Walk in downtown Olympia, Friday evening. (optional)

            Week Two; Oct. 6 – 10

     Reading: This Fissured Land, (Mon); Our Forest, Your Ecosystem . . . (on Ares) (Thurs.)



  • 9:30— Lecture: Forest use and conflicts in global context: Indian case study
  • 11:30—Lecture: Philosophical ideas about conflict.
  • 1:30— Study Group (A-dorm 206) Students who have read at least ½ of the text may wish to meet in small groups in the Residence hall room to discuss their notes, questions, and understanding of the text so far. This will help with writing and seminar discussions.

Tuesday Due: Write a full sentence outline for This Fissured Land to at least 4 levels of

 subordination. Email faculty by 2:00.

Wednesday Due: Bring to seminar your reading notes (including answers to guiding questions)

 and book marginalia. 

  • 9:30 — Writing workshop/Seminar
  • 1:30 (or early evening) Sustainability data collection/community connections.

Thursday Due: Integrative quiz (including Our Forests, Your Ecosystem, Their Timber.) 

  • 9:30 Workshop on forest conflict case studies
  • 1:30 Social contract discussion with Andrea Seabert. Workshop on group conflict. Beginning academic research (library tools workshop). Students should plan on working in groups until 5pm.


·        Book Seminar: What are the limits of the authors’ argument and why?

·        Preparing for Field trip—what to do this weekend.


Week Three; Oct. 13 – 17

     Reading: Hidden Forest selections (photocopies) (Mon.);

More Tree Talk, selections (photocopies) (Wed.); Kruckeberg, Ch. 5 (Thurs.)


Monday: Preparation for fieldtrip; Exploring by bus.

Tuesday Due: Report on bus exploration

Wed-Friday: Field trip to Millersylvania Park including workshops, art projects, journaling, films, seminar discussions, and field research with Nalini Nadkarni

 Week Four; Oct. 20 - 24

      Reading: At least 2 treaties (on webpage) (Mon.); Native Americans of the Olympic Peninsula: beginning to p. 19, pp. 51-117, pp. 151-167 (Mon); Voices from the Woods, selections (Mon.); West Coast Journeys, selections (on webpage) (Wed.); Kruckeberg, Ch. 10 (Fri)



  • Northwest Native History. Treaties. Guest speaker

Tuesday Due: 

  • Read selected excerpts. Pick two narratives that seem to clash or be inconsistent with one another in one way but consistent in another way.  Describe and explain the consistency/ inconsistency in the authors’ perspectives using passages from the text to support your argument. (Remember to post to faculty and student respondents by 2:00)
  • Guest Speaker Jacilee Wray [Joint meeting with Olympic Peninsula program]

10am at Longhouse (optional)

Wednesday Due: (remember to bring hard copies of your seminar paper, marked texts, and notes)

  • Writing workshop. Seminar using only author’s words. Film on NW History.


  • Intercultural Communication Competence lecture/workshop
  • Field trip to Tribal Museums and possibly Shelton

Friday Due: Revised seminar paper (with attached original and designated respondent comments)

  • Seminar readings and field trip discussion
  • Assessment of Individual and program issues (Andrea Seabert)

 Week Five; Oct. 27 - 31     Reading: Environmental Movements in Majority and Minority Worlds, Ch. 1, 2, 4 (on webpage) (Mon); Breakfast of Biodiversity, selections (on Webpage) (Mon) 


  • Films on History of Environmental Movement in U.S.
  • Discussion of underlying goals and values of different branches of the Environmental movement.  Role of the International economic system.

Tuesday Due:

Look at recent newspaper articles/editorials on forest related conflicts in the Northwest.  Analyze the arguments in relation to the readings (how is the contemporary argument consistent or inconsistent with the differing types of arguments/concerns/visions presented in the readings?)

Wednesday: Writing workshop/Seminar on readings


  • Film on local logging history and contemporary conflict
  • Lecture/Workshop on Argument Analysis (and public speaking if time)

Friday Due: Group project presentations of annotated bibliographies.

  • Introduction to U.N. Community Forest Management training (used again wk 8)

Week Six; Nov. 3-7

      Reading: Community and Politics of Place, (Mon.), Aldo Leopold text (on Webpage) (Wed.)


Monday: Lecture: Values Analysis; small group activity.

Tuesday Due: ABC Paper on Community and the Politics of Place

Wednesday: Writing Workshop/Seminar


  • Values Workshop
  • Film: Wilderness Idea
  • Reshuffling of groups finalized for part II of group project

Friday: project groups work on draft of project proposals

            Film: Wild by Law

 Week Seven; Nov. 10 – 14

 Reading: Kruckeberg, Ch. 11 (Mon); EcoCities, selections (Mon)


Monday: Lecture on global cities, sprawl, and development. Afternoon city walk.

Tuesday Due: Reflective writing on city walk in relation to EcoCities text and neighborhood checklist

Wednesday: Writing group/Seminar


  • Presentation/workshop with city planners
  • Lecture/workshop on Conflict dynamics

Friday Due: Integrative quiz (in class)

  • Seminar discussion on EcoCities  and Kruckeberg Ch. 11.

 Week Eight; Nov. 17 – 21      Reading: Our Forest, Your Ecosystem… selections (on website) (Mon); Selections from UN Training manual (on website) (Mon) 

Monday: Possible guest lecture on local alliances.

Tuesday Due: Writing assignment TBA


  • Jigsaw Seminar on selected readings from Our Forest, Your Ecosystem, Their Timber and UN Forest conflict training manual).


  • Andrea Seabert (trouble shooting for last few weeks of quarter)
  • Fieldtrip to Kennedy Creek with reflective writing component.

Friday Due: Full Draft of Group Project Part II  to share with other group members.

  • Seminar/conflict workshop, discussion of assignment for Thanksgiving Break

 Thanksgiving Break week

  • Reading: Plato’s Apology and Crito (linked to webpage)
  • Learn about a local conflict related to land use and communities. Write a short 1-2 page paper on the conflict and the perspectives you encountered.

Week Nine; Dec. 1 – 5

Reading: Plato: Apology, Crito, Gorgias (Mon), Tao of Democracy, selections. (Wed.) 

Monday: Lecture/discussion on Dialogue and limits of Dialogue

Tues Due:  Seminar paper TBA

Wed Due: Responses to guiding questions

  • Writing workshop/Seminar


  • Conflict Communication skills workshop
  • Select text to re-read for week 10
  • Sustainability data collection/connection with community.

Friday: Seminar/discussion

 Week Ten; Dec. 8-12

Reading: To be selected by students (TBA) (Thurs.)



  • 9:30 Group Presentations
  • 1:30 Workshop on writing self-evaluations (room TBA)

Tuesday Due: Full draft of self evaluation (send to faculty and student respondents)

Wednesday: Group Presentation

Thursday: Group Presentations. Seminar on re-read text

Friday Due: Integrative in-class Writing Exercise.  Portfolio.  Potluck.

 Week Eleven, aka. Evaluation Week; Dec. 15 - 17

Evaluation Conferences will be individually scheduled.