2010-11 Catalog

Decorative graphic

Offering Description

Mount Rainier: The Place and its People

Fall, Winter and Spring quarters

Faculty: Jeff Antonelis-Lapp environmental education, Lucia Harrison (W,S) public administration, visual arts, Carolyn Dobbs (F) environmental/land use planning, protected areas, children's literature

Fields of Study: Native American studies, environmental studies, natural history, outdoor leadership and education and visual arts

Fall: CRN (Credit) Level 10030 (16) Fr; 10032 (16) So - Sr  

Winter: Enrollment Accepting New Students  CRN (Credit) Level 20031 (16) Fr; 20032 (16) So - Sr; 20601 (1-16)  Conditions Students must agree to to adhere by the program covenant (available to review with the Lab I program secretaries). Contact Jeff Antonelis-Lapp (lappj@evergreen.edu) or Lucia Harrison (harrisol@evergreen.edu). New students should view the 6-part documentary The National Parks: America's Best Idea and expect to complete some catch-up work during the December break.  

Spring: Enrollment Closed  CRN (Credit) Level 30030 (16) Fr; 30031 (16) So - Sr; 30672 (1-16)  

Credits: 16(F); 16(W); 16(S)

Class Standing: Freshmen - Senior; 25% of the seats are reserved for freshmenFreshmen - Senior

Offered During: Day

Prerequisites: Prior to registering, all interested students must complete the "Agreement for Mount Rainier Program" (request from lappj@evergreen.edu). The completed agreement must be emailed to Lab I program secretaries Amber De Villers ( pearsona@evergreen.edu) or Pam Udovich ( udovichp@evergreen.edu) prior to registering. Students must be prepared to work collaboratively outdoors in all types of weather. Note to students entering winter quarter: View the 6-part documentary The National Parks: America's Best Idea.


Mount Rainier, known locally as "the Mountain" or "Tahoma", dominates the landscape of the Puget Sound region and commands the attention, imagination and respect of its inhabitants. The relationship of people to the Mountain has varied widely: prized by Indigenous Peoples for a variety of activities, even today; seen by European-American settlers as a potentially vast resource for timber and minerals; and as a wilderness and recreation destination for Puget Sound inhabitants and tourists from the world over.

Some of the questions we will investigate include: What do we know about the natural and human history at Mount Rainier, and how might this predict the future? What are the interrelationships of people, place, flora and fauna at Mount Rainier? What role does Mount Rainier play in the arena of conserving protected areas? Does place-based, experiential conservation service-learning lead to environmental stewardship?

To capitalize on the usual pattern of late summer good weather, we will begin the program on September 13, two weeks before the regularly scheduled start of fall quarter. This will allow us to be on the Mountain at arguably the finest time of the year. Students planning to live on campus will receive our help in arranging for storage prior to our departure for the Mountain. Students must be prepared to camp in primitive conditions, and must be ready to undertake strenuous hikes and outdoor work. The tenth week of the program will be the week of November 15, and evaluations will be completed by November 23. Students may begin their winter break at the completion of their evaluation process.

We will meet on campus on September 13-14 to plan for our departure to the Mountain, and on our initial field trip, September 15-24, we will study the area's natural history, including an introduction to the geology, geography, watersheds, flora and fauna of the Mountain. Students will learn to draw and create an illustrated field journal documenting their natural history learning. An important portion of this field trip will engage students in conservation service-learning opportunities at Mount Rainier. Potential activities include assisting in archeological excavations, meadow revegetation, historic rock wall restoration, trail work or a variety of other projects. These and other program activities will equip students to continue to learn, teach and advocate for the environment.

During winter quarter, we will broaden our study to include the park's neighbors within the Nisqually River Watershed and examine the efforts of the various stakeholders to create a cooperative management strategy that protects and sustains the watershed. We will observe and study the natural history of birds in the watershed, learning to use them as a way to teach environmental education. We will also use drawing as a mode of inquiry in environmental education, assist on service learning projects, and help public school students with water quality field monitoring and at the Green Congress on March 18 th.  During week 8, a four-day field trip will take us to Mount Rainier and other places in the upper Nisqually watershed. Other day-long field trips will introduce us to organizations and the work they pursue within the Nisqually watershed.

We will work with the Park and its neighbors to identify potential student projects for spring quarter. Near the end of winter quarter, students will plan their spring quarter independent or small group projects, which will be spring’s primary focus. Students will develop skills in drawing, visual communication, public speaking and graphic arts computer applications to aid in interpretive projects.

Winter and spring quarter field trips to the Mountain and the surrounding watersheds will continue to provide service-learning opportunities in a variety of conservation and environmental education projects. As we enlarge our geographic area of study, the Nisqually River watershed and Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge will provide opportunities to study salmon recovery efforts and avian natural history and opportunities to design and complete individual and group projects. A range of place-based projects—scientific, historical, environmental education, interpretive and artistic—will be available.

Maximum Enrollment: 48

Required Fees: Fall $200 for overnight field trip; Winter/Spring $300 per quarter for overnight field trips, service learning component, and art supplies.

Preparatory for studies or careers in: biology, civics, environmental education, environmental studies, natural history, visual art, and visual communication.

Campus Location: Olympia

Online Learning: Enhanced Online Learning

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Program Revisions

Date Revision
February 22nd, 2011 This program is not accepting new enrollment in spring.
December 1st, 2010 Description of winter quarter expanded.
March 2nd, 2010 Prerequisite information updated.
November 18th, 2009 Prerequisite information added.