2011-12 Catalog

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Offering Description

Knowing Place: Living in the Flux and Flow of our Surroundings

Summer 2012 quarter

Kathy Kelly systems theory variety of disciplines
Fields of Study
ecology, economics, environmental studies and political science
Preparatory for studies or careers in
ecology, economics, public policy making, social change work

The purpose of this program is to expand and deepen students' understanding of systems theory, especially living systems. Students will use critical and technical skills, research and field experience, and reflective practices to understand, integrate, and interpret their environment.

Following a brief (re-)introduction to systems theory, we will examine the dynamics of the Nisqually watershed that includes the Olympia area. Students will become familiar with efforts for ecosystem protection and restoration and consider the implications of greater systems thinking in public policy-making. We will use an ecological economics framework that identifies nature's services and places an economic value on those services, a tool that is useful for conservation and development planning.

The program engages experiential as well as cognitive learning as students participate in exercises to raise awareness of ways of being present in and perceiving the place we live. Students will develop map reading skills and practice journaling in both narrative and field journal styles as a means of recording, reflecting upon, integrating, and presenting knowledge. Readings, coupled with these exercises, will fuel discoveries about how our surroundings shape our thoughts, emotions, and actions.

Field trips include a series of visits to sites within the watershed, including sensitive natural areas and places of local historic significance.

Advertised Schedule
6-10p Fri, 9a-5p Sat (Jun. 29 - Jul. 28) plus one weekly meeting in student teams (time to be determined by team). Students are expected to provide their own transportation to field sites on Saturdays; carpooling is encouraged.
Online Learning
Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online
Greener Store
Required Fees
$35 for entrance fees
Offered During
Evening and Weekend