Introduction to Environmental Studies:
Indigenous Identity, Ecology and
Resources in the North American Pacific Basin

Program Overview:
North American Pacific Basin Native and Indigenous peoples perceive the Basin region from a unique set of cultural and physical perspectives. In this program, we will focus on environmental studies through the lenses of Native rights, resources and Native identities. We will emphasize physical geography and cultural and political ecologies from the perspective of political and social histories of Native and Indigenous groups in the region. We will focus on environmental histories, issues of climate change and impacts on Native cultures, tribal, local and global sustainability; Native resource management strategies from historical, cultural and ecological perspectives; and Native identity formation in a rapidly changing world. The program will also include skill building for environmental studies students including field and lab data analysis, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), social data analysis, ethnography and writing for social scientists within environmental work groups. We will work on case studies of different tribal or Native groups. Local field trips will support classroom and seminar investigations.
During fall quarter, we will become familiar with the regional context of the North American Pacific Rim, environmental histories, Native tribal identities and social histories, as well as issues of sustainability. Students will develop research skills including GIS and spatial analysis, policy interpretation, ethnography and writing for social sciences in environmental contexts. During the winter quarter, students will continue their investigation of regional and Native topics from case studies. We will write a case study of individual Native groups from the perspective of social, cultural and environmental relationships using the skills developed during fall quarter. The program will include a series of books for seminar, lectures by faculty, guest speakers and local field trips.



IES Syllabus for students.pdf99.34 KB