Sustainability

Farm Ed for Youth: Growing Stories
This Capstone will partner with the Sauvie Island Center (sauvieislandcenter.org). The mission of the Sauvie Island Center is “educating youth about food, farming, and the land.”  Students will work collaboratively with the Sauvie Island Center staff to develop curriculum for school age children, help the Center to tell the story of Oregon farmers and of farm education, and support Center staff in developing and maintaining the organization’s field trip site at Topaz Farm on Sauvie Island. Students will have the option of volunteering remotely or on site at Topaz Farm, learning about sustainable food systems and the impact of farm education; the course will offer opportunities for students to develop skills in educating and storytelling to help transform the relationship between humans and their environment and thus enact social change.

This Capstone will partner with the Learning Gardens Laboratory (LGL), a 12-acre garden education site on Portland’s southeast side. Students work collaboratively to gather stories of community gardeners, teachers, and community partners who regularly gather at LGL to learn and farm. Capstone students will gain skills in interviewing, storytelling, and using narrative as a means for social change, in addition to learning about sustainable food systems and the impact of learning gardens. 

Curriculum and Material Development for Heritage/Indigenous Language (INDIGENOUS LANG ACTIVISM) 

The goal of this course is to give students a solid background in historical and societal issues that influence language diversity through hands-on collaboration with current language sustainability efforts. This capstone partners with endangered language communities in the Northwest (tribal language programs in general and the Warm Springs Tribal Language Program, specifically) to work together to support those programs by giving students “on-the-ground” skills to accompany class studies. Capstone students will develop language and/or pedagogical materials that will support the endangered language programs/teachers in their work to offer language classes in their communities. General class instruction will be exclusively online or hybrid and those students who can meet at the PSU campus may be able to participate in a visit to the language communities to increase students’ practical understanding of the language and community issues for their final work. All students who are interested in Indigenous and/or language activism are welcome to this capstone (regardless of any prior familiarity with Indigenous languages or history), and especially those who are interested in supporting our community partner’s fund-raising efforts and curriculum/teaching activities.  Students in this capstone are strongly encouraged, as a class goal, to foster a healthy online community and collaborate with peers through group work. Members from our community partner and other guest speakers will also join online (likely using Zoom), and other online meeting times will be determined by class and community participants’ availability and schedule.

Sustainable Food Systems and Educational Farms at Learning Garden's Lab Site

The time is ripe to be part of the growing sustainable food movement! This class addresses the current food issues that face urban citizens by holistically engaging students in the many layers of Portland's local food and farm culture.  Students will critically analyze the state of our current food systems while being engaged in positive solutions to agricultural-related issues. The community partner and classroom is the Learning Gardens Lab, where students will gain hands-on farming experience, experientially explore their personal connection to food and the land, participate in the Learning Garden programs, and positively contribute to food security in our greater community.

Environmental Justice and Salmon. The Columbia river flows through our region in physical and metaphorical ways. Present in the story of the river and the salmon that navigate it are social issues, history and conflict that continue to impact NW communities. Through a place-based, experiential approach we will engage this content. Over the course of the term we will spend the majority of our class time outside of the classroom near the river and at sites of cultural or geologic importance.

Grantwriting for Environmental Defense

Environmentalism is a philosophy and social movement (come call it a revolution) involving both protection and improvement of the health of our natural environment. Environmentalism is an attempt to achieve sustainability so that both humans and the Earth thrive without compromising future generations. The movement in this country is credited as starting with Rachel Carson and her extremely popular book Silent Spring published in 1962, when it fact it was spawned in 1945 with the return of soldiers from World War II and the creation of suburbs that caused issues with sewage, storm water runoff, nonpoint source pollution, and inefficient energy sources.

This course will partner with Portland’s Community Cycling Center, helping them increase their capacity by developing grants for specific projects. The Community Cycling Center works to broaden access to bicycling and the benefits of cycling. Their vision is to build a vibrant community where people of all backgrounds use bicycles to stay healthy and connected. In order to write a successful grant proposal, one must gather up as much knowledge about the topic and the organization as possible.

The goal of this course is to provide students professional skills for grant proposal writing in the field of language diversity and sustainability. Along with the proposal writing skills, the students will learn a solid background in historical and societal issues that influence language diversity through hands-on collaboration with current language sustainability efforts. This capstone partners with one of the endangered language communities in the Northwest, specifically, the Warm Springs Tribal Language Program.

Quality Assurance for Volunteer Stream Monitoring.

Science Background Not Required.

This course is designed to give students an opportunity to learn about and become involved in urban sustainability projects and organizations in Portland, OR.  Students will be introduced to basic concepts and practices related to urban sustainability and understand how social, ecological and technological issues are interlinked.  Students will then directly participate in a sustainability project that will provide a base of experience for furthering the learning and appreciation for the challenges and opportunities to making our cities more sustainable.  This Capstone builds on a number of

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