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Learning Gardens, Sustainability, and Food Sovereignty at Oregon Food Bank - This course will explore sustainability and food sovereignty through community engagement at the Oregon Food Bank and Wombyn’s Wellness Garden

This fully online course is for students who are interested in creating and facilitating a community event. This Capstone partners with the Columbia Slough Watershed Council. Students will plan and facilitate a community event that has already been arranged with the community partner prior to the start of the term. You can expect the event to be during the last 2 weeks of the term (event date and time will be announced in the first week of classes).

This course will explore sustainability and personal connection to the environment through community engagement at the Learning Gardens Lab (LGL). Students will examine community-based learning through the lens of sustainability leadership, and engage with alternative and critical perspectives on sustainability. Class time will focus on hands-on activities in the learning gardens, group discussion and community engagement projects. Students must attend the first class session on campus.

In this course, students have the opportunity to learn the basics of grant writing. A much sought-after skill in many sectors, grant writing helps a variety of nonprofits and government agencies obtain funds for various projects they are interested in pursuing. For this class, our community partner will be JOIN. As they describe on their website, JOIN exists to support the efforts of homeless individuals and families to transition out of homelessness into permanent housing.

This capstone is similar to the Gender and Violence capstone but includes more emphasis on international issues.

Brief description   


Mougas is a small coastal community in the Northwest region of Galicia, Spain on the Costa De Castros.  Historically, Galicia has been one of the poorest, most remote regions in Spain.  These communities have lived through economic instability and isolation. However, changes, including the growing popularity of the pilgrim routes throughout Spain and improved transportation options to this region, are starting to change the face of tourism in Galicia.

This capstone is designed to use a singular example in order to frame the broader issue of conservation and climate change.  In particular, the experience is designed to take place in the Danau Girang Field Centre, a research facility run cooperatively by the Sabah Wildlife Department and Cardiff University of Wales (  The Centre is quite remote and in a patch of isolated rainforest, located in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary in Sabah (North Borneo), Malaysia.

Oregon’s wildlife refuges strive to protect its fish and wildlife for present and future generations.  The Wildlife Area helps the public learn that its flora and fauna teaches us many things, such as biomimicry, the study of nature’s sustainable design strategies that will help our world.  (Example: Sunflower leaves turns to face the sun: Can we design solar cells that do the same?)

This Capstone partners with Centennial Park School (CPS), an alternative school for "at-risk" students in Gresham. PSU students will provide mentoring and support to CPS students to help them express themselves through creative storytelling. The course will examine issues of social justice, holistic learning, and self advocacy, and consider the power of vulnerability in a leadership position. The course will also address privilege and power in society, community and classrooms.