Summer 2019

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Learning Gardens, Community Engagement. In this capstone, students will explore and participate in the concept of “community food security” through community engagement and learning gardens. Students will also examine community service learning through the lens of “sustainability leadership.”

Food insecurity is a challenge for students, children, parents, immigrants, long-term citizens, old, young, and all other label you might apply to someone. In this online course students have the opportunity to do their "25 hours of service" in a food-scarcity-related organization in their own community. The service component of the course offers an important connection and correlation between the course materials and the validated and verified aspects of food insecurity.

Whole Systems Living in the Columbia Gorge. Partnering with the Little White Salmon Biodiversity Reserve (LWSBR), participants will help tend farm and forest lands while exploring relationships among science, culture, stewardship and community development. LWSBR is committed to providing a place-based, systems-aware learning environment while serving community well-being and ecological health.

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.

 

Creating Global Citizens. Global citizenship is of utmost importance as our societies are increasingly becoming more connected through media and technology. There is a growing disparity in the American school system that allows only the privileged students to participate in meaningful and engaging cultural learning. Schools that receive funding and support are able to facilitate cultural exchanges in person for students and faculty, while the majority of students in the public system receive little financial support and are left without any type of cultural exchange or enrichment program. This capstone will provide this needed and valuable cultural exchange.

Image result for contrary to media we are not all meant to look the sameEvery Body Matters – Embracing Size Diversity. This course focuses on fatness as a social and cultural construction, examining the relationship between discrimination caused by body size and gender, race, and social class. Students will use social justice and healthcare perspectives to question weight bias and explore ways in which the fat community and its supporters resist sizeism. This course offers an alternative view of fatness that accepts the reality of a diversity of body shapes, sizes, and types and works to reduce harmful bias and fat phobia that negatively impacts all people, fat and thin. Standardized weights and "ideal" body types can be oppressive to everyone, even those that fit the "norm."

 

Leadership and Mentoring. The mentoring of young people takes many forms. Some young people are fortunate to grow up with a caring parent, relative or adult ally who serves as a mentor to them. Other young people do not enjoy the benefits of a strong mentor in their lives.  Research shows that mentoring results in a myriad benefits for both the mentor and the mentee. For all involved, these include the development of leadership skills, increased interpersonal communication, improved relationship-building skills, and increased self-awareness. Armed with these skills, a young person has greater potential for success in many settings.

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.

Grant writing skills are critical to the survival of many non-profit environmental organizations. In this course you will learn grant writing skills by developing real grant proposals for Rising Tide.

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