Environmental Leadership

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Summer 2017 quarter (Full Session)

Taught by

Accelerated environmental change is the new normal. This dynamic course will begin with a review of the current status of global and local impacts of such change. We will identify opportunities and methods that will help students develop the necessary leadership skills to address this emerging crisis. The class will first explore past environmental successes and examine a variety of approaches and collaborations used in Washington state, looking closely at what has worked and what hasn’t, and what techniques will be most useful for successful environmental stewardship in the future. The following is a list of past successes for review and analysis:

• The Early Winters project in the Methow Valley, ca 1980’s

• The proposed gravel mine on Maury Island, ca 2008

• The Pit to Pier project in eastern Jefferson Co., ca 2014

• The creation of the Teanaway community forest in Kittitas Co., ca 2013

• The SSA Marine proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point, Whatcom Co., ca 2016

By clearly understanding the process and manner of resolving these past challenges, in the second phase of this class, students will apply this knowledge to propose innovative solutions to the following current environmental challenges:

• The Dept. of Natural Resources trust land plan for conservation of the marbled murrelet in Western Washington

• The Dept. of Ecology’s efforts to create a no-discharge zone in the Puget Sound

• Ongoing efforts to curtail carbon emissions in Washington.

These case studies will be student led, working in small teams, with the goal of understanding the essential role of leadership in shaping solutions across diverse interest and political groups. Student teams will examine and evaluate the role and leadership qualities of members of the public and responsible officials in crafting success. Team presentations will demonstrate thorough research, critical thinking and professional presentation skills of the issues under study. Peer evaluations will be part of each presentation. Two planned field trips, one in the Hood Canal area and one on the Columbia river, will provide the class with an opportunity to talk with environmental leaders, view the project area, and discuss the realities of both past and current mega projects and their potential impacts. The ultimate goal of this class is to inspire and equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to become effective environmental leaders.

Students can enroll for 2 credits first session, 2 credits second session, or 4 credits full session. If you registering for the second session only, please contact the faculty for required preparatory readings.

Peter Goldmark has a lifelong involvement with agriculture, conservation, science, education, and public service. In January 2017, Peter completed his second elected term as Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands. He obtained his B.S. from Haverford College in 1967 and went on to complete a PhD in Molecular Biology at UC Berkeley. He has published research papers in national and international journals and instructed class at Heritage college and UC Berkeley. 

Program Details

Fields of Study

environmental studies political economy political science

Preparatory For

state/federal environmentally related agencies, NGO's, educational institutions, land management businesses, elected and appointed office


Summer Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

Wed 6-10p plus optional Saturday field trips (specific dates to be determined)

Online Learning

No Required Online Learning