Conceptualizing our Regional Environment

Fall Open
Class Standing
Shangrila Joshi
John Withey

The first course in our MES core sequence examines Pacific Northwest ecology, history, and economics through a systems lens. We explore key methodologies and theories of environmental disciplines as a foundation for collaborative work within interdisciplinary teams. In addition, we study indigenous ecological knowledge and natural resource management of Pacific Northwest tribes. Native American tribes have crafted this region’s landscape and seascape for millennia, initiated major environmental reforms during the past century, and continue to provide environmental leadership across the region. Finally, we examine the policy process, with particular attention to the way national and state environmental policies play out at local and regional levels.

Students will draw upon this material to assess the value of particular disciplines and ways of knowing for framing and solving environmental problems. Students will focus on several major environmental challenges through readings, lectures, workshops, seminar discussions, and writing assignments. A central part of this quarter's work is an interdisciplinary group project, which assumes that many critical environmental issues cannot be solved by individuals working alone or even by teams from a single discipline. This project provides an opportunity for students to develop their research, writing, presentation, and collaborative problem-solving skills.

Hi-Flex Class Format:  This course is offered in a “Hi-Flex” format. Students can attend fully in-person, fully online, or a mix of both. Each class will be offered in-person but will also include a zoom link for remote attendees. We will do our best to provide comparable experiences for both in-person and remote students. Remote students can expect to engage with one another through breakout rooms, online discussion boards and other collaborative online methods. 

CLASS SCHEDULE: Tuesday and Thursday nights, 6pm-10pm

Please note that there will be a mandatory field trip to the Olympic Peninsula tentatively scheduled from October 10-12. We will provide more details in a summer letter to students and orientation.


Academic Details


A $250 fee covers a field trip to the Olympic Peninsula. This includes lodging, food, transportation, and museum admission. 


Hybrid (F)

See definition of Hybrid, Remote, and In-Person instruction

Schedule Details