Forest, Farm, Shellfish Garden: Experiential Learning

Fall Open
Class Standing
Sarah Williams
Feminist Theory, Cultural Studies

Sarah Williams is faculty for this program Fall, Winter, and Spring. Suzanne Simons is joining for Fall only, and Joli Sandoz will be joining Spring only.

Centered on the living lands and waters of the 1,000 acre wood, farm, and shoreline that were originally Squaxin tribal homeland, this year-long program immerses us in field-based, experiential learning at the site of The Evergreen State College. Whether listening for how birdsong affects how we hear, observing the movement of the tides alongside tidal oyster beds, or joining work parties to support organic agricultural production at the farm and community gardens, Evergreen's many acres will be a bit like A.A. Milne's Hundred Acre Wood in Winnie-the-Pooh:  "a place for inquiry, a place of wonder," a place for "natural world expotition." Our experiential learning also will include creative reflections inspired by interdisciplinary art and science expeditions like those documented as “forest logs” at Andrews Experimental Forest and published in the book,  Forest Under Story . From forest bathing (shinrin-yoku) to multi-species ethnography, from natural history to eco-poetics, we’ll explore the value of experiencing and documenting past, present, and future stewardship, agri- and aqua-culture, recreation, and education practices.

Half of what we do will be applied work in the field, such as trail maintenance and community gardening of plants and shellfish.  The other half will be lectures, seminars, workshops, and writing assignments on environmental humanities themes, which will be focused on literature (fall quarter), poetry & poetics (winter quarter), and nature writing (spring quarter). All students will be supported to develop their own individual or small group projects that progress in depth or scope over the year. Weekly field journal and WordPress workshops will support the documentation of projects to result in both field journals and ePortfolios of experiential learning's affects across time. Our work together will be structured by Pacific Northwest seasonal changes and address critical themes in the environmental humanities such as: domestication and wilding; social equity, inclusion, and environmental justice; capitalism, de-de-growth, and survival of the fittest/friendliest; inter-species and multi-species kinship; derangement, imagination and climate change.

Integrated with this environmental humanities program is participation in the campus climate and/or artist lecture series and in-program individual learning contracts and internships. While students are encouraged to enroll in all three quarters, each quarter's curriculum is seasonally bound so that students may enter at the beginning of fall, winter, or spring with the option for summer projects.

Credits will be awarded in environmental humanities as well as natural history, literature, poetics, writing, gender studies, climate studies, multi-species ethnography, food studies, agricultural history, outdoor education and credits appropriate to substantive student project work. Faculty are committed to facilitating student-driven engagement and supporting students in discovering and developing their academic passions.

Full-time students should expect to spend an average of 35-40 hours per week on class time and assigned reading, writing and experiential learning activities. Some weeks may be more, some less. If you are consistently putting in substantially more than 35 hours per week, contact faculty so we problem-solve with you. 8-credit students should expect to spend an average of 20 hours per week in class and on assigned reading, writing and experiential learning activities.

This program incorporates Greener Foundations. Greener Foundations is Evergreen’s in-person 2-quarter introductory student success course, which provides all first-year students with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive at Evergreen. First-year students who register for 14 credits in this program will be placed into Greener Foundations for an additional 2 credits, totaling 16 credits. Once first-year students have been placed into Greener Foundations, they will receive an email confirming their registration status.


Course Reference Numbers
Fr (14): 20085
Fr (8): 20086
Course Reference Numbers
Fr (16): 30049

Course Reference Numbers

Fr (14): 10133
Fr (8): 10134

Academic Details

Writing and literary arts; Food and agriculture; Natural resource and recreation conservation and management; Outdoor, agricultural, aquacultural education; Climate resilience


Students can take this program in spring quarter for between 8-16 credits. Please contact the faculty for more details. 


Fall: $15 for nature journal supplies. 

Winter: $50 required Sustainable Agriculture Lab fee. $15 nature journal fee is only for new students. Total fee for continuing students $50. Total fee for new students: $65. 

Spring: $25 for nature journal supplies.

Although listed as exploratory, this program is designed to support particularly skilled students in developing and completing research projects, including capstone projects. Nine months of full-time study can foster advanced skill development and substantive research projects.

Faculty will support students during spring quarter to locate internship opportunities with community gardeners and farmers as well as organizations that manage public shorelines, parks and forests.


Hybrid (F)
Hybrid (W)
Hybrid (S)

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

Schedule Details
SEM 2 C1107 - Workshop


Date Revision 2022-12-22 Suzanne Simons is no longer a winter faculty. 2022-04-12 $50 required lab fee added per quarter.