BEYOND UVM: Southeast Alaska’s Inside Passage courses at the Tatoosh School

Summer field research and study in Southeast Alaska’s Inside Passage – 2013 Courses filling fast!

The Tatoosh School is an independent, university-level field school with seasonal offices in Portland, Oregon and classrooms in the towns, oceans, and forests of Alaska’s Inside Passage. It is the school’s mission to foster first-hand learning about the ecology and environmental policy of southern Southeast Alaska.

Rigorous academics focus on the development of a sense of place and passion for civic engagement, and a sound knowledge of the Pacific coastal rainforest. Students earn 12 units of credit and leave empowered to explore their surroundings with wide-eyed curiosity and to reach out as active and informed citizens.

Traveling by sea kayak through the islands that make up Southeast’s Alexander Archipelago provides students with the opportunity to build outdoor leadership and technical skills. Lectures and assignments delve into topics ranging from island biogeography to contemporary timber management. Innovative curricula teach scientific curiosity and civic engagement in ways that students can take home and practice, building a six-week field course into a lifelong passion for wild learning.

Tatoosh School students become field scientists by participating in several established long-term ecological research programs together with our partners.  These exciting projects provide students the opportunity to apply their understandings of Southeast’s dynamic terrestrial, riparian, and nearshore marine ecosystems while contributing to a valuable body of scientific data that is, in turn, used to inform management decisions across the region.

Course I – June 19 through July 29, 2013
Course II – August 2 through September 11, 2013

Academic Course Descriptions (offered concurrently during both 6-week expeditions):

Natural History & Ecology of Southeast Alaska (6 units)
Southeast Alaska encompasses the Alexander Archipelago – composed of more than 5,000 islands – and a narrow strip of mountainous mainland, split by glacial fiords and major river systems.  The land is home to an array of plant and animal life, and is considered the front lines of study in island biogeography.  This course explores the natural environment from the nearshore intertidal zone to the high alpine, examining the adaptations and relationships of organisms to their environments over time and space.

Politics of Place: Southeast Alaska (6 units)
This course explores the political landscape of Southeast Alaska and covers a wide range of topics including land ownership, public and private land management, conservation strategies, local and regional economies, Alaska Native cultures, land settlements, corporate structures and current resource management issues.  It focuses on the evolution of social and legal structures and how those structures guide current decision-making.  Inquiry and reason are applied to real-life challenges, and students engage with citizens and policymakers to consider solutions.

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