Make this your lecture hall.

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The School’s field-based, university-level courses provide learning opportunities that are relevant for students in a range of majors and disciplines.  Students earn up to 20 units of upper-division credit and gain rich practical field experience in rural and remote southeastern Alaska. Follow @tatooshschool for photos and videos from the field.

3-week Intensive: May 21 – June 11, 2018

Community Ecology: Salmon, People, Place


6-week Summer Session:  June 20 – August 1, 2018

Aquatic and Terrestrial Ecology + Politics of Place


10-week Semester Equivalent:  May 21 – August 1, 2018

Community Ecology; independent travel; Aquatic and Terrestrial Ecology; and, Politics of Place


Tatoosh School students become field scientists and participate in several long-term ecological and socio-economic research programs in collaboration with our partners while gaining invaluable experience and professional connections that can last a lifetime. Tatoosh School programs apply understandings of Southeast’s dynamic terrestrial, riparian, and nearshore marine ecosystems while compiling and analyzing data that supports land managers in their evaluation of the efficacy of techniques as projects progress across the region.

Students on 3- and 6-week programs enroll in two upper-division undergraduate courses concurrently; students on a 10-week program enroll in four courses concurrently. First-year graduate students are encouraged to apply and credit is available. Learn more about earning academic credit.

 


3-week Intensive: May 21 – June 11, 2018

Community Ecology: Salmon, People, Place

5 semester or 8 quarter units

 

This 3-week intensive focuses on the communities that inhabit the heart of the Pacific Coastal Ecoregion. Conceived broadly, the course theme of community ecology launches explorations from the outer coast to the Inside Passage to study interactions at varying scales and across biological, social, biophysical, and cultural boundaries.

The CE course will begin with a 4-7 day backcountry expedition in the Prince of Wales Island archipelago. The remainder of CE will be spent in the forests and rivers of Prince of Wales, with a base camp in Coffman Cove, and wrap up in the town of Wrangell. Classes will be interdisciplinary, conducted in both lecture- and activity-based formats.

Course Descriptions:

Community Ecology: Salmon, People, Place (4 semester or 6 quarter units, 410/510) examines the physical, biological, economic and political frameworks essential to informed stewardship if salmon-producing watersheds, healthy forests and communities in the Pacific Coastal Ecoregion. Students practice stream, upland forest and community survey and monitoring techniques that contribute to long-term collaborative stewardship work. A community ecology lens adds consideration of organizations and networks on the landscape and in human communities, enhancing students’ knowledge of resiliency and sustainability in the ecoregion.

Applied Methods in Field Research and Education (1 semester or 2 quarter units, 410/510) explores methods for the development and implementation of active teaching and research programs that integrate people, leadership, academics, community and ecology. Course content will explore non-formal teaching and learning techniques, place-based education, and community interaction in higher education.

 


6-week Summer Session:  June 20 – August 1, 2018

Aquatic and Terrestrial Ecology + Politics of Place

9 semester or 14 quarter units

 

The six-week core session is designed to foster first-hand learning about the ecology and human dimensions of natural resources in southern Southeast Alaska. Expedition-based and experience-centered, this program makes wild lands and the working landscape your lecture hall. A rural base camp is the jumping-off point for sea kayak expeditions on the outer coast and the Inside Passage, linked by lectures from community leaders and stakeholders and participation in long-term ecological and socioeconomic monitoring programs.

Course Descriptions:

Aquatic & Terrestrial Ecology of Southeast Alaska (4 semester or 6 quarter units, 410/510). Students develop an understanding of key ecological principals of aquatic and terrestrial systems, from the nearshore intertidal zone to the high alpine. This class also examines the adaptations and relationships of organisms to their environments over time and space.

Politics of Place: Southeast Alaska (4 semester or 6 quarter units, 410/510). Topics include land ownership, public and private land management, conservation strategies, local and regional economies, Alaska Native cultures and communities, and contemporary resource management issues. A focus is placed on the evolution of social and legal structures, and how these structures guide current decision-making.  Inquiry and reason are applied to real-life challenges, and students engage with citizens and policymakers to consider solutions.

Applied Methods in Field Research and Education (1 semester or 2 quarter units, 410/510) explores methods for the development and implementation of active teaching and research programs that integrate people, leadership, academics, community and ecology. Course content will explore non-formal teaching and learning techniques, place-based education, and community interaction in higher education.

 


10-week Semester Equivalent:  May 21 – August 1, 2018

Community Ecology; independent travel; Aquatic and Terrestrial Ecology; and, Politics of Place

13 semester or 20 quarter units

 

This program combines our 3-week intensive and our 6-week summer session to offer a full summer in Alaska. From nearshore aquatic habitat monitoring to the impacts of transboundary mining, the Semester Equivalent surveys the complex issues facing North America’s largest temperate rainforest. Lengthy immersion in the backcountry and rural communities from Sea Otter Sound to the Stikine River provides students the opportunity to dig deeper on topics that fit their major or course of study, and work closely with faculty and guest lecturers.

Topics covered will include–but aren’t limited to!–Alaska Native studies, climate change, collaborative governance, community development, fisheries, forestry, glaciology, paleontology, public lands management, restoration ecology, sustainable aquaculture, international law and politics, and wildlife conservation.

Students enrolled in the Semester Equivalent will stack the 3-week intensive and the 6-week summer session to build your 10-week program. During the week between, you may travel independently or enjoy downtime in Wrangell. Students enroll in up to 20 quarter units in community ecology, applied methods in field research and education, aquatic and terrestrial ecology, and politics of place.

 


While on course, students are “on” seven days a week, engaged as a community to explore and learn.  The group sits for classes when a student poses a question, around an evening campfire, or before a day’s paddle.  Instructors give readings and assignments, and students often share their final work.  Inquiry-based learning–asking relevant questions and finding answers–drives the day’s schedule. Along with academic coursework and research projects, students gain foundational skills of wilderness sea kayaking and camping.  These skills begin with the basics – cooking, stove use, navigation with maps, charts, and a compass, and Leave No Trace ethics.  Kayaking curriculum includes paddle strokes, tides and ocean currents, weather, marine hazards and wet exits.  Students may practice kayak rescues and rolling at the discretion of the instructors.  A full course also includes discussions of leadership styles, expedition behavior, and risk management -as students progress, they will join the instructors as they identify and manage the hazards of wind and waves, rocky shorelines, currents, open crossings, and cold water. Southeast Alaska’s splendid ocean and the sky can be raucous and demand respect.  A course may wait out a storm for a few days, packing in classes under the tarp and learning the music of the rain.  As on any expedition, there will be times when students are challenged -and everyone will work together to get to know our wild lecture hall.

Scroll our Instagram to see pictures and videos from the field.

Learn more about course costs and our Bridger Scholarship Fund.

Questions? Ask an alum – alumni at tatooshschool.org

 

 

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