Exploring Oregon's Landscape

Exploring Oregon's Landscape

Oregon is a land of immense natural beauty, with acres of forests, rivers, grasslands, mountains, and deserts. To really understand this state's landscapes, you have to get outdoors and experience them yourself. This FIG provides opportunities for students to do just that and, more importantly, think about how ideas they're learning in the classroom apply to landscapes outside the classroom. Over the course of the quarter, we will take several field trips that explore the history and ecology of Oregon's open spaces. We will learn about how lands are managed, why Oregonians so often fight over how lands should be managed, and meet some of the people who live and work on these lands. This FIG will appeal to anyone who wants to experience Oregon's natural landscapes--and learn about their past, present. Please note: many of our field trips will require moderate hiking. Also, this is Oregon in the fall, so rain is likely.

Deep-Dive FIG: Please note this FIG attends multiple mandatory field trips. This course has been vetted by First Year Programs to ensure first-term students can achieve success.

Students explore the intersection of topics by taking the following course package:

UGST 109 First-Year Experience Seminar - 1-credit

ENVS 203 Intro to Environmental Studies: Humanities - CoreEd or major satisfying course, 4-credits

In this course we will learn about what the Humanities are, as an interdisciplinary field, and how Humanities methods and research contribute to environmental thought and action. The class involves reading and research but also creativity and innovation. It is a lab in which we will think together about the possible futures of our stressed planet and how to harness imagination in the service of sustainability.

LA 260 Understanding Landscapes - CoreEd or major satisfying course, 4-credits

This course presents a richly illustrated overview of the relationships between human cultures and their gardens and other designed landscapes. Students study a broad range of gardens, parks and memorials, as well as a few civic landscapes. These places exemplify both the distinctive characteristics of many world cultures and themes found in the creation of special multi-cultural landscapes. Gardens are studied as metaphors for the human cultural ideas they seek to express and nurture. Students learn about the structure and pattern of designed landscapes, the history of environmental policies and values that affect them, and the ways that landscape designs are understood and described.