Sustainability class to be offered during Jan Term

Hiking, kayaking, gardening, foraging, tracking, and natural art: sounds like the stuff that only exists in the dreams of a college student, laden with finals and too much homework.


This January, Sustainability Coordinator Duncan Reid will be teaching an ENVS 298 course entitled “Local Stewardship” that will include all of the above.

Class will be held off campus at Westwind, a 529-acre wilderness area situated in the Salmon River estuary on the Oregon Coast.

Students will be housed in a hostel-like lodge that lies at the foot of the Coast Range, nestled into an old pine and spruce forest.

According to Reid, this gorgeous reserve “evokes an irrepressible impulse for stewardship.” And that is exactly what he intends to teach.

Through hands-on projects and lectures taught by experts such as Lissa Wadewitz, Ned Knight, Joe Wilkins, and professionals from Trackers Northwest. Students on this Jan Term trip will learn environmental, social, and personal stewardship.

What is stewardship, you ask?

In the eyes of Reid, it is “a capacity of caring that is contained within the context of the well-being of the whole.”

This idea is absolutely crucial in a world of environmental and social disconnection, and is necessary for any sustainable community.

This month-long course will give students the opportunity to find a real connection with place, community, and self on a deeper level than is traditionally explored.

This investigation will come through their experience based adventures as well as the study of coastal ecology, native plant identification, group dynamics, nature writing, local history, and connection with native cultures.

This class will take a holistic approach to inspiring and practicing stewardship, while appealing to a variety of senses, learning styles, and qualities of being.

The activities of the course will challenge group and individual goals and ideals for resilience and sustainability.

Prerequisites? Enthusiasm, willingness to learn, and a little thick skin through the Oregon Coast wetness. Reid invites those “already interested and passionate about sustainability and stewardship, as well as students who are just exploring their interest, especially international and first year students.”

This course will give students of all backgrounds and majors a new lens in which to view the world and a new way to relate to their human and non-human communities.

Just to sweeten the deal, this domestic travel course only costs $2050, including room, board, and transportation. If you’re interested, you can register on Webadvisor from Nov. 4-7.

Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to explore the values and ideas of stewardship on the wild sands of Westwind.

The Office of Sustainability can be reached at