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Bioregion Discipline

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Ecological Autobiography
Maureen Ryan, Western Washington University
The ecological autobiography is a multi-stage reflective and written exercise that draws on students' personal history and experiences as they consider the ecological context of some period of their lives. The goal is to individually and collectively explore how the landscapes and ecological communities we have inhabited influence us as individuals, set the context of our lives, and influence our expectations of landscape.

Bioregion Discipline: Interdisciplinary Studies, Environmental Studies, English
Bioregion Scale: Local Community/Watershed, Regional
Bioregion Topical Vocabulary: Promising Pedagogies:Reflective & Contemplative Practice, Sense of Place

Migration: An Empathy Exercise
Maureen Ryan, Western Washington University
Migration: An Empathy Exercise is a multi-step reflective exercise designed to build empathy and personal insight into processes of loss, change, and reconnection associated with the disruption of personal and cultural connections to landscape.

Bioregion Discipline: Environmental Studies, Geography, Interdisciplinary Studies, English
Bioregion Scale: Regional
Bioregion Topical Vocabulary: Sense of Place, Promising Pedagogies:Reflective & Contemplative Practice

What is the West?
Maureen Ryan, Western Washington University
What is the West? is a written reflective exercise, with associated readings and discussion, designed to 1) build insight into how personal experiences shape our perception of landscapes, 2) enhance knowledge of the geography and ecology of the American West, and 3) illuminate the role of water (or lack of water) in the natural and cultural history of the American West.

Bioregion Discipline: Interdisciplinary Studies, Geography, Environmental Studies, English
Bioregion Scale: Regional
Bioregion Topical Vocabulary: Cultures & Religions, Promising Pedagogies:Reflective & Contemplative Practice, Sense of Place

Using Reflection Activities to Deepen Student Engagement
Holly Hughes, Edmonds Community College
Reflection activities on service-learning related to environmental restoration.

Bioregion Discipline: Interdisciplinary Studies, Biology, English
Bioregion Scale: Regional, Local Community/Watershed
Bioregion Topical Vocabulary: Sense of Place, Promising Pedagogies:Civic Engagement & Service Learning, Learning Communities, Reflective & Contemplative Practice

Don't Just Do Something, Sit There: Suggestions for Observing in Nature
Jean MacGregor, The Evergreen State College
A workshop for enabling students to sit quietly and observantly in the natural world.

Bioregion Discipline: Interdisciplinary Studies, Environmental Studies, Other, English, Biology
Bioregion Scale: Home/Backyard, Campus, Local Community/Watershed
Bioregion Topical Vocabulary: Promising Pedagogies:Reflective & Contemplative Practice, Sense of Place

Reading & Writing Poetry as Contemplative Practice
Holly Hughes, Edmonds Community College
These activities offer ways to incorporate contemplative practice into the teaching of reading and writing poetry, with specific handouts/assignments and sample poems provided.

Bioregion Discipline: English
Bioregion Topical Vocabulary: Sense of Place, Promising Pedagogies:Reflective & Contemplative Practice

Interviewing the Past: Developing a Sense of Place through Oral Histories
Bob Abel, Olympic College
Local changes in climate, flora, fauna, and the human population can be anecdotally explored through interviews with long time locals.

Bioregion Discipline: Geography, English, Environmental Studies
Bioregion Scale: Local Community/Watershed
Bioregion Topical Vocabulary: Cultures & Religions, Sense of Place

A Sense of Place Collage Essay
Kathleen Byrd, South Puget Sound Community College
The "collage essay" is a formal writing assignment for English 101. The "collage" format of this paper offers students the opportunity to explore a sense of place from multiple perspectives without needing to demonstrate a stance as is usually expected in a thesis-driven essay.

Bioregion Discipline: English
Bioregion Scale: Local Community/Watershed, Campus, Home/Backyard
Bioregion Topical Vocabulary: Ecosystem Health, Sense of Place, Promising Pedagogies:Reflective & Contemplative Practice

Writing and Walking, Pilgrimage and Process: Working with the Essays of Linda Hogan & Henry David Thoreau
Rebecca Chamberlain, The Evergreen State College
By comparing and contrasting the essays of Hogan and Thoreau, students begin to develop a more complex understanding of their own identity and sense of place; the historical and cultural context around issues of sustainability and environmental ethics.

Bioregion Discipline: English
Bioregion Topical Vocabulary: Sustainability Concepts & Practices, Promising Pedagogies:Reflective & Contemplative Practice, Sense of Place, Social & Environmental Justice, Ethics & Values

Civic Stewardship and Interdependency: Rethinking Our Local Patterns of Consumption and Development
Tara DerYeghiayan Roth, Seattle University
This "Exploratory Essay" writing assignment asks students to acknowledge themselves as stakeholders in their communities, to take a closer look at the urban or suburban town they call home, and to re-examine notions of entitlement.

Bioregion Discipline: English
Bioregion Scale: Global, National/Continental
Bioregion Topical Vocabulary: Sense of Place, Lifestyles & Consumption, Promising Pedagogies:Reflective & Contemplative Practice

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Evergreen State College