into Teaching and Learning
about Environment, Community and Sustainability
"Home is the only ground for hope. Humans once understood and are now remembering that security is found in acting responsibly at home in our neighborhoods, watersheds, and bioregions. Bioregions are complex systems where every being is connected to and interdependent with every other; bioregions are not defined by property lines, state or national boundaries, but by soil, climate, water, terrain, plants, animals, and human cultures and settlements." 1
So, what is a bioregion? Some think of this bioregion as Cascadia, which includes all the watersheds that drain from the Rocky Mountains into the Pacific Ocean from Northern California to Southeast Alaska. It spans two countries and includes British Columbia, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and adjoining parts of Alaska, Montana, and California. Other think of our bioregion more locally, as the coastal forest region west of the crest of the Cascade Mountains, or the Puget Sound basin. What is important here is learning about these places where we live.
Working with a steering committee drawn from campuses and community-based projects throughout the Puget Sound region, the Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education is engaged in planning an initiative called "Curriculum for the Bioregion." We aim to better prepare college students, as well as ourselves, to live and be engaged in a world where the complex issues of environmental quality, healthy communities, and long-term sustainability are paramount.
As we plan this multi-year initiative, we are listening to students, faculty, and staff on campuses throughout the Puget Sound region. We want to learn what students are thinking about now with respect to environmental quality, healthy communities, and long-term sustainability. Your perspectives are crucial to our planning. We hope this short survey will stimulate your thinking, foster discussion, and provide us with advice and ideas about developing this initiative. You can take this survey anonymously, but if you would like to receive an announcement of the final report on the project, please be sure to give us your name and e-mail address where prompted in the survey. If you have any questions about the “Curriculum for the Bioregion” Initiative, you can contact Jean MacGregor (tel. 360-867-6608 or firstname.lastname@example.org). If you experience problems as a result of your participation in this project, you should contact Eddy Brown, Academic Dean, at The Evergreen State College, L-2211, Olympia, WA 98505; (360) 867-6972.
1. These paragraphs were adapted from the introduction to the brochure announcing the "9th Continental Bioregional Congress" to be held July 9-17, 2005 in Black Mountain, North Carolina. For future information, contact email@example.com