Title bar: Communities and Natural Resources


2014 Flier


2012 will be the eighth annual offering of COMMUNITIES AND NATURAL RESOURCES (FS 511), an advanced experiential learning opportunity for graduate students. For students and faculty alike, this class has come to be a real highlight of the year. Whether you are new to the state, new to graduate school, or a 3rd year native Oregonian PhD candidate, this class will be unlike any other you've participated in, and will change the way you think about communities and natural resources.

We anticipate the class will include up to 15 graduate students from Forest Ecosystems and Society, Human Development and Family Science, Public Policy, Anthropology, Public Health, and other departments across campus. We are now in the process of developing the schedule and updating the website, so please check back often. See Itinerary tab for the tentative itinerary.

If you cannot attend the entire class, September 4 - 14, you will have to wait for another year to participate - all students must participate in the entire class.

Providing a course like this is expensive. We cover a lot of miles, require lodging in somewhat remote areas, and employ excellent resource people. The actual cost approaches $1,000 per student. We use a number of means to help pay the bills, including grant writing, summer registrations (which return some tuition for course support), and a course fee. This year’s fee will be $500 for summer registrants and $745 for fall registrants. Students will also have limited additional meal and miscellaneous expenses. If this creates a serious financial hardship for you, first contact your program advisor to see if travel support funds are available. Kate and I will also work with you to find a solution.

Again, welcome to the class. Please visit the website frequently as we update the itinerary, readings, and class requirements. And feel free to contact or stop by and visit any of us, any time.

John Bliss, Forest Ecosystems and Society, OSU

Kate MacTavish, Human Development and Family Science, OSU

Nils Christoffersen, Wallowa Resources, Enterprise, Oregon

Amy Grotta, OSU Forestry Extension, St. Helens, Oregon

About the Course

FS 511
5 Credits

Communities and Natural Resources is a graduate level field seminar which provides students from diverse backgrounds with interdisciplinary, experiential learning exposure to contemporary community and natural resource issues in rural Oregon. Social science concepts are employed to critically appraise current conditions and future prospects for rural, natural resource-dependent communities.

Course Objectives:

  1. To learn firsthand from community leaders about current conditions and future prospects for Oregon’s rural, natural resource dependent communities.
  2. To become familiar with the social science concepts including poverty, natural resource dependency, community well-being, adaptive capacity, resilience; social, human, economic and natural capital; land tenure.
  3. To develop empathetic listening, analytical thinking, and effective communication skills.
  4. To foster constructive dialogue between OSU and rural Oregon communities.

Questions to be examined:

  • What role do natural resources play in the social, cultural, and economic lives of rural Oregon communities?
  • What alternative futures are being pursued by rural communities; why, and how?
  • What are the roles of government, NGOs, and the private sector in shaping communities’ futures?