Event Title

Reading the Oberlin Landscape-A Place Based Natural History Exco

Presenter Information

Will Wickham, Oberlin CollegeFollow

Location

King Building 101

Document Type

Presentation

Start Date

4-27-2019 3:00 PM

End Date

4-27-2019 4:20 PM

Abstract

Reading the Oberlin Landscape is a place-based natural history exco I designed that examines how geography, geology, ecology, and human histories have shaped the Oberlin landscape. In the course, students learn the stories of the Oberlin landscape through reading texts, going on field trips, and documenting their scientific and artistic reflections and experiences in a semester-long nature journal. These experiences help students find a stronger sense of place in Oberlin. The course also bridges the gap between the natural sciences and humanities by creating a learning community where students can combine scientific, phenomenological, and artistic inquiries of their local environment. This semester we observed marine fossils preserved in the walls of Mudd library, thought about the problems with the concept of wilderness, hugged trees in the Arb with our eyes closed, tapped maple trees in Tappan Square to make maple syrup, created land chronologies and memory maps, and compiled our work into a collective publication to share with the Oberlin community. Reading the Oberlin Landscape is a model for place-based education at Oberlin, and such a curriculum can profoundly enrich students’ connection to nature in Oberlin.

Keywords:

Natural History. Environmental Studies. Place-based education

Notes

Session V, Panel 12 - Local | Environments
Moderator: Karl Offen, Professor of Environmental Studies

Major

Environmental Studies

Advisor(s)

Roger Laushman, Environmental Studies

Project Mentor(s)

Roger Laushman, Environmental Studies

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Apr 27th, 3:00 PM Apr 27th, 4:20 PM

Reading the Oberlin Landscape-A Place Based Natural History Exco

King Building 101

Reading the Oberlin Landscape is a place-based natural history exco I designed that examines how geography, geology, ecology, and human histories have shaped the Oberlin landscape. In the course, students learn the stories of the Oberlin landscape through reading texts, going on field trips, and documenting their scientific and artistic reflections and experiences in a semester-long nature journal. These experiences help students find a stronger sense of place in Oberlin. The course also bridges the gap between the natural sciences and humanities by creating a learning community where students can combine scientific, phenomenological, and artistic inquiries of their local environment. This semester we observed marine fossils preserved in the walls of Mudd library, thought about the problems with the concept of wilderness, hugged trees in the Arb with our eyes closed, tapped maple trees in Tappan Square to make maple syrup, created land chronologies and memory maps, and compiled our work into a collective publication to share with the Oberlin community. Reading the Oberlin Landscape is a model for place-based education at Oberlin, and such a curriculum can profoundly enrich students’ connection to nature in Oberlin.