Summer Institute at Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre
“Anthropologists, geographers, and historians have demonstrated the enduring power of landscape features to act as points of reference for communicating tacit knowledge.” (J.Cruikshank, 2005, p. 11)
As outdoor learning, environmental education, sustainability education, and so on gain traction in schools, institutions of higher learning, and other educational contexts, conceived of as a means to connect students locally and globally, and to promote social and ecological justice, what does place-based learning have to offer us?
On the west coast of Vancouver Island, Nuu-chah-nulth peoples, including Huu-ay-aht First Nation, have occupied their homelands along the mountains and seas for thousands of years. This extended land and water tenure is reflected in a multitude of ways, through narratives, songs, ceremonies, family lines, and place names. In relatively recent times (since the mid-nineteenth century), Huu-ay-aht people have shared this enduring landscape with waves of newcomers.
The Village of Bamfield itself is an instrumental part of the British Columbia history, having served at various times as a key trans-Pacific cable terminus, fishing village, start/end point for the West Coast Trail, research marine station, and eco-tourist destination.
In the context of this rich history and present, this intensive two-week immersion offers undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to engage directly in the realm of place-based learning.
The course is structured around foundational questions, such as, “How are people and place connected in this unique landscape” and “What is the relationship between land, water, history, and contemporary revitalization efforts in the region?”
Through incorporating various forms of experiential learning and student field projects, the course aims to enhance students’ understanding of the social, cultural, political, economic, and recreational significance of coastal eco-places for local communities. Full Course Outline.