Introduction to Environmental Humanities: Words/Woods

Fall 2018 quarter

Taught by

  • TBD

This is a repeating program. Students who take the program in fall should not register for the winter or spring quarter program.

This program serves as a broad introduction to the environmental humanities, unifying critical and creative reading and writing with scientific fieldwork and forest ecology. We’ll aim to identify parallels between the sciences and the humanities, articulating theories and practices suitable to the scientific, ethical, and political questions urgently confronting us.

We will explore how observation and analysis are vital to both the sciences and the humanities. We will read from a wide range of authors, genres, and time periods. We will experiment with both writing styles and lab equipment. We will conduct long-term ecological monitoring and embrace revision in our compositions. Our 1,000-acre campus forest and our 750,000-book library will be the primary field sites of our interdisciplinary inquiry: our “forest space” and “book space.”

We will ask, and try to answer, tough questions that challenge how we view the world. What is the relationship between evolution and revolution, between photosynthesis and rhetoric? How do patterns influence processes? How can we identify, define, describe, observe, and analyze the objects of our inquiry—whether that be a 14-line sonnet on the page of a book, or a meter-squared quadrat in the forest?

This program will give you the chance to stretch your creative, analytical, logical, and critical muscles while preparing you for a successful journey through Evergreen. No experience necessary, some assembly required, all students welcome. We proceed on the premise that there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear. So come prepared to write and to perambulate outdoors, and bring a good notebook and a good writing utensil, a good pair of boots, and good rain gear. The only way to do this right is by writing, and going for some long walks in the woods.


Program Details

Fields of Study

biology communication ecology environmental studies literature philosophy of science writing

Preparatory For

communication, ecology, environmental studies, linguistics, natural history and writing.


Fall Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online