Infusing a Public Lands Stewardship Ethic Across a Programs Curriculum
Donald Rodriguez, Ph.D.Associate Professor and Chair, Environmental Science and Resource Management, California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel IslandsUniversity Mission statementPlacing students at the center of the educational experience, California State University Channel Islands provides undergraduate and graduate education that facilitates learning within and across disciplines through integrative approaches, emphasizes experiential and service learning, and graduates students with multicultural and international perspectives.
What is Service LearningService-learning is an intentionally designed course and is a process of learning through reflection on the experience of doing service.
Freshmen Year ExperienceVolunteer park experienceAllows for variety of opportunitiesWork closely with park volunteer coordinatorsTied to course curriculum
Sophomore Year ExperienceOrganized class exercisesWork closely with park resource staffIntegrated with park resource needs
Junior Year ExperiencePark-University co-instructors for field methods coursePark resource management prime concernMentor network for students
Senior Capstone ExperienceStudent initiated immersion with park staff.Park mentor engaged with student research Park-University Challenge Cost Share GrantCooperative Ecological Studies Unit (CESU)
COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECTSClasses organized to work collectively on major community environmental projects
FIELD LEARNINGStructured field experiences that create fluency with environmental assessment techniques/protocols
SERVICE INTRODUCTIONFreshmen students allowed to select environmental volunteer opportunity to create awareness of local environmental issues and organizations
SENIOR CAPSTONEIndividual student opportunity to on project mutually agreed work with professional mentor upon by faculty
Professional mentor/curricular advisorCourses designed to address community knowledge/action gapsCommunity based research
PROGRAM COMMUNITY ADVISORY BOARDMade up of environmental professionals representing a range of interestsCurriculum advisory role, co-instructor role, research collaborators, student mentorsProgram advocates within the community, region, and state
Our national parks will be planning for a centennial celebration before we know it. Perhaps by then they will be regarded as an integral part of the larger landscape that touches the lives of all citizens in a variety of ways, and are as distinctive as the communities who visit them.Rodriguez and Roberts (2000)
The National Park Interdisciplinary Course
Students from CSU Channel Islands invite you to An Informal Presentation About The National ParksCome hear from students about the value and legacy of our National Parks Date: Monday May 10, 2010Time: 4:00 6:00 pmLocation: LRC1 on the Oxnard Campus
Student to Student Conversations Regarding Public Land Stewardship
CSUCI Goes to Oxnard Community College
Student Initiated Research
In June of 2006 I made a presentation at the AASCU National conference entitled Integrating Public Lands at the Urban Interface. This presentation included various events that reflected our effort to integrate the concept of public lands stewardship into the DNA of our institution. In this talk I discussed the unique nature of our institution (we had opened the doors just 4 years prior in 2002), and its focus on interdisciplinarity, multicultural perspectives, international experiences, and service learning.
As you might imagine our environmental science and resource management program embodies many of these perspectives, but the last one (service learning) has provided a unique form of pedagogy for integrating a public lands stewardship ethic. This is the one element I want to focus on today to share our progress since 2006.**A quick recap for those of you that dont have my 2006 talk indelibly etched in your mind:The University opened its doors in August 2002, as the newest and 23 rd member of the CSU system. The campus is located in a picturesque setting in Camarillo, California, between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, and just five miles from the Pacific Ocean. CSUCI has developed educational programs that are innovative, enriching, and relevant to today's students, preparing them for the highest standards of professionalism. Students are challenged to think more deeply, to approach critical issues of the day, and to make a difference in society as a whole.
The University has four main themes (strands) that run through the curriculum and shape its educational mission including interdisciplinarity, multicultural perspectives, service learning and community engagement, and internationalism
**Understanding that many that are drawn to the NPS are socialized into the experience through family and friends, the ESRM program has created a continuum of engagement for our students beginning the freshmen year.
During the freshmen year ESRM majors and non-majors are allowed to select park related service experiences to fulfill course obligations. This provides a general orientation to local park units while completing a valuable service to the park (trail rebuilding, habitat restoration, whale festival, public education, etc.), *As students matriculate to their second year they are engaged in class projects that allow deeper exposure to resource management and park practices. Here field activities are closely tied to course curricula in principles of resource management course. Students are engaged in a variety of park related resource projects to continue to expose them to the breadth of possibilities within the system. *During the junior year students are engaged in direct interaction with park resource staff. Park resource personnel are actively engaged as co-instructors of the field methods course and class activities are focused on specific inventory and monitoring activities associated with restoration.*The senior culminating experience has served to allow student to fully explore their career/research interests with park resource personnel. Serving as field assistants to park staff, and working closely to develop a research related project that may serve as a bridge from school to career in the field.*