JSIS 478 G: Environmental Justice and Political Ecology Field Course

Course flyer


Spring 2019, Co-Taught by Professor Patrick Christie and Professor Jonathan Warren JSIS 478 G (for UNDERGRADUATES, 5 credits) and SMEA 550 B and SMEA 550 C (for GRADUATE students, enroll in both for total of 5 credits) https://jsis.washington.edu/people/jonathan-warren/ https://smea.uw.edu/faculty/patrick-christie/

In the wake of European colonization and settlement of the Salish Sea, race and justice have figured centrally to the management, plunder, and defense of the natural environment. Unfortunately, due to racist urban planning, curriculum/schooling, and imaginings, non-native environmentalists are largely disconnected from and unfamiliar with Indigenous communities and activists to the detriment of the environment, among other things. The Salish Sea, of which Puget Sound is part, is central to the culture, history, and activist/policy efforts of local, sovereign Indigenous communities. The Salish Sea, orcas, and salmon are all at risk today from unsustainable development and uncontrolled resource extraction. Indigenous leaders and nations are at the forefront of recovery efforts partially due to their sovereign rights.

This class is thus aimed at familiarizing students, especially those concerned with environmental justice, with Indigenous perspectives, leaders and activists with the aim of countering this ignorance in the hopes of forging stronger interracial, environmentalist coalitions. To this end, students will not only read on these issues but also be introduced, via three full-day field excursions, to two or three nations – the Puyallup, Tulalip and Lummi. In addition to familiarizing students with the perspectives, histories, material realities, and complexities in these communities, the goal is to identify projects around which students could partner with members of a tribe to work towards advancing environmental justice for the Salish Sea. $100 course fee is to cover transportation to tribal headquarters.

MB advising note: this course is not approved for requirements for the Major or Minor in Marine Biology, but could be applied to area of knowledge requirements.