Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies

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PNCA Collaborative Design/Visual Studies (Low Res) Summer Intensive

Integrated Design: Lower Columbia River Ecosystems (Giving Voice to the Land)

August 1 – August 6, 2012

The natural and cultural resources of the lower Columbia River have progressively undergone change as a direct result of human occupation and especially so since EuroAmerican arrival. Densely populated for thousands of years by ecologically sophisticated and adaptive indigenous cultures, Ridgefield became a EuroAmerican agricultural system in the 1840’s and later, a wildlife refuge in 1965. Currently, resource managers at federal, state and local levels are challenged with designing and implementing management plans and interpretive strategies to maintain and restore desired natural resources. In addition managers must deal with ongoing changes such as the introduction or expansion of invasive species (e.g. nutria), the effects of the Bonneville Dam (completed in 1937 the dam has dramatically changed the flooding regimes of Ridgefield), and future climate change scenarios.

Through this course we will explore the following questions:
• How can design and systems thinking provide a common language to bring multiple worldviews and interest groups into a conversation about a sustainable future for the region?
• How did this place become the site we see today?
• What driving forces and constraints affect the ongoing evolution of this landscape?
• What management and design challenges does this place face currently and in the near future?
• How can paying attention to real landscapes inform the abstraction and representation of nature through various creative practices and in turn, what can these practices lend to management and design challenges?

Using the wetlands, prairies, savannas and forests of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge as representative of the greater Lower Columbia, this intensive will explore alternative management regimes and their implications for future natural / cultural resource scenarios within the context of continuous, accelerating ecological change.

PNCA Instructors:
Peter Schoonmaker, Ph.D., Chair MFA Collaborative Design, PNCA
Tracey Cockrell, MFA, Chair, Low-Residency MFA in Visual Studies, PNCA
Donald Harker, M.S., Systems Thinking and Natural Resource Management, PNCA

Guest Scholars:
Nancy Turner, Ph.D., Hakai Professor of Ethnoecology, University of Victoria
Judy Bluehorse Skelton, Ethnobiologist, Nez Perce Tribe
Virginia Butler, Ph.D., Salmon Archeologist, Portland State University
Kenneth Ames, Ph.D., Archeologist, Portland State University, Emeritus
Kimberlee Chambers, Ph.D., Ethnoecologist, Assistant professor, PNCA
Lauri Twitchell, MFA, Master Landscape Architecture, Printmaker, painter, visiting artist, PNCA
Peter Suchecki, MFA, Printmaking, videographer, animator, visiting artist, PNCA

Course Details
This one-credit course counts toward fall credit for 2013 and 2014 MFA Collaborative Design / Low Res Visual Studies students.

24 student limit Cost: $425 (Continuing Education)


Aug 1 – Orientation and Introductory lectures
When: Class begins at 1pm and concludes at 5 pm. Required evening lecture at 6:30.
Where: PNCA
Students will be briefed on the schedule for the week. An overview will be offered on Ridgefield and the lower Columbia River with a special emphasis on the interaction of land and people. Specific instructions will be given for the Giving Voice to the Land journal/field book that each student will be expected to keep for this project. Students will also be guided through the idea of the artist response to scientific and field data and choosing an art medium and methodology based upon desired impact. The helium balloon mapping project will be discussed with specific instructions for balloon handling, camera setup and image processing. A local walking field trip will be part of the afternoon.

Aug 2 – Current Conditions at Ridgefield NWR
When: Class will meet at 8 am and travel to Ridgefield NWR returning at 5 pm. Each student should bring a lunch and water.
Where: Ridgefield NWR
AM: Travel to Ridgefield NWR and meet with refuge personnel and Friends of Ridgefield to discuss current plant and animal distributions and management plans. Review recent (past 150 years) historic conditions using variety of evidence (photo, interviews, land use records, maps).
PM: Map a target area of the refuge using helium balloon mapping technique, field observations in mapped area. Further field observations (visual, auditory, etc.).

Aug 3 – Situated Knowledge
When: Class will meet at 8 am and travel to Ridgefield NWR returning at 5 pm. An early morning opportunity will be afforded those students interested in birds. Interested students will meet at Ridgefield at 7am for a 2 hour birding tour of the refuge. All students will regroup at 9 am at the refuge headquarters.
Where: Ridgefield NWR. Each student should bring a lunch and water.
AM: Meet with Tribal members and gather traditional knowledge from storytelling and site specific information.
PM: Further field observations (visual, auditory, etc.). Incorporate current historic and field observations into base map. Visit key instructional sites.

Aug 4 – Image and auditory processing in lab and writing and research.
When: Students will meet at 8 am and finish at 5 pm.
Where: PNCA
Students will begin processing and analyzing images using a Geographic Information System (GIS). Students can also process images in artistic ways in addition to mapping. Emphasis is on scale dependent and integrated management and artist response to Ridgefield NWR.

Aug 5 – Indigenous knowledge and deep history
When: Class will meet at 8 am and travel to Ridgefield NWR returning at 5 pm.
Where: Ridgefield NWR. Each student should bring a lunch and water.
Traditional management of species and habitats and an overview of the archaeological site at Ridgefield.

Aug 6 – Future management scenarios
Students will meet at 8 am and finish at 5 pm. Class will be in the laboratory at PNCA.
AM: Regional climate change including temperature, precipitation, fire and vegetation. Brainstorming management responses to prospective climate change. Identify the integrated management techniques best suited to Ridgefield NWR.
PM: Students will continue mapping and visual products work. Final products will consist of Journal/field books, maps and other visual products.

Required core readings:
All core readings provided to students upon registration. There will be limited time to complete readings once the course begins; we highly encourage you to complete the readings before the start of the course.

Aug 1 – Orientation and Introductory lectures
• Lure of the Local, Lucy Lippard (Being in Place)
• Quoting the Ancestors, from Wisdom sits in Places by Keith Basso
• Introduction, from Field Notes on Science and Nature by Michael Canfield

Aug 2 – Current Conditions at Ridgefield NWR
• Ridgefield NWR management plan summary
• Landscape Restoration Handbook by Donald Harker, et al (Chapter 3)
• Giving the Land a Voice by Sheila Harrington (Chapter 3)
• Where We Live: A Citizen’s Guide to Conducting a Community Environmental Inventory by Donald Harker and Elizabeth Natter (Chapter 4)

Aug 3 – Situated Knowledge
• Cathlapotle….catching time’s secrets by Jon Daehnke
• Lewis and Clark journal entries for contact with the Chinook tribe living at Ridgefield (available at The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition: http://lewisandclarkjournals.unl.edu/)
• Our Natural History: The Lessons of Lewis and Clark by Daniel Botkin

Aug 4 – Image and auditory processing in lab and writing and research.

Aug 5 – Indigenous knowledge and deep history
• Documenting Traditional Plant Knowledge: A Short Guide by N. Turner and S. Peacock
• Solving the Perennial Paradox: Ethnobotanical Evidence for Plant Resource Management on the Northwest Coast by N. Turner and S. Peacock
• Cultural Keystone Species by A. Garibaldi and N. Turner

Aug 6 – Future management scenarios

Supplemental readings:
(Available in the PNCA library or provided upon registration)

Theory of the Derive, Guy Debord
Sense of Place
One Place After Another, Miwon Kwon (Notes on Site Specificity)
The Anthropology of Space and Place: Locating Culture (Empowering Place: Multilocality and Multivocality)
Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language among the Western Apache by Keith Basso
Field Methods
Field Notes on Science & Nature. Edited by Michael R. Canfield Islands in the Salish Sea: A Community Atlas. Selected by Sheila Harrington and edited by Judi Stevenson.
A Year on the Wild Side. By Briony Penn
Giving the Land a Voice: Mapping Our Home Places. Edited by Sheila Harrington
Contributing authors Doug Aberly, Michael Dunn, Briony Penn, with articles by Bill Turner and Malcolm Penn
Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Natural History
In Keeping it Living: Traditions of Plant Use and Cultivation on the Northwest Coast of North America. Edited by D. Deur and N. Turner
Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, British Columbia
by Andy MacKinnon, Jim Pojar, Paul B. Alaback
Wapato for the People: An Ecological Approach to Understanding the Native American use of Sagittaria latifolia on the Lower Columbia River (master’s thesis) by M. Darby
Ecological Restoration and Landscape Management/Design
Restoring the Pacific Northwest: The Art and Science of Ecological Restoration in Cascadia. Edited by D. Apostol and M. Sinclair

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