Hello! My name is Chelo and I am majoring in Education Studies at Colorado College. I was provided with the opportunity to create a blog about the course titled Topics in Environmental Social Sciences: State of the Rockies: Conserving Local Landscapes taught by Tyler Cornelius. I will start off by explaining how I ended up taking this course.
Three weeks ago, I graduated from the Teaching and Research in Environmental Education (TREE) Semester program. TREE Semester is a 16-week residential program at the Catamount Center in Woodland Park, CO. Aside from teaching 5th graders and high school students Environmental Education (EE) in the outdoors, and living in a small learning community with eight other students, I also spent my time working on a professional portfolio to submit to the Colorado Association for Environmental Education (CAEE) in hopes of becoming a masters certified environmental educator. I have always had a passion for working with children and for learning science; however, before this semester I had not pursued anything related to science at CC. This fall I found myself deeply inspired by my studies and motivated to take on a career in Environmental Education. I recognized that in order to be a successful environmental educator and prepare my students to become environmentally responsible citizens in their private and public lives, I also needed to become more knowledgeable about environmental science and issues.
As I was searching for courses that would help introduce me to the Environmental Issues minor, this block caught my attention and triggered my enthusiasm. The course models experiential learning at it’s best and takes full advantage of the block plan and the geographical setting that CC has to offer.
Now, I am already three days into the class and couldn’t be more excited about the week ahead. Our classroom community (which already feels close and dialogic AND consists of two of my close friends from TREE) has spent the first few days learning about environmental history. Yesterday we went on a short field trip to Stratton Open Space, to practice our observation and deduction skills (I will explain this further in my next post!). Tomorrow I will have to take a break from moving into my off campus house, leaving my room stacked with boxes and suitcases, because at 7:30 AM we are hopping on a bus to the CC’s Baca campus located in The San Luis Valley.
I have been to Baca twice before and have had unforgettable experiences. The first time I went was with my First Year Experience (FYE) class. At the Baca campus my class was able to study philosophy in depth, bond with one another, and go on adventures. We visited the sand dunes and the hot springs. I returned to Baca my sophomore year for an education course titled Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in The San Luis Valley. For that course our class visited and volunteered at several rural schools in the area. Through interacting with the valley community, bonding with my CC peers, and forming a connection with the natural environment, Baca has become a special place for me.
For this half block we will be at Baca from Thursday morning until Saturday night. There is no service on the Baca Campus so who knows when I will be able to post about my next experience in the valley. Keep up with my blog for some stories, thoughts, and pictures. Feel free to comment or ask any questions that you might have about the course or about me. Thank you for reading my first blog post ever!