Teach the Columbia Field Course

In 2022 we hosted our inaugural Teach the Columbia Field Course. Designed for educators, this four-day, three-night course took participants on a literal and figurative journey through the Columbia River near Brisco. We workshopped Teach the Columbia curriculum, gathered valuable feedback to continue improving our offerings, and enjoyed sharing time together celebrating the Columbia River watershed in its end-of-summer glory. In September 2023 we hosted our second field course, bringing an enthusiastic team of teachers together in the West Kootenay.

We anticipate running another field course in 2024. Stay tuned!

Educators, it’s your turn to learn! With a master canoe instructor as your guide, this field course brings you on a multi-day exploration of the Columbia River watershed while we put curriculum into action. Learn new course material in a fun and welcoming environment alongside other educators interested in this amazing watershed we call home.

This condensed Columbia River Field School, three-day, two-night adventure immerses you in the geography, history, ecology, hydrology, politics, economics and more of the Columbia River Basin. You’ll meet other educators interested in Columbia River Basin issues, and together we’ll build a community of practice.

Dates: 2024 dates TBD.

Location:  TBD

Participants: Teach the Columbia curriculum is mostly geared towards high school teachers, but we welcome educators with other grades and roles, including non-formal educators in the Columbia Basin.

“The knowledge we gained about the Columbia Basin was extensive; we had amazing networking opportunities to discuss different lessons done by other teachers in their classrooms. This is hands down the best Pro D I have experienced.” – Rebecca Lewis, educator at ʔaq̓amnik̓ Elementary School

Please note that space is limited. Some spots will be reserved for educators already using the Teach the Columbia Curriculum to support ongoing growth. We may also select participants to ensure a diverse geographic spread as well as to include a range of grade levels/ages and subject areas. We will endeavour to let you know if there is a spot available for you as soon as we can and will aim to give all interested people adequate notice.

 

Meet your instructors:

Roger Warnatsch:

Roger is dedicated to all things canoeing and outdoors. He is a certified Master Canoe Instructor, the Instructor Coordinator of the Recreation Canoeing Association of BC (RCABC), and has taught canoeing and outdoor leadership as a career for many programs (college, university, outdoor leadership, high school, etc.) throughout BC. He enjoys getting people of all ages out on the water and thriving in our magnificent outdoor environment. He has taught and guided extensively in BC, but has also paddled, instructed or guided in Mexico, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon and the NWT.

Monica Nissen:

A passion for the wilderness and a gift for teaching have drawn Monica into the field of environmental education where she has worked both inside and outside the classroom.  With a background in outdoor leadership as an Outward Bound instructor and through hiking and ski guiding, she has spent the last 20 years developing and delivering educational programs that inspire the next generation of stewards of the Earth. As a certified BC teacher and the Education Director at Wildsight, Monica and her team of educators have delivered environmental education programs to over 90,000 students throughout the Columbia Basin. Monica has worked on curriculum development for the renewed BC Science curriculum, and serves as an instructor with UBC’s West Kootenay Teacher Education Program. She is committed to supporting educators in building place-conscious practice. 

Graeme Lee Rowlands:

Graeme manages Wildsight’s Columbia River Field School and Youth Climate Corps programs. He is passionate about the relationships that underpin the ways we make decisions about rivers and the climate. Graeme was born in Honduras, raised in California and has since lived across the Pacific Northwest. He first came to the upper Columbia watershed in 2017 while on a 35 day bike and kayak journey up the Columbia River from sea-to-source. He is now based in Golden but enjoys visiting familiar places and faces across the region. Graeme’s written work on the Columbia River Treaty, salmon restoration, colonization and Truth and Reconciliation, climate change, and related topics has appeared in over 50 publications. He has worked on the same with dozens of organizations across the international Columbia River Basin.

 

Any questions, contact Graeme or Monica today. 

The summer of 2022, we hosted our inaugural Teach the Columbia Field Course. Designed for educators, this course took participants on a literal and figurative journey through the Columbia River. We workshopped Teach the Columbia curriculum, gathered valuable feedback to continue improving our offerings, and enjoyed sharing time together celebrating the Columbia River watershed in its end-of-summer glory.

To stay informed on future opportunities or access the full curriculum package, sign up for our Teach the Columbia updates

“Learning about the Columbia while on the Columbia provided such powerful context…It moved us to care even more because we were experiencing what we were learning. The pro-D also provided such rich interdisciplinary learning and connected me with other like-minded educators,” says Carly Christy, South Slocan middle school teacher. “Being immersed in this place, with this experience, has given me a more comprehensive experience.”

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Want to protect wildlife, clean water and wild spaces? Volunteer with us! Wildsight volunteers are a very special group of people who give generously of their time to stuff envelopes, attend rallies, help run events, put up posters, keep tabs on forestry practices in their communities and participate in citizen science initiatives.

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