HG Semester: the success continues

  • Mar. 7, 2011 1:00 p.m.

submitted by Mary von der Porten, HG Semester Program Coordinator–The Haida Gwaii Semester in Natural Resource Studies is just past the halfway point and ramping up. The 19 students participating have completed two courses, Diversifying Resource Dependent Communities and History and Politics of Resource Management, and we are underway with a course on First Nations and Natural Resources with Dr. Peggy Smith. In a few weeks, the students will take Andy MacKinnon’s Rainforest Ecology course as well as complete major research projects. Throughout these courses, the students continue to impress. They have demonstrated an outstanding ability to learn about natural resource management from professors and community members alike, and all of us at the Haida Gwaii Semester are so proud of their performance thus far. In turn, the people of Haida Gwaii have welcomed these students with open arms, fostering a community-based learning environment that provides an exceptional experience for the professors, the students, and the staff. We have learned from many guest speakers and field trips around Haida Gwaii. In the last two weeks, this included a tour of Old Massett with Tyler Bellis (also a student!), weaving with Gladys Vandal, a forest field trip with Colin Richardson, and talks by April Churchill, Severn Cullis-Suzuki, and Thomas Olsen of Haico. We’ve had many more people speak to us along the way, and will have lots more to come, so thank-you very much to each and every one for fostering this unique learning environment.To give you a bit of an idea of how the students are doing, here are two of my favorite comments from student feedback so far; “The learning environment at the Haida Gwaii Semester is as beautiful as the islands themselves” and “too much reading assigned”. I think these comments do a good job of summing up the students’ experience of euphoric learning in an unbelievably beautiful place as well as a lot of hard, grueling school work. Please take part in the Haida Gwaii Semester and learn along with us at the following public events. -1. A talk by Dr. Peggy Smith of Lakehead University on “How my Haida Gwaii experience has contributed to my learning about First Nation involvement in forest management in Canada”. March 16, 7:30 pm, Kaay Centre.-1. A panel discussion on the question “What should the role of research be in ecosystem based management on Haida Gwaii?”. Panelist will include Ken Lertzman, Andy MacKinnon, Dolly Garza, and Keith Moore. March 23, 7:30 pm, Kaay Centre.-1. Student research symposium for Case Studies in Haida Gwaii. April 15, 9:00 am onwards in the Kaay Centre.

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