Sustainability Field School Blog

Below you'll find the location-based blogs compiled by students from the 2012-2016 Sustainability Field Schools. Use the drop-down menu below to filter the blogs by year. You can also explore the each blog post on the Cascadia Sustainability Experience Map.

An enlightening experience at O.U.R Ecovillage

From learning how to cob, to farm using the philosophy of permaculture, and how to build structures following the traditional timber framing method. The day spent here was educational and spiritual. Learning to listen to and work with the land and each other to build a sustainable community. In the words of Brandy Gallagher, "By the community, for the community, through the community..."

-Learning to Cob with Pat-

Cascadia Sustainability Field School 2014 kicks off in Victoria

The 2014 Cascadia Sustainability FIeld School kicked off this week. A group of 20 Geographers from the University of Victoria, we are traveling down the coast from BC to San Francisco. Along the way we are meeting with and learning from a range of different folks - First Nations, planners, EcoVillagers, academics, entrepreneurs and other citizens grappling in different ways with sustainability challenges in this trans-boundary region some call Cascadia.

We will be blogging our journey of self-discovery, sharing stories of the inspiring efforts and people we encounter. 

Are we ready for the Big One?

In May, 2012 we met with Pat Corcoran, hazards specialist from Oregon State University.  Pat shared his expertise on the daunting prospect of a Cascadia mega-thrust earthquake and tsunami in the region and what was being done to prepare for such an event. No one had a very restful sleep that night in our hostel in Seaside, OR. Thanks Pat.  

Everyone has a Right 2 Dream

As part of the Cascadia Sustainability Experience Video Series, "Everyone has a right 2 dream" features our 2012 field school's visit to the Right 2 Dream 2 camp in Portland, OR. Ahmed graciously shows us around the site and leaves us with troubling questions about social justice in America's most "sustainable" city.

2013 Field School Eugene

Eugene was our second to last stop before our Cascadia Sustainability Field School was over. Not many of us had visited or even heard of Eugene before this field school, but we were all more than excited to escape from Seaside’s sideways rain and howling wind. Our group took a biofueled bus from Seaside to Eugene, and thankfully the weather was in the process of turning around and we were able to pull over and view the beautiful scenery and get great pictures on cliffside of the Oregon coast.

2013 Field School Oregon Coast

On the first day we arrived on the Oregon Coast after a full on city experience in Portland. Everyone was looking forward to some down time and with any luck, some relaxing on the beach. Little did we know the beach would be much wetter and windier than we could ever expect. The first stop was Astoria for the Public Market was filled with local vendors selling their wares: birdhouses, freshly caught fish, veggies, wine, and the amazing cigar box guitars, which Alec could not resist.

2013 Field School Portland


After an inspiring few days in Seattle, it was time to move on to our next, and highly anticipated stop: Portland, Oregon. The city welcomed us from the train with sheets of rain, and we got a brief glimpse of downtown on the soggy tromp up to our hostel in the northwest section of the city.

2013 Field School Seattle: The Emerald City

Seattle, also known as the Emerald City, stop number three on the Cascadia Sustainability Field School. We arrived by bus from Vancouver; awaiting was our shuttle to bring us to the funky neighbourhood of Fremont. Fremont, just north of the downtown core, was our home from May 19th until May 22nd.


The Fremont Troll, funded by the Seattle Department of Neighbourhood's Matching Fund.