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.

2013 Field School Vancouver: City of Contradications

Vancouver is the second city for Cascadia Field School and our first stop on the road. We arrived Thursday May 16 and settled in to the YWCA hostel downtown. As we toured around Vancouver, the students kept in mind the purpose of our journey in the Cascadia region. For us, urban 'sustainability' involves social and economic dimensions as well as the more obvious environmental ones. We aim to see how each of the sites we visit and people we hear from are actively contributing to sustainability.

2013 Field School Victoria

Welcome to the interactive map / blog of the 2013 Cascadia Sustainability Field School. We are a group of UVic geography students traveling down the coast from Victoria, BC to San Francisco, CA meeting with community groups, First Nations, planners, academics and others grappling with the pressing social, ecological, economic and cultural challenges in our region.

2012 Field School San Francisco Entry

The last stop on our journey was the City by the Bay, perhaps better known as San Francisco. This highly anticipated part of the program did not disappoint, and everyone had the time of their lives. Under blue skies, sun, wind, and fog we explored many aspects of the city and have left with a deep appreciation of the diversity, inclusiveness, and vibrancy of San Francisco.

     If, as they say, God spanked the town

     For being over frisky,

     Why did He burn the churches down

2012 Field School Oregon Coast Entry

Our trip to the Oregon Coast was reinvigorating to say the least; the overall consensus of our trip to the coast was that it was well-timed downtime, was great to get out of the city, and be able to decompress for a few days. As we wound the coastline on our way to Seaside, looking around at the group on the bus (aside from the few green faces), you could see the big city tension melting away. It was a well-needed rest that allowed us to study and focus on the goals of our field school, as well as gain a new perspective of the region of Cascadia.

2012 Field School Portland Entry

On May 21st, the first full day in Portland, we met with First Stop Portland for the first segment of our tour. First Stop Portland is an organization run through the University of Portland that arranges tours of the city.  Their tours highlight Portland’s livability, sustainability, politics, business, and current community projects for visiting delegations, students, or other interested parties.

2012 Field School Seattle Entry

Dispatches from Fremont, Earth: Fremont was Lenin and the Troll, Pike Place, P-Patches, the most delicious pie, and Paseo sandwiches; it was hacky-sac circles with Fremont locals, the Ballroom and the Dubliner, Gasworks park, and $2 Pabst Blue Ribbon.  Our expectations were not disappointed, the rumors were true, Fremont is truly somewhere to “let your inner sprite come out and play…a neighbourhood of year-round unexpected and unconventional entertainment”. 

2012 Field School Vancouver entry

Day 1: Upon our arrival in Vancouver, the class set out to explore the Yaletown neighbourhood. With readings by Trevor Boddy and Charles Montgomery in mind, we were asked to critically analyze Vancouver’s built landscape in order to discover what elements of ‘Vancouverism’ are currently present in the city. For those unfamiliar with the term Vancouverism, Montgomery would describe it as “Futureville,” with vibrant streetscapes and mixed-use developments.

2012 Visit to T'Souke Solar Community

Our field school blog continues... The day began with a long bus ride out to Sooke in the wonderful sunshine. Without too much harm done by the bendy road, we made our way to the T’sou-ke First Nations reserve. Upon our arrival, we were greeted by Andrew Moore who brought us into the main building.