ESPM 150 | Environmental Writing: Stories of Cultivation

Timothy Bowles & Ansel Olive Klein

This course will help students cultivate the skills required to build and write ecological narratives for a range of environmental writing styles, including research papers, policy articles, and popular science writing. In the seminar, we will focus on stories of cultivation that link humans, ecology, and agriculture.

Students will examine stories of early to present-day cultivation through a variety of rich lenses, including indigenous, experiential, and scientific knowledge. They will learn about the role of narratives for different styles of environmental writing and apply narrative-building techniques through guided writing exercises. Lastly, students will have the unique opportunity to visit a local, diversified farm, meet and interview the farming staff, and survey its natural community and surrounding landscape. As part of their final project, students will be asked to develop environmental writing pieces that share the diverse stories of cultivation that emerge from their on-farm encounters.