Canadian Studies Center September 2010 Report

September 2010 Report

Programming News


K-12 STUDY CANADA in Vancouver and Whistler

The K-12 STUDY CANADA Summer Institute celebrated its 32nd year in Vancouver and Whistler this summer. Participants and presenters enjoy their last day in Whistler.
The K-12 STUDY CANADA Summer Institute celebrated its 32nd year in Vancouver and Whistler this summer. Participants and presenters enjoy their last day in Whistler. Said one participant, "Out of all the programs, courses, and degrees that I have worked on, this course is by far the best."

This summer, the Pacific Northwest National Resource Center on Canada (Center for Canadian-American Studies, Western Washington University, and the UW Canadian Studies Center) held its 32nd annual K-12 STUDY CANADA Summer Institute in Vancouver and Whistler, British Columbia. The week-long institute served twenty K-12 educators from across the US, including Colorado, Ohio, South Carolina, Montana, Georgia, California, Michigan, Virginia, and Washington.

This year, the program featured Joël Plouffe, WWU’s Visiting Scholar of Québec Studies and doctoral candidate at the University of Québec, Montréal. Joël, a scholar of Arctic geopolitics, provided the presentation, “A Portrait of Québec: Its History, People, and Politics.” Other presentations ranging from Canadian politics to economics to geography and history were provided by Karen Palmarini from the Canadian Consulate in Denver; WWU faculty Don Alper, Paul Storer, David Rossiter, Cecilia Danysk, and Tina Storer; and UW’s Nadine Fabbi. Field trips included tours of the 2010 Olympic Commerce Centre, Stanley Park, and downtown Vancouver, as well as the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Whistler.

Tina Storer (second from left), Education and Curriculum Specialist, Center for Canadian-American Studies, Western Washington University and program coordinator with Summer Institute participants and beautiful downtown Whistler in the background.
Tina Storer (second from left), Institute program coordinator, with Summer Institute participants and beautiful downtown Whistler in the background.

The program, which will move to Ottawa in 2011, is the premier institute on Canada in the US. Participants enjoy one week of intensive presentations, field trips, and assistance with curriculum development. (Many curriculum projects are also available on the K-12 STUDY CANADA website.) Educators receive university credits or Washington state clock hours for attendance and completion of projects. As one 2010 participant stated, "Hands down, this was the best teacher workshop I have attended!"

Information about the 2011 Institute, A Capital View of Canada: Nations within a Nation, is also available online at: www.k12studycanada.org/scsi.asp

The Institute is coordinated by Tina Storer, Education and Curriculum Specialist, and Don Alper, Director, at the Center for Canadian-American Studies, Western Washington University.

K-12 STUDY CANADA Program

The K-12 STUDY CANADA Summer Institute is supported by a National Resource Center Title VI grant and an Outreach Grant from the Government of Canada.

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Building a Green Recovery: EU-US-Canada Contemporary Policy Challenges, International Study Program

By Tiffany Grobelski

Tiffany enjoys poutine while on the study tour.
Tiffany enjoys poutine while on Commercial Drive during the study tour.

Tiffany Grobelski is a graduate student in the Geography Department, and she recently finished her master’s thesis, The Dynamics of Scale in EU Environmental Governance: A Case Study of Integrated Permitting in Poland. She is interested in the political aspects of environmental policy, especially the opportunities for the public to pursue environmental goals and express environmental grievance using the unprecedented legal infrastructure laid out by the EU. In future work, she hopes to incorporate other case studies, in order to have a more comparative approach.

The Canadian Studies Center, along with the Center for West European Studies, piloted an exciting new study abroad program this summer. The goal of the program was to take a comparative look at environmental policy approaches of Europe, the US, and Canada—at national, regional, and municipal levels. The program brought together a diverse group of ten students—five master’s students from Europe, as well as three undergraduates and one graduate student from UW. What transpired over the five weeks was not only a cultural exchange among the students themselves, but also a cultural immersion experience in Canada.

The group at UW Tacoma. Back row, left to right: Martin Su, Emily Cousins, Stefan Goetz, Britta Tunestam, Lisa Kastner, Tiffany Grobelski, Will Kelly, Greg Shelton (program director). Front row: Victoria Choe, Andrea Lode, Naomi Van Loon
The group at UW Tacoma. Back row, left to right: Martin Su, Emily Cousins, Stefan Goetz, Britta Tunestam, Lisa Kastner, Tiffany Grobelski, Will Kelly, Greg Shelton (program director). Front row: Victoria Choe, Andrea Lode, Naomi Van Loon

We were bombarded with different perspectives on environmental policy. We spent two weeks at the University of Washington, followed by three weeks at the University of British Columbia. During those five weeks we engaged with policymakers, city planners, environmental consulting firms, private sector and NGO representatives, public officials, and academics from a variety of disciplines. We wrestled with difficult questions, such as what terms like “sustainability” and “green” actually mean when it comes to on-the-ground implementation. What political realities stand in the way of “greening” public policy? What are the unintended consequences of even the best-intentioned policy?

Among the highlights of the program was a glimpse at the policy initiatives at all three ports in the region (Tacoma, Seattle, Vancouver), a meeting with the mayor of Whistler to discuss the city’s sustainability policies, and lectures coupled with a walking tour detailing Vancouver’s profile as a “green” city. I think my classmates and the instructor, Greg Shelton, would agree that this program was an invigorating one. It was a productive, rewarding experience for all involved.

Regarding the course, Tiffany said: "I was attracted by finally being able to do an actual course on all the "green stuff" instead of just muddling through by myself by turning off lights and the like. The program's most attractive feature must be the combination of European and American / International students and the two places of the program (Seattle / Vancouver). The topic was interesting to me, especially the prospect of traveling to and learning more about Canada.

This program was instructed by Greg Shelton, Canadian Studies affiliated faculty member and Instructor and Managing Director of Global Trade, Transportation, and Logistics Studies. Greg's area of expertise is international trade and US-Canada cross-border trade and transportation issues. This project was supported, in part, by funding from the Center’s Title VI grant, US Department of Education, Office of International Education Programs Service.

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Summer Seminar for Educators

A World of Food: Growing It, Shipping It, Selling It

Branden Born with graduate student, biology, Beth Wheat
Branden Born with graduate student, biology, Beth Wheat

K-12 Educators from across Washington state and beyond attended a two-day seminar focusing on the international history and economics of food. Issues explored included the ethics of food production, food supply, food as a commodity, and more.

Keynote speaker Lucy Jarosz, Geography, spoke about teaching students how to investigate where their food comes from, what it contains, and how those two things are relevant to both their lives and the lives of those around them. Professor Jarosz is currently working on a comparative project examining urban agriculture's potential to address hunger in the US and Canada, and she directed teachers to resources and material on Canadian food systems through her keynote lecture.

Canadian Studies affiliate faculty member Branden Born, Urban Design and Planning, also spoke to teachers, discussing how food security has evolved from food justice to food democracy to food sovereignty. Canada has been a leader in food security integrating Food Policy Councils into provincial health departments. Professor Born studies planning process and social justice; land use planning and regionalism; and urban food systems.

In addition to two days packed with fascinating presentations and activities, teachers were able to visit the UW Farm on a tour with PhD student Elizabeth Wheat, Biology. Elizabeth's research focuses on oyster aquaculture and her passion is sustainable food production. She is a founding member of the University of Washington student farm. She recently received the University of Washington Excellence in Teaching award for largely as a result of her work on the university student farm. She will be a teaching post-doc at the Program on the Environment starting this coming fall.

After the seminar, teachers evaluated the program, with one declaring that this year's seminar was "one of the best programs I have been to!" Others extolled all of the presentations, including Professors Jarosz and Born, with one teacher concisely summing up her experience: "Awesome."

The Canadian Studies Center, along with the other Jackson School National Resource Centers, work hard to ensure that quality programming and professional development opportunities are available for teachers in order to help them create curriculum with strong regional content.

This project was supported, in part, by funding from the Center’s Title VI grant, US Department of Education, Office of International Education Programs Service.

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Canadian Studies Center
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