Paul Hawken has written, “Living within the biological constraints of the earth may be the most civilized activity a person can pursue, because it enables our successors to do the same. You cannot live within the carrying capacity of a region if you do not know where you are.” This school will be designed to teach the students precisely where they are, and to develop the skills necessary to do the same in their home region. Looking at the campus as a center point in a circle that stretches to the Native American communities up and down the eastern Pacific coast; out to the Polynesian seafarers of the southern and northern Pacific; to the Spanish, Russian, and English explorers and traders who plied the seas from the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries; to the immigrants from the East who came West in search of land and gold and opportunity. We will also study the ecological context of the greater Bay Area, of watersheds and jet-streams, Pacific currents and forest climates. The Bay Area is also home to a vibrant community of environmental innovators, educators, and activists, many of whom will visit the campus to share their work and insights.
Adventure Trips: Centrally located in Northern California, students will have weekend access to amazing natural landscapes. Guided trips will allow students to explore and deepen their relationship with nature and sense of awe for its beauty: boating trips in the Delta, hiking at Point Reyes National Seashore, camping in the snowy Sierra Nevadas, rock climbing California's coastal cliffs, and picnicking under the ancient redwoods.
Service: Just as we will work to support one another at The Field Semester, service projects will foster our sense of social responsibility within the wider community. Local organizations present excellent ways to channel this community involvement. With the excess produce from our farm, students can help provide fresh food for county food banks and the local community. We can also open our gates to local students, K-12, who could use our campus as a lab.
Regional Partnerships: There are many other regional partners that will offer our students exposure to the interesting work being done in the fields of land stewardship, agriculture, and sustainability: East Bay Regional Parks District, Local Land Trusts, The Marin Carbon Project, Full Belly Farms, Green Valley Agricultural Conservancy, The University of California at Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and visits with Bay Area leaders in the sustainability field.