**DDCSP UW 2021 First Summer Experience Update**
In response to COVID-19 safety concerns and adherence to state and University response plans, we suspended all 2020 in-person experiences and instead delivered an 8-week first summer distance learning program.Safety continues to be our first priority for each participant, our site hosts, and our extended web of relations. After careful consideration, we have decided to suspend all of our field-based programming for our first summer experience for the 2021 summer and will continue our distance learning program from June 14th – Aug 14th. If it becomes safe and feasible to do so, we may resume in-person learning in Washington state for the final weeks of the program. For those admitted to our 2021 summer program, our intention is to welcome all to Washington state to complete their 2022 summer internships (dependent upon COVID-19 recovery plans).
There will be experiential, shared learning experiences through alternative exercises you can complete from where you live, and in creative collaboration with your cohort. These will include activities like outdoor field journaling techniques, socio-ecological field exercises, nature illustration and other forms of creative expression, storytelling, and movement-based exercises.
While this does not substitute entirely for the programming we would have run here in Washington, we offer engaging experiences that provide new insights and inspiration, while also allowing you all to build bonds with one another, and grow your networks in conservation.
Distance Learning Program Overview
Our alternative distance learning program retains the core values of our program – multidisciplinary conservation, community-building, storytelling, and JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) framework. During the summer scholars will:
- Explore the breadth of conservation practice and gain exposure to a variety of fields of study and ways of knowing.
- Connect social justice principles and concepts to themselves and broader systems in conservation using critical analysis
- Grow their capacity to be an agent of individual and collaborative change
- Become part of a nurturing, holistic community to support them through DDCSP and beyond
Programming and learning elements will be delivered by program staff through both synchronous and asynchronous online activity, in both whole cohort and small group work. There will be ongoing engagements with guest instructors and conservation practitioners, our alumni, 2020 cohort members, and much more.
The community building and engagement from scholars is miles beyond any online class taken thus far in a university setting.
2020 cohort member
“Even though we were separated geographically and temporally, the connections I made building community with my cohort are bonds that I will treasure forever.”
“Through this program I was able to explore the multifacetedness of biocultural conservation and gain a broader perspective of what is considered as conservation work. I’ve learned of the value of connections to the earth and her resources, to others in the communities I build, to myself and my lived experiences, and how those connections will continue to ground me in the work I see myself doing in the future.”
“DDCSP is so much more interactive than a typical online class you would take.You truly build a community with your cohort even in this online format.”
“I was thoroughly tired of attending zoom university by the time the summer came around…I didn’t expect to love our DDCSP cohort calls as much as I did. I couldn’t wait to log in and see my friends everyday and I would always wish that our calls would last a little longer so that we could spend more time together.”
“My experience was incredible!…although I still have yet to meet my cohort members in person, I consider them some of my best friends: a new kind of family.”
“I expected our bonds to be hindered by the remote format, but we spent so much time talking and sharing with each other that by the end I felt really connected with everyone.”
“[Learning about biocultural conservation] helped me connect to the stories of people around the world.”
For more information, please visit our Distance Learning Program FAQ page