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Environmental Studies

Telling Environmental Stories

Student Writing Project: Fall 2007

Telling StoriesAs part of Bowdoin Writer-in-Residence Anthony Walton’s fall 2007 course Telling Environmental Stories, students were visited by Amanda Griscom Little, (photo, right), one of the nation’s leading environmental journalists, who traded notes from the field.
Her visit was a highlight of the cross-disciplinary class, which combined study of environmental literature with students’ own original environmental narratives -- which they developed and critiqued with each other in a writer’s workshop format. Walton encouraged the student writers to use human experience, perhaps even their own, as a lens for examining environmental issues and concerns.
Here is a sampling of their final narratives.

Ekaphan Ekaphan "Bier" Kraichak '08
Major: Biology, Minor: Education Studies
I really enjoyed learning about effective narrative tools and story crafting firsthand from an amazing writer, such as Professor Walton himself, and from other students in the class who were very constructive and supportive in the process of writing. It was incredible that the class not only engaged me in storytelling, but also drew me closer to environmental movements.
Read "The Teacher of the Wetland" »

Daniel Levis '10 Daniel Levis '10
Major: English
The project challenged me to read the world as a writer--to find its story, linger in its details, seek out its symbols, and discover its meaning.
Read "The Way Life Should Be" »

Hannah Larson '10 Hannah Larson '10
Majors: Environmental Studies, History
We learn all sorts of vital, if depressing, information about the condition of our world today but rarely learn how to communicate this knowledge in a meaningful way to
the general public. Telling Environmental Stories filled the gap by teaching us -- through thoughtful class discussions of books by well-known nature writers as well as extensive practice writing our own stories -- specific strategies of crafting compelling
narratives that involve ever-more-relevant environmental issues.
Read "Nothing is Different but Ourselves" »

Lindasy Urquhart '08 Lindasy Urquhart '08
Major: Biology
Professor Walton helped me to understand that a persuasive writer of environmental injustice doesn't "scream at the reader, he makes the reader scream," (a quote from Walton). This class was always enjoyable because Prof. Walton allowed us to choose a topic that we were personally invested in and he assisted us in teaching each other. We learned from each other's successes and failures in a non-judgmental environment.
Read "Invisible on the Coast of Maine" »