Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2002

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Cultural and Environmental Resource Management

Committee Chair

Steven Hackenberger

Second Committee Member

Florence K. Lentz

Third Committee Member

Thomas R. Wellock


The policies of the environment-based education movement are benefiting teachers and students participating in several model programs operating in the United States. Place-centered learning enhances the interdisciplinary practice of Essential Academic Learning Requirements, and actively engages students in local issues. The study of cultural landscapes encourages a sense of place within the Lower Columbia River Gorge, and fosters student connections with the Dalles Mountain Ranch. Policy recommendations are made for environment-based learning in Washington State's public schools. An example place-centered curriculum is outlined for practice at the Dalles Mountain Ranch, and a residential environmental learning center is proposed in the western Columbia Plateau. This center will effectively combine the resources of the Dalles Mountain Ranch and several nearby State Parks, and serve teachers and students from communities throughout the region.