Exploring Rural Issues

whitman in the wallowas

We connect college and university students with the people and stories of Wallowa County. Despite economic hardships from a declining forest industry, Wallowa County has come together to adapt and thrive. Visiting students engage directly with local residents and learn first-hand about rural values, issues, and problem solving. These personal interactions strengthen rural-urban relationships. We have partnered with Oregon State University, Whitman College, and Portland State University to offer dynamic undergraduate and graduate courses. Additionally, we work with universities (Whitman College and Eastern Oregon University) in creating internships and practicums. Students work closely with staff and see the inner working of a nonprofit. Contact us if interested in partnering with us and creating a course.

Current University Courses

  • Whitman in the Wallowas, a month-long, 4-credit interdisciplinary course in the summer. This program, developed by Wallowa Resources and Whitman College faculty, explores the natural and human communities of Wallowa County. Students' fieldwork integrates the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The course begins with natural history, followed by community-based conservation. Students camp on private lands and learn directly from Wallowa County residents. The final segment of the course is a writing workshop based on field journals.

  • Semester in the West. Whitman students spend a semester traveling and studying public land conservation in the American West. The field program offers coursework in ecology, writing, politics, and integrative projects. Wallowa Resources coordinates 7 days of the program during which students meet with ranchers, land managers, county government officials, and entrepreneurs to learn about rural problem solving in Wallowa County. The Wallowa County wolf issue is a popular one for student final video/writing productions.

  • Communities and Natural Resources. Oregon State University offers this graduate level field seminar for students in Forest Ecosystems and Society and Human Development and Family Science programs. Wallowa Resources coordinates and leads the program in Wallowa County. The Communities and Natural Resources seminar provides students interdisciplinary, experiential learning about contemporary community and natural resource issues in rural Oregon. Students learn firsthand from community leaders about current conditions and future prospects for Oregon's rural, natural resource dependent communities. Students synthesize what they learn on-site about poverty, natural resource dependency, community well-being, adaptive capacity, resilience; social, human, economic and natural capital; and land tenure.

Internships & Practicums

joanna teaching kids

Every summer we offer up to 3 internship experiences ranging from 6-10 weeks. Students receive a small weekly stipend and have the opportunity to live in our visiting scholar wing. Additionally, we work with universities in creating hands-on projects for practicum credit during the school year. Please contact us if interested in learning more.

Meet Our Current College Interns



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