ECO 751 COURSE SYLLABUS AND PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
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Psychology Degree Schools Electives and Equivalences
ECO 751: FIELD STUDIES IN EDUCATING AND
COUNSELING WITH NATURE
Applied Ecopsychology/Integrated Ecology
Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy
Institute of Applied Ecopsychology
Michael J. Cohen <email@example.com>
March 1, 2012
NOTE Participation in this 2 credit course (90 hours) is part of the work/study hours required from of all students, especially those who seek financial assistance. Students may design and carry out projects that fit their skills and interests and/or volunteer for tasks that the program identifies.
NOTE: ECO 751 and 791 ask students make important contributions on their path to achieving their goals. Extra hours spent in 751 can be added to 791.
WHAT TO DO: As described on the Public Education Page participants help:
Participants use challenge exams to document and defend their work and contributions on the 700 courses.
NOVEMBER 2011 UPDATE OF ECO 751 (official course description.) It is recommended to use its alternative, described above.
ECO 751: Field Studies in Educating, Counseling and Healing With Nature
Descriptive material located in ECO 700 concerning the use of challenge exams can apply to this 751 course
DISREGARD BELOW: TO BE UPDATED
751A. SECTION A of this field study work is required of all students and consists of two parts listed below:
(A1) participating the three-part, 3 credit, certification, GWSG learning community. It consists of passing a required core course entitled "Cooperative Administration of an NSTP Online Training and Degree Program." For each of the three parts, the student participates in Level 1, 2, or 3 of the Certification program and Professional Group online.
The course requires students to implement their Co-op Admissions contract in the GWSG group as a continuation of the online webstring community learning process they have learned and applied in the Orientation Course ECO 500.
(A2) participating in the Public Edcation procedures and network whose rationale and materias are described on the Public Education page and its links
751B. SECTION B of this field studies course requirement may, alternatively, be filled by documenting that you have had equivalent education experiences.
SEE ALSO http://www.ecopsych.com/eco791.html
Students experience in theory and practice how Western Civilization separates the "human" from the "natural" and estranges us from nature's integrity, love, and spirit, in and around us.
Students master, design and implement conscientious techniques which reverse this dilemma and catalyze responsible relationships for "reconnecting with nature in people and places." They accomplish this by negotiating a field experience placement (past or present) within their career field which supports a practical observation of Integrated Ecology.
This field experience will represent a minimum of 90 hours in one or more monitored placements. In them, students apply the syllabus of ECO 500, 501 and ECO 502 as a perceptual filter
OPTIONAL: Students will maintain a weekly log reflecting upon their experiences, and prepare a scholarly paper (at least 15 typewritten double-spaced pages) discussing how the field placement experience has built their understanding of overcoming barriers to successful integration of Integrated Ecology concepts within their career field.
DISREGARD BELOW: TO BE UPDATED
SECTION B Prerequisite: ECO 501: Elements of Educating and
Counseling with Nature
*create nature psychology program constituencies.
*demonstrate theoretical knowledge in applied settings
*make improvements within work settings
*exhibit excellence in core competencies
*reflect new understandings from practical studies
*address the tasks of the professional arena
*integration of academic competencies with professional behaviors and protocols
*expectations of the workplace
*to help students utilize Natural System Thinking Process nature connected psychology techniques to produce responsible relationships within their career field.
*to demonstrate theoretical knowledge in applied settings
*to make immediate improvements within their work settings
*to exhibit excellence in core competencies
*reflect new understandings from the practical studies
*to demonstrate competence in the general domains of the program
*to better address the tasks of their professional arena
*to integrate academic theory and professional techniques within a
*to expose the student to cases and situations that are representative of
the role and function of an independent practitioner in the professional
BRIEF NEED STATEMENT
An essential component of the transition all students must make from the
academic to the professional environment is the integration and application
of academic theories, principles and practices to the requirements and
expectations of the professional arena. To encourage successful transition
to the professional environment, supervised field studies in an approved
site with business, industry, government or nonprofit sector (or a
supervised independent field study project, with permission from lead
faculty) is a required component of the curriculum of all degree programs
at Akamai University. Through these opportunities, students are able to
effectively integrate theories, principles, and practices from their core
studies through the application of this learning within the professional
environment, allowing the real world to challenge and enhance their
This is a required course for all students pursuing PNC Certification or a graduate degree in Integrated Ecology/Applied Ecopsycholgy and is closed to other students.
The student and instructor will have an initial phone conversation within
one week prior to the student's start date at the field site. The purpose
of this interaction is to clarify the plan of action for the field study,
the course objectives, and the schedule of activities, familiarize the
student and instructor with each other, and develop clear timelines for
completion of course requirements. This interaction is required, and it
will be conducted at the student's expense unless otherwise arranged by the
student and the field site sponsor. In addition to the initial phone
interaction, the student and instructor will have phone contact during the
progress of the course, at weeks 6, 12, 18 and 24. Through these
additional contacts, student and instructor will assess progress and
timelines, modify expectations and the plan of action, as necessary, and
answer questions and concerns of either party.
In addition to telephone contact the student will maintain a minimum of
once-per-week email, post or telefax contact with the instructor for the
purpose of communicating progress and resolving any difficulties which
might arise at the field site. This is a forum for specific questions by
the student and instructor, a time for instruction by the faculty, and
problem-solving, as needed. The instructor and the student are expected to
respond to electronic communications by phone or email within 48 hours,
if at all possible.
-Optional Methods of Contact
In addition to the aforementioned methods of communication, each student is
encouraged to provide ideas about the optional methods of communication
appropriate for the capabilities of the field site environment. For
example, audiotaped or videotaped messages can be used, as appropriate,
with feedback by the instructor. Synchronous video linking, chat room, and
bulletin board access can be used if the student has access to
internet-based video hardware and software. The instructor will be pleased
to explore options for increased and improved communication with the
COURSE DELIVERY STYLE
The following guidelines describe the course delivery style and the basic
activities and responsibilities of the student, the field site sponsor,
and the course instructor for the conduct of this field study:
Required Activities and Responsibilities of the Student:
Set mutually satisfactory and feasible goals with faculty and field site
sponsors. Become an integral and participating member of the field site
staff. Become familiar with business policy and procedures and abide by all
regulations. Support the field site and its staff in any contacts with the
public. Notify the field site sponsor when you are unable to work as
scheduled. Consult your supervisor or field site sponsor when confronted
with problems you cannot satisfactorily solve by yourself. Schedule three
meetings during the field study placement with lead faculty, and your field
site sponsor and supervisor. Complete work as outlined in field study
agreement with lead faculty and field site sponsor Make sure field study
sponsor receives, fills out and returns students evaluation form at the end
of the field study placement. Students maintain a daily journal for the
duration of the field study and prepare a scholarly paper addressing the
purpose and goal of the field study for the particular degree program.
Required Activities and Responsibilities of the Field Site Sponsor:
Orient the student to the philosophy, policies, programs and services of
the placement site. Prepare the site staff for the arrival of the field
study student. Define the expectations of the field study student including
specific project(s) for the duration of the placement. Determine with
field-study student, the types of learning experiences which provide
challenge, growth and success - and provide these experiences. Integrate
the field study student as a fully functioning participant in appropriate
levels of on site activities, projects and programs. Provide supervision by
meeting at least once a week (or other more appropriate time interval) with
the field study student. Train field study student as necessary. Evaluate
field study student's progress, overall performance and the degree to which
s/he has met the stated goals and objectives through a verbal review at
mid-placement and by a written final evaluation, as requested by the
Required Activities and Responsibilities of the Instructor:
Communicate and review progress with the field study student at least
monthly during the field site placement to supervise academic components of
work (i.e.: suggest readings, help students connect internship to
theoretical base, clarify assignments of academic work). Serve as a
consultant to field study student and field site sponsor for technical
advice regarding the expectations and guidelines of the university. Conduct
a mid-placement review and sign progress report. Provide mediation support
for field-study student, as needed. Make a site visit if possible. If not,
contact field site sponsor or supervisor at least once by phone. Provide
guidance in focusing the final paper, which should be a minimum of 15 pages
in length. Arrange communication with student at end of field placement to
review and evaluate experience. Oversee the gathering of the student and
field site sponsor's final reports, review and evaluate the student's
course paper, prepare the final instructor evaluation, and submit Grade
Report in a timely manner.
REQUIRES COURSE MATERIALS
Reconnecting With Nature, Michael J. Cohen
Well Mind, Well Earth, Michael J. Cohen
Connecting With Nature, Michael J. Cohen
-Recommended Bibliography and Learning Resources
Students may select from the following general bibliographic materials, and the bibliographies they contain, as appropriate. See www.amazon.com for publication details and availability.
*Dancing Wu Li Masters, Gary Zukoff
*The Monkey Wrench Gang, Edward Abby
*Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions, Richard Erdoes
*Voice of the Desert, Joseph Wood Krutch
*The Soul Unearthed, Cass Adams,
*My Name is Chellis, Chellis Glenndinning,
*Ecopsychology, Theodore Roszac
*The Web of Life, John Storer
*Dream of the Earth, Thomas Berry
*Earth in Mind, David Orr
*Wilderness and the American Mind, Roderick Nash
*The Quiet Crisis, Stewart Udall
*Wisdom of the Body, Walter B. Connon
*Ishi in Two Worlds, Theodora Kroeber
*Education of Little Tree, Forest Carter
*Magical Child, Joseph Chilton Pierce
*Ishmael, Daniel Quinn
*Summerhill, A.S. Neill
*The Web of Life, Fritjov Capra
*The Spell of the Sensuous, David Abram
-Assignment #1: Application for Field Study
Preparation should begin at least two months before the student anticipates
enrollment for the field study course by gathering the necessary
information needed to effectively complete the Application for Field Study
and submission to lead faculty. As needed, the field study student will
work with the field sponsor and the instructor to create the necessary
framework and schedule for the successful completion of the field study
application. For the application to receive approval, it is essential that
the field site sponsor agree to provide on-site coordination and have the
capacity to offering clear expectations and guidance to the student for the
duration of the field placement.
The Field Study Application should include the following information:
1. Specify the field study course by name and number.
2. Indicate proposed date of enrollment by indicating the semester (Fall,
Winter, Spring, Summer) the student will begin actual field placement
3. Verify completion of the prerequisite core studies of degree program by
submission of grade report of attaching letter of confirmation from all
4. Name the field site, sponsor (and direct supervisor, if different) and
contact information (full address, telephone number, and email address).
5. Name of Administrator in Charge of the organization within which the
field site rests.
6. Proposed on site timetable and schedule of hours to show minimum hours
will be achieved.
7. Describe the full array of activities you will conduct on site and
identify the position title assigned.
8. Explain how field placement will help you focus on field study goals.
9. Clarify the accommodations and services to be provided for student at
the field site 10. Clarify the accommodations and services the student must
provide and how these will be attained.
11. Identify the insurance coverage protecting student, this institution
and field site institution from liability claims.
12. State the itinerary of the student for traveling to and from the field site.
13. Clarify that proper papers and medical clearance have been attained by
the student by submission of photocopies or letters of attestation.
14. State the student-faculty timetable for communications during the
15. Attach a student-faculty course memorandum including the course
syllabus with list of assignments and methods of evaluation.
16. Attach a statement signed by administrator of the sponsor organization
responsible for field placement site, agreeing to the terms of the field
study placement and assigning or authorizing the field site sponsor to
undertake the responsibilities of th field site placement.
17. Include signatures of agreement of the student and lead faculty.
-Assignment #2: Field Placement Activities
Participate within the field study site according to the plan of action
established with the instructor and the field site sponsor at the outset of
the course. Maintain required activities, and the communications and
meetings with instructor and site sponsor, according to the course
completion timetable. Conduct required or recommended readings and
maintain daily journal notations.
-Assignment #3: Oral Reviews with Instructor
Schedule and conduct telephone (or other means of communication, as
arranged beforehand) contacts with the instructor, according to the course
completion timetable, for the purposes of oral review of learning and
progress at the field site, clarification or revision of the plan of action
for the field study, review of the course objectives, and the schedule of
-Assignment #4: Reflective Paper
Within the requirements for a course final paper found at
http://www.ecopsych.com/eco500paper.html develop an academic paper relative to the "subject matter" of the field
study, in a manner which is reflective of the experiences undertaken. The
reflective paper should be approximately 10 double-spaced, typewritten
pages, addressing the objectives of the course, drawing from the daily
journal notations, and required readings (if any), and formulated in such a
manner as to contribute insight and ideas relative to the professional
development of the student. The primary purpose of the paper is to permit
the student to reflect upon the new learning acquired through the field
study, to reflect upon the new professional maturity, to relate what was
learned in the practical environment to the core studies of the program and
the academic literature reviewed. Paper should adhere to standard manuals
of style and contain effective scholarly discussions, and a thorough
referencing of the literature used (if any).
-Assignment #5: Final Site Sponsor Evaluation
The student will participate with the field site sponsor in the conduct of
a final field study review. This review will reflect upon to effectiveness
of the student in addressing and accomplishing the objectives of the course
within the field site environment.
SUPPLEMENTAL LEARNING RESOURCES
*Internship Success: Real-World, Step-by-Step Advice on Getting the Most
out of Internships by Marianne Ehrlich Green. Published by Barnes and
NOTES: Price: $10.36
*Internship, Practicum, and Field Placement Handbook, The: A Guide for the
Helping Professions, Edition:1, by Brian N. Baird, Pacific Lutheran
University. Published by Prentice Hall Canada ISBN:0-13-475088-8
INDIVIDUALIZATION OF STUDENT ASSIGNMENTS
Each student is expected to apply new learning from their core courses to
real world situations within their professional environment or the wider
community, as appropriate.
Both the experiential (time spent at the field study site) and the academic
work are valued towards the award of credit. Regularly scheduled
communications and meetings, readings, journal notations, and formal
evaluations are expected part of the field study course. For the course
grade the instructor will evaluate the student through mid-placement and
end-of-placement oral assessments, the final overarching assessment of the
field site sponsor, and the students scholarly paper.
COURSE GRADING DETERMINANTS
The course grade will be calculated based upon the following formula:
*mid placement oral review by instructor 25%
*reflective paper 25%
*final evaluation by site sponsor 25%
*final oral review by instructor 25%
COURSE COMPLETION TIMETABLE
Week #1: Instructors final review of student application/plan of action.
Pre-placement oral discussion and orientation between student and
Week #2: Formal initial meeting between student and site sponsor wherein
student objectives and tasks at the field site are formally reviewed, and
plan of action is set for the first half of the field placement.
Week#2: Student begins field site activities and begins maintaining daily
journal notations which will continue for the duration of the field
Week #3: Student sends first written communication to instructor via post,
telefax, or email, verifying that field placement is underway in an
Week #6: Student makes first telephone contact with instructor to review
progress and to arrange to work out any difficulties at the field site.
Week #10: Formal mid-placement meeting between student and site sponsor
wherein student progress is reviewed, and plan of action is set for the
second half of the field placement. Site sponsor sends written review to
instructor following this meeting.
Week #11: Student arranges for time and date for mid-placement oral review
Week #12: Student makes telephone contact with instructor for
mid-placement oral review. Following the oral review, student and
instructor review progress and establish plan of action concerning any
difficulties at the field site.
Week #18: Student makes telephone contact with instructor to review
progress and to arrange for final evaluation requirements at the field
Week #19: Student arranges for final review by field site sponsor and the
completion of the written final evaluation of the student.
Week #20: Formal end-of-placement meeting is held between student and site
sponsor wherein student success in field placement is formally reviewed
including a thorough review of the contents of the sponsor's final
evaluation of the student. Site sponsor completes the written final
evaluation of the student and sends to the instructor.
Week #22: Final evaluation by site sponsor is to be received by instructor
Week #24: Final oral review is conducted by instructor and student grade
report is prepared and submitted to the University.
Contact: Michael J. Cohen, Ph.D.
Read the Ecopsychology Journal interview with Dr. Cohen: http://www.ecopsych.com/ecopsychologyjournal.html
Personal page: http://www.ecopsych.com/mjcohen.html
Journal quotes from students who are doing natural attraction activities:
"I went outside and went to a bubbling spring. It was cold and the spring was gurgling away. And flowing rapidly. I was at the source of the spring where it came out of the earth in a split path. The water was icy cold but beautifully crystal clear. The intelligence that I sense here is the ability of the water to find its way through the earth and make an exit and keep flowing downstream. It felt like the spring had the intelligence of giving pure life and rejuvenation.
On the path in the forest I spotted something that seemed almost like a little sparkling gem. I bent down and picked it up and it was an acorn. Fresh and split in half. It was incredibly smooth. And the color was this luscious cream color with a rose hue. It reminded me of a decadent luxurious piece of chocolate. My mouth actually started to water and I had a sense of biting into something luscious. The intelligence that I sense in this acorn was the ability to hold densely packed nourishment and to evoke a sense of “wouldn’t this be good to eat”.
On the hillside in my garden the phlox were densely matted and kind of grey and brown. I looked closer and hidden under the grey and brown was this fresh, fresh green color. It felt like this color was welling up under this cover of brown and grey. The intelligence that I sensed in this phlox was one of invisibility or the ability to stay hidden during a vulnerable state.
Observing the Mimbres design, I think the artist was expressing the human/nature relationship in the context of universal web of life.
The bird body has been given more emphasis in terms of size relative to the human presence, symbolizing the animal population is more present/prevalent than human.
The design has a map/maze mandala character. The diminishing size of the pattern modules suggest a spiral, the individual pattern units speak to me of the elements and phenomena in nature. They also have the quality of zig-zagging, suggestive of lightening, and of electrical attraction bringing substance into being.
The three tiny shapes, possibly represent crops, cultivation, and culture- products of wo/man’s interactive relationship with nature.
The pattern leads outwards through exit threads beyond the circle, which suggests continuity beyond physical boundary (circle) and connection with universal dimensions that feed and transmute into organized physical phenomena – formal differentialities.
That the bird and the human are in the centre, suggest that they were formed more recently than the elements, through these webstring attractions from the universe.
The human head and the bird facing in the opposite directions suggest to me that the sensory webstring attractions are brought in from all directions, the birds beak, the nouth and the eyes functioning as antenna. The mouths of both are slightly open as though breathing or speaking, and if one follows the line of the mouths, they lead to one of the channels in the pattern modules, beyond and into infinity. This implies the entry of universal energy directly through the breath and out through the voice, as the creative force.
The male and female relationship is represented in the phallic shape protruding in toward the bird neck, the same shape is also a recess accentuated by the white line around the phallic protrusion, suggesting the female and procreative unity of the two.
The position of the feet, clearly shows them as senders and receivers of energy/life force positioned as they are – one directly in the path of the flow to the universe, the other at the base of the cultural products ie one towards spirit, the other towards material.
The eyes are powerful carriers of information: one is a mandorla, almond shape with a dot which reminds me of a seed, the other a circle with a dot, which denotes the relationship between tiny beginnings and the never-ending universe. The two open eyes are in line with eachother, as though binding the two heads together suggestive of connection and relationship in alert awareness of the vast oscilating matrix.
The predominant use of black and white contrast symbolizes light and dark, night and day and non dualism, harmony of opposites, positive and negative attractions.
The circle form denotes harmony, sun/day/completion; all/nothing. The openings from each zig-zag pattern module, if followed beyond the perimeter of the circle, flow outwards like rays of the sun.
The spiral that is suggested in the decreasing pattern modules, represent timelessness, balance, growth, evolution and cosmic cycles. (The more I look at this design the more I see, or read and know that there is more to be gathered from it, my response so far I feel it not complete! But must proceed to the rest of the assignment)
To summarise- all the shapes and patterns in the design are composed to create movement and rhythm that connect, creating a powerful map of the origin, relationship and balance of universal phenomena. Overall, the design effectively captures the manifestation of universal energy through web attractions. You have done such a deep insight and great language description of the symbols! bravo.
When I did the activity after seeking permission in the natural garden and replaced the bird with webstring attractions, I felt the sensation of the attraction entering at the neck, down the spine and into extremities of my hands and feet. I had a sense of completing a cycle, of utter belonging, connecting human into the web of life matrix. The birdsong, river sounds, gravity breeze and air were attractions that I worked with and all created such a powerful interception.
The activity gave me further insights about the Mimbres design as experience, not illustration- it took on a new meaning through the activity. I knew how the creator of the design felt, and how they evolved their depiction. It reminded me of how artists are seers and translators of universal messages into the physical realm, through the visual language, that creates relationships- it also reminded me that the non-verbal language is far more articulate that the verbal language in communicating the nature of meaningful spatial and temporal relationships that are not expressible in words.
In the activity, I felt the webstrings clearly as interwoven and I sensed them not just as connected to me as attractions but instead between other phenomena, I sensed the attraction between the tree and the breeze, between its neighbour tree’s leaf, between the bird and its perch, between its song and the fruit, and many more. I also felt this connection
As I did not venture from home this week, I was in contact with only three people. I showed them the design and asked how they felt about it. All of them identified the theme of unity of human/nature relationship and that the colours symbolized the elements in the universe. One noticed that brown occurs more than the others representing the importance of the earth. The circle had planetary significance they are attracted to it but they found it had characteristics of a caricature.
The person with a more logical mind said they found the design unbalanced, and unharmonious and were not attracted to it.
An elder found it quite intruiging, as it was something they would not normally look at.
It is interesting how different people see the same symbol when not connected but each see what they need."
For an extensive collection of Journal quotes from students doing natural attraction activities:
Achieve a Degree or Certificate to strengthen your professional interests, or your hobbies or pastimes, by connecting them with nature. Implement your strongest hopes as you increase personal and global well being.
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