My.EOU Portal Current Students Faculty/Staff
July 12, 2018 LA GRANDE, Ore. – Eastern Oregon University’s newest summer institute engages high school students from across the region while building interagency partnerships to improve a state park along the John Day River.
Cottonwood Crossing Summer Institute (CCSI) features instructors from EOU, Oregon State Parks and Arlington High School, who led five project teams for students to choose from. The distinct curriculum tracks allowed students to focus on botany, biology, creative writing, solar engineering, or exercise physiology.
Two dozen high school students registered to camp, cook and learn at Cottonwood Canyon State Park for the week of hands-on science and outdoor activities. EOU’s Outdoor Adventure Program Coordinator joined the group for a day-long float down the river they’d been studying.
“If you’re thinking it’s boring to learn the week after school gets out then you’re wrong because this camp is totally worth the experience,” one participant said.
Since 2015, CCSI has offered students an opportunity to work with regional professionals to conduct research and complete projects related to the natural and cultural resources of Eastern Oregon. They earn college-level science credit for participation, and working teachers can also attend to earn ongoing learning credits while expanding their own knowledge and curriculums.
The park unveiled its new Experience Center just in time for CCSI students to fill it with the bustling energy of their work and play. After several years of fundraising, the Oregon Parks Foundation constructed the indoor/outdoor classroom space this spring.
Students and instructors, some of whom are EOU upperclassmen working on capstone projects, also accomplished a number of lasting contributions to the park and its visitors. They compiled a list of macroinvertebrate species living in the John Day River, installed three solar charging stations, and composed essays that connect the people and place of Cottonwood Canyon State Park.
Participants hailed from Arlington, Bend, Boardman, Cove, Grand Ronde, La Grande, Pendleton, Portland, Salem, Sixes and Stanfield in Oregon, plus La Center, Wash., and New Plymouth, Idaho.
CCSI leader Julie Keniry said participants come away from this experience not only with a science credit from EOU but also with a sense of belonging.
“Working together in small groups, the students often discover a side of themselves that they didn’t know existed,” Keniry said. “They are so outgoing and capable of accomplishing so much in a short amount of time.”
Participants echoed Keniry’s sentiments, calling CCSI, “a fun experience where you don’t even realize you’re learning,” and, “the best way to start summer.” One participant said they’re, “less afraid of trying new things,” after a week in the wild.
In just six days, these 24 students and their instructors from around the Pacific Northwest helped develop one of Eastern Oregon’s state parks, strengthened partnerships between institutions and individuals, and discovered new strengths in themselves that will serve them in the classroom and in the world.
To learn more about CCSI and view photos, visit eou.edu/cottonwood-crossing or contact Julie Keniry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
« ‘A very, very special place’ | EOU Board holds reception in Joseph »
Sept. 27, 2022 EOU’s board of trustees takes action on presidential search process LA GRANDE, Ore. – The Eastern Oregon University board of trustees met in special session on Monday, Sept. 26, 2022 to take action on Resolution 22-08, which establishes the presidential search process. Board chair Cheryl Martin opened the meeting by responding, in […]Read more
Sept. 23, 2022 “Honey Eyed” exhibit coming to Nightingale Gallery LA GRANDE, Ore. – Eastern Oregon University’s Nightingale Gallery welcomes the new fall term with an exhibition by Portland artist Leslie Vigeant. Vigeant’s “Honey Eyed” is a multi-part installation, part tragedy and part comedy. The visual notes of her installation pokes holes in the societally-assumed […]Read more
EOU board of trustees calls special meeting Sept. 20, 2022 LA GRANDE, Ore. – Eastern Oregon University’s board of trustees will host a special board meeting on Monday, September 26, from noon to 1 p.m. to discuss and take action on a resolution describing the search process for EOU’s next president. The meeting will be […]Read more