Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon is the perfect place to pursue a Master of science in environmental education. The faculty members in the biology department are experts when it comes to local natural history and ecology, and they have a broad range of research interests. Students hoping to complete a project or thesis will benefit not just from the expertise of this department, but from departments as diverse as Sociology and Communications. Additionally, the small size of Southern Oregon University ensures that students are able to foster real relationships with faculty. But there’s more to this program than the school itself.
Ashland sits in one of the most biodiverse regions of the country. In fact, nearby Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument was dedicated by President Clinton solely to protect its incredible biological diversity. The monument appeals to every kind of plant or animal interest. Entomologists will appreciate that the monument has the highest documented butterfly diversity in the United States. Herpetology enthusiasts might be able to observe the elusive rubber boa or endangered Oregon spotted frog. Birders can observe one of the largest populations of Great Gray Owls (North America’s biggest owl) in the lower 48 states. Botanists can find endangered lily’s, orchids, and interesting carnivorous plants in the monument. Those with a love for mammals might stumble upon a Pacific fisher, kangaroo rat, or even a wolf in the monument. And so it goes.
The incredible people and places in this area have fostered the growth of environmental organizations in and around Ashland. Opportunities for internships, and even careers, with organizations like The Nature Conservancy, Farm to School, North Mountain Park Nature Center, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and many others abound. All of these groups exist to help protect and manage the unique ecosystems of this area. To learn more about these organizations, click here.
We hope to help you discover, and teach others about, the natural wonders surrounding our town.
Cohort 7's Orientation Weekend took place at the Ludlum Campground near Brookings, OR. Check out this incredible video to see some of the local places to explore within only a few hours drive. Created by Chaney Swiney, a member of Cohort 7.