Traditional Ecological Wisdom in Your Ecosystem

In this module, students will get an introduction to Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), the evolving knowledge acquired by indigenous peoples over thousands of years in direct contact with their environment. Students will start by assessing their existing awareness of the present-day and pre-colonial ecology of their hometown, and then conduct independent research to fill the gaps in their knowledge. 

Outdoor fieldwork identifying plant and animal life in our neighborhoods will complement an ecosystem mapping project, which will serve to ground students in their natural environment and spark curiosity about the past and future of their local ecosystems. Students who participate in this session will discover how they can draw on TEK today to become more engaged with nature and better equipped to protect it. 


Cohort 1
June 29 – July 10

Cohort 2
July 27 – August 7

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays
12pm -3pm (ET)

• Framing Workshop
• Creating a Map of Your Neighborhood’s ecological landmarks
• Indigenous History in Your Region
• Individual Research: Food Chain in Your Area – Centuries ago vs. now

• Grounding in Place Exercise
• Expert Webinar with indigenous Permaculture Expert, Indonesia
• Debrief & Assignment: Interview an Elder in Your Ecosystem

• Grounding in Place Exercise
• Expert Webinar with Farmer/Homesteader in British Columbia
• Debrief & Group Work on Biomimmicry

• Slow Looking Walks
• Individual Research Topic Time
• Storytelling Session on our proximal environments

• Individual Research Topics Presentation and Ideation Session
• Coaching sessions on topic selection
• Research local organizations related to project topics; Students reach out for 3 interviews.
• Daily Debrief

• Daily Nature Moment Intro
• Introduction to Empathy Interviewing
• Small-Group Practice
• Test Run Empathy Interviewing – family member
• Daily Debrief

• Daily Nature Moment Intro
• Empathy Interviews with Local Organizations
• Small-Group Practice
• Student Share Outs on Experience
• Daily Debrief

• Daily Nature Moment Intro & Course Check-Ins
• Individual Project Time
• Instructor Office Hours
• Daily Debrief

• Daily Nature Moment Intro & Course Check-Ins
• Individual Project Time
• Instructor Office Hours
• Daily Debrief

• Daily Nature Moment Intro & Course Check-Ins
• Final Presentations w/ Guest Attendees
• Course ‘Graduation’ & Debrief
• Closing

Program Kit

Students who participate in this program will receive a Program Kit in the mail containing materials for the course, including but not limited to:
• Magnifying glass
• Ruler
• Plant/insect/bird identification apps
• Relevant reading materials
• Create & Design Supplies
• Moleskin + pen


In US Dollars

Total for the program


Includes access to all virtual sessions, program kit, and educational materials.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will this program take place?

This program will run from June 29th – July 10th or July 27th – August 7th.
Sessions will be held Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST.

What platform will we use for the sessions?

Sessions will be held on Zoom.

What do I need to participate in this program?

Students need a computer with a camera and microphone/speaker, and an internet connection with ample bandwidth to handle videoconferencing. Headphones are recommended.

How long is this program?

This program is a combined total of 30 hours.

How much does it cost?

$459.00 USD.
This includes access to all virtual sessions, program kit*, and educational materials.

*Program kit will only be shipped to addresses in the US.

What ages is this program designed for?

The curriculum and activities are specifically designed for rising 9th – 12th graders.

Can I access the sessions after they have been held?

Sessions will be recorded and available to participants during the course of the program only

When is the registration deadline for this program?

For Cohort 1, students must register by June 23rd, 2020, at 11:59 PM EST.

For Cohort 2, students must register by July 19th, 2020, at 11:59 PM EST.

If you are interested in registering after the deadline has passed, please contact us.

What work do I need to do OUTSIDE of the synchronous moments?

In order to take full advantage of the experiential education potential of a program like this, we’ll be asking you to go out into the world and complete some tasks and activities. These will range from talking to family members, doing short bouts of online research, or exploring your backyard in some cases. If you cannot complete an assignment for any reason, check with your Beyond Travel Program Leader.

What if I need to cancel?

All program fees are non-refundable. Please note that all programs are contingent on reaching a minimum number of participants. If this number is not reached, then you may shift your registration to another cohort, or receive a full refund. You will be notified if a program is not filled 7 days before the program start date.

Join the Experience

Registration for this program has closed. If you are still interested in participating please contact us.