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Orientation Course

Project NatureConnect Spring Gathering. On-site workshops in applied ecopsychology located on San Juan Island in the Puget Sound area of Washington State.

Photo courtesy Dr. John Scull

Friday Harbor Ferry Terminal

The Orientation Course took place on Friday, Saturday, Sunday April 6-8, 2001. From the e-mail announcement and registration form:

Orientation Course--  Led by Dr. Cohen, this course provides an opportunity to experience the basic concepts of The Natural Systems Thinking Process.  Activities from Reconnecting With Nature will be done at various beautiful natural locations around the island.

I had decided to attend the Spring Gathering for two main reason: it was close to where I live, and it was affordable. No, wait, it was 'cause...

Dr. John Scull had encouraged me to attend when I met with him in Eugene for the Taking Nature Seriously (TNS) Conference (where only the smokers went outside) a few months earlier. My environmental awareness and social activism had both been recently re-awakened by a "green" information service and e-commerce site that I had been asked to help design and develop. When I started researching consumer behavior and ecology I ran across Ecopsychology and was immediately taken in by how "right" it seemed. I stumbled across the website for the International Community for Ecopsychology and signed up for their e-mail list, which is where I saw the announcement for the Spring Gathering, thanks to John forwarding it there from the NatureConnect Professional list.

So, I was pretty green myself about PNC when I arrived on-site. I'd browsed through the Project NatureConnect home page, and maybe one or two other pages on Mike's site. When John arrived a few days later for the advanced sessions, he seemed absolutely amazed that I was still there :-)

I was a bit hesitant to use the camera, partially from not wanting to disturb the activities or other participants, and partially from not being very familiar with it. I've never been much of a photographer, as will be readily apparent from the photos I took. The camera I had was also new to me, being left to me by my dad just a few months earlier (along with the payments on his new Chrysler Concorde). So, I only took a few pictures of one of the Orientation Course activities on Sunday. I've really gotten to like the car, though.

We had our introductory meeting Friday evening at Wayfarer's Inn, the backbackers hostel in Friday Harbor where most of us stayed. Saturday we went to Cattle Point Park, and were graced to see the J-Pod, a family of Orcas on their spring reappearance to the area. For the most part, though, we were so busy with activities, and especially the sharing afterwards, that I didn't take copious notes like I normally do.

In fact, after it was all over, I noticed that during the three day TNS conference, I took six 8.5x11 pages of notes, for the ten day PNC workshops, I only ended up with two 3x5 pages of notes, and learned so much more.

I'm still trying to figure out what that means :-)

Here's a shot of the "I/me" (Dave Paulsen) that will be continuosly mentioned in the following pages, courtesy of John Scull. Dave Paulsen

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