Click HERE for the 2020 Course Handout

Click HERE for the course syllabus that was used last Spring

Course Updates:

  • Benefits:
    • Touches upon important themes that should be of interest to our students in this frontier and remote region.
    • Enrollment size is typically small, so you will have more one-on-one help from your instructor. The writing group/community typically becomes quite close over the course of the semester.
    • When possible we try to feature experiential learning–which may include field trips or outdoor activities in relation to the course themes.
    • A good course for students interested in nature and ecology, as well as those who find a technical writing approach to be appealing.
    • The course will be balanced with creative/reflective writing and more technical or persuasive “report” type writing–all revolving around the general theme of “ecology” or writing about our “HOME”
    • We will start the course with a more “creative” approach–descriptive writing and reflection and stories about the world around us, mostly with a nature or environmental focus.
    • We will then move on to more report or technical writing type projects related to the general theme. We will try to develop projects that are interesting and relevant to your majors, future occupations or general interests.
    • You will have a LOT of choice on what subjects to write about–the “ecology” focus permits a wide variety of themes and approaches. For example, you might write about typical “ecological” issues relate to the environment–but this could range from describing natural processes, to exploring demographics of a particular region of the country, to public policy, to describing animals or the landscape or the practices of humans in these arenas, etc…

Write at HOME!

In the truest ecological sense, we will read and write about local interests and issues and emphasize collaboration as we interact within our own writing “biome.”  Thus, ecocomposition explores place, the effects that our surroundings have on our writing processes, and vice versa.

WRITERS OF ALL LEVELS are invited to meet in a classroom that takes ecology as its model.

In writing, we will explore our “home” space in various ways:

  • Creative Writing (essays or stories reflecting upon nature and our environment),
  • Informational Writing (exploring a concept or process that impacts our ecosystem),
  • Persuasive & Technical Writing (reports, advocacy or proposals related to a specific ecological issue under debate or discussion).

THIS COURSE SATISFIES SLO #2 in Essential Studies and is designed for writers of all disciplines, backgrounds, and skill-levels. Students will use writing as a tool for learning and thinking about a variety of ecological issues, and compose texts that address diverse writing situations purposefully in relation to this theme, making use of evidence and conventions appropriate to college-level writing. These projects will be highly flexible to encourage exploration in areas of YOUR interests and strengths.  

From a scientific standpoint, ecology focuses on the relationships of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings. From the Greek oikos, which means “house,” and logia, which means “the study of,” the term may be applied more broadly to where and how earth’s inhabitants make their homes. Inherently interdisciplinary, ecological study may focus on humans, animals, plants, the environment, science, natural resources, sustainability, community planning, genetics and evolution, ethics, politics, and much more.


  • Environmental and Nature Writing (A writer’s guide and anthology)          



Dr.  Matthew Evertson

Department of English & Humanities

Chadron State College

(308) 432-6462