Amy Borton



  • I am a sophomore Environmental Studies major and Gender Studies minor. A few of my main interests within ENVS are climate science and agriculture. Outside of school, I enjoy playing my ukulele and hiking with my dog, Juniper.

    Course Summary

    ENVS 295 is about engaging with all dimensions of environmental issues, and exploring the many different ways dialogue can be used to inspire action. I have learned about a number of different engagement methods, some of which are more effective than others, and deconstructed what "effective action" really means. Of course, living in a post-truth world, it is important to acknowledge that what I deem to be most effective may not be in the eyes of someone else. A large part of engagement is acknowledging that we are all seeing the world through different lenses, and acting accordingly. Along with three other students, I am partnering with Barb Iverson from the Oregon Farm Bureau to better understand the agricultural dimension of environmental studies like cap and trade. We ultimately cultivated an idea for an engagement project based on our collaboration with her, and I could not be more excited for this work to continue.  

    Engagement Partnership

    One important part of ENVS 295 is an environmental engagement partnership with a Portland-area organization. The page linked above offers information and resources I helped compile for my organizational partner this semester.

    Engagement Project

    Building on the engagement partnership above, our team developed a related engagement project in collaboration with the partner. The page linked above offers details on our engagement project.

  • My Course Posts

    I've done a series of posts throughout the semester related to readings, our partnership, our project, and my thoughts on environmental engagement. See below for all posts I've published, in reverse order by date.

    Finding A Middle Ground For Cap And Trade

    April 20, 2020

    Through future work with the Oregon Farm Bureau and Oregon legislators, we hope to facilitate conversations that foster a mutual understanding between the two stakeholders on the issue of cap and trade. Both farmers and legislators will have an opportunity to share their unique stories and perspectives on the issue […]

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    What is Cap and Trade?

    April 13, 2020

    One of the things we talked to Barb Iverson about in our group interview was cap and trade, an environmental policy being instituted in many places around the world which takes a two-pronged approach to reducing carbon emissions. Cap refers to the set limit placed on emissions under cap and […]

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    Lawmakers Say “Who?”: Making Cap and Trade a Conversation

    April 13, 2020

    In the Hidden Tribes of America test, we thought that the general spectrum of our country’s political views were well-represented, even if the categories were broad. The test also showed the percentages of people that make up these categories, from progressive activists to devoted conservatives. This illustrated the highly polarized […]

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    The “How” of Cap and Trade Engagement

    April 13, 2020

    The project we have chosen to pursue with our partner organization, the Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB), examines the topic of cap and trade and the differences in opinion among the OFB and Oregon lawmakers. Cap and trade aims to limit the emission of pollutants into the air, while also giving […]

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    Let’s Talk About Cap and Trade

    April 6, 2020

    Introduction It is a commonly held belief among environmentally motivated people that cap and trade is an all-around good idea. It is a commonly held experience by small farmers that it is financially detrimental and puts many farms at risk. At the end of the day, lawmakers decide if and […]

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    Engaging Across Ideological Divides

    March 23, 2020

    Reconnaissance Trip Near the beginning of the semester, our Environmental Engagement class of over 30 ventured into various parts of Oregon and Washington to engage with organizations that represent a wide variety of environmental perspectives. We had the privilege of hearing their stories relating to topics like cap and trade, […]

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    Pl”how”ing the Fields of Engagement

    March 13, 2020

    Three Models of Engagement Within engagement, there are three models of communication: the classical (deficit) model, the framing model, and the contemporary (dialogic) model. The classical model presents environmental issues as apocalyptic and attempts to provoke fear/emotion by sharing the most shocking facts with the public. Al Gore’s An Inconvenient […]

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    Who Plants Ideas, and Who Waters Them?

    March 10, 2020

    Who’s Who? In the Hidden Tribes of America test, we thought that the general spectrum of our country’s political views were well-represented, even if the categories were broad. The test also showed the percentages of people that make up these categories, from progressive activist to devoted conservative. This illustrated the […]

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    Seeing the World Through Sunglasses vs. Safety Goggles: How Post-Truth Affects Agricultural Politics

    March 2, 2020

    Post-Truth in the U.S. and Globally Politicians are notorious for lying, and this is acknowledged by many. Even some of their supporters are aware of their deviance from the truth, yet are indifferent about it. According to “Trump Is Waiting and He Is Ready,”  an opinion piece by Thomas B. […]

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    Farming Progress Through Effective Action

    February 25, 2020

    On Effective Altruism According to the Introduction to Effective Altruism, EA is the use of research, evidence, and reasoning to figure out how to help others as much as possible. It means choosing wisely in important situations, and donating to causes that are urgent, but often neglected. The article mentioned […]

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    Accounting for All of Oregon’s History

    February 16, 2020

    Our Environmental Engagement class went on a trip to pursue different perspectives of past and current Oregon history as well as stances of environmental issues. We were given a presentation about the history of the Willamette Valley from Liza Schade, who is pursuing her masters in history at Portland State […]

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