Helen Guyton



Current first-year environmental studies student, interested in how our climate crisis intersects with personal stories about displacement and belonging. Also, excited to pursue any upcoming opportunities in conservation scholarship in the field!

Course Summary

The spring course Environmental Action and Engagement is designed to inspire students to critically engage with their surrounding peers and organizations tackling environmental issues. So far in the course, we have been navigating our way through the complexity of understanding the different stakeholders involved in multifaceted engagement, and we have spent a lot of time diving into how these readings and formulating responses based on our thoughts in regards to the readings. The largest part of the course, however, is the creation of a partnership with an NGO or organization that is working to engage with the community around them, by focusing on current issues. By reaching out to this organization small groups of students will formulate ideas for personal engagement projects that will run alongside the organization's main missions.

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.

Assessing Meaningful Conversations

April 20, 2020

Since the beginning of our communications with Crossing Party Lines, our partner organization assessment of success/goals has something that has interested us, even in regards to CPL’s own success. This was something which we discussed at length with our contact at CPL co-founder Lisa Swallow, who had an interesting take […]

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Branching Out: Incorporating Input

April 20, 2020

As with any and all projects there comes a time when outside input is needed, besides the thoughts and musings of the project creators. Having come a long way with our proposed environmental engagement project partnered with Crossing Party Lines, it was time to gain some input and insight from […]

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“How” to Make It Work

April 13, 2020

The organization Crossing Party Lines is a conversation oriented organization that targets the political divide in the United States between Republicans, Democrats, and anything in between through discussions about politically relevant topics. One of the books on the CPL moderator training resource list writes “The hard truth is, too often […]

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Everything in Moderation

April 13, 2020

Over the past semester, we have been working on an engagement deep-dive to better understand practices of effective engagement and action. We explored the three different constituents of effective engagement – what, who, and how – so that we could move forward with our partner organization Crossing Party Lines and […]

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Combining Youth, the Environment, and Politics: The CPL Way

April 2, 2020

Crossing Party Lines (CPL)  is a conversation/meetup based organization that focuses on bringing together individuals from the polarized sides of the Republican vs. Democrat divide in the United States. Being that the nature of this organization is so rooted in conversation, the “conversation towards action” motto that we have been […]

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Shifting Tides, an Ever-Changing Relationship to Engagement

March 22, 2020

I have always had a strong personal connection to environmental action and engagement. In high school, this took shape by organizing our school’s #Fridaysforfuture movement founded by Greta Thunberg, helping to start the first agroforestry project on campus, and limiting my consumption of single-use plastic items like cups or straws. […]

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How to Introduce the People to the Problem

March 11, 2020

“How” The last two weeks of ENVS 295 has consisted of discussions around the “what” and the “who” of environmental engagement. While identifying the “what” (the environmental issue) and the “who” (the participants or stakeholders) is significant, means of connection between the two are dependant on the “how.” Effective engagement […]

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Who’s Invited to the Party?

March 5, 2020

The Self & Stakeholder Identification We began week seven by starting to peel back the layers of our own identities and biases that impact how we approach environmental action and engagement. This can be an important step to understanding how to communicate across differences with stakeholders in engagement projects. The […]

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What Do You Mean? Post-Truth in Conversation

March 2, 2020

Post-Truth in the NY Times We are seeing now more than ever that we are living in a world where many truths and lies perforate popular media and news sources. In the NY Times article, “Trump Is Waiting and He Is Ready” Thomas Edsall discusses the “polarization of reality” in […]

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