Experiential Learning

Photo Catalogue – SFU GSU 2017 Experiential Learning Trip: Portland, Oregon

Written by: Marina Miller, Communications Coordinator, GSU
Photo Credits: Marina Miller, Henry Kosch, and Crystal Yuen.

About 30 SFU Geographers took a charter bus to Portland, Oregon on April 25th, 2017. The ~8h ride was a perfect preliminary opportunity to get to know each other; we were all in good spirits and anticipated the great activities and experiences ahead! Our driver, Simon, was gracious and made the trip streamlined and efficient.
Immediately after arriving at the HI Portland Northwest Hostel, we began our walking tour of downtown Portland at a tourist must-stop: Voodoo Doughnuts. The group is seen here in front of the popular landmark.
Our group moved through almost every corner of downtown Portland on a “Know your City!” Walking Tour.
Our enthusiastic and funny tour guide provided lots of personal and historic insights in this specific tour called “PDX 101” – a broad introduction to the city. It revealed a lot about its social struggles and urbanization.
This towering statue is perched on the Portland Building. It’s stance and reaching hand was one of the most mesmerizing features of the tour.
Students were taken on a tour through the Portland Japanese Gardens on April 26th. This site was designed with meticulous detail and thought.
There are 5 distinct garden styles seamlessly blended together, all with specific meanings and purposes.
We were also able to enjoy a breathtaking view of the urban jungle kilometers away; these gardens truly felt “hidden”.
On April 27th, we had the privilege of riding and getting a tour of the Portland Aerial Tram. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the tram connects the many buildings of the Oregon Health and Science University.
The two Co-Chairs of the Geography Student Union, Seraphina and Henry (left and right) with the Communications Coordinator, Marina (middle).
Our tour of the Aerial Tram partly took place underneath the tram. We could see the inner-workings and mechanics of the system, and ask questions about it.
At the bottom of the tram is one of the biggest bike valet centres in the world, Go By Bike, accompanied by many street car and bus stops. It is truly a green-transport hub.
We walked from the Aerial Tram site to Portland State University. Here, we were given a lecture by Dr. Nathan McClintock on Urban Agriculture and Gentrification.
On the last day, before heading home, we were given one last talk. Dr. Tom Miewald told us about the role of Geographers in wildlife, and species protection at landscape scales.
Students were given plenty of free time to explore the city further.