LS 699: Climate Issues and Activism

Start Date: June 24-July 12, 2024
Instructor: Saskia van Kampen and Logan Hennessy
Units: 3

Term: Summer 2024

Class Number: 1969  Section Number: 01Z


Note the special schedule for this course:

SFSU campus June 24–28

Sierra Nevada Field Campus June 30 – July 6

SFSU campus July 8– 12

Course Description

This course unites diverse areas of study through multidisciplinary learning that bridges gaps between science, design, and activism. Students will learn about environmental issues and will create a way of confronting an issue through creative practice. The goal is to support the development of student relationships with their world and to locate themselves as individuals in terms of their values when faced with difficult situations such as the climate crisis. Students will be taught about the climate crisis and environmental issues specific to California. They will be introduced to activism and change makers, and they will develop a climate campaign to either inform, or to encourage action in others that is based on what they have learned and the research they conduct. 

This is an intensive course and takes place at two locations the San Francisco State University Campus and the Sierra Nevada Field Campus.

    Poster for climate change class
    Logan Hennessey

    Instructor Bio

    Logan Hennesey

    My research focuses on climate justice through the lens of indigenous people’s movements to engage extractive industries and climate change in tropical forest systems. Specifically my fieldwork in Ecuador and Guyana has centered around oil development and small-scale gold mining, and their impacts on indigenous communities. I employ interdisciplinary frameworks that draw on both ecological and social data to understand the connections between environmental histories and shifts in livelihood practices. This research relies on close partnerships with indigenous communities and organizations, along with Bay Area environmental organizations.

    Saskia van Kampen

    Instructor Bio

    Saskia van Kampen

    My research focuses on how people use creative creative practices to organize and build sustainable communities. This also involves the investigation of creative practices used as forms of protest and activism. This work is done with community and creative leaders in Toronto, Canada. She is also a contemporary artist and designer exploring how hand skills and digital skills can work together to create provocative visual narratives.


    Course Schedule

    Classes will run from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday–Friday 


    - SFSU campus June 24–28

    - Sierra Nevada Field Campus June 30 – July 6

    - SFSU campus July 8– 12

    Course Supplies List

    Lodging and Camping Supplies

    Camping gear if you are staying on campus:

    • tent and sleeping pad (unless you are staying in our tent with a cot provided)
    • warm sleeping bag
    • pillow, toiletries, and towel
    • flashlight and lantern
    • alarm clock

    Field gear for everyone:

    • day pack
    • sunscreen
    • insect repellant
    • water bottles
    • plastic containers for packed lunches
    • sense of humor

    You might also want to bring:

    • camera
    • binoculars
    • hand lens
    • camp chair


    The weather in the Sierra Nevada can vary greatly, even in a single day. Be prepared for chilly temperatures at night, even below freezing early in the summer. Rain is a possibility any time, whether forecast or not. Variable weather clothing that can be layered is best: long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, warm sweater and jacket, t-shirt and shorts or skirt, sturdy shoes or hiking boots, sun hat, rain gear, and a warm hat or gloves for cold weather and/or night activities. And, if you come later in the season, bring your swimsuit for afternoon dips in the lakes!