[semester equivalent = 2.00 credits]



Peter Chausse



In this diversified driving tour experience, you’ll make your way to at least 18 cultural, historic, and/or natural sites along the Northern Oregon Coast, (from Astoria to Tillamook), where you’ll discover cultural and historic museums, magnificent homes, significant historic sites, gorgeous natural sites, state parks, and diversified beach areas. You will learn about the region’s past, present, and future potential, Along the way, you will learn more about the discoveries of Robert Gray, George Vancouver, Lewis & Clark, and John Jacob Astor. In addition, you will learn much about the natural fauna and flora of the region as you explore forested trails, diversified tide pools, and glorious beaches. Along the way, you’ll develop dozens of ideas for bringing the study of the North Oregon Coast to your students.  

The Co-Instructor for this course is Jake Gordon, M.S. Ed.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:


As a result of taking this course, participants will learn:

  1. The cultural history of Native Americans in the Northwest, including their lifestyles and their artwork.
  2. The significance of the region’s earliest non Native American explorers, including Robert Gray, George Vancouver, Lewis and Clark and John Jacob Astor.
  3. The flora and fauna that are native to the region, as a result of exploring natural sites both on land and along beaches.
  4. About the Oregon State Park System, and the recreational opportunities provided here.
  5. About the communities that comprise the North Oregon Coast: Astoria, Warrenton, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Nehalem Bay, Garibaldi, Manzanita and Tillamook.

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit.  The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit. 


Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participant’s their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, or Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, and Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering determine with your district personnel, department head, or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



A comprehensive workbook that includes the required reading, field journal, and Driving Tour is available from the instructor for $25.

None. All reading is online.


A comprehensive workbook that includes the required reading, field journal, and Driving Tour is available from the instructor for $25.



Assignment #1: BEFORE YOU TRAVEL

Refer to at least one website for each location that you plan to visit. A list of websites is provided in the syllabus. In a paragraph, summarize what you learned on the website, and what you plan to do and see as you visit each site.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Portland’s Sites #1’.

Assignment #2: Summary of Information

Find at least one additional resource for each site that you visit. It can be a book, brochure, or article that provides more information about the site you are visiting. List that resource and provide a brief summary of the information it contains.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Portland’s Sites #2’.

Assignment #3: Web Search

Complete a web search of available web sites concerning any of the sites or topics involved in this study that may be appropriate for your personal work and/or for future students.  Submit an annotated list of at least seven websites to the instructor.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Portland’s Sites #3’.

Assignment #4: Field Journal

As you travel to 18 of the sites in the Driving Tour:

  • Record what you find at each site in the “Field Journal," take pictures, pick up pamphlets, maps, and take notes about each site visited. Then write a paragraph or two about each of the 18 sites and including what you discovered.Compare your findings to what you read in the course materials.
    Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Portland’s Sites #4’.

Assignment #5: Your Impression

In a written paper of two paragraphs per site, give your impression of each site and make teaching suggestions. Discuss how the site could be used to expand your teaching regarding any curriculum area.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Portland’s Sites #5’.

Assignment #6: Valuable Sites

After you have completed all your site visits, in a written paper of 2-3 pages, discuss the sites that  were most valuable to you, and put together ideas that might work best for your students.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Portland’s Sites #6’.



In this section you will apply your learning to your professional situation.  This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students.  If you are not teaching in a classroom, please contact the instructor for course modifications.  If you are a classroom teacher and start or need to complete this course during the summer, please try to apply your ideas when possible with youth from your neighborhood, at a local public library or parks department facility,  (they will often be glad to sponsor community-based learning), or with students in another teacher’s summer classroom in session.

Assignment #7: Field Base Journal

Utilizing the format provided in the workbook, your completed Field Journal and any other information gathered on your site visits, write a series of three classroom or field based lessons. The lessons can focus on museums, historic homes, historic sites, art works, native flora or fauna, local commerce, or any other portion of the curriculum that would be appropriate.  State the topic, age level, learner outcomes, procedure, disciplines to be integrated and the assessment techniques to be used.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Portland’s Sites #7’.

Assignment #8: Unit Lessons

Implement the unit of lessons with students. Write a summary of the lessons as they were taught as described in the workbook.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Portland’s Sites #8’.

Assignment #9: (500 Level ONLY)

In addition to the 400 level assignments, complete one of the following:

Option A:
Write 1-2 pages comparing and contrasting the sites you visited in this course with your community.

Option B:
Prepare a photo-journal/display of the sites visited in this course for use within your teaching setting.
Discuss how you will use the project with a statement of:

  • How the display will integrate with current curricula
  • Timetable for when it will be used,
  • Description of student learning outcomes and
  • How you will assess the effectiveness of the project
  • Size of photo-journal/display to be discussed with and pre-approved by the instructor.

Option C:
Another assignment of your own design with prior approval of the instructor.
Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Portland’s Sites #9’.


Assignment #10: (Required for 400 and 500 level)

(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments.)

  1. What did you learn vs. what you expected to learn from this course?
  2. What aspects of the course were most helpful and why?
  3. What further knowledge and skills in this general area do you feel you need?
  4. How, when, and where will you use what you have learned?
  5. How and with what other school or community members might you share what you learned?

Send to your instructor at their email address. Subject line to read  "(put course name here) Integration Paper"


Instructors will comment on each assignment. If you do not hear from the instructor within a few days of posting your assignment, please get in touch with them immediately.


Peter Chausse, B.S. is a former elementary school teacher, who has specialized in teaching his students about trees, plants, urban parks and natural areas.

Before beginning his teaching career, Peter earned a degree in Forestry from the University of Maine. His training included coursework in Dendrology (tree identification), Forest Management and wood product usage.

In the early 1980's, Peter worked for the U.S. Forest Service in the state of Washington, where he focused on tree identification and scientific observations. Since 1994, Peter has taught a course through The Heritage Institute titled, ‘Studying Portland’s Trees’ During the course, participants learn how to recognize several dozen tree species as they explore Portland’s parks and historic neighborhoods on foot. Ideas for the integration of tree study with math, art, science, literature, writing and social studies activities are presented and discussed.

Peter has had a lifelong love of trees, and is eager to help you acquire more tree knowledge. He is also dedicated to helping you bring this information to your students in fun and meaningful ways.  


Jake Gordon, M.S. Ed., graduated from Western Oregon University.  He became a teacher due to his desire to share the world with his students and give them the skills needed to explore and understand the world around them. 

In 2017 Jake took an academic sabbatical to pursue his graduate studies. He moved to Germany and completed a year of graduate studies at the world-renowned American Studies Leipzig Institute at the University Leipzig. With an expanded worldview and knowledge base, Jake returned to Oregon, where he earned an M.S. in Social Studies Education from Western Oregon University in June 2019.

He currently teaches social studies and geography at Adam Stephens Middle School in Salem, Oregon. In addition to teaching, Jake is an elected member of the Center for Geography Education in Oregon. 



Ambrose, Stephen E. Undaunted Courage.
Well received account of the Lewis & Clark Expedition.

There are literally dozens of books detailing the Lewis & Clark Expedition. Check online

Henderson, Bonnie.  Day Hiking the Oregon Coast.  2010 Mountaineers Books
Provides lots of information for finding the best natural sites along the Oregon Coast.

Niesen, Thomas.  Beachcomber's Guide to the Mariner Life of the Pacific Northwest 1997
Excellent resource for identifying sea life along the Oregon Coast.

Schaefer, Rick. Oregon Coast: Portrait of a Place. 2008  Graphic Art Publishing Center
Outstanding photography and natural history.

Smith, Jeffrey.  Images of America: Astoria  2011. Arcadia Publishing SC
Photographic and narrative account of life in Astoria over the last 200 years.

Stark, Peter.  Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire. 2014 HarperCollins Publishing
Great historical account of life in the NW in the early 19th Century at Fort Astoria

Tekiela, StanBirds of Oregon. 2001. Adventure Publications. Cambridge, Minnesota.
Great beginner’s book on bird identification and bird behaviors.

This website focuses on Astoria history, museums and cultural attractions.
This website provides information about the natural and  human history of Cape Disappointment in Washington, at the mouth of the Columbia River.
Here, you will find information on the four mile Megler Bridge that crossed the Columbia at Astoria. Great mix of geography, history and engineering.
This website provides background information about the Columbia River Maritime Museum prior to a visit.
This website provides lots of background information about the historic Astoria Column.
This website provides information on the historic Flavel House in Astoria, as well as the Heritage Museum, also located in Astoria.
You will information about the Oregon Film Museum, located in Downtown Astoria
A great resource that outlines the Riverwalk Trail in Astoria. When on the trail, several interpretive panels relate the story of Astoria: past and present.
A great website to visit before going to Fort Stevens State Park. The park features a mix of historical information and recreational opportunities.
This website provides background information about Fort Clatsop, the wintering quarters of Lewis & Clark during 1805-1806. There is also information about the Fort to Sea Trail, a six mile hike from the Fort to the Pacific Ocean.
This website provides information about the historic Seaside Promenade, which leads to the Lewis & Clark sculpture along the beach.
This website provides great information about the aquarium and its educational resources.
This website provides information about the parks’’ history, as well as its trails and natural areas.
Great resource for learning about the human and natural history of Cannon Beach, as well as the town’s cultural resources.
This website provides information about Hug Point State Park.
Information is provided relating to the history and recreational resources available at Oswald West State Park.
Great information regarding Nehalem Bay State Park.
This website discussed the historic resources available at the Garibaldi Museum.
This website provides information about visiting the Tillamook Cheese Factory, a well known company that is a major part of the local economy. Students can watch the cheese making process on the tours that are provided.
This website focuses on the Tillamook County History Museum.
This museum is housed within the largest blimp hangar in North America. Vintage aircraft relating to Oregon’s history can also be seen.
This website provides information about a beautiful interpretive trail near Tillamook. The trail focuses on the human and natural history of the area.
This website provides information about Cape Mears State Park and the Cape Meares Lighthouse.
Cape Lookout State Park information regarding this area’s natural and human history can be found here.
A great website providing information about the North Oregon Coastal area.