Environmental Rhetoric

Course Description

Climate chaos. Habitat loss. Mass extinction. Overpopulation. Neoliberalism and consumerism. Confront the array of threats to the earth (and those who would expedite them) with confidence, clarity, and the tools to inspire action. Environmental rhetoric is essential for those willing to lend their voices to answer some of the fundamental questions of our time. This is a ten-day leadership boot camp for those who feel compelled to take these issues head-on, featuring lectures, student activities, wilderness exploration, and more in gorgeous Southeast Alaska, led by author-professor Daniel Lee Henry and Tidelines Institute co-director Zachary Brown. 2023 programs dates are July 6-15.

Who Should Apply?

This course is designed for adults ages 18+ who are passionate about the natural world and keen to develop their persuasion and public speaking skills.

Application Process

***As of mid-April, we have a couple spots left! Prospective participants should submit their applications here.*** Applications are due by March 31, 2023. Tidelines Institute is committed to a diverse and inclusive learning experience and encourages applicants from historically marginalized groups to apply.

Costs: Pay What You Can

Tidelines Institute employs a “pay what you can” model to make this course both financially sustainable and accessible for all. We ask that all participants bear the cost of their own round-trip travel to Juneau, Alaska. Running this course (including transporting students from Juneau to Tidelines Institute, staff time, equipment, food, instruction, logistics and more) costs Tidelines approximately $1500 per participant. Anything below that price point, Tidelines staff must bring in through fundraising – or risk being unable to run courses of this kind. In your application, you will be asked to specify how much of this $1500 course cost you able to pay. (Answers can range from $0 to greater than $1500, and will not affect your admission to the course.)

Inian Islands Campus

Tidelines Institute’s Inian Islands Campus is a five-acre working homestead situated on the Inian Islands Archipelago, located in S’íx Tlein (Icy Strait) in Southeast Alaska. Nestled in the Tongass National Freest, the remote campus is surrounded by designated Wilderness and is only accessible by boat. The campus is off-grid and powered by a micro-hydroelectric system. Students will eat food grown and harvested from the campus’s extensive gardens.


Daniel Lee Henry, a longtime resident of Haines, AK, is an instructor of communication for University of Alaska Southeast and Lane Community College in Eugene, OR. A “frontier rhetorician,” he has committed his life to writing and speaking on the value of America’s public lands–parks, monuments, forests, wilderness, rangelands, and wetlands, creating space for conversation, argument, and advocacy surrounding their best, sustainable use. His book, Across the Shaman’s River: John Muir, the Tlingit Stronghold, and the Opening of the North, was published by University of Alaska Press in October 2017. Other writings have appeared in Alaska Magazine, Earth Island Journal, and the Bloomsbury Review, among others.

Dr. Zachary Brown is Co-Executive Director of the Tidelines Institute. Zach grew up surrounded by the wilderness of Southeast Alaska. With parents in the National Park Service, Zach had ample opportunity as a boy to explore the mountains and fjords of this region, experiences that gave him a lasting love of and concern for the natural world. Attending Pomona College in Southern California, Zach studied chemistry and biology. He then received his PhD in Earth System Science at Stanford University, where he studied how changing sea ice affects the marine biological communities of the polar regions. During his time at Stanford, Zach was thrilled to undertake multiple research expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic. Completing his PhD studies in spring 2014, Zach set off on a four month, 2,300-mile solo trek, hiking and paddling from Stanford to his Alaskan homeland, to spread the word about creating Inian Islands Institute, now the Tidelines Institute. Trained as a climate scientist and oceanographer, Zach is now actively involved in climate action advocacy in the state of Alaska and beyond.