New Expedition Oregon program wants Ducks to take a hike

Hikers on a trail

Beginning spring term, the University of Oregon’s Outdoor Program and Division of Global Engagement will offer a new program designed to bring students safely together in the outdoors and encourage healthy living and screenless activities.

As part of the Expedition Oregon program, students will explore Eugene and Lane County on day trips to see waterfalls up the McKenzie River, explore old-growth forests, hunt for mushrooms and ride bikes. The program will also offer Campfire Sessions, an interactive workshop offering a safe space for students to share experiences, advice and ideas, and build a community.

Expedition Oregon will be run by professor Eric Boggs, director of the Lundquist College of Business honors program. Boggs’ goal for students is to “access the incredible nearby nature of Eugene and connect them to all the resources that the UO has to offer with the Outdoor Program and Outdoor Pursuits Program.” 

Boggs believes many students are unaware of the natural beauty and wonder Eugene has to offer.

“Our access to the outdoors is unparalleled,” he said “These explorations have been critical to my own physical health, mental well-being and building community safely outdoors. Personally and professionally, I believe that outdoor recreation is a profound catalyst for reflective thinking.”

Another important point the program wants to highlight involves its name, Expedition Oregon. According to Boggs, the word “expedition” is tied to a history of colonialism and genocide against Indigenous peoples. Expedition Oregon wants to reclaim the word and change its meaning to let students of all backgrounds know they belong in the outdoors and the community.

Participants will dedicate three hours per week to the program beginning April 12. The program is offered to all students for $100 with scholarship options available. Students cannot obtain credits for their major through the program.  

The program will run with COVID-19 safety precautions. No prior skills or knowledge is needed.

Expedition Oregon is also looking for paid student team leaders. Interested applicants can find the position description and application on Handshake.

Students must register for Expedition Oregon by Feb. 28. Additional information can be found on the Division of Global Engagement website.