The Clackamas River Basin Council created the Clackamas360 Virtual Watershed Tour to help our local high schools teach remote classes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This project is part of the Watershed Health Education Program, developed by Clackamas Water Environment Services (WES) to educate youth about the importance of protecting our watersheds. WES contracted the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership (LCEP) to provide Watershed Health Education Support Service to elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools within surface water areas serviced by WES, and LCEP contracted CRBC to create these materials for high schools. Clackamas360 follows standards of the Oregon Environmental Literacy Program. The Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics at the University of Oregon also contributed to the creation of this project.

Clackamas360 is designed to be a self-guided tour for anyone curious about the watershed, but it is also a great educational tool for lectures. Teachers, please use this in whatever form you’d like, or get in touch with us to schedule a guest speaker to present to your class. The tour is created with WebVR programming, drone photography, and traditional photography. To take the tour, click and drag the image below to “look around.” Center the black circle over text slides to make them larger, and navigate to the next scene by hovering over the pink links.

It’s best enjoyed full-screen! (Click the “Expand” icon on the bottom right)

Clackamas360: Virtual Watershed Tour

Shortcuts throughout Clackamas360

Clackamas360 includes 2 tours. Slides 1-6 explore the Clackamas watershed, starting with the basin’s namesake – the Clackamas People – and moving up to the top of the watershed and working down through the subjects of geology, ecology, hydrology, provisioning services, and water.

Clackamas Watershed 1: Land of the Clackamas
Clackamas Watershed 2: Clackamas Geology
Clackamas Watershed 3: Clackamas Ecoregions
Clackamas Watershed 4: Clackamas Subwatersheds
Clackamas Watershed 5: The Clackamas Provides
Clackamas Watershed 6: Clackamas Water Journeys

The second Clackamas360 Tour follows salmon back up the Columbia River system, exploring the challenges they face in the forms of a changing climate, wildfire, pollution, and habitat loss – and the work of local organizations to help them survive.

Land of Salmon 1: PNW Life Force
Land of Salmon 2: Salmon Life
Land of Salmon 3: Climate Change
Land of Salmon 4: Wildfire
Land of Salmon 5: Pollution
Land of Salmon 6: Salmon Habitat
Land of Salmon 7: Spawning

Supplementary Media

Educational Materials

Clackamas360 can be assigned as homework for individual study, or the tour can be taken together as a class. Eventually, we’ll be able to gather together and share VR headsets for the full effect of this VR tour!

Along with 30 pages of educational materials and links to videos throughout the tour, there are assignments and writing prompts called “Go Beyond” that are based on Oregon Environmental Literacy Program standards.

More Watershed Health Environmental Ed. resources:

Clackamas Water Environment Services Education Page

Clackamas Water Environment Services Watershed Health and Watershed Action

What teachers are saying:

“The 360 tool was very impressive and comprehensive and aligned perfectly (and above and beyond) my curriculum.”

What students are saying: I learned…

“Learning about the importance of Salmon and how much they effect the ecosystem in the Pacific Northwest and the damage that could be done when climate change comes in effect.”

“That salmon are a keystone species in our ecosystem and if we continue to take them away from their habitats and if climate change continues they could go extinct in our ecosystem and cause a domino effect to the ecosystem.”

“How salmon are vital to many ecosystems and how salmon have a cultural/spiritual significance to indigenous people.”

“I learned that our watershed in Clackamas is a lot bigger than I thought it was and is very vital for all species to function. I also didn’t know that salmon were keystone species and were that vital.”

“One important thing I learned in class was how crucial salmon are in the ecosystem for everything to function correctly.”

“That salmon are a keystone species in our ecosystem and if we continue to take them away from their habitats and if climate change continues they could go extinct in our ecosystem and cause a domino effect to the ecosystem.”

“Salmon are the life source of marine derived nitrogen- to help the plants photosynthesize.”

“I learned that both the Salmon named native peoples and the Salmon fish population have been decimated by European and American Colonialism.”

“After the wildfires we should still protect the land and not try to salvage the wood otherwise it can create landslides.”

“I learned that tree’s in the pacific northwest acquired traits like gigantism so they could store more water for the dry summers.”