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Living, Learning and Teaching in the North Cascades

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  • 01/20/17--18:12: 2017 Instructor Exchange
  • On January 14th, the M.Ed graduate students of Cohort 16 (C16) welcomed students and staff from Islandwood and Wilderness Awareness School to North Cascades Institute Environmental Learning Center for the first of three gatherings that make up the annual Instructor Exchange. Every winter, this exchange offers instructors the chance to meet others in the environmental education field […]

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    January can be warm on the lower Skagit and this late January Saturday was no exception. As Becky Moore, Alexei Desmarais and I arrived at the Howard Miller Steelhead Park on the Skagit River in Rockport, WA, we looked to see if there were any Bald Eagles present around the river. As graduate M.Ed. students […]

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  • 05/24/17--13:52: What is a Leadership Track?
  • As a current graduate student in the M.Ed. residency program at North Cascades Institute, I and the rest of my cohort, will soon celebrate the end of our spring quarter here in the North Cascades. Our residency at NCI has engaged us deeply with the natural and cultural history of the area through place-based and experiential […]

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    By Melissa Biggs, graduate student in the Institute’s 16th cohort.  Everyone, meet Chompers!  In October 2016, during the fall natural history trip, my cohort helped the Methow Beaver Project volunteers to release the last 3 beavers of the season.  So much fun! We carried the beavers for several miles and released them at Beaver Creek. […]

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  • 07/04/17--08:45: The Great Fisher
  • By Smokey Brine, graduate student in the Institute’s 16th cohort.  A warm summer wind funnels down the Skagit River, blowing wisps of brown hair in front of my eyes. I shift my head to regain sight of the river channel and spot a green canoe cutting the water in front of me. The three passengers […]

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    By Becky Moore, graduate student in the Institute’s 16th cohort. Nearly everyone is familiar with the image and idea of a bee. The black and yellow character from Honey Nut Cheerios perhaps, happily making honey in buzzing hives. However, what most people do not realize is that there is a vast, diverse and complicated world […]

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    By Jennifer O’Toole, graduate student in the Institute’s 16th cohort.  Curiosity is born from one of the most unlikely of places: boredom. I used to fight the feeling of boredom, as I had been trained to do by the media with its constant barrage of entertainment, the internet with its never-ending information and by my […]

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    By Jenny O’Toole, graduate student in the Institute’s 16th cohort. Read Part I – The Birth of Curiosity: Through the Eyes of a Raven here.  Like human babies, ravens are highly curious of all objects upon first leaving the nest. Fearless, they get into everything that’s in front of them and, accompanied by parents who […]

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    By Adam Bates, graduate student in the Institute’s 15th cohort. Fire lookouts have captured the imagination of the American public for over seventy-five years. The notion that one could spend a summer atop a mountain in solitude and seclusion holds a certain romanticism that was perpetuated by numerous authors, poets, artists and backcountry enthusiasts. Therein […]

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    By Annah Young, graduate student in the Institute’s 15th cohort. I wedged myself between two boulders on the summit of Silver Star Mountain in Okanagan County, Washington and peered out over the North Cascades range. It was May 1, 2016. Mount Baker was crystal clear some 100 miles to the west across the snow cover […]

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    By Rob Healy, graduate student in the Institute’s 15th cohort. Somewhere at the murky crossroads of a lifelong passion for preparedness and survival, the excitement of days spent hunting, fishing and foraging, and the soul crushing reality that is the ratio of time spent in front versus back country, I hatched a plan. Whether famine, natural disaster […]

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