Happy New Year! We hope that you had a restful and heartfelt holiday season with loved ones and healthy doses of time spent outdoors. We've passed the Solstice and are eagerly anticipating the return of longer days (as well as keeping an eye on the forecast for snow in the lowlands next week)!
Towards the end of 2019, Institute leadership attended a conference in Sedona, Arizona called Reciprocal Healing: Nature, Health, and Wild Vitality that included addresses by Robin Wall Kimmerer, Gary Paul Nabhan, Davona Blackhorse, Kathleen Dean Moore and others. The
theme being investigated was "the health of humans and nature are inextricably linked. As we heal ourselves, we heal the earth – and vice versa." Sessions included "Why Natural History Matters," "Forest Bathing: Medicine Meets Spirit," "Restoring Land Health, Human Health, and Community Well-being" and "Aligning Our Medicine With Nature."
One vital question that illuminated the weekend was "how to honor and nurture reciprocal relationships between Earth, humans, and other living things." Dr. Moore framed this reciprocal work through three actions we can all dedicate ourselves to: Love, Witness, Defend.
▸ UPCOMING CLASSES & EXCURSIONS
▸ MOUNTAIN SCHOOL CURRICULUM REDESIGN PROJECT
▸ ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERS SUMMIT
▸ MT. BAKER SNOW SCHOOL
▸ WINTER ONLINE SPECIAL: 15 % OFF HYDROFLASKS
History has chosen us. The story of the next millennium is being written now.
— Kathleen Dean Moore
Institute staff carried inspiration from sunny Arizona back to the snowy North Cascades — as well as clear calls to actions — both of which are helping us focus for the new year. When Dr. Kimmerer pointed out that "we are lonely for authentic engagement with each other and with the world," it helps to infuse our work in connecting people, nature and community with more urgency. Watch our blog for more reflections from this confluence of thought leaders, educators, healers and activists!
Wilderness Medicine Courses
Learn skills for working or playing in remote or wilderness settings with Remote Medical Training at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center
10-14: Hybrid Wilderness First Responder
17-21: Remote Medicine Upgrade and Recertification
24-28: Remote Medicine for Advanced Providers
Registration includes course materials, instruction, lodging
in the national park and delicious, scratch-made meals
Upcoming Classes & Events
Feb 10-14: Hybrid Wilderness First Responder course (ELC)
Feb 17-21: Remote Medicine Upgrade and Recertification course (ELC)
Feb 21: Night Photography at Diablo Lake 1 (ELC)
Feb 22: Winter Visitors 1: Birding the Skagit Flats
Feb 22: Night Photography at Diablo Lake 2 (ELC)
Feb 24-28: Remote Medicine for Advanced Providers course (ELC)
Feb 29: Winter Visitors 2: Birding the Skagit Flats
March 6-8: Illustrated Nature Journaling (ELC)
March 13-15: Winter Ecology (ELC)
April 3-5: The Wild in Watercolor and Word (ELC)
April 25: Spring Wildlife Tracking (Arlington)
April 25: Lichen Explorations (Deception Pass)
April 26: Go with the Flow: Stream & Waterfall Photography (Newhalem)
May 2: Spring Snake Search (Methow Valley)
May 8-10: San Juan Treasures aboard the Orion, a classic 1934 sailboat (Salish Sea)
May 9: Salish Seaweed Garden (Whidbey Island)
May 15-17: Spring Birding East and West of the Cascades (ELC)
2020 Family Getaways: Open for registration ⤑
2020 Base Camp Learning & Lodging: Open for registration ⤑ Open for registration ⤑
Scholarships, student and military discounts may be available.
More info at firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 854-2599.
Mountain School Curriculum Redesign Project
2020 marks the 30th anniversary of Mountain School! Over the past 29 years, more than 30,000 youth have traveled up Highway 20 to experience an unforgettable three days and two nights environmental education experience in the mountains with us. In that time, teaching about the natural world has changed significantly, as you can imagine, and so we've kicked off a Mountain School Curriculum Redesign Project with teachers, staff at North Cascades National Park, Three Circles Center curriculum consultant and others.
The effort is an opportunity for the Institute to press the “reset” button and intentionally organize and integrate all program content to align with new standards, including Next Generation Science Standards and Since Time Immemorial curriculum. Special thanks to Discuren Charitable Foundation, Beardsley Family Foundation, and Hugh and Jane Ferguson Foundation for making this curriculum redesign possible!
WINTER ONLINE STORE SPECIAL
We're offering 15% off the popular North Cascades National Park Hydroflask water bottles and coffee cups - one-of-a-kind, dual-etched North Cascades-branded vessels made in the Northwest that you can't buy anywhere else!
Lessen waste and support the Institute by shopping for North Cascades memorabilia, gifts and books in our online store!
ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERS SUMMIT
Last month, the Environmental Leaders Summit supported 158 youth and teachers in discussions about environmental issues that matter to them. Thirty-three organizations were at the event as guides for discussions and to share next-step opportunities in the Opportunity Fair. Students reflected that they appreciated seeing that they are not alone in caring about environmental issues. YMCA Earth Service Corps led this successful event with support from North Cascades Institute, US Forest Service and National Park Service!
Mt. Baker Snow School ready to go!
A lot of snow has fallen in the mountains over the past week, with lots more on the way, which is great news for Mt. Baker Snow School — an outdoor winter learning adventure for middle school students that combines applied science education with snowshoe-powered exploration. We're looking forward to welcoming 700 students and teachers to Mt Baker Ski Area over the coming weeks.
The Cascadia Weekly wrote that "Mt. Baker Snow School provides a local context in which climate science becomes more personal, encouraging a sense of responsibility and hopefulness. By investigating snowpack, watersheds and weather, students understand the problem in a tangible way and progress toward engineering solutions." We agree and
can't wait to get on the mountain for learning and adventure this month!
More than 700 individuals, families and organizations generously supported shared experiences in nature in 2019! When people share meaningful experiences outdoors, their quality of life, health and social wellbeing improve, and their communities become more sustainable. Everyone deserves the opportunity to enjoy time outdoors, because when people connect with nature, we all benefit. Thank you for creating these transformative experiences for more than 4,000 young people this year!
Diablo Lake Overview, December 2019, by Jason Ruvelson. Snow School by Scott Kranz.