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2019 SONWA Winning books, To Speak for the Trees and The Boy Who Grew a Forest

Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Awards Announced

The Northland College Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute has announced the winning 2019 books for the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award (SONWA). Author Diana Beresford-Kroeger has been selected for the top prize in nature writing for her autobiographical release, To Speak for the Trees: My Life’s Journey from Ancient Celtic Wisdom to a Healing Vision…

Wolf hunting, captured on trail camera, Maxwell Property

A History with Wolves

Wolf Awareness Week

Roughly 43 years ago, wildlife biologists detected evidence of breeding wolves in the state for the first time in decades. At that time, wolves had been considered extirpated from the state since 1960, and the only gray wolves remaining in the lower 48 were found in northeastern Minnesota. Today, there is a stable population distributed…

Red canoe on a lake

Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute

The Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute provides leadership in citizen science, outreach, and education on regional conservation issues while fostering the next generation of environmental leaders.

SONWA winners

2016 Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award Winners

Northland College announces Book Awards for Earth Day

Northland College has announced the winning 2016 books for the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award (SONWA) in adult, young adult, and children’s literature. Since 1991, the SONWA has honored the literary legacy of Sigurd Olson, who attended Northland College, and is the namesake of the College’s environmental institute, by recognizing and encouraging contemporary writers…  Read More

Sig Olson's personal gear

Sigurd Olson Legacy

Sigurd Olson (1899-1982) was acknowledged during his lifetime as a leader of the American environmental movement, an emblematic figure for a generation of activists.

SONWA

2020 SONWAs Announced

Top prizes awarded to Miracle Country and Butterflies Belong Here.

The Northland College Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute has announced the winning 2020 books for the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award (SONWA). Author Kendra Atleework has been selected for the top prize in nature writing for Miracle Country: A Memoir of a Family and a Landscape (Algonquin Books), an extraordinary account of a young woman’s…

SONWA winning books

SONWA Winners 1991-Present

Nature Books for Adults and Children

Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award Winners • 1991. Open Spaces, Jim Dale Vickery. Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award (SONWA) gave its inaugural award to Minnesota author Jim Dale Vickery for Open Spaces , a book that takes the reader to the unpopulated spaces in North America. Vickery, who died in June 2014, continued to write about…  Read More

Northland College Trustee Mary H. Rice on her porch in Bayfield.

Wisdom, Work, Wallop, and Wealth

Mary Rice’s Enduring Legacy

“Your generosity and commitment to Northland College continues to take my breath away. You have always made a full commitment to all of the four W’s: wisdom, work, wallop, and wealth.” —In a letter from Don Chase to Mary Rice in 2002.  Northland President Karl I. Solibakke and Major Gift Officer Mary O’Brien called on…

apostle Island Devils Caves

Apostle Islands Stewardship Symposium

This symposium will feature presentations focused on the natural and human history of the Apostle Islands. Presentations will be of varying lengths and some will provide details about recent and long-term research and management projects, while others will provide summary overviews of discoveries and findings from a variety of studies, activities, or projects.