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Northland College campus aerial

Fall Festival

…of Trustees founded the Sigurd Olson Institute of Environmental Studies. In honor of its 50th anniversary, the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute is hosting a celebratory, environmental conference September 21 and 22, 2022. The conference will include retrospective presentations on the founding and history of the Institute, features on its current…

Journal Entries Singing Wilderness

Sigurd F. Olson Marie Rodell to Sigurd Olson, June 16, 1954 Sigurd Olson to Marie Rodell, undated draft, June 30 or July 1, 1954 This is a draft of a letter that Sigurd composed shortly after receiving the above letter from Rodell. Whether he sent a final draft or not…

Sig Olson's personal gear

Sigurd Olson Legacy

Olson biographer Dr. David Backes, the award-winning writer of A Wilderness Within: The Life of Sigurd F. Olson. Dr. Backes retired in 2015 after twenty-seven years as a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He gave the content of the Olson website to the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute at Northland…

Loon Swimming

About Loons

…Journey North Loon Preservation Committee (New Hampshire) Maine Loon Project—Maine Audubon Michigan Loon Preservation Association Minnesota Loon Monitoring Program Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks Montana Loon Society National Wildlife Federation South-central Alaska Loon Survey USGS Common Loon Migration Study Vermont Loon Recovery Project Loon Books Bent, Arthur. 1919. Life Histories…

Sigurd Olson Speeches

…course, for Sigurd and Elizabeth Olson (shown at left in February 1957). People stopped talking and turned away whenever Sigurd or Elizabeth entered a gathering. Ely Chamber of Commerce secretary Stan Pechaver expressed the breach in a letter to Humphrey: “Sig Olson (of Ely, we’re sorry to say), is not…

Loon flying over a lake

Get Involved

…to monitor loons, to hear what’s new in the world of loon research, and to meet other loon enthusiasts. Throughout summer, Loon Rangers watch loons on a lake where they live, vacation, or visit often. They record when loons arrive, if they nested, how many chicks were produced, and any…

Sigurd Olson Letters

…have to watch closely. I can just imagine how beautiful it must be up on your island in Rainy [Lake] these gorgeous fall days. Kindest personal regards. Sincerely yours, Sigurd F. Olson On the day before his 50th birthday, Sigurd is in Toronto, where he has just succeeded in a…

Loon and baby on lake

Ethical Wildlife Photography

…help you do that. LoonWatch’s general rule of thumb for good loon etiquette is to keep a distance of two hundred feet from loons and loon chicks. Carefully watch the bird’s behavior. You will quickly learn to recognize signs of nervousness, and when you see those signs, you should slowly…

Red canoe on a lake

Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute

…begins/environment and spirituality programs begin 1981: Sustainably designed Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute dedicated 1982: Memorial service to honor Sigurd F. Olson held following his death 1983: Sigurd F. Olson professorship endowed 1985: First Sigurd T. Olson Loon Research Award given 1985: First Apostle Islands School held 1987: Timber Wolf Alliance…

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…