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Meet Our Students

Northland College student EmmaMarie Hamond

Three researchers walking through stream

Tracking Wildlife in the Tropics

In an effort to determine the efficacy of various techniques for monitoring wildlife in the tropics, Northland College senior Parker Matzinger walked over three-hundred miles through the jungles of Costa Rica last winter. Matzinger, who is double majoring in biology and natural resources, with an emphasis in fisheries and wildlife management, collaboratively developed his research…  Read More

Northland College student

EcoLeague: Semester Immersion

Majoring in sustainable community development Grew up in Grand Marais, Minnesota Keeps busy making wildflower bouquets, painting portraits of friends, and drinking tea at the Black Cat. Northland College junior Sophie Holz has great memories from her EcoLeague semester at Green Mountain College—one of six EcoLeague schools, including Northland College. There she lived on the…  Read More

Student and professor in wetland

Chasing Dragonflies for Science

Senior Joe Fitzgerald been involved in graduate level research for the last four years at Northland College, leading plankton research in Chequamegon Bay, developing a phytoplankton catalog, and studying silver carp in the in the Mississippi. The first two have earned him the name The Plankton Guy. This past summer he turned his attention to dragonflies.…  Read More

Portrait of Northland College student Travis Sherlin

Travis Sherlin: Healthy Addiction for Exploration

Majoring in sustainable community development Grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee Keeps busy with school, bartending, rock climbing, and making big plans for the future Travis Sherlin entered Northland College as a freshman with a healthy addiction for exploration and a strong vision for his own educational journey. He spent several years after high school traveling…  Read More

Alec Drakenberg

Meet the Beast: Alec Z. Drachenberg

Majoring in sustainable community development Competing in cross country Has dual citizenship having lived in Tijuana, Baja, California, Mexico, as a preschooler/ kindergartener, then San Diego, California, most recently. Q. You have been named the NC Beast. Why? A. This last summer, I stumbled upon a YouTube sensation called LA Beast, who films himself attempting inhuman eating…  Read More

Katherine Sorenson

Senior Katherine Sorenson on EcoLeague

Majors in directed studies, agroecology Grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Keeps busy with patchwork and sewing, gardening, rock climbing, bicycling, swimming, and beachcombing for Lake Superior agates Q. How did you find out about EcoLeague? A. I found out about EcoLeague before I even heard about Northland! EcoLeague is an utterly…  Read More

Northland College student looking through magnifying glass

Apostle Islands Detectives

Do natural occurring fires help or hurt vegetation in the Apostle Islands?

The Great Lakes Regional Office of the National Park Service came to professors Sarah Johnson and Jonathan Martin to help answer a question: Do natural occurring fires help or hurt vegetation, specifically Canada yew, in the Apostle Islands? Johnson, assistant professor of natural resources, has been conducting vegetative research in the islands for years; Martin,…  Read More

NIck Smith at booth at Loon Days

My LoonWatch Internship

By Nicholas G. Smith Last winter I applied for the LoonWatch internship at the SOEI. I saw this as an opportunity to learn ways to bring wildlife science together with a large caring community for the betterment of this beautiful bird. The job description entailed becoming proficient in loon ecology, giving public presentations, communicating and…  Read More


Tagging Monarch Butterflies

Citizen Science Northland College student Michaela Fisher led a monarch-tagging program this summer at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center (NGLVC). “The events featured plenty of opportunities for visitors to learn about ways they can help monarch populations,” Fisher said. During two Saturday afternoons in August and September, visitors used nets to catch monarch butterflies…  Read More

Northland students in canoes

Read. Write. Paddle.

Pens and Paddles is a unique, experiential English course that combines literary study with wilderness fieldwork. In the classroom, students read wilderness literature that includes Sigurd F. Olson. Then in May, they travel to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness for two weeks on the trail, where they read, write, discuss, paddle, and portage. Photographer…  Read More