Meet Our Alumni

Northland College students and alum prepare rain garden

Rain Gardens Provide Stormwater Storage

This past summer Nile Merton ’15 returned to campus to finish a project he started as a student, updating the rain garden at the Larson-Juhl Center for Science and the Environment. At the same time, across campus, junior Shelly Ray started plans for a rain garden for the new Hulings Rice Food Center. In 2018,…  Read More

Northland College alum Abe Lloyd harvesting wild rice

Wild Foods

Sustainable Solution to Big Ag

Abe Lloyd’s ’02 interest in wild foods dates back to childhood campouts in a vacant lot next to his house in Washington state and his childhood fantasy of never needing to go inside. “When I was at Northland, I began to think much more deeply about the environmental and social impacts of industrial food production,…  Read More

Northland College alum Gabriela Boscio Santos canvassing for climate resiliency

Fighting for Climate Justice

Gabriela Boscio Santos '09

East Boston is situated on the front line of climate change. Made up of five islands joined by landfill, East Boston is a peninsula that connects to Boston proper by two underwater automobile tunnels and an underwater transit tunnel. Located within a recognized flood zone, the people there have had regular reminders of their climate…  Read More

Northland College graduate Aaron Schreiber-Stainthorp standing in a California vineyard where he directs sustainability.

From Grape to Glass

Making Wine Country More Sustainable

Aaron Schreiber-Stainthorp ’05 has helped twenty-plus wineries implement water conservation and zero waste programs, improve winery energy efficiency, and he led the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in winning the 2017 California Green Medal: Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Award. He is currently the sustainability specialist at Jackson Family Wines (e.g. Kendell-Jackson wines) and operates his own consulting business, Sustainability…  Read More

Timber Wolf Alliance Coordinator Jordyn O'Gara

O’Gara ’18 Named Timber Wolf Alliance Coordinator

Wolf Awareness Week Events October 23, 25, 26

Jordyn O’Gara’s passion for wolves started as a kid when she used to draw floor plans for the animal sanctuary so she could save all wildlife. Then, when she was 10, she and her parents attended a presentation at the International Wolf Symposium hosted by the International Wolf Center in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. “At the…  Read More

Whole Foods Market

Pushing Sustainability at Whole Foods Market

Matthew Toavs '98

Matthew Toavs ’98 has played many roles at Whole Foods Market since he got his first position in 2001 as a bulk buyer for the Lake Calhoun store in Minneapolis. At Northland College, he studied outdoor education-natural history with minors in earth science and environmental education and worked for two summers on Lee and Judy…  Read More

Northland College alum Carl Sacks looks at GIS with students

Mapping for a Better World

Created "The Black Snake in Sioux Country" Map

Carl Sack ’06 has always loved maps. As a teenager, he got into orienteering, which uses detailed topographic maps, and he was hooked for life. “I loved picturing the landscapes they showed to find the fastest way across wild country.” At Northland College, Sack would stare for hours at DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer, planning what…  Read More

Northland College alum Abby Rose and her sister Yana Dee at Yana Dee Ethical Apparel

Thread of Hope

Making Fashion Ecological, Sustainable, and Just

Abby Rose Weglarz ’08 will be the first to tell you that the fashion industry is the second most destructive industry in the world, next to big oil. Fashion designer Eileen Fisher has said the same over and again. She’ll also be the first to tell you that the industry can do better by delivering…  Read More

Sigurd Olson leaning on tree

12 Personal Items of Sigurd Olson

At the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute

On October 21, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed into law the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Act. Sigurd Olson, who attended Northland College from 1916-18, had a lifelong relationship with the Boundary Waters, celebrating his honeymoon there in 1921, guiding numerous trips on its waters, living and raising his family near its borders in Ely, writing…  Read More

Northland College alumnus Tiffany Kirsten stands with fellow activists along the border of Texas and Mexico

Careers in Social Justice, Conservation, and Public Service

SOEI Interns

The Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute has been a part of the Northland College student experience for the last forty-six years—from speakers, conferences, and campus events in the physical building to research and internships with one of the many outreach programs. Sigurd’s wife, Elizabeth, contributed $50,000 to the Sigurd F. Olson Endowment, a program to offer…  Read More