SOEI News

aerial view of trees

Sit Simply, Get a New Perspective

Mentoring Urban Youth for Conservation Leadership

Evan Coulson, Bro professor of sustainable regional development, tells a story worth remembering.  He was managing the rock climbing and rappelling site at Bob’s Rock in the Chequamegon-Nicolet Forest this past summer for a group of Chicago teens. This outing was part of a collaboration between the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute and The Center for…

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…

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…

Happy Anniversary, LoonWatch

THE LAKE WHERE YOU LIVE

If you live on a lake, or even if you don’t, your favorite wild creature might well be a loon. I’ve often wondered: What benignly demented sort of deity would create such a thing as a loon, to captivate us with musical calls and bewitch us with glowing red eyes set in deep black? Forty…

SONWA Winners 2017

Honeybees and a trailblazing scientist top the 2017 SONWA book awards

Northland College has announced the winning 2017 books for the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award (SONWA). The SONWA committee awarded Where Honeybees Thrive: Stories from the Field by author Heather Swan the top prize in nature writing. “Swan takes an innovative look at the wonders of honeybees and humanity’s complex relationship with them—weaving together…

wolf laying down

WSJ: Good stewardship is key to removing wolf from endangered list

By Adrian Wydeven, Northland College Timber Wolf Advisory Council, for the Wisconsin State Journal: CABLE—Senate Bill 602, and its companion Assembly Bill712, would be a major setback in responsible wildlife conservation and proper management of the state wolf population. The lawmakers sponsoring this legislation are misusing their role and responsibility in protecting this public resource….

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

Birds and the Border Wall

Tiffany Kersten ’10 Tiffany Kersten first became hooked on birds at age twelve, after witnessing a flock of thousands of dancing sandhill cranes in a Wisconsin cornfield. She currently is the manager at the McAllen Nature Center in Texas and spending most of her free time fighting the proposed border wall. The current proposed border…

High school boy looking through magnifying glass at lumber.

Changing Lives

By MaryJo Gingras, Outreach Program Coordinator The Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute’s outreach programs instill a sense of wonder and inspire youth and adult participants through outdoor experiences. A million acres of forest and the largest freshwater lake in the world serve simultaneously as our classroom and playground. Campus-based sessions such as outdoor filmmaking and aquatic…

Night sky

In Wildness and Wonder

The Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute Looks to the Future By Alan Brew, Executive Director of the SOEI Over the past year, in anticipation of the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute’s fiftieth anniversary in 2022, the staff of the Institute have reflected on its history and deliberated about its future. We have shared with one another our…

Loon flying

The Uncommon Lives of Common Loons

By Erica LeMoine, LoonWatch Coordinator Despite the many presentations that I’ve given over the past six years, it always gives me a thrill when I hear the “oohs” and “aahs” of an audience learning something new about loons, reacting in amazement to what our Wisconsin colleagues and researchers have unraveled about the mysteries of loons….