soei building campus

Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute Turns 50

Large Trees from Small Acorns Grow!

On the morning of August 27, 1971, Mary Griggs Burke and her husband woke together on the south shore of Lake Namekagon. We don’t know for sure what they did upon waking, perhaps one or both of them went for a swim, perhaps they had tea on the screened porch of the rustic lodge where…

Stewardship flags hang in the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute

Youth Stewardship Flags Available Through Silent Auction Until March 31

Flags Created Through a Pandemic Twist on the Apostle Islands School

COVID-19 gave us the opportunity to get creative with the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute’s regularly occurring Apostle Islands School. Because we couldn’t take students to the islands in the month of May, we created Stewards of Tomorrow instead. In July and August of 2021, participants joined a small group of four peers for three nights…

Forest Lodge Woods

Participate in the Wisconsin Conservation Congress Spring Hearing April 11–14 

Share Your Voice on Conservation Issues

The Wisconsin Conservation Congress (WCC) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) will hold the WCC 2022 Spring Hearings virtually, allowing the public to submit comments via an online survey from April 11 at 7 p.m. until April 14 at 7 p.m. If you have questions on how to participate, you can review The…

Northland students in canoes

Outdoor Recreation: For Students, By Students

After five years of visioning and development, the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute is going big into the outdoors. Really big. The Institute has officially launched Outdoor Pursuits, which oversees outdoor recreation services and experiences for the campus community. This includes Outdoor Orientation, weekend outings and trips, the campus bouldering wall, a Nordic ski center and…

Sigurd Olson Scholars

Northland Awards Four Sigurd Olson Scholarships

Four high school seniors have been awarded full-tuition scholarships as part of the Sigurd Olson Scholars program at Northland College. Sigurd F. Olson was a pioneering figure in the American environmental movement and an important figure to a generation of activists and trailblazers. An alumnus of Northland College, Olson drew on his liberal arts education…


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…  Read More

Northland College students ski on campus trails.

Northland Creates COVID-Safe Winter Wonderland

Three funders contribute $61,000 to make it happen.

Heading into this pandemic winter, staff and faculty knew it was more important than ever to get students outdoors—to socialize, recreate, and find inspiration. With the help of donors, faculty, and staff from all corners of campus collaborated to transform Northland into a winter wonderland. Memorial Medical Center, the Bock Foundation, and Northland Trustee Jim…

Donna and George Arbaugh

Walking in Sigurd Olson’s Footsteps

Supporting Stewardship Through Scholarships

About the time Sigurd F. Olson was crafting his first book, The Singing Wilderness, Donna Arbaugh and her new husband, George, were building a summer place near the Boundary Waters. It was 1954 and using only hand tools, they built a small, off-the-grid cabin on a lot they leased from the government for $50 per…

Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute at Northland College

Estate Gift Funds SOEI Facelift

The 1981 building receives necessary repairs.

John Beauchamp was an artist, conservationist, and a defender of wildlife. Born in Mankato, Minnesota, in 1925, he had a somewhat isolated childhood, due to an illness, so he kept company with Plato, Socrates, Shakespeare, and Sigurd Olson, among others. He received a master of fine arts degree from the University of Minnesota in 1954…