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…

At the Heart of Everything

SOEI Launches Literary Journal

All of us are feeling the uncertainty of our circumstances acutely right now, with daily routines disrupted and future plans on hold, but when we’re honest, we acknowledge that this is always our condition. Where do we find the fortitude to step, with confidence and grace, into uncertainty? Sigurd Olson believed that we find it…

Loon airs its wings

LoonWatch Seeks Volunteers for the Wisconsin Loon Population Survey

LoonWatch, a program of the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute at Northland College, is dedicated to the protection of our region’s loon populations through education, monitoring, and research. In order to better understand the status of Wisconsin’s loon population, LoonWatch orchestrates a state-wide loon population survey once every five years. This survey is vital to assessing…

Bee on a flower

Mini Adventures for Youth at Home

Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute Youth Outreach

How do we keep connecting with youth, especially at this time of physical distancing, when connection is most important? That is the difficult question we faced in mid-March and continue to face. The pandemic is impacting thousands of communities, human and non-human alike, helping people, comfortably or not, embody the understanding of interdependence and connectedness…

2019 SONWA Winning books, To Speak for the Trees and The Boy Who Grew a Forest

Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Awards Announced

The Northland College Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute has announced the winning 2019 books for the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award (SONWA). Author Diana Beresford-Kroeger has been selected for the top prize in nature writing for her autobiographical release, To Speak for the Trees: My Life’s Journey from Ancient Celtic Wisdom to a Healing Vision…


Northland College Issues Mt. Ashwabay Ski Passes to Students

Northland College has announced a partnership with Mount Ashwabay to provide free season passes to Northland College students. More than 180 students have already claimed their passes. Under the agreement, students will have unlimited access to downhill skiing, snowboarding, the terrain park, and over 40k of groomed cross country ski trails. “In short, I’m pumped!” said…