Sigurd F. Olson titled his fifth book Open Horizons, and in the book’s introduction, he writes that what “a man finally becomes, how he adjusts himself to this world, is a composite of all the horizons he has explored, for they have marked him and left indelible imprints on his attitude and convictions and given his life direction and meaning.”
On the first page of the first issue of Horizons: A Newsletter of the Sigurd Olson Institute of Environmental Studies, editor Don Albrecht cites this passage from Olson’s book and goes on to explain that the staff of the Institute is exploring “new horizons” with the newsletter, hoping to illuminate through its words and images activities that enrich our lives with “the nutrients of imagination, knowledge, and understanding.”
The first issue of Horizons was released in April 1979, and publication of the newsletter continued uninterrupted until 2002, making it the Institute’s longest running publication to date.
Articles in the first issue of Horizons introduce readers to the Institute’s new program LoonWatch, report on testimonies from Institute staff at a hearing of the International Joint Commission focused on non-point source pollution, explore the future of Great Lakes shipping, announce the annual theme for the Johnson Lecture series, celebrate awarding of a major grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to collect and preserve ethnic music from northern woodlands, and summarize progress on a multi-year Title I project focused in its fourth year on “white-Native American relationships in the Ashland area.”
Subsequent issues of Horizons report on activities and projects of the Institute and also introduce readers to the perspectives and personalities of early and influential staff members, such as the Institute’s director Tom Klein, Horizons editor Don Albrecht, community specialist Marina Lachecki Herman, and co-director of the Tribal/Non-Tribal Community Communications Project Steve Sorenson.
In 1992, a commemorative issue of Horizons was produced to celebrate the Institute’s twentieth anniversary. Each page of this commemorative issue was dedicated to a year in the Institute’s history, featuring photos, excerpts from previous publications, and notes about significant programs and activities. The center spread is a sunrise photo of the Ashland skyline superimposed with a timeline of the Institute, which was available to readers as a frameable print.
Tucked away on the back cover of the fall 2000 issue of Horizons is a summary of a reader survey that includes the observation that 93 percent of readers preferred to continue receiving Horizons in a printed, rather than electronic, form. Much has changed in the world of technology since that survey in 2000, and the Institute now shares most of the information that would have been captured in Horizons via e-newsletters or our website. We suspect most of you appreciate the timely, on-demand access to information facilitated by this change, but if you still enjoy print publications, we encourage you to sign up for the Institute’s biannual journal Intangible.