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Loon and Baby


…cases are responsible for loons and loon music disappearing from traditional nesting lakes. LoonWatch, a program of the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, protects common loons and their aquatic habitats through education, monitoring, and research. Though our primary focus is Wisconsin, our education and research activities extend to Upper Great Lakes…

Sigurd F. Olson Journal Entries

…Wilderness and A Sand County Almanac: Comparing Olson and Leopold January 12, 1930 Sigurd’s earliest discovered journal entry. January 16, 1930 Sigurd compares his life with that of John Burroughs. January 20, 1930 Sigurd discusses what he would later call his “flashes of insight.” February 2, 1930 Sigurd discusses his…

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…

Loon airs its wings

Protect Loons

…Keep dogs and cats away from loons and nests. Pets disturb nesting loons and can destroy loon eggs. Be a responsible boater. Never chase loons or run motorboats or personal watercraft over areas where loons have been seen. Loons and loon chicks have died from being hit by boats and…

2021 SONWA recipients Ocean Soup (written by Meeg Pincus and illustrated by Lucy Semple) and Finding the Mother Tree (written by Suzanne Simard)

SONWA Book Awards

…of your publication to: SONWA Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute Northland College 1411 Ellis Avenue Ashland, WI 54806 Criteria The Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award for children’s literature is given to a published book of nature writing—nonfiction or fiction—appropriate for children up to age fourteen. The book should capture the…

Sigurd Olson and Robert Matteson stand in front of Memorial Hall

David Backes: “The Challenge of the New Frontier” Fifty Years Later

October 20, 7:00 pm7:35 pm

In celebration of the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute’s 50th anniversary, David Backes, Sigurd Olson’s biographer, will be discussing Sigurd Olson’s keynote speech dedicating the Institute on October 20, 1972. This virtual event is free for all to attend, but registration is required. Register Now David Backes is the author of…

Collage of historical photos of the Bro Family at Northland College

The Bro Family

A Century at Northland College 

…internship at the new Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute. Kim said the experience shaped the rest of his life. “Each day at Northland, I sought advice from Sigurd Olson and Aunt Harriet,” Kim Bro said. “I think the research and experiences of Granny [Margueritte] and my Uncle Harmon helped shape my…

Native American dancers

Northland Celebrates Indigenous Cultures Awareness Month

…13 Identity, Place, and Belonging in Sami and Anishinaabe Cultures 6-7 p.m. Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute March 14 Panel Discussion: Multigenerational and Historic Trauma 6-8 p.m. Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute March 15 Craftwork Day 6-8 p.m. Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute March 16 The Creator’s Game: The Evolution of the Game…

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

Phot0 by Brad Thompson. 2021 loonwatch winning photo of loon and chick.

Loon Appreciation Week and Poster

Held the first week of May, LoonWatch promotes loon education and conservation during Loon Appreciation Week by creating and distributing a new Loon Appreciation Week poster each year. Poster are available to the public for $7 each.   Related Loon Appreciation Week and Poster May 1-7, 2022. Held the first…