CONNECTING PEOPLE, NATURE AND COMMUNITY THROUGH EDUCATION SINCE 1986
NORTH CASCADES INSTITUTE
F I E L D G U I D2013E
Walk with us! A trail through giant cedars leads us deep into the mountains. Later, we follow a sunlit ridge into a land of ice and rock and snow. Far below, we see a great river on its way to the sea. Come walk with us on a journey of discovery into the magic of the North Cascades.
Seasonality: Year-round Age Range: All Habitat: From the shores of the Salish Sea over the crest of the North Cascades to the Okanogan highlands Population: 45 professional staff, 15-member board of directors, 21 graduate students and over 18,000 people served annually
Since 1986 we’ve connected people and nature through direct experiences in the natural world. We believe that hands-on learning about the environment should begin in childhood and continue throughout life. For 27 years we’ve offered transformative, place-based learning experiences throughout the Pacific Northwest that inspire environmental and community stewardship.
MISSION The mission of North Cascades Institute is to conserve and restore Northwest environments through education. COMMITMENT We are committed to quality education, effective community engagement, sound business practices and a clear sense of purpose.
Please join us in this great adventure! I hope to see you on the trail this year.
M MO ND
DID YOU KNOW? • We teach at the convergence of natural and cultural history, science, humanities and the arts. • We value the importance of public lands for education, recreation and renewal. • Intimate, informed contact with the natural world helps people lead healthy, well-balanced lives. • Our goal is to inspire and support informed, engaged citizens, community leaders and environmental stewards.
JD B EN
ncascades.org (360) 854-2599 email@example.com
COVER PHOTOS: DIABLO LAKE, NICK MIKULA, WOLF, DAVE MOSKOWITZ, NORTH CASCADES ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING CENTER, LARA SWIMMER, MOUNTAIN SCHOOL STUDENT, NICK MIKULA, BOG WINTERGREEN, JESSICA HAAG, CANOEING DIABLO LAKE, BENJ DRUMMOND
SAHALE ARM, ANDY PORTER
NORTH CASCADES ECOSYSTEM
A wilderness campus in the North Cascades ncascades.org/learning-center
ACRES OF PROTECTED P U B L I C INCLUDING:
North Cascades Environmental Learning Center, nestled below Sourdough Mountain on the shores of Diablo Lake, is a hub of discovery in the heart of the North Cascades. North Cascades Institute has operated the Learning Center in partnership with the National Park Service and Seattle City Light since 2005. Integrating sustainable building design with Earth-friendly operations, the award-winning wilderness campus features 16 buildings, outdoor shelters, a trail system and lake access. Our facilities include: • • • •
L A N D S
1 2 3 7 9 1 national
the l arge st co n ti gu o u s stretch of protected lands along the
4,000-mile United States-Canadian border
Three comfortable lodges with ADAaccessible accommodations for 92 guests A lakeside dining hall serving fresh, local and organic meals in tune with the seasons Multimedia classrooms, science labs and the Wild Ginger Library An outdoor amphitheater and secluded shelters in nearby woodlands
93% National Park of North Cascades
A L AR
ER M IM SW
is designated as wilderness
at its hear t lies
North Cascades Institute’s Environmental Learning Center s u rro u nd e d by
Located along State Route 20 just past Newhalem, three hours from Seattle or two hours from Bellingham, the Learning Center is home base for many of our programs.
steep mountains, streams, waterfalls &
300+ GLACIERS 300
and tremendous biological diversity including Cascade carnivores like bears, wolves, wolverines, fisher, lynx & marten
as well as the headwaters of the
Sk a g i t R i v e r , TI N
the largest river draining
into the Salish Sea DIABLO LAKE, JOHN SCURLOCK
Hands-on environmental education and science in the North Cascades ncascades.org/school
Instructors are a combination of staff naturalists, graduate students studying environmental education and National Park Service rangers.
Our curriculum is aligned with Grade Level Expectations and Essential Academic Learning Requirements. We provide materials to integrate study of the North Cascades into the classroom.
“I never knew I lived in such a cool place!”
— 5th grader, Mount Vernon
Students spend the majority of their time outside exploring mountain ecosystems through hands-on lessons in science, math, writing, social studies and conservation.
hildren exposed to nature and science gain connections that will serve them throughout their lives. Mountain School is a nationally-recognized residential environmental education program offered in cooperation with North Cascades National Park. Mountain School students come to the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center for up to five days with their classmates and teachers to learn about ecosystems, scientific investigation and the natural and cultural history of the mountains through experiential-based activities.
Students receive a high quality educational experience as mentors help them discover powerful connections between their lives, their communities and the environment.
Seasonality: Spring and Fall Duration: 3-5 days Habitat: Learning Center and Diablo Lake Population: More than 22,000 children since 1990 Mountain School offers different curricula to address the various grades’ educational needs: •
Ecosystem Explorations Age Range: 4th-6th Grade
Field Science and Leadership Age Range: 7th-12th Grade
Climate Change Age Range: 9th-12th Grade
DID YOU KNOW ? After attending Mountain School, statistics showed:
of teachers reported that Mountain School improves attitudes toward learning
of teachers reported that their students showed an increased respect for the environment and each other
is the increase in students who reported that they like spending time in nature after Mountain School 6
Youth Leadership Adventures
Empowering the next generation of conservation leaders ncascades.org/youth
IN ER KAT
Seasonality: Year-round with summer expeditions Habitat: Public lands of the North Cascades
outh Leadership Adventures features a range of summer opportunities for underserved students on local public lands, a fall Youth Leadership Conference, year-round mentorship and local stewardship opportunities. During summer expeditions, students canoe, camp, backpack and complete service projects while receiving hands-on training in outdoor leadership, field ecology, climate science, communication skills and public speaking.
Youth Leadership Adventures offers a variety of backcountry courses for different aged youth:
This partnership program with North Cascades National Park and Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest connects youth to wild places while instilling a sense of responsibility and ownership so they can make a difference in their home communities.
Outdoor Leadership and Stewardship Age Range: Students 14-16 Duration: 8 days
Science and Sustainability Age Range: Students 16-18 Duration: 15 days
Leadership Corps Age Range: Students 18-22 Duration: 31 days
Youth Leadership Conference Age Range: Alumni ages 14-22 Duration: 2 day conference
DID YOU KNOW? Since 2006,
“This program has immense power to change lives. I came home with an immense amount of confidence and willingness to change the world around me. I can honestly say this has been the best decision of my life.” —2011 participant 7
students have participated
of students have come from diverse ethnic or socioeconomic backgrounds
hours of service have been contributed to public lands in the North Cascades
Immerse yourself in the North Cascades through a summer of field excursions culminating in a wilderness backpacking experience.
GRADUATE PROGRAM GRADUATE M.ED. PROGRAM
MASTERS IN ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
Live, learn and teach in the North Cascades ncascades.org/graduate
U IK KM NI C
Explore the natural world with experts on a series of natural history retreats that will spark your curiosity and enhance your knowledge of ecology.
Seasonality: Year-round Age Range: post-graduate college students Duration: 7 quarters over 2 years Habitat: Environmental Learning Center, North Cascades ecosystem and Bellingham DID YOU KNOW? M.Ed. alumni are employed throughout the world, infusing an environmental ethic into their careers and lives, including:
Develop your skills as an environmental educator through teaching experiences with 5th through 12th grade students in our Mountain School program.
• • • •
n partnership with Western Washington University’s Huxley College of the Environment, North Cascades Institute offers a Master of Education degree that blends leadership, nonprofit administration, curriculum development, instructional strategies, natural and cultural history, and program operations in the heart of North Cascades National Park. Graduate students live and work at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center, pursue coursework at WWU’s Bellingham campus, teach kids and adults from all backgrounds, explore Northwest environments and make lifelong friends and professional contacts. Upon graduating, students receive a Master of Education degree from Western Washington University and a Certificate in Leadership and Nonprofit Administration and Northwest Naturalist Certification from North Cascades Institute.
Connect your practicum experience and the educational theory that supports it through two quarters of classroom learning at WWU. NICK MIKULA
Education Specialist at Mount Rainier National Park Development Director at Bellingham Technical College Girls on Ice Program Coordinator for University of Alaska Executive Director at Wild Whatcom Curriculum Coordinator at Great Smoky Mountains Institute Brightwater Program Manager at IslandWood Educator with Louisville Science Center North Cascades Institute Program Manager
Guided day trips by boat, boot and shuttle ncascades.org/skagit-tours
“It’s as close as you’ll get to seeing an Alaskan landscape in the lower 48 states.” — The Oregonian
ince 1986, North Cascades Institute has introduced thousands of adults to the natural and cultural history of the North Cascades region through seminars, art and writing retreats and field excursions. From the eastslope highlands to the North Cascades crest to the shores of the Salish Sea, these magnificent landscapes inspire learning, community and stewardship. Our instructional staff foster connections between people and place through hands-on learning on a wide variety of topics, including geology, nature journaling, wildlife biology, poetry, botany, watercolor painting and the traditions of native peoples.
Most classes offer clock hours for teachers and academic credit. To make programs available to a wide audience, we provide scholarships and student discounts for most programs.
YOU KNOW ?
Exploring the best of the North Cascades, North Cascades Institute, in partnership with Seattle City Light and North Cascades National Park, offers interpretive tours of the fascinating natural and cultural history of the Upper Skagit Valley in North Cascades National Park. Tour Diablo Lake by boat, visit highlights of the North Cascades National Scenic Highway by shuttle or join walking tours of historic Newhalem and the Skagit dam powerhouses.
Hands-on explorations, community and adventure ncascades.org/classes
Overnight accommodations and adventures on Diablo Lake ncascades.org/basecamp
Gather the generations in the North Cascades ncascades.org/family
amilies enjoy the great outdoors together at the Environmental Learning Center in the heart of North Cascades National Park. Our campus offers all the comforts of home with its inviting lodges, cozy library and lakeside dining hall and our talented kitchen staff creates delicious, healthy buffet-style meals, using local and organic ingredients as much as possible. Each day, naturalists and park rangers present your family with a slate of engaging, hands-on activities like canoeing, hiking, outdoor games and nature crafts. In the evening, we’ll gather around the campfire beneath the innumerable stars of the North Cascades night sky. Families of all sizes and shapes are welcome, including grandparents, guardians, aunts and uncles, nontraditional families and friends.
DID YOU KNOW?
xplore the awesome wonders of the American Alps with staff naturalists—or at your own pace—while enjoying the comforts of our award-winning campus in North Cascades National Park. Base Campers enjoy overnight accommodations in our guest lodges, delicious, locally-sourced meals and the opportunity to join daily learning adventures on the natural and cultural history of the North Cascades ecosystem. Whether new to the area or returning year after year, Base Camp is a great way to explore and learn about this amazing place.
Every year, North Cascades Institute hosts Family Getaways at its beautifully designed facility on Diablo Lake. Families spend three days exploring some of the most breathtaking, rugged country in our state, but roughing it is not required. Think of it as camping -with comfortable beds, on-site naturalists, and a chef to prepare organic meals.
GROUP RENTALS Host your next gathering in North Cascades National Park ncascades.org/rentals
orth Cascades Institute invites you to stay at the Environmental Learning Center for meetings, retreats and celebrations of all kinds. Located on the wooded shores of Diablo Lake, this unique venue welcomes business conferences, weddings, reunions, board retreats, staff trainings and other gatherings. Our rental program offers: • • • • • • •
Lodging for up to 92 guests Delicious, local, organic meals in our dining hall Conference rooms, outdoor shelters, lounges and a library Guided canoeing and hiking opportunities High-speed wireless Internet and audio-visual equipment Shuttle service available to and from our campus An onsite coordinator to help with your event
Contact us to learn more about Group Rentals at the Learning Center and the opportunities it can offer your organization, family or group.
“North Cascades Institute has got to be the overall most wonderful meeting venue I’ve ever experienced, anywhere.”
Healthy food choices for a healthy planet ncascades.org/foodshed
orth Cascades Institute strives to deliver the highest quality meals for all participants at the Learning Center because the food choices we make impact not only our bodies, but our planet too. The methods by which food is grown, processed, transported and prepared touches the air and water we depend on to live as well as issues of social justice, local economics and community.
—Harry Greene, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University.
DID YOU KNOW?
Throughout the year, it is our goal that every meal meets as many of our Foodshed Program’s criteria as seasonally possible, including healthfulness, sustainability, ethicality and where food is produced.
Proceeds from our Group Rentals program benefit youth environmental education.
Thanks to the farmers, ranchers and producers in Western Washington, we are able to offer people of all ages food that is both delicious and nutritious, while also educating guests on the choices we can make in how food flows from fields to tables. The next time you enjoy a meal in our lakeside dining hall, know that you are helping us conserve Northwest environments with every bite! FOODSHED PARTNERS INCLUDE Blue Heron Farm, Nooksack Delta Ranch, Moka Joe Coffee, Osprey Hill Farm, Taylor Shellfish Farm, Viva Farms and Jones Creek Farm.
TOP PHOTOS L-R: INSTITUTE ARCHIVES, JESSICA HAAG, RICK ALLEN
STEWARDSHIP and CITIZEN SCIENCE Working to understand and preserve Northwest environments ncascades.org/stewardship and ncascades.org/citizen-science
ur Stewardship program provides meaningful volunteer opportunities for people to give back to our public lands while also deepening their connection with the North Cascades.
A UL MIK NICK
Stewardship may take you into the backcountry on hiking trails or into the frontcountry at campgrounds, overlooks or the Marblemount Native Plant Nursery. Past projects have included removing invasive plants, collecting seeds for the nursery, public interpretation of eagle ecology on the Skagit River, planting native plant species and maintaining trails. Citizen Science volunteers help collect data for scientific research projects including the Cascades Butterfly Project, Carnivore Connectivity Project, water quality monitoring and plant and animal phenology in partnership with the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service.
in recognition of the fulďŹ llment of prescribed requirements hereby confers upon
Jeff Anderson a certiďŹ cate of
Northwest Naturalist Certification Given in the North Cascades, this twenty-first of March, two thousand thirteen
NOW? OU K DY I D
J U LI
contributed 3,000 hours to stewardship and citizen science in the North Cascades.
NE TO ES
CASCADES BUTTERFLY PROJECT EXPLORES THE ALPINE ZONE, KARLIE ROWLAND
Become a better naturalist, communicator and land steward by learning about the natural and cultural history of the North Cascades and Pacific Northwest with staff naturalists, field biologists and rangers. Our certification process tracks three main areas of study: Natural and Cultural History of the North Cascades, Interpretation Techniques, and Citizen Science and Stewardship. If you love learning about the unique ecology of the Pacific Northwest, deepen your connection and your knowledge with the Northwest Naturalist Certification program. ncascades.org/naturalist
â€”Travis Huisman, CEO McNett Corporation
People come to North Cascades Institute to learn about the environment that shelters and sustains us – the natural systems that we do not own but to which we, as a species, belong – and those people will grow up to be neither the destroyers nor the destroyed, but responsible citizens of a habitat, a food web, and a planet. — Barbara Kingsolver, author
Keeping people of all ages and experiences closely connected with real, living nature in the out-of-doors is some of the most important work in the world today. Having worked in conservation and education for forty years, half of that with the North Cascades Institute, I can honestly say that no one carries out this work better. — Robert Michael Pyle, author, conservationist, lepidopterist
I love coming to North Cascades Institute. First, there is the spectacular place – the bright water, the deep woods, the gleaming mountains. Then, there are the people – the young teachers, the wise elders, botanists and writers and birders and kids with backpacks and dreams. And then, the vision – that when people come to learn about a place, they come to love it, and when they love it, they care for it and rejoice in its thriving. What could be more important in our wounded world? What could be more healing?
$2,000,000 Graduate M.Ed. Program launches
— Kathleen Dean Moore, author, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Oregon State University
North Cascades Institute introduces children – and reintroduces adults – to an increasingly remote outdoors. It introduces wonder. It reminds us why we should be amazed. Environmental education is not a luxury, it is the thing that can save us. That’s what North Cascades Institute is all about. Learn. And then act. — William Dietrich, Pulitzer-winning journalist, author
F ra s e
Mt. Shuksan Mt. Baker
NORTH CASCADES Marblemount
eR ive r
P U G E T SO UN D
Skykomish Ri ve
er Col u m b i a R iv
Diablo Lake Newhalem
SAN JUAN ISLANDS
Okanogan R ive
r a n g e
canada united states
administrative offices environmental learning center