Northland College Magazine

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Northland College MAGAZINE


Home of the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute

Malcolm McLean April 23, 1972-November 19, 2014

Also in this issue: News • Class Notes • Athletics

Northland College Magazine WINTER 2015 Mission Northland College integrates liberal arts studies with an environmental emphasis, enabling those it serves to address the challenges of the future.


Vision Northland College will be the nation’s preeminent liberal arts college focused on the environment, preparing students and other stakeholders to lead us toward a more sustainable, just, and prosperous future. President Dr. Michael A. Miller President’s Cabinet Leslie Alldritt Dean of Faculty, Vice President of Academic Affairs Andy Goyke Faculty Council President and Professor of Biology Robert Jackson Vice President of Finance and Administration Michele Meyer Vice President for Student Affairs and Institutional Sustainability Mark Peterson Executive Director, Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute Margot Carroll Zelenz Vice President of Institutional Advancement Magazine Contributors Julie Buckles, Public and Media Relations Specialist Bob Gross, Associate Director of Institutional Marketing Demeri Mullikin, Executive Director of Institutional Marketing Jill O’Neill, Graphic Design Communications Specialist Sean Devlin, student writer Bailey Davis, marketing assistant © 2015, Northland College

Submissions To submit comments and ideas for the Northland College magazine, please write to : Office of Marketing Communications Northland College 1411 Ellis Avenue Ashland, WI 54806 You can also contact us at (715) 682-1307 or via email at

Class Notes To submit class notes or alumni photos, please write to: Office of Alumni Relations Northland College 1411 Ellis Avenue Ashland, WI 54806 You can also call (715) 682-1811 or email

On the Cover Malcolm McLean served as president of Northland College from 1971 to 1987 and remained a loyal supporter of the College for the rest of his life. Learn more on pg. 9.





FROM THE PRESIDENT Northland’s former president Malcolm McLean passed away November 19, 2014 at his home surrounded by his family and friends. Malcolm served as president from 1971 to 1987. He was a friend and mentor to me and to many who work here on campus. In December, we celebrated his rich life with a gathering in the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, a fitting place considering Malcolm’s role in establishing the Institute as the center for environmentalism in the north. Malcolm will be remembered for his leadership, his accomplishments, his exemplary model for living, and for his care, grace, and positive energy for all the right causes in all the right ways. Malcolm had a powerful effect on the College leaders who followed him, including me. Malcolm told me many times that the College’s strength came from being true to itself. He remained a partner in ways that also bolstered our ongoing evolution as leaders. Our focus on nurturing and empowering the passion and the talents of Northland students to make the world a better place is an expression of Malcolm in so many ways. I am proud to help move forward initiatives that continue Malcolm’s legacy. In the last two years, under the leadership of Mark Peterson and with the backing of the administration and the board, the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute has found its voice, becoming a gathering spot for important environmental work.


The Institute has become an outlet to vet the important challenges of our region. I’m happy to announce in this issue that the Institute will now be welcoming home the Timber Wolf Alliance, an important organization to help educate the public on wolves and wolf policy. We’re also in the midst of establishing a Food Lab and an upgraded composting facility. This is the next step in supporting the local food system by increasing the College’s capacity to process, store, and consume local foods. It allows us to increase our impact in sustainability and as a center for learning to process and store foods.

A few weeks before Malcolm passed, Mary and I had lunch with him and his wife and life partner, Wendy. We discussed Northland, national and international current events, books, common friends, and each other. Their persistent desire to live life fully, to dress up for it, to treat life as a special gift, and to engage in conversations of ideas and potential will remain my inspiration.

Michael A. Miller President, Northland College

NEWS Senior Stephanie Muise has received a full ride to graduate school at Michigan State University to study fisheries management.

Anich, assistant professor of biology and natural resources, on her senior thesis project. Muise, who grew up outside of Boston, is affiliated with the Mik Maq nation. She is co-president of the Native American Student Association and a member of the newly formed Northland College chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.

Northland Student Places Second at National STEM Conference The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) selected seventy undergraduate students, including Northland College’s Stephanie Muise ’15, to give oral presentations in all areas of science, engineering, and technology for its annual conference last fall. With help from the College’s Parsonage Fund, Muise flew to the conference in Orlando, Florida, to talk about her research on the southwestern willow flycatcher. “I’m really interested in how invasive vegetation affects their

breeding capabilities within the Middle Rio Grande riparian corridor in New Mexico,” she said. AISES awarded her second place and $900 for her presentation. “AISES is an organization that is held in extremely high regard, and those of us who have the honor of being part of this unique and outstanding group of professionals take what we do very seriously,” said Kat Werchouski, director of the Indigenous Culture Center. “Words cannot describe what this accomplishment means for Steph, for those of us who serve as her mentors, and for the greater Northland community.” A natural resources major with a minor in biology, Muise worked with Katie Stumpf, assistant professor of biology, and Paula

AISES is a national organization for the promotion of the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) areas in the Native American student body in high schools, colleges, and graduate school. “For us to start a new AISES chapter and have a student not only attend the national conference, make it through the initial screening stage for presentations, and then place second, is something that I never imagined happening,” Werchouski said. “I want to shout my excitement from the rooftops in hopes that it will encourage others to follow.” The annual AISES conference encourages Native American STEM students from across the country to converge for the sharing of research, professional development, cultural growth, and professional networking opportunities with large corporations or agencies.

WINTER 2015 2


Northland Profs Study Impact of Climate Change on Chequamegon Bay


Intense storms this fall breached a barge connection system in the Ashland harbor, designed to protect the Northern States Power Superfund site. Soil and groundwater at the site are contaminated with tar, oil, metals, and other chemical pollutants. The storm damage postponed cleanup efforts until spring, providing more time and opportunity for the substances to spread. Research funded by the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute could help prevent such weather-related damage and delays in the future.

“Chequamegon Bay is arguably the least climate-adapted spot in the country from an infrastructure viewpoint,” said Northland Bro Professor of Sustainable Regional Development Randy Lehr. He explained that precipitation estimates for the Bayfield Peninsula developed decades ago are inaccurate because they don’t take into account the unique local weather situation caused by geography and Lake Superior. “As we’ve learned more about how weather patterns set up around here, we were way off— forty to fifty percent off on precipitation estimates on the lower side,” Lehr said. “The area’s culverts, road crossings, and ditches were all built based on wrong information.” Climate change compounds the situation even more. Chequamegon Bay is large and sits on the south shore of Lake Superior. “If climate change is going to have an impact anywhere, Chequamegon Bay will be that place,” Lehr said. “It’s shallow and will probably warm up the quickest, and there are anomalies with the way we’ve built out the land surrounding the bay.” To help the area prepare for future conditions, which include increased temperature and rainfalls, Lehr and his team are

developing computer models of the bay that focus on water circulation and the interactions between physical, chemical, and biological processes. They are “ground-truthing” the models with measurements of temperature, nutrients, phosphorus, nitrogen, and oxygen from area streams and eleven sampling sites in the bay. In this first year of the two-year project, they are already learning surprising things. One is that the bay is diverse. “Each one of the eleven sites is different from the others,” Lehr said. “Even if we go to the same site over and over, it changes throughout the summer, and different sites change at different rates.” Although not related to climate change, another surprise is a large eddy—sized more for an ocean than a lake, which the team found circulating between Madeline Island and the Bad River. Lehr said that researchers and park service personnel have often wondered why sediment plumes out of the Bad River take a hard left and hug the shore when most of the main currents travel in the opposite direction. Northland College Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Science Luke Van Roekel developed a hyrdrodynamic model that predicted that this eddy should exist. Researchers at the U.S.

Geologival Survey confirmed its existence with field observation in the summer of 2014. “The eddy is so interesting that we plan to do some future simulations with existing funding we have,” said Lehr. “We plan to look for additional funds to do more comprehensive model simulations of how climate change may impact the eddy, and how any changes in the eddy might affect Chequamegon Bay or the Apostle Islands.” Lehr expects the models developed through the Sea Grant project will be useful to fishery managers, engineers, researchers, and city planners. The next steps: to build draft models based on the data collected and to analyze the species found in the plankton tows the team conducted this summer. Lehr hopes to have an understanding of all the data collected by spring so that he can refine the field sampling protocol for the next field season. “We just don’t know that much about nearshore areas. The more we study them, the more important and interesting we find them,” Lehr said. “Nearshore areas are vital for productivity, so we need to know how future conditions might impact them.”

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NEWS Northland Partners with St. Paul Nonprofit for Student Internship Compatible Technology International (CTI), a global nonprofit based in St. Paul, Minnesota, recently raised $30,000 to start a partnership and internship for students at Northland College. The partnership is a way to honor former CTI Executive Director Malcolm McLean, who served CTI from 1991 to 1995 as well as the president of Northland College from 1971 to 1987.

“We are proud to work with an institution like Northland College that is teaching innovative approaches to building sustainable food systems,” said Executive Director Alexandra Spieldoch. The Wendy and Malcolm McLean Internship will start in summer 2015 with one Northland College student working a minimum of ten weeks at CTI headquarters in St. Paul, plus one week in a developing country. Funding to support the internship in 2015 was provided by a Career Ready Internship Grant from the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. CTI will provide the funding for 2016 and 2017.

Founded in 1981, CTI designs and distributes food and water tools for rural communities in developing countries. Its unique approach to sustainable development is based on farmercentered solutions that address global hunger and poverty. “We are pleased to be able to offer this special internship in the McLeans’ name, and to bring together these two organizations that meant so much to Malcolm and Wendy,” said Northland College President Michael Miller. “Just like Malcolm, we recognize the value in internships that expose students to global problem solving.”

Midwest Wolf Stewards Conference More than 150 people from three states and Ontario, Canada, will convene at Northland College for the annual Midwest Wolf Stewards meeting Thursday, April 23 and Friday, April 24. The group has met annually since the late 1980s to discuss wolf conservation in the Great Lakes region. Sponsored by the Timber Wolf Alliance and the Department of Natural Resources, this annual meeting brings together professionals from state and federal agencies, the province of Ontario, NGOs, universities, tribes, and others interested in the management of wolves in the Great Lakes region. They will discuss topics that include current wolf population status, issues of wolf population


management, ongoing wolf research, and curriculum for and topics around wolf education. “This conference is open to anyone interested in wolves and is an amazing opportunity to hear from the most knowledgeable experts in the fields of science and biology, social perspectives, laws, regulations, and policies,” said Mark Peterson, executive director at the Northland College Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute. For information or to register, go to

Northland Planning for Carbon Neutrality by 2030 Northland announced last fall the selection of Affiliated Engineers, Inc. (AEI) to conduct a comprehensive campus-wide energy study with the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. AEI launched its study in mid-December with a two-day tour of campus and meetings with community and campus groups. “Just as world leaders are meeting to address climate change on a global scale, leaders at colleges and universities across the country are taking bold steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at their institutions,” said Northland College Regional Sustainability Coordinator Nathan Engstrom. Northland College expects to have the energy study completed by fall 2015. “The Geneva Climate Change Convention, that took place in February, is a recognition that the world must transform itself in dramatic ways to combat climate change,” Engstrom said. “We believe that change requires more than technical knowledge—it demands an exploration of human nature.” In 2007, Northland became a member of the leadership circle of signatories of the American Colleges and Universities Presidents’ Climate Commitment. To date, 685 colleges and universities have joined this commitment to move towards carbon neutrality.

“Northland students demand that we ‘walk our talk’ of promoting sustainability practices and that we develop realistic models for sustainable living on campus that can be shared with our community,” Engstrom said. AEI’s study will explore and assess technical, economic, and environmental costs and benefits of the options available for reducing campus carbon dioxide emissions. “Assessment is an important first step in reducing carbon emissions and in demonstrating this commitment,” Engstrom said. After the study, Northland will explore purchasing and producing large amounts of renewable energy, and investigating technologies to dramatically reduce or even eliminate our dependency on fossil fuels to heat and cool the campus, according to Engstrom. The energy study is part of a larger College initiative, funded in part by the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, to foster sustainable community development and student leadership. “Projects within the initiative develop students as future leaders, strengthen collaborations with community partners, and build infrastructure needed for the College and region to achieve best practices in environmental sustainability,” Engstrom said. Affiliated Engineers, Inc., headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, was chosen from a pool of four firms that submitted proposals, Engstrom said. “We have strong confidence they will provide us with a visionary plan for carbon neutrality that will cement our leadership on campus and in regional sustainability.”

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Property Gift to Provide Scholarships As a freshman, Carol McLean met her future husband, Don Buckman, in the College print shop. Don worked downstairs in the copper shop. It was 1947. Don graduated in 1950; Carol in 1951. They married two years later in St. Paul. Carol worked at the University of Minnesota as an editorial assistant in the printing department while Don went on to get his MA in education administration. He taught sixth grade for a few years in Richfield, a suburb of Minneapolis, then spent the rest of his career as a principal at two different elementary schools. Carol and Don bought a vacation home retreat in 1957 on Gull Lake. With sixty-eight acres of forest and 2,200 feet of shoreline, they spent many weekends there, operating a camp for boys age nine to fifteen. “But when Don became principal, our summers were too short to continue the operation,” Carol said. 7 NORTHLAND COLLEGE MAGAZINE

The outlet of Gull Lake flows through the Buckman’s property and eventually into the Namekagon River. The property includes wetlands and uplands with a variety of trees, wildlife, and wildflowers. They collaborated with the West Wisconsin Land Trust, a nonprofit organization working to preserve open spaces and farmlands, to place a conservation easement on their Gull Lake property. In 2012, the Buckmans, now in their eighties, knew that they could no longer maintain two homes. They contacted Northland College and asked if the College would be interested in the Gull Lake property. “Northland was important to us,” Don and Carol said. “We received help through work opportunities and scholarships—our intention is to give back and give forward to help others there.” The College gave them the option of a retained life estate, where they would deed the property to the College and maintain the right to live in it for

their lifetimes. However, in June 2014, they gave the College the property outright. Since then, the College has sold the property. “We feel fortunate to have the property in good hands,” Carol said. “The College and their choice of future owner will allow the preservation of a very special piece of land—they will work with the West Wisconsin Land Trust to make sure that this is so.” Part of the proceeds from the sale established the Don and Carol Buckman Endowed Scholarship. The Buckmans have also included the College in their estate plan and those funds will ultimately be added to the scholarship fund. We are very appreciative of this creative gift from Don and Carol,” said Margot Carroll Zelenz, vice president of institutional advancement. “This is a gift that meets their needs, makes a legacy gift to the College, and benefits Northland students now and in the future.” To learn more about ways to give, see the Giving Glossary on page 22.

directed and in the number of alumni that carry on his passion for botany, natural history, and scientific inquiry. “A walk into a wetland or along a Lake Superior barrier dune with Jim was a memorable experience—his soft voice identifying the wonder of those fragile places changed people’s lives. We cannot ask for more than that of one another,” wrote College Chaplain David Saetre in a message to the College community.

Former Professor James E. Meeker Remembered The natural resources program at Northland College would not have been possible without the perseverance and expertise of Professor Jim Meeker, who taught here from 1990 to 2011. Jim died at home surrounded by family and friends December 27, 2014. A professor of botany and natural resources, Jim shared his passion for the outdoors with students in the classroom, field, and laboratory. Jim fostered an inter-disciplinary approach

to solving problems and used an experiential pedagogy before those approaches were being promoted within higher education. Through an active research program, Jim examined critical questions about wetlands and forests important to the northwoods and Great Lakes region. Jim’s lasting impact on Northland College can be seen through the natural resources program that he initiated and

Jim’s gracious presence as a colleague, educator, and mentor stands out in Northland’s history. In that spirit, an endowed fund has been initiated to honor Jim’s legacy. The James E. Meeker Award for Excellence in Natural Resources Research will honor an undergraduate student annually who has done excellent research on a natural resources topic at Northland College. This award was established by Jim’s family, friends, students, and colleagues. It honors Jim’s legacy at Northland College and in the region by recognizing an undergraduate student, chosen by the faculty of the natural resources program, who has excelled in the last academic year with his or her independent research in the natural resources field. Northland is accepting contributions to the James E. Meeker Fund. Contributions can be made online at www.northland. edu/give or by mail.

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Malcolm McLean: A Force for Good Malcolm McLean, Northland’s second longest serving president, loved entertaining, evening cocktails, the PBS NewsHour, and Lake Superior fish for dinner. He remembered names and details about students and colleagues and made everyone feel included. He was a great conversationalist and a competitive tennis player. Malcolm died November 19 at his St. Paul home. He was eightyseven years old.

Malcolm was instrumental in building an innovative Native American studies program and in creating the outdoor education program. He helped create the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, a northern voice for the environmental movement.

More than one hundred people squeezed into the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute in December to remember and celebrate Malcolm’s life. The gathering was a reflection of his northern Wisconsin life—a mix of Northland College and the community. “An auspicious gathering on an auspicious day,” noted Campus Minister David Saetre.

“Malcolm set the course for what Northland would become,” Miller said. “He succeeded by making Northland more like Northland rather than less.”

Born in Duluth, Malcolm graduated from Yale University and enjoyed a distinguished career as a U.S. diplomat. Malcolm met his wife, Wendy, when they were both working in Korea. They dated for two weeks, then married. They had three boys together and were married for fifty-eight years. He moved his family from his post in Guatemala to northern Wisconsin in 1971 to serve as president of Northland College. For the next sixteen years, he helped shape Northland into a liberal arts school with a strong environmental studies curriculum. “His heart was in education,” said President Michael Miller.

In October 1972, the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute held its first meeting and in 2012 the Institute celebrated its fortieth anniversary.

After serving at Northland, McLean moved to St. Paul, where he was president of the United Arts Council before working for several years with Compatible Technology International of St. Paul. Just weeks before he died, Compatible Technology International created a partnership with Northland College to provide a paid internship for a Northland student—combining many of Malcolm’s passions.

“Malcolm set the course for what Northland would become. He succeeded by making Northland more like Northland rather than less.”

“Malcolm was tirelessly joyous. He lived life fully and dressed up for it like every day was a special day,” Miller said. “We will miss him but never forget him,” Miller said. Northland is accepting contributions to the McLean Memorial Fund. Contributions can be made online at www.northland. edu/give or by mail.

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living with WOLVES

Pendulum swings in wolf management have led to conflict, poaching, and a legislated wolf hunt. New research now provides the first demonstrated link between illegal wildlife killing and the lack of authority that regional resource managers have under the Endangered Species Act. 11 NORTHLAND COLLEGE MAGAZINE

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1957-Ninetytwo-year bounty on wolves ends. Wolves extirpated from Wisconsin. Protected under State law.

1974-Wolves gain federal protection under Endangered Species Act

2003-Wolves down listed to threatened

2007 Wolves delisted

2005 Wolves relisted as endangered

2008 Wolves relisted

2009 (May) Wolves delisted

2009 (July) Wolves relisted

Assistant Professor of Natural Resources Erik Olson (pictured bottom left) grew up in northern Wisconsin hunting, fishing, and hanging out at his family’s sugarbush. He paddled rivers, hiked trails, and watched the night sky. “That’s why I’m in this field, my strong love of the outdoors,” he said. “That and curiosity.” Olson’s curiosities range from studying the ecology of Eurasian milfoil in northern Wisconsin to lemurs in Madagascar, but the subject that has captured his heart, mind, and time: grey wolves. More specifically wolf and human interactions and conflicts. Olson has had three research papers published in the past year and has one currently under review— three on wolves and one on Eurasian milfoil. He teaches wolf ecology and management courses, and is providing faculty support to the Timber Wolf Alliance. Olson’s interest took hold as an undergraduate at UW-Stevens Point where he learned an intriguing and important lesson: scientists don’t know everything. “That’s what led me into natural resources—I wanted to answer some of those unanswered questions.” He graduated and worked in several wildlife technician positions and then as a natural resource specialist at Lac Courte Oreilles Community College, doing research on aquatic plants and the American marten, as well as outreach and education. Once he “hit the limits” of his own knowledge, he decided to continue his education with a graduate degree. With his aquatic plant data in tow, Olson headed to UW-Madison and turned the analysis of the data into graduate work. As a PhD candidate, he collaborated with colleagues on lemur research (see Winter 2014 issue of the Northland College Magazine for full article). Then a professor invited him to participate in wolf research. First, Olson examined conflicts between wolves and bear-hunting hounds. On another project he explored white-tailed deer anti-predator behaviors in relation to wolves and other predators. However, as his research progressed he became more interested in human-to-human conflicts over wolf management.


January 27, 2012-Wolves delisted. The same day, Wisconsin legislators introduce Bill 502 to mandate hunting and trapping of wolves. Signed into law April 2012.

2013-Wisconsin wolf hunt results in harvest of 117 wolves.

In an open-access article published in Conservation Letters (a journal of the Society for Conservation Biology), Olson and seven colleagues examined the implications of human conflict over wolf management in Wisconsin from 1999-2011—a period of relatively intense conflict. With Olson as the lead author, the paper argues that the pendulum swings in wolf management have led to conflict, poaching, and a legislated wolf hunt. The research provides the first demonstrated link between illegal wildlife killing and the lack of authority of regional resource managers under the Endangered Species Act. The research also suggests that illegal behavior may be moderated with responsible and effective wildlife management programs. “Mutual cooperation and a focus on conflict resolution—among all stakeholders—is needed for effective, long term management, and we currently don’t have it.” Instead, what Olson and colleagues say exists is a system of “perceived winners and losers,” as wolf management authority swings from state to federal control. In reality, Olson says, “It may actually be a lose-lose situation.” According to Olson, their research suggests that inconsistency in wolf management “may not be good for wolves or local people living with wolves.” Meaningful management for wolves and humans needs ownership from all stakeholders. “The only way we will ever get close to a compromise or a win-win scenario is if we start seeing wolf management as a shared issue,” Olson said. Data shows that during the period under study—1999-2011—more wolves were killed illegally when the state lost management authority to kill wolves attacking livestock or pets near homes. Why? “Because state managers aren’t able to respond to conflicts,” Olson said. “And people get frustrated and take matters into their own hands, which isn’t good for wolf conservation efforts or society at large.”

2014-Hunters harvest 257 wolves.

December 2014-A federal court decision returns wolves in the Great Lakes Region to the endangered species list, ending the Wisconsin Wolf Hunt.

The researchers advocate for a “slow transition” from federal protection to state management rather than going from full protection to a game species or vice versa—overnight. They also recommend that states avoid prescriptive harvest legislation. The Wisconsin state legislature prescribed many aspects of the wolf harvest via legislation rather than through the traditional rulemaking processes of the Department of Natural Resources. Shortly after the wolf harvest bill was signed to law, two court cases were brought forth— one regarding the use of dogs for hunting wolves and one regarding the federal status of the wolf under the Endangered Species Act. “Otherwise, we will continue swinging back and forth between these extremes,” Olson said. After three years of a prescriptive hunt in Wisconsin, a federal ruling placed Great Lakes wolves back on the endangered species list in January— the outcome of the aforementioned court case challenging wolf delisting in the region. If the past is any indicator of the present, “there will be more to this story and hopefully we, as a society, can figure out a way to meet in the middle to address issues of wolf management in a collaborative fashion.” A free online version of “Pendulum swings in wolf management led to conflict, illegal kills, and a legislated wolf hunt,” is available at Conservation Letters: conl.12141/abstract

Also available are Olson’s other recent papers : In press, “Landscape predictors of wolf attacks on bear-hunting dogs in Wisconsin, USA” Wildlife Research: journals/dsp_journals_pip_abstract_Scholar1. cfm?nid=144&pip=WR14043 “Macrophyte diversity-abundance relationship with respect to invasive and native dominants,” Aquatic Botany: pii/S0304377014001223

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Timber Wolf Alliance Returns to Northland College The Timber Wolf Alliance is coming home. After a seven-year tenure at the North Lakeland Discovery Center in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin, the TWA is in the process of returning to Northland College. “We birthed this program and handed it off during a period when we couldn’t sustain it, but now it makes sense to bring it back,” said Assistant Professor of Natural Resources Erik Olson, who sits on the TWA board and will provide faculty support to the programs. Northland College started TWA in 1987 as a way to educate citizens about the wolf recovery plan in Wisconsin. In 2008, the Discovery Center offered to house the program—an offer Northland accepted.


“As a small non-profit nature center in northern Wisconsin, the North Lakeland Discovery Center is very proud to have fulfilled the role of host organization for the Timber Wolf Alliance,” said Executive Director Azael Meza. From early 2008 through 2014, the Discovery Center provided a home for TWA Board meetings, delivered outreach educational programs and events, managed memberships, and directed fundraising efforts, such as the Wolf Awareness Week poster. “But as the vision for the Alliance expands from a regional focus to the national arena, we are delighted to work with the Northland College Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute

and the TWA Board, to ensure a smooth transfer that is mutually beneficial,” Meza said. The belief is that Northland College will provide TWA with fertile academic ground, additional resources, and dedicated leadership that will help it flourish. Olson will provide faculty support to the TWA program by assisting with the development of Wolf Awareness Week activities and by organizing three onecredit courses that align with the TWA mission—Wolf Ecology and Management, Furbearer Ecology and Management, and Carnivore Tracking—available next year to both students and the public.

Olson is also teaching an upper level course titled Wolf Ecology, Management, and Research. This year students in that course completed a survey of local attitudes regarding various wolf management strategies. Leadership will also come from Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute Executive Director Mark Peterson who is shepherding the move. “As a society, we have a long way to go in finding common ground that benefits humans and predators like wolves,” Peterson said. “My hope is that with the science and research of our faculty combined with the outreach efforts of the SOEI, we will not only educate the public, but help resolve conflicts.”

Become a Supporter! Northland College is raising funds to support the Timber Wolf Alliance and its program needs. To donate visit Watch for scheduled events like Wolf Awareness Week October 19-25, 2015 and the Midwest Wolf Stewards Conference April 23-24. Look for announcements regarding opportunities to sign up for Erik Olson’s one-credit courses.

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Meet the Next Sustainable Entrepreneur by Sean Devlin Jesse DiLillo didn’t come to Northland College to be a sustainable entrepreneurship major, and he certainly never expected to take on the role of goaltender for men’s soccer. He was coming to play goaltender for the LumberJack ice hockey team and to study business. “I have always been interested in the business sides of things,” DiLillo said. “I want to own my own business someday.” 17 NORTHLAND COLLEGE MAGAZINE

Northland LumberJacks goaltender, Jesse DiLillo, was named the firstever Northern Collegiate Hockey Association Men’s Defensive Player of the Week in February for his outstanding performance in a series against NCHA rival St. Scholastica. DiLillo recorded seventy-two saves over the series and helped the Jacks earn three crucial points in conference play. This entrepreneurial spirit runs in his family. His father, Salvator, owned his own business as a young man and is currently the superintendent of one of the largest natural gas distributors in California.

small business management classes.

Because Northland is what Northland is, students get exposed to sustainability issues. By the time DiLillo started his junior year he had taken several sustainable community development and

In particular, DiLillo took a sustainability community development class with Associate Professor of Physics Scott Grinnell, called Renewable Energy and Sustainable Design.

“I have always recycled, but after a small time at Northland I realized there are other things I can do to help the environment,” he said.

“The class is centered around the benefits of green building which is exactly what I want my business to be like,” DiLillo said. With that class, DiLillo decided to add sustainable entrepreneurship as a secondary major to his business major. “Originally I wanted to work at a large corporation, but after attending Northland, and with my background in construction, I got the idea to manage a sustainable residential construction company,” he said. After he graduates in May 2016, DiLillo plans to move back to California. “I want to get a good job out of college and make enough money to eventually start my own sustainable business, and what I will learn while doing that will only further the education I receive here at Northland,” he said. Until then DiLillo will continue to take business classes and tend the goal for the LumberJack’s hockey team. He also joined the soccer team last fall and plays goalkeeper. “Playing two sports and having two majors is like having multiple full-time jobs and teaches you a lot about how to manage your time,” he said. A useful tool for when he leaves Northland and enters the business world.

Varsity Club Advances Its Game

The Northland College Varsity Club is committed to the growth and development of its studentathletes. The Varsity Club supports all of Northland’s intercollegiate programs with the goal of enhancing the student experience. “Our goal is to provide resources to help students compete at the

highest caliber in NCAA Division III athletics,” said Athletic Director Kim Falkenhagen. The Club recently kicked off a campaign to raise money for the athletic program. The College is offering five gift levels—white, navy, orange, all-conference, and most valuable player—plus corporate sponsorship. In return, supporters receive a varying list of incentives. “Northland College studentathletes are some of the most dedicated, hard working students I have ever met—they give it their all during competition and in the classroom,” Falkenhagen said. “This is a way to support and encourage them.”

Join the Varsity Club For more information visit or contact Kim Falkenhagen at (715) 682-1868 or Interested in corporate sponsorships? Call Seamus Gregory at (715) 682-1395 or

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CLASS NOTES CLASS OF 2014 Emily Loker is working with Anti-Hunger and Opportunity Corps VISTA.

CLASS OF 2013 Elizabeth Kahn is a graduate student at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, majoring in urban and regional planning, with a minor in public policy.

CLASS OF 2012 Jared Ursin is teaching middle school art in the Hayward Community Schools in Wisconsin.

CLASS OF 2011 Benjamin Hughey is a research director/vegetable breeder at Pure Line Seeds, Inc. in Warden, Washington. He earned a degree in plant breeding and plant genetics in 2013 from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Kyle Smythe is a sales executive for The Sales Board in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

CLASS OF 2010 Melissa Anderson is an elementary teacher at Chief Little Pine School in Saskatchewan, Canada. She earned her master of educational leadership in 2013 from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. Melissa and Shaun Newman ’11 were married on August 2, 2014. Tiffany Kersten is the birding education supervisor at Quinta Mazatlan World Birding Center in McAllen, Texas, where she plans and supervises birding and nature programs for youth and adults.


Sarah Miranti is a community worker for the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. Alex Palmer is a naturalist with the Forest Preserves of Cook County, in River Forest, Illinois.

CLASS OF 2009 Sarah Bhimani is the media coordinator for City Market, Onion River Co-op in Burlington, Vermont. She received a master of sustainable food systems from Green Mountain College in September 2014. Karen Monahan Dropps earned a degree from Regis College, Weston, Massachusetts, in December 2014, majoring in heritage studies for a global society. Laura Schoephoester Lorenz is a lead educator for Trees For Tomorrow in Eagle River, Wisconsin. Calvin Stalvig has been based in Minneapolis the past three years, working in Berlin, Delaware, during the summer, and traveling the U.S. and Europe as much as possible. He is currently developing a lifestyle and craft brand called STALVIG which aims to promote “handcrafted life as art.” For more information visit Carley Clemens Stephenson and her husband, Tyler, welcomed a beautiful baby girl June 23, 2014. Gwendolyn joins her parents and an assortment of animals on their newly purchased farm in Emerald, Wisconsin. Tyler and Carly have been hit with the Northland curse and hope to one day quit their day jobs and become full-time farmers. They can be reached at

CLASS OF 2006 Slavik and Krystal Meuleners Boyechko of Anchorage, Alaska, are pleased to announce the birth of their son, Maxim John Boyechko. Maxim was born on October 30, 2014, at Providence Hospital in Anchorage. He weighed eight pounds, seven ounces and was twenty-one inches long. See Moua-Leske is a special education teacher for the Tracey Area Elementary School in Minnesota. She and her husband, Nicholas Leske, announce the birth of their son, Jett Leej Leske, on December 5, 2014. Derek Nellis is a forester for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in Peshtigo, Wisconsin. Rebecca Pudner worked for two years with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Nongame Conservation Section. Currently she is working toward a master of conservation biology at Auburn University in Alabama.

CLASS OF 2005 Jason Schneider Love ’05 and Leah Love ’07 announce the birth of their daughter, Evelyn Jubilee Love, on September 25, 2014.

CLASS OF 2004 Allison Thoele Ahrens received her radiologic technologist degree from the Minneapolis VA School of Radiologic Technology in August 2010. She and her husband, Samuel Ahrens, were married on August 20, 2011, and their son, Frederic Ernest Ahrens, was born on November 27, 2014.

Julia DeGraw bought her first house this year, played a leading role in the “Yes on 92” campaign to label genetically engineered foods in Oregon (which got closer than any other attempt through a popular vote), and climbed the third highest peak in Oregon with her brother. She had a great year and is happy to show anyone around Portland if you are ever in the great Northwest. Adam and Erica Larson ’05 Henry welcomed their second child Parker Michael on October 26, 2013. He joins his big brother Carter Andrew. They have been back in Ashland now for three years. Adam works from home as a sales representative for Industrial Pipe Fittings out of Houston, Texas, and Erica is the billing coordinator at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic School and an independent director with ThirtyOne Gifts. Thomas Stanley completed his first year working at Goddard Space Flight Center as a GIS analyst/geologist in Greenbelt, Maryland. He earned his MPS-GIS degree in 2014.

CLASS OF 2003 Gail Lemiec studied the stunning ecosystems, fascinating array of unique desert plants, and the diversity of life at the Bahia de Los Angeles UNESCO World Heritage site and in the crystal blue waters of the Sea of Cortez in the summer of 2014. Gail, a coordinator at the Charlotte Nature Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, took the graduate course in pursuit of her master degree from Miami University’s global field program.



MaryJo Otterbein Gingras is the outreach program coordinator at Northland College.

Brent Sullivan is a park ranger and assistant manager with the State of Maryland Park Service.



Joe Darling and his wife Emily celebrated the birth of their son, Samuel Joseph, on October 21, 2014. They look forward to many outdoor adventures in the Blue Ridge Mountains with Samuel, be it in a tree stand, canoe, or kayak, on a trail, mountain bike, or snowshoes. Joe is in his eighth year as law enforcement ranger on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Emily recently became an educator for North Carolina State University.

Michael Joyner is a park ranger for the National Park Service Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Bayfield, Wisconsin. After living seven winters in their owner-built yurt, Michael and his wife Audrey (Widman ’98) finally have built their own home in rural Bayfield. Audrey is a self-employed artist.

Thomas “Blake” Gross has been living in Las Vegas for the past sixteen years. He and his wife, Jennifer, recently celebrated their fifteenth wedding anniversary. Their son, Max, is now eleven. Blake is senior counsel at the law firm of Wood, Smith, Henning, and Berman. Jennifer is a law librarian and founding faculty member at UNLV’s Boyd School of Law. Max is still plotting world domination, although he is no longer so vocal about it. In his spare time, Blake enjoys riding his bike, taking advantage of Vegas’ off-strip restaurant scene, exploring the desert, and usually can be found milling around the Chequamegon Bay area during Book Across the Bay weekend.

CLASS OF 1998 Lisa Becker is a project coordinator and licensing coordinator in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin.

CLASS OF 1994 James Moore is currently in New Jersey with the U. S. Coast Guard Atlantic Strike Team. He is planning to transfer to Ketchikan, Alaska, some time in 2015.

CLASS OF 1991 Bill Herald is a shipping coordinator with Campbell Soup Supply Co. in Napoleon, Ohio.

CLASS OF 1990 Rich Zerillo is an inventory control analyst with MGS Manufacturing in Germantown, Wisconsin. Rich and Heidi (Sather ’91) celebrated twenty-five years of marriage in Hawaii on January 3, 2015, and it all began at Northland College!

CLASS OF 1989 Stephanie Lower Shaara is retired. She and her husband, Jeff, have a daughter, Emma Kate Lower-McSherry, age fifteen.

WINTER 2015 20



Andy Okey works as a paramedic/critical care transporter for the Great Divide Ambulance Service.

Gary Shemroske earned a degree in respiratory care at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York, and is working as a registered respiratory therapist. He and his wife, Regine, live in Whitmore Lake, Michigan.

CLASS OF 1985 Wendy McDougall recently moved back to Wisconsin after many years in the state of Washington. She started a small dog boarding and training business at her home near Iola on forty acres. She welcomes visits from any Northland alumni. Jillian Schenck is living and working New Hampshire, and finding time for hiking, skiing, and kayaking for fun.

CLASS OF 1984 Ray Bleistine lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and has worked as an environmental consultant for the past twenty-eight years. He can be contacted at rbleistine@

CLASS OF 1982 Deb Belany Cline has been working as a first and second grade teacher for the past twentyeight years and still enjoys challenging young minds. She and Ron ’82 celebrated their thirtysecond anniversary in May and they have two grown sons. Patrick ’09, a manager for Adidas, is newly engaged, and planning a summer 2015 wedding. Tim is a senior at Northland College, studying art and business. Deb wants her education classmates to know she ran into Lu Eckels and had a delightful chat with her.


CLASS OF 1980 Sharon Deihl Irwin is teaching science, math, and music at a very small rural school on the Colorado plains in Karval. She stays there during the week and goes back to Colorado Springs on weekends. The mountains and the prairie each have their own beauty, and she enjoys experiencing both. Visitors are welcome at either location.

CLASS OF 1975 Patricia Monroe Roeder retired in 2014 from a forty-year career in respiratory care. She is looking forward to traveling with her husband, Pete. She is still hoping for grandbabies!

for fourteen years, and working for Bethlehem Steel for twenty-seven years. John “Jake” Ilko retired in 2013 after working as a logger and trapper on the Canadian border, a high-rise construction Chicago ironworker, and as a certified occupational health nurse-RN, from Amoco, BP/Amoco, Motorola and Fermi Accelerator Lab. He has authored two books related to the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwa) and several museum articles related to the Great Lakes, circa 1800, fur trade. He still dances at Native American powwows as a northern traditional dancer.

CLASS OF 1970 Jim Miller is working in college enrollment consulting, currently with Pacific Lutheran University and Northland College. He can be reached at Jimmillerwis@gmail. com.



Roberta Koonz Kingston is a retired attorney and social worker. She is enjoying traveling, skiing, and riding horses.

Joseph W. Catanese, Jr. retired in May 2012. He is enjoying life, doing some golfing, and traveling.


CLASS OF 1973 MaryAnn McGirr is a registered nurse at Doctor’s Choice Home Health in Orange Park, Florida.

CLASS OF 1972 Allen Eisenhart is retired after teaching school in the Allentown School District in Pennsylvania,

Jim and Judy Moll Francois attended their Northland class reunion in September and enjoyed seeing classmates. They wish more had attended!

CLASS OF 1951 Leroy Forslund is retired after fifty-five years of service as a hearing officer for the state of Wisconsin.

Esposito ‘80 Innovates Solutions for Asbestos Identification in NYC By Bailey Davis ’14 In 2012, the New York State Department of Public Health announced that any material containing ten percent or more of vermiculite, a mineral used for protection against fire, would need to be reported as an asbestos-containing material and was no longer acceptable within the insulation of New York buildings. On the ground, this meant that New York needed to develop a way to test asbestos in vermiculite. About the same time, Hurricane Sandy hit the city and all business and property owners across New York City were faced not only with flooding, but with costly testing under the new regulations. Enter Northland College graduate William Esposito, ’80, president of Ambient Group, Inc. Esposito began his experiential career at Northland College as a biology major with an emphasis in outdoor education. He went on for his masters from Hunter College for environmental safety and health and continued his studies in public health at Columbia University. He started Ambient Group, Inc., a national environmental and water treatment consulting company, and he developed a reputation as someone who could assist. The Real Estate Board of New York approached Esposito, and he immediately began researching solutions. After two years of analyzing over 120 samples, Esposito discovered an inexpensive way to detect asbestos in vermiculite. In 2014, the Department of Public Health approved the new method for its time efficiency, cost reduction, and dependability. New York has now incorporated Esposito’s method for testing into all of its buildings, benefiting members of the business industry and vermiculite manufacturers alike. Esposito credits Northland College for steering him toward a successful and fulfilling professional life. “Northland gave me a strong sense of self,” said Esposito. “It started me on my career path.”

Giving Glossary Gift of Property with Retained Life Estate. A donor makes a gift of their residence or vacation property to Northland College but retains the right to live, use, rent or otherwise enjoy it during their lifetime. The donor continues to maintain the property, pay taxes, insurance, etc. until their death or until they no longer wish to use it. Proceeds from the property sale benefit the College. The tax benefits can be significant for donors over 70 years of age.

Endowed Scholarships. An endowed scholarship is a powerful way to make a lasting impact on our students. A minimum gift of $25,000 creates a fund that is invested with the College’s endowment. Each year a percentage of the fund’s earnings is available to support one or more scholarships. An endowed fund, which can be named for the donor or someone else of their choice, provides scholarships in perpetuity and a lasting legacy.

Giving a Gift Through Your Will. The most frequently used planned gift is a simple bequest in a will. We can provide you with sample language to share with your professional advisor. Contact Margot Zelenz, V.P. of Institutional Advancement at 715-682-1328 or via email at

CLASS NOTES Mollie Bradbury McNamee ’43, Wardsboro, Vermont, died 5-16-2013

Want to see your news in Class Notes?

Barbara Fossum Vincent ’44, Bloomfield, Connecticut, died 10-26-2014

To submit notes, please contact:

William A. Biglow ’49, Ashland, Wisconsin, died 11-26-2014

Phone: (715) 682-1811 Email:

SYMPATHY TO THE FAMILIES OF: Ruth Bjoin Runholm ’42, Dousman, Wisconsin, died 12-19-2014

Clarence L. Nyberg ’52, Spencer, Wisconsin, died 11-12-2014 Carl H. Johnson ’54, Laurium, Michigan, died 11-4-2014 Richard J. Werner’ 54, Liverpool, New York, died 1-6-2013 Thomas J. Falencik ’58, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, died 12-16-2014 James J. Junker ’58, Ashland, Wisconsin, died 10-22-2014 Dr. Myron J. Smith ’58, Rochester, Minnesota, died 1-6-2015 Patrick C. Dorin ’61, Superior, Wisconsin, died 11-18-2014 Garry Lee White ’63, Friendship, Wisconsin, died 11-3-2014 Demetri Kahriman ’65, Ashland, Wisconsin, died 1-8-2015 William L. Everett ’66, Monticello, Minnesota, died 9-20-2014 Daniel A. Schneider ’66, Louisville, Kentucky, died 5-2-2013 Florence Tetzner Lamoreaux ’67, Washburn, Wisconsin, died 10-31-2014 Lauren Albrant Rowe ’68, Longville, Minnesota, died 9-30-2014 Daniel P. Johnson ’69, Ironwood, Michigan, died 12-2-2014 R. Dennis Madsen ’71, Wilmington, North Carolina, died 12-26-2014 Richard Tweedie ’77, Dousman, Wisconsin, died 1-15-2015 Ralph E. Dashner ’86, Hurley, Wisconsin, died 9-29-2014

For additional class notes and obituaries , go to:

Mail: Office of Alumni Relations 1411 Ellis Avenue Ashland, WI 54806 Director of Alumni Relations: Jackie Moore ’05 Alumni News Editor: Vicki Nafey ’96 Alumni Association Board of Directors: Jim Quinn ’73 – President, Craig Mullenbrock ’77 – Vice President, K. Scott Abrams ’77, Richard L. Ackley ’71, Bobbi Blazkowski ’71, Laurel J. Fisher ’72, Stuart Goldman ’69, Mark Gross ’83, Beverly J. Harris ’72, Tam Hofman ’80, Max Metz ’10, Peter B. Millett ’69, Samuel D. Polonetzky ’70, Wendy Shields ’04, Patti Skoraczewski ’74, Marguerite Waters ’49, Kelly Zacharda ’05

The Honor Roll of


To submit a note go to:

Summer is short. Spend it wisely. Northland College Summer Programs

Dive into geology, aquatic ecology, culture, astronomy, adventure, and wildlife while you experience life on campus with other high school students. While you’re here, develop field, leadership, and teamwork skills and experience additional activities like sea kayaking, paddle boarding, geocaching, climbing, swimming, campfires, low ropes course, hiking, and more. All camps are for high school students entering grades 9-12 unless noted.

Choose your adventure: ••

Geology & Rock Climbing: Learning from Rocks June 15-19 (grades 10-12)


Drawing from Nature July 13-17


Upper Namakagon Expedition: Downstream Wilderness June 21-27


Mysteries ‘n Histories of Lake Superior July 16-20


North Country Backpacker June 22-26


Aquatic Ecology Field Academy July 19-24 (grades 10-12)


Track ’n Howl: Wisconsin Wildlife June 28-July 1


All Girls Namakagon Canoe Adventure July 20-24


Outdoor Survival July 22-25


Life Ways of the Ojibwe and Voyageurs July 30-August 4

•• ••

Field Skills Certification July 6-9 ( grades 10-12) Storms ‘n Stars July 13-16

To register and get the details visit: WINTER 2015 24


1411 Ellis Avenue Ashland, WI 54806-3999


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To commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Twin Cities Community Gospel Choir performed “We Shall Overcome,” the music of the Civil Rights movement, Monday, January 19, at Northland College. Sponsored by the Northland College Student Association, the event was funded by the Ashland Foundation and Northland College trustee Mary H. Rice.