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Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability


Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie Sustainable Roads Meetings!

Your voice was heard by Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest! Hundreds told the National Forest what forest roads matter most to them and they listened. The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is hosting a series of public results forms to share the data collected from the sustainable roads public outreach meetings held last summer.  Participants helped identify forest roads that mattered to them.  The Forest is in the process of creating a sustainable road strategy to maintain the forest road system within budget for safe travel, use, administration and resource protection.

As a reminder, please come see the results from the Sustainable Roads outreach meetings: 

JULY 24, 6:00-8:30 p.m.

Issaquah Main Library

10 West Sunset Way 

Issaquah, 98027

 

JULY 29, 2:00 -4:30 p.m.

The Mountaineers

7700 Sand Point Way NE

Seattle, WA 98115

 

JULY 31, 6:00-8:30 p.m.

Darrington Community Center

570 Sauk Avenue

Darrington, WA 98241

 

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Photo from http://mbssustainableroads.com/

Permalink | Posted by Tasha Block on Jul 23, 2014 in the following categories: Alumni, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability, Pacific Northwest

Rocky Mountain Power Foundation Supports NOLS Scholarships

NOLS is delighted to receive a $3,500 grant from the Rocky Mountain Power Foundation to provide scholarships to students from Wyoming and Utah. The funds will support underserved youth living in Wyoming and Utah as they embark on the educational adventure of a lifetime this summer. 

Each year, NOLS offers $1.5 million in scholarships, enabling students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to benefit from the school’s unrivaled experiential outdoor skills and leadership training. The Rocky Mountain Power Foundation’s contribution to this initiative is of great importance to NOLS’ mission.

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Rocky Mountain Power's Craig Nelson and NOLS' Pip Coe commemorate the grant in front of NOLS' solar panels, another project made possible by Rocky Mountain Power.

“The Rocky Mountain Power Foundation is pleased to support this worthy organization and its efforts to teach students valuable lessons in communication, decision-making and teamwork,” said Craig Nelson, Rocky Mountain Power customer and community manager.

“We believe positive, ethical leaders change the world,” said Pip Coe, NOLS Alumni and Development Director. “The Rocky Mountain Power Foundation demonstrates the impact of ethical community leaders while also supporting the development of future leaders by helping them take NOLS courses.” 

Students interested in applying for a NOLS scholarship should submit the standard NOLS scholarship application. Find the form and learn more about scholarships at NOLS at http://www.nols.edu/financialaid/nols_scholarship.shtml.

Permalink | Posted by NOLS on Jul 16, 2014 in the following categories: Alumni, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability, In The News, Leadership, On The Net

NOLS Instructor Talks Leave No Trace Practices and Perspectives

 

image from http://s3.amazonaws.com/hires.aviary.com/k/mr6i2hifk4wxt1dp/14071120/1ae70979-8f92-4b9e-a239-00fe03e60656.pngIn a recent interview on Alaska Public Media's Outdoor Explorer program, NOLS Instructor Tre-C Dumais speaks about the ethics and practices of Leave No Trace (LNT). In addition to practical tips, listen in for a rich discussion about wild places and their role in our lives, wilderness ethics on a NOLS course, and the way we can all preserve the value wilderness for future generations. Enjoy!

Click here for current LNT courses offered through NOLS.

Permalink | Posted by Casey Pikla on Jul 11, 2014 in the following categories: Alaska, Curriculum, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability, Professional Training

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie Sustainable Roads

Forest Service roads provide outstanding access to a breadth of interests from recreation to research to commercial activities. Faced with limited resources to maintain the large network of roads in Western Washington, the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and Sustainable Roads Cadre united in 2013 to research how the public uses the roads in this National Forest. The groups hosted community meetings in the Puget Sound area that attracted 224 people to speak about the roads they value most. An additional 1800 people filled in the online questionnaire, providing the Mt. Baker Sustainable Roads team with plenty of data with which to make appropriate recreation and stewardship decisions for the future. The groups are hosting a further series of meetings to discuss the results of the research and are inviting interested members of the public to join them. Check out your local event listed below!

Capacity limits attendance to a first-come basis. Please RSVP to mbs_pao@yahoo.com

 

JULY 10, 6:00-8:30 p.m.

Bellingham Public Library

210 Central Ave 

Bellingham, WA 98227

 

JULY 17, 6:00-8:30 p.m.

Park Place Middle School Commons

1408 W Main St. 

Monroe, WA 98272

 

JULY 24, 6:00-8:30 p.m.

Issaquah Main Library

10 West Sunset Way 

Issaquah, 98027

 

JULY 29, 2:00 -4:30 p.m.

The Mountaineers 

7700 Sand Point Way NE 

Seattle, WA 98115

 

JULY 31, 6:00-8:30 p.m.

Darrington Community Center

570 Sauk Avenue

Darrington, WA 98241

For more info check out the webiste at http://mbssustainableroads.com/

Permalink | Posted by Tasha Block on Jul 1, 2014 in the following categories: Alumni, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability, Pacific Northwest

Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation!

Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation (ASC) is an organization that provides opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to give back to conservation science. ASC pairs a network of outdoor volunteers with scientific agencies that are in need of data from hard to reach places. This is a fantastic opportunity for NOLS alumni to put their wilderness skills to use in aid of conservation science! For more info check out ASC’s web page here. A recent project in the Pacific Northwest placed volunteers on a 3-month long search for Pacific Marten in the Olympic National Forest. You can explore Olympic National Park, immediately to the west of the project area, on a Fall Semester in the Pacific Northwest, Pacific Northwest Backpacking Adventure, or Pacific Northwest Backpacking course. Check out the video of the search for the Pacific Marten below (credit to ASC). 

A Marten Short: Searching for Pacific Marten on the Olympic Peninsula from Adventure Science on Vimeo.

Permalink | Posted by Tasha Block on Jun 23, 2014 in the following categories: Alumni, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability, Pacific Northwest

Indigenous Voices Speaking Out for Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)

Miho Aida is an accomplished documentary filmmaker and former NOLS field instructor. Please join her on Monday June 30th for the Skagit Valley screening of “The Sacred Place Where Life Begins – Gwich’in Women Speak." The film provides a platform for Arctic indigenous Gwich’in women to speak out and inspire audiences around the country to protect their sacred land in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska from oil drilling. The short documentary won the Audience Choice Award at the 2014 Earth Port Film Festival and was nominated for Best Documentary Short at the 2013 American Indian Film Festival. Miho is currently doing a west coast tour on her bicycle to share her film! 

 

Monday, June 30th at NOLS Pacific Northwest (in dining hall)

20950 Bulson Road, Mt. Vernon, 98274

7:00-8:30 pm 

 

For more info check out the film website and facebook page.

Miho-bike tour

Permalink | Posted by Tasha Block on Jun 16, 2014 in the following categories: Alaska, Alumni, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability, Pacific Northwest

Stewarding the Mt. Baker area

The beautiful Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest lies to the north and east of the NOLS Pacific Northwest campus in Conway, WA. This area of alpine ecosystem wilderness serves as an amazing classroom for our North Cascades Mountaineering and Outdoor Educator Mountaineering Programs. Each summer the Forest Service looks for volunteers to serve as Mountain Stewards to help teach hikers and climbers in the area to look after and protect this beautiful area of the Cascades. For those from the Northwest, check out this amazing opportunity to give back here!

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Permalink | Posted by Tasha Block on Jun 11, 2014 in the following categories: Alumni, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability, Pacific Northwest

Pushroot Garden Earth Day a Success!

The Pushroot Community Garden Earth Day event went splendidly!IMG_0506.JPG

We would like to thank Safeway, Mr. D’s, Gannett Grill, Bread Board, and Valley Printing once again for their generous donations that fueled the work day!IMG_0516.JPG

Basic beautification happened throughout the garden. Here, Justin Alexandre gently pulls away any weeds that have grown in since last season.

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Kevin Redmon flashes a big smile in the raspberry patch.

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Monty, one of the master gardeners at Pushroot, gets his hair styled by a garden rake.

We were happy to help Pushroot prep their garden this spring. We hope that they have a bountiful and sunny season!!

Pushroot Community Garden

Breadboard

Gannett Grill

Safeway

Mr. D's

Valley Printing



Permalink | Posted by Caitlin Camilliere on May 16, 2014 in the following categories: Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability

In Their Words: NOLS New Zealand

Students who turn to NOLS for their semester abroad treasure the experience. Wendy Cirko and Cory McDonald both took NOLS semesters as their semesters abroad last year. Both Spring Semester in New Zealand graduates, shared their reflections on the experience and the education with us recently, and we had to share. Learn more about upcoming semesters in New Zealand here.

Wendy Cirko, 2013 Spring Semester in New Zealand:

They say that college will be the most memorable four years of your life. Here you make new friends, have new freedoms, learn new thing about yourself, and gain knowledge to shape your future. I knew that going into college I wanted to go somewhere that would allow me time to study abroad. This is how I ended up at Salisbury University, majoring in environmental studies and minoring in outdoor education and philosophy.

My sophomore year was ending and my advisor, knowing I liked the outdoors, suggested I check out NOLS for an alternative study abroad experience. I ended up in New Zealand, backpacking, kayaking, and sailing the spring semester of 2013. Getting my time with NOLS to help me earn my degree required work between my academic advisors and department heads, but in the end I received 16 transfer credits. These credits in environmental studies, risk management, and various other fields allowed me to not fall behind in school, and more importantly my NOLS semester gave me a 77-day experience that was more beneficial than any class I could have taken.

50Wendy Cirko photo

No matter where you go, spending a semester abroad is a life-changing event. The fact that I was able to spend this semester in the backcountry with NOLS was amazing and something that I would never consider trading for a more standard study abroad experience. The things I learned: taking initiative, first aid, perseverance, leading your peers, gaining self-confidence, staying positive. The new people I met: my instructors and my nine coursemates. They are the things that I will carry into my future. NOLS has helped me to further my studies, plus the skills I learned will hopefully help me in a future of outdoor education. I know that this experience has made my college years more memorable than I could have ever imagined and I am so thankful that I had this amazing opportunity.

 

Cory McDonald, 2013 Spring Semester in New Zealand:

I began my NOLS adventure with the intent of gaining experience in outdoor leadership for my major, outdoor recreation. As an active learner, I learn best when I am immersed in a topic, so NOLS seemed like an appropriate path. My goals going into my NOLS semester were to master practical backcountry skills such as map interpretation, route planning, risk management, and taking on leadership roles. Along with achieving these goals, I also gained insight and clarity on what I am passionate about and what is important to me.

Communication is a big part of taking on the leadership role, but the leadership role is only a small part of communication. Throughout the semester I learned how to communicate as an effective follower, an equal team member, and an individual amongst a group. Part of communication is listening and reflecting. By learning how to listen and effectively receive and reflect on feedback, you can change or expand on your self-awareness, ultimately bringing you closer to understanding yourself.

NOLS is an excellent medium for challenging and validating your self-awareness. Being engrossed in the sublimity of the wilderness along with the pure wildness of it manifested, in me, a sense of admiration for the ecological life and the geological processes that have been at work for billions of years. Contributing to this new sense of admiration was learning and practicing Leave No Trace ethical backcountry travel and learning the names of the different wildlife that surrounded me. Learning the names of the surrounding wildlife and how geological formations came to be gave me deeper respect and toward them. Through living amid the wildlife for some time, I became empathetic for the natural world.

NOLS 292 Cory McDonald photo

I came away from NOLS with a new sense of compassion toward something bigger than myself. I have now added to my degree a concentration in natural resource recreation management and with that I plan to protect and preserve the natural quality of wilderness and provide opportunities for current and future generations to explore the natural world and themselves. 

Permalink | Posted by Casey Adams on May 13, 2014 in the following categories: Alumni, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability, New Zealand

Third Grade Stewards Reseed Sinks Canyon!

Rake poles towered over a parade of third graders as they marched up a path to Sinks Canyon. Oh yes, the Gannett Peak Third Grade Stewards were at it again. This time, they returned to reseed the South-Facing slope of Fairfield Hill that was hit by last July’s forest fire. Lead by our trusty Park Rangers Darrel and Jamie, they headed up the path with rakes, seeds, and seed dispersers in hand.

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A lightning strike caused this past summer's forest fire. The fire stretched over 1,500 acres across Sinks Canyon and into the Shoshone National Forest. It was contained in a matter of days by proactive firemen, and roads were open to the public shortly after.

The arrival of spring means that it is time to reseed this area. Sagebrush, bitterbrush, wildflowers such as gaillardia, and other indigenous plant species are on the list to be reintroduced to the area. If this area is not reseeded in an effective and timely way, the south-facing slope will suffer from environmental impacts such as loss of biodiversity and habitats. This section is also a trail to popular sections of climbing walls. Without vegetation to help hold the mountainside together, serious erosion could occur. This could cause irreversible structural damage to the land, and also cause an increase of organic matter to run into the river down below, compromising the health of an important water source.

So there we were, on the slope of Fairfield Hill raking and seeding and raking and stomping the ground. What was really impressive was the creative way the kids completed this task. Through trial and error and teamwork, the kids figured out a way to reseed that was both efficient and fun! One person would lead the train and disperse seeds across the raked ground, and the rest of the group would follow behind and re-rake the area to help cover up the freshly strewn seeds.  It was powerful to see such harmony and capability come from this group of caring 9 and 10 year olds.

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During our journey back down to go eat some well-deserved lunch, we turned around and looked at what we accomplished. The kids were proud, and knew that what they did will help bring beauty and life back to the forest. All in a day’s work to help keep one of our favorite outdoor classrooms healthy and strong!

Permalink | Posted by Caitlin Camilliere on May 1, 2014 in the following categories: Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability

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