Northland College marks institute’s anniversaryDuring April and May, the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute will hold a series of special events at Northland College marking the institute’s 40th anniversary.
During April and May, the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute will hold a series of special events at Northland College marking the institute’s 40th anniversary. The events will focus on three themes underlying the Institute’s efforts to promote stewardship and address environmental issues. The institute will host nationally recognized figures and award-winning authors to speak on topics related to woods and water, wildlife and wildness.
“We are here to serve the conservation needs of the region, to protect and preserve the world-class resources that make the Lake Superior region wild and beautiful and unique,” said Mark Peterson, executive director of the Institute. “But, we are also here to ensure that the next generation of conservationists have the skills they need to be effective. We are here to help pass the torch.”
In August 1971, then Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson and Sigurd F. Olson came together at Northland College for a two-day environmental conference. The event served as the beginning of the formation of the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute at Northland College. The institute’s 40th anniversary will be marked by presentations from Northland College students and faculty, natural resource professionals and several notable individuals in environmental circles.
“As we take our new bearings, the Institute will be working hand-in-hand with our students and a variety of other dedicated partners to enhance environmental integrity in the North Country in these three critical areas,” said Peterson.
The first week of events will begin on April 3 and focus on discussions and presentations examining the theme of “Wildness.” David Backes, professor of mass communications at UW-Milwaukee and author of “A Wilderness Within: The Life of Sigurd F. Olson,” will speak at Northland College on April 4. The institute will also bring outdoor and environmental writers Conor Mihell, Bob Henderson and 2007 Pulitzer Prize finalist Rocky Barker to campus to speak about conservation and wilderness topics.
The Institute will also host Curt Meine, author of “Aldo Leopold: His Life & Work,” as part of “Wildlife” week during the first week of May. Darby Nelson, author of “For the Love of Lakes,” will speak as part of “Woods & Water” week during the second week of May. An agenda of events is available online at www.northland.edu/soei.
All events have been coordinated and supported by the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute and the A.D. & Mary Elizabeth Andersen Hulings Distinguished Chair in the Humanities.
The Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute is an outreach division of Northland College founded in 1972 and named after its famous alumnus, writer/wilderness advocate Sigurd F. Olson. The institute was founded to increase public understanding of the relationships between natural and cultural environments in the Lake Superior region and, along with college faculty, students and other partners, for developing solutions to environmental challenges facing the North Country.
Northland College is a traditional liberal arts and sciences college with a unique focus on the environment and sustainability. Northland College and its Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute are located in Ashland, Wis., near the shores of Lake Superior. The College is broadly recognized as a leader in sustainability education having adopted the focus as its mission in 1971. Founded in 1892,Northland now enrolls 600 students from across the nation and across the world. For more information about Northland College and its Institute, visit our website at www.northland.edu.