Graduate Student Adam Brayton by a snowy Diablo Lake. Photo by Natalie Talbott

December 2018 Photo Round-Up!

Greetings and welcome to 2019! Hopefully the new year has found each of you in good spirits and excited to tackle all the challenges and adventures that await you in the months ahead. It’s now early January in the North Cascades and snow has been falling at the Environmental Learning Center, giving our world a fresh winter glow, and lifting our spirits as we move through the dark and dreary days that usually accompany this season in Western Washington.

For many, winter is a time to retreat indoors with a warm drink and a good book, binge-watch Netflix, and wait until the cold, wet weather gives way to longer days and warm sunshine. But winter can also be a special time of year for those who choose to embrace the cold, layer up, and experience all of the beauty this season brings to the Pacific Northwest. Many of the staff and graduate students at the North Cascades Institute got out in the cold rain and snow last month, and we’ve got plenty of adventures to share in our December Photo Round-Up!

December kicked off on a high note with the successful release of fishers in the North Cascades! The graduate students from the North Cascades Institute’s Graduate M.Ed program were among the lucky few who got to witness the historic event first-hand.

The fisher release party at the North Cascades National Park Visitor Center. Photo by Amy Fitkin.
Graduate students Carson Yach (left), Matt Ferrell (center) and Adam Brayton (right) posing with the bear at North Cascades National Park Visitor Center. Photo by Amy Fitkin
Kids exploring a fisher pelt at the North Cascades Visitor Center. Photo by David Garner
Members of the Lummi Nation Blackhawk Singers who blessed the event. photo by David Garner
A crowd gathering outside the North Cascades Institute Visitor Center with the fishers (in boxes). Photo by Amy Fitkin
Fisher heading out into its new home. Photo by David Garner
Into the wild they go! Photo by David Garner
Graduate Students Dianna Green (left) and Christine Sanderson (right) with the boxes of fishers.

You can read more about this important event in last week’s article here.

When they weren’t hanging out with the fishers, the graduate cohort was engaged in an intensive, 3-week Foundations of Environmental Education course that had them exploring the different ways in which they might teach the subject in preparation for their Mountain School practicum in the Spring.

A brainstorm of all the crazy and exciting ideas expressed in class. Photo by Amy Fitkin
Graduate students learning from Dr. Nick Stanger (center left) at WWU’s campus in Bellingham. Photo by Amy Fitkin

December also saw the arrival of our season’s first snow at the Environmental Learning Center, which was a welcome sight for all of us who had been waiting for the grey skies to turn our world white.

Falling snow at the Dogwood Apartment. Photo by Adam Brayton
Snowy trail near Diablo Lake. Photo by Adam Brayton.
View of snowy Diablo from above. Photo by Adam Brayton.
Snow covered Diablo Dam. Photo by Adam Brayton.

Fortunately for everyone, late December offers most of us some much needed vacation time to rest and take a break from work and studies. While most of the Institute’s staff and students took the winter break to travel, see family, or relax indoors, a few used it as an opportunity to embrace the cold weather and explore our beautiful backyard on boats and skis!

North Cascades Institute Caretaker Tom Borst on the Skagit River. Photo by Calvin Laatsch
December on the Skagit. Photo by Calvin Laatsch
Graduate Student Adam Brayton getting some ski time in at Thunder Knob. Photo by Adam Brayton
Photo by Adam Brayton.

Finally, I like to end every Photo Round-up with a few shots of Mother Nature doing her thing. Hopefully it will inspire you all to venture out and get a taste of this magical time of year while it lasts! See you in mountains soon!

A Bald Eagle soars above the winter forest. Photo by Calvin Laatch
Snowy Peaks Behind Diablo Lake. Photo by Adam Brayton
Sunset on Diablo Lake. Photo by Adam Brayton
Photo by Adam Brayton
Coyote in the Methow Valley Snow. Photo by Scott Fitkin

For more North Cascade Institute photos, be sure to check out our Flickr page.

Thanks for viewing, and stay tuned for our January round-up coming next month! If you have any great pictures you’d like to see in an upcoming photo round-up, please email them to me! 

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