Welcome graduate cohort 10!
Summer has finally arrived at the Environmental Learning Center! Diablo Lake has regained its characteristic green color, peregrine falcon fledglings are learning to hunt near the dam, a new fawn is sporting spots around campus, and the tenth cohort of graduate students have begun their academic journey.
Cohort 10 began classes in Bellingham on June 22nd. The eleven students who are enrolled in the graduate program come from a variety of backgrounds, ranging from education to environmental science to multi-media studies. Their summer coursework consists of three classes: Introduction to Place-Based Education, Resource Issues in the North Cascades, and Cultural History in the North Cascades. These courses are interwoven into a series of field excursions in the region, supplemented by readings, projects, and discussions in classes at Western Washington University.
So far this summer, the graduate students have learned about the cultural and natural history of the Skagit River as they canoed down it, studied glaciers and geology on Mount Baker, and investigated mycorrhizae and plant-pollinator interactions at Baker Lake.
The seasoned graduate students in cohort 9 have taught the students in cohort 10 about natural history topics such as amphibians, medicinal plants, and birds.
Expert naturalist Libby Mills shared her knowledge and love of field journaling, and North Cascades National Park archaeologist Bob Mierendorf and MULE captain Gerry Cook spent a day with the students exploring Ross Lake.
An afternoon helping park biologist Roger Christophersen conduct carnivore research was a highlight for many students.
After two more weeks of classes, the 10th cohort will set out for a 9-day backpacking trip to learn more about the North Cascades. Look forward to reading about that adventure on our blog in late August!