Photo Roundup: April 16 2017

After a month long hiatus, the roundup is back! Every Sunday I will be posting photos collected from various NCI graduate students and staff. Please enjoy this glimpse into our everyday lives here in the North Cascades.

Capstones are a culmination of the work and passion behind each graduate students’ studies. For her capstone, Annah Young delivered an experiential presentation on food sovereignty and justice. Photo by Kay Gallagher

At the end of March, we celebrated the graduation of the 15th graduate cohort (C15) here at the North Cascades Institute Environmental Learning Center. This group of individuals arrived to the ELC in the summer of 2015 and began a year long residency of teaching and learning in the North Cascades. Having just completed their final quarter at Western Washington University, grads returned to the Institute to present their capstone projects and receive their certificates in Non-Profit Leadership & Administration and Northwest Natural History.


The Passing of the Paddle ceremony with C15 and C16. Photo by Aly Gourd

During this week of capstone presentations, a little known ceremony – Passing the Paddle – occurs between cohorts. This tradition is a time for the graduating cohort to pass down a paddle to the newest cohort, symbolizing that they are now in control of the direction and movement of the program. Along with the paddle, the graduating cohort offers the newest cohort their final words of advice and wisdom and the expectation that this ceremony will continue on for future cohorts to come.

Top photo: Emma Ewert and Joe Loviska graduate in style. Bottom photo: C15 poses with graduate director, Joshua Porter, graduate coordinator, Lindsey McDonald and graduate professor, Nick Stanger. Photos by Joshua Porter

After the week of capstone presentations at the Institute, grads, family and friends headed down valley to attend the official graduation ceremony at Western Washington University in Bellingham.

Photo by Angela Burlile

After what seemed like months of darkness and rain, the sun came out and it started to really feel like spring this week! There is still a lot of snow in the upper elevations but many of the trails around the Environmental Learning Center are clear!

Photos courtesy of WSDOT Flickr page

On Wednesday, we woke to news that a rockslide occurred on Highway 20, between Newhalem and Diablo. Unlike the avalanche that extended the stay of Henry M. Jackson high school, students participating in Mountain School were able to leave that day. The road remained closed to traffic into the weekend while WSDOT crews worked to move and break up the large pieces of rock that had fallen onto the highway. On Saturday afternoon, WSDOT opened the road to both lanes of traffic (though the highway still remains closed at mile 134 near Ross Dam trailhead). Check out more photos here on the WSDOT Flickr account.

Photo by Natascha Yogachandra

Our new naturalist team sure knows how to put on a good campfire show for our Mountain School students! Campfire is an evening event that happens on the second day of Mountain School. A time for laughter and silliness, instructors act our skits, sing songs and tell stories.

Top and middle photo by Alex Patia. Bottom photos by Kay Gallagher

As we welcome spring here in the North Cascades, Ursus americanus or the American black bear, are slowly awakening from their long winter nap. This male, lovingly named “Barry”, has been spotted several times in the town of Diablo, just down the highway from the Environmental Learning Center.

Photo by Jihan Grettenberger

The Environmental Learning Center is often frequented by our resident leucistic deer. Leucism is a condition in which there is partial loss of pigmentation in an animal resulting in white, pale or patchy coloration of the skin, hair, feathers, scales or cuticle, but not the eyes. Unlike albinism, it is caused by a reduction in multiple types of pigment, not just melanin.

Graduate students, Becky Moore and Smokey Brine, at the Sauk Mountain trailhead near Concrete. Photo by Smokey Brine

Making the most out this sunny weekend, Becky Moore and Smokey Brine adventured up the forest road to the Sauk Mountain trailhead and skied several miles to the trailhead parking lot. With snow still in the higher elevations, please make sure you check out the Northwest Avalanche Center for current snow conditions and avalanche warnings.


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