Weekly Photo Roundup: November 12 2017

Every weekend I will post photos collected from various NCI graduate students and staff. Please enjoy this glimpse into our everyday lives here in the North Cascades.

This week was the last session of Mountain School at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center for 2017. Although winter approaches, we enjoyed three chilly days of sunshine by Diablo Lake. Students in the Graduate M.Ed Residency also shadowed Mountain School, and learned a lot from their naturalist mentors. Scroll down to see more!

The kiddos arrive and begin their “hike” from the bus to the Learning Center. They carry all of their things up the gravel road in a stampede of excitement.

Photo by Gina Roberti

Here is Naturalist Geneva presenting a fifth grader with their tree cookie name tag. Each student receives their very own to decorate and keep forever.

Photo by Marissa Bluestein

Ranger Kristen with North Cascades National Park provided many wonderful programs during this fall session. In the picture above, she teaches Mountain Schoolers abiotic features of the environment, pointing to the nearby mountains for reference. The kids then create the Cascade Range with rocks, and bulldoze their mountains into U-shaped valleys with an ice block substituting as a glacier. Talk about hands-on learning!

Photo by Marissa Bluestein

Of course, no Mountain School visit would be complete without some healthy rock skipping (throwing).

Here, Naturalists act out scenes from the book The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss. It was a great evening program option for a cold night. Students listened intently as they learned about environmental impacts in an engaging way. After the story, the kids then put together a set of questions to ask both the Lorax, who speaks for the trees, and the Once-ler in a press conference-style activity.

Wise words from our friend the Lorax:

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

Raise your hand if you love science!

On the second day of Mountain School, the kids spend quality time in the science lab examining nature up close. They also diligently record their observations in field journals.

And after many hours of hiking out in the cold, students settle in the dining hall to watercolor and drink hot chocolate. These fifth graders are living the dream!

Of course, with lunch comes uneaten food scraps. Her face says it all – the compost does not smell good, but it sure is neat! Kids learn about our Foodshed Initiative through direct exposure to the Learning Center’s composting facility, and educational efforts to minimize waste.

And that’s a wrap! The fall Mountain School session is complete. We all look forward to spring when we will do it all over again. Thanks to Island View Elementary from Anacortes for ending the season on a high note.

Although the fall session has ended, the passion and love our naturalist educators devoted to their work is remembered. And appreciated! We wish them all the best as they travel and work all across the country; their dedication and hard work will live on through the students. Thank you!

Photo by Gina Roberti

Graduate student Gina provided this picture of snow on the shoulders of Sourdough. Things are a-changin’ here in the North Cascades.

Photo by Amos Almy

Lastly, a nice sunrise photo from Diablo Dam. With the recent time change, we have gained an hour of sunlight in the morning. However, the days are getting  shorter and shorter from the sun setting sooner, and moving behind the mountains.

Stay tuned for posts on how graduate students survive the winter, now that they officially live “at the end of the road,” and programs are winding down at the Learning Center.

Click here to see previous Photo Roundups!

Top photo of Pyramid Peak at sunrise by Amos Almy

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