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Sign up for 2013 adult classes by April 15 and save with our Early Bird Special!

March 18th, 2013 | Posted by in Institute News

Explore the Pacific Northwest this year with North Cascades Institute and learn what makes our corner of the continent so special with hands-on, intimate experiences at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center and in the field.

Our new slate of adult classes exploring the natural and cultural history of our unique region includes printmaking * corvids * field sketching * Thunder Creek backpack * watercolors * hawkwatching * “Lookout Poets and Backcountry Tales” on Ross Lake  * dragonflies * digital photography * Mount Baker geology * ecology of the gray wolf, wolverine, lynx and grizzly bear * birds of Bellingham Bay and more! Full list at

Plan now to take advantage of our Early Bird discount: sign up for any adult class starting after May 10, with tuition over $125, and receive $20 off per person for each registration.

To take advantage of this limited time offer, call our registrars at (360) 854-2599, email, or stop by our office at 810 State Rt 20, Sedro-Woolley WA 98284, M-F, 9-4. It’s a great opportunity to sign up for as many classes as you like and save!

Offer expires April 15. Tuition must be paid in full at time of registration. This discount cannot be applied to Family Getaways, Base Camp or Skagit Tours and cannot be combined with scholarships.


Snakes, Amphibians and a whole lot of learning!

May 23rd, 2016 | Posted by in Adventures

Editor’s Note: Do not attempt to capture any wildlife, especially snakes. This class was done with trained professionals who kept all participants safe with decades of experience.

As a graduate student at the North Cascades Institute, most of my experience in environmental education over the past year has been teaching fifth graders in Mountain School and graduate natural history retreat classes. Earlier this month I got to experience a whole new side to environmental education at the institute: adult field classes.

Designed to get students of all ages (10-110) into the outdoors, these excursions happen all over the greater North Cascades bio-region. On Mother’s Day I went over to the Methow Valley to help John Rohrer and Scott Fitkin, district biologists, with the Snakes and Amphibians of the Methow Valley class.


John Rohrer, District Biologist for Methow Valley Ranger District in National Forest.


Scott Fitkin, District Wildlife Biologist for Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

» Continue reading Snakes, Amphibians and a whole lot of learning!

Photo Roundup: May 21 2017

May 21st, 2017 | Posted by in Life at the Learning Center

Every Sunday I will be posting photos collected from various North Cascades Institute graduate students and staff. Please enjoy this glimpse into our everyday lives here in the North Cascades.


Graduate students and staff taking out our Salish Dancer canoe in preparation for summer programming. Photo by Rachael Grasso

On Monday, our graduate M.Ed students and staff went through big canoe training, taking out the Voyageur and Salish Dancer canoes on Diablo Lake. We are gearing up for a busy summer of Family Getaways, Base Camp, conference and retreats and adult seminar field courses. These canoe trips offer a unique and new perspective for visitors at the North Cascades Institute Environmental Learning Center.

» Continue reading Photo Roundup: May 21 2017


Wilderness Awareness School and Islandwood: Graduate Exchange Weekend

February 25th, 2016 | Posted by in Graduate M.Ed. Program

The North Cascades Institute has a Graduate Residency program where Western Washington University students live and learn at the Environmental Learning Center located near Diablo, Washington for a full year. Currently the Institute’s 15th cohort (C15) is doing their residency as part of their Master’s in Outdoor Environmental Education.

This idea of a dedicated year of learning for future Environmental Educators is not unique to North Cascades Institute. Back in January my cohort and I hosted three other residential higher education programs at the Environmental Learning Center. We spent the weekend sharing about what we did with Mountain School and our residency in the mountains of the North Cascades. This month it was our turn to go down valley and visit the similar programs of


Wilderness Awareness School (WAS):


WAS’s Cedar Lodge.

Founded in 1983, the Wilderness Awareness School (located in Duvall, Washington)  the goal of the organization is to “to provide opportunities for children to discover the natural world around them, and for adults to explore, gain confidence in, and reconnect with the environment.” They do this through a variety of programs that involve over 2000 students every year. Their Anake Leadership Program is designed to build on what students have learned over their time at school and develop them as leaders in Outdoor Education.

» Continue reading Wilderness Awareness School and Islandwood: Graduate Exchange Weekend

North Cascades VIPs: Highlighting Institute Superstars

February 4th, 2012 | Posted by in Institute News

Written by guest contributor Deb Martin, the North Cascades Institute Registrar.

Happy New Year! As our Silver Anniversary comes to an end, we want to move forward in our 26th year by recognizing the strong connections we have with our participants and partners. We would not be where we are or who we are today without so many talented and passionate customers, teachers, students and staff.

We thought it would be fun to begin 2012 by spotlighting a few folks who have been great supporters of the Institute and our mission to conserve and restore Northwest environments through education. We are fortunate to have many such people and appreciate each and every one. Without further ado, here are some people that help make our work rewarding, organized by different program areas.


Nancy participated in her first program with North Cascades Institute in 2002. Since that first experience, she has participated in a total of 19 programs! In 2011, Nancy participated in eight different programs including the Hands to Work Stewardship Weekend, two Diablo Downtimes, four Base Camps and the Artistic Weaving with Cedar Workshop. Nancy is also a donor in support of Institute youth programs.

FAMILY PROGRAMS: The Tebbs/Armstrong Family

Matthew Tebbs, Dana Armstrong and Benjamin Armstrong (age 7) have made Family Getaways a family tradition. Since we launched our Family Getaways when we opened the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center, the Tebbs/Armstrongs have participated in five Family Getaways, one each year from 2007-2011. In 2011, they extended their getaway experience by adding extra days through our Base Camp option. We are very honored to be a part of this family’s’ history!

» Continue reading North Cascades VIPs: Highlighting Institute Superstars