Field Notes from North Cascades Institute - October 2021 - Visit Skagit Valley - North Cascades National Park to Farmlands to Salish Sea

Field Notes from North Cascades Institute – October 2021

Happy Fall! Autumn is maybe our favorite time of the year, with the rich mixtures of colors in the forest, dramatic weather, gorgeous light, and a growing sense of turning inwards and coziness. While our busy summer of Family Getaways, Skagit Tours, Youth Leadership Adventures, and other programs has concluded, we are still hosting Base Camp Learning & Lodging weekends into mid-November, with special shoulder season pricing beginning Halloween weekend and plenty of online classes too.

Most exciting for our staff is the return of Mountain School this month! Working very closely with schools to create safe and enriching experiences, we are offering a combination of online, in-school, and Environmental Learning Center day-trip sessions for 5th (and some 6th) grade students from Bellingham, the Methow Valley, Mount Vernon, and Burlington-Edison. It’s hard to convey how thrilled we are to be working with young students in person again!

FALL BASE CAMP Learning & Lodging

Shoulder season pricing begins Oct 29!

Base Camp offers private rooms in our comfortable guest lodges, 3 scratch-made organic meals each day, and outdoor learning adventures in the heart of North Cascades National Park. Come explore the “Wild Nearby” this Fall while enjoying our sustainable campus on the shores of Diablo Lake—perfect for a weekend getaway and fun for all ages!

COVID-19 vaccinations are required for all in-person program participants. If you test positive or are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms, please cancel your registration for a full refund. Under current National Park Service policy, people sharing a room on campus must be from the same household and currently living together. Review our Coronavirus Safety Precautions.

Online & In-Person Learning Opportunities


Can’t make a specific date or time for an online class? Register for a link to view the course on your own time (for a limited window of time).

The Creation of North Cascades National Park
Wednesday, October 6
Lauren Danner traces the fascinating narrative of Washington’s 3rd national park—a tale of politics, passion, and people that reveals how one of the most wild regions in the U.S. came to be carved up into such disparate pieces.

Cross-Continent Ecosystem Comparisons
Wednesday, October 20
Dr. Sarah Bois of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts helps us gain perspective on our home region by considering the similarities and differences in habitats, ecology, and land use between our two coasts.

Diversity in the Outdoors with Chevon Powell
Wednesday, November 3
An inspiring conversation about building diversity in the outdoors with a community advocate for environmental justice. Explore social and natural landscapes, and to help grow a diverse and just outdoor scene.

Light in Winter 2: Poetry with Saul Weisberg and Tim McNulty
Wednesday, December 1
Long-time friends and fellow poets converge for an evening of poetic exchange. These two poets, each with deep histories in the ecological and literary communities of the PNW, will be reading their own and each other’s work, and perhaps favorite work of others. Friendly banter is sure to ensue, plus time for Q&A from the audience.

Cooking Class with Environmental Learning Center Chef Dan Bullard
Tuesday, December 14
New Year’s Day is nearing and Head Chef Daniel wants you to have an excellent 2022! This online cooking class will spotlight Hoppin’ John, a Southern dish reputed to bring good fortune to those who eat it on New Year’s Day. Sign up to learn Chef Daniel’s tasty version made with simple, local ingredients.


Strengthen your skills in backcountry emergency medicine while enjoying a stunning setting in the North Cascades, private lodging and organic meals at the Learning Center.
Remote Emergency Medical Technician (REMT)
January 17 – February 11

Comprehensive 26-day in-person course for professionals seeking EMT certification enhanced with training in a wide range of higher-level first aid skills critical for backcountry wilderness settings.
Hybrid Wilderness First Responder (H-WFR)
February 21-25

Online and in-person 5-day course providing anyone working or playing in wilderness settings with the skills and confidence needed to administer emergency first aid care when evacuation is hours or days away.
Hybrid Remote Medicine Upgrade and Recert (H-RMUR)
February 14-18

Online and in-person 5-day course fulfilling all educational requirements to recertify an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and upgrade to Remote Emergency Medical
Technician (REMT).