Wolf Ridge ALMANAC by yantingting



                                         W R ALMANAC
                                         Wolf Ridge                                                February 2011 • Vol. 28 No. 1

                            by Alexis Berke-Hutchins, Naturalist

I  t’s Saturday morning. I have a long list of things that I       ings with my father.
would like to get done today. The mountain of paper, card-         And here we are 40
board and plastic is overwhelming the entryway to my               years after the first
apartment. It gets my attention first. Ugh. I sigh and do a        Earth Day. Are we
little sorting, so I don’t have to spend much time outside         moving forward?
on this chilly November morning at the recycling station.          Or is recycling
                                                                   and the movement
Flashback to 15 years ago. My Saturday morning’s chores            behind it spin-
weren’t much different. My father and I would load up our          ning its wheels?
recycling and head to the old train station turned recycling
center. We would sort our own recycling before checking in         Recycling has been
to work our volunteer shift. I remember climbing into the          around in one form
giant cardboard box on a pallet and removing spirals from          or another for thou-
notebook paper and making sure that all the newspaper, of-         sands of years. Early re-
fice paper and colored paper were not intermixed. I felt so        cords described the concept
important. I would direct people where certain items went,         in Plato’s time, 400BC. Then,
and what could and could not be recycled. This continued for       during the pre-industrial age metal scraps were collected
many years, until cross-country races and track meets took         and re-melted. It was simply easier to reclaim, than to ac-
the place of my volunteering. And soon after that we got a         quire new materials, which were costly and scarce. Many
blue plastic tub for our “new” curbside recycling service.         of the early recycling was based on economic advantages.
But I know those hours at the recycling center impacted my         Ash from fires were saved and used as an additive to the
adult habits. I smile and think back to those Saturday morn-       brick making process. The large-scale boom of the manu-
                                                                   facturing age gave rise to fast cheap production of goods.
                                                                   During this time (and seemingly still) it was less expensive
                                                                   to throw something away and buy a new one, creating the
                                                                   social norm of disposable goods. Wartime and depressions
                                                                   brought with them scarcity of metal and a resurgence of
                                                                   recycling and reusing in America. Post-war time economic
                                                                   booms allowed Americans to become a little more lax with
                                                                   the reduce, reuse, recycle mentality. With the environmental
                                                                   movements of the 1960’s and 70’s culminating in the first
                                                                   Earth Day (and the beginning of the ELC), people moved
                                                                   conservation back into the forefront of the public eye.

                                                                   Let’s take a look at the history of recycling in one urban set-
                                                                   ting. According to the official website of the City of Min-
                                                                   neapolis Solid Waste and Recycling there hasn’t been much
                                                                   forward gain in the last 17 years. Available statistics begin in
                                                                   the year 1993. At that time a little over 30% (by weight) of all
                                                                   waste was recycled, 2009 reaching only 34.9%. Each year was
    Students place their recycables in the appropriate bins at     not a steady gain; some years fluctuate back up and down.
                      the recycling station.
                                                                                                                 continued on page 4
                              Wolf Ridge
                              ALMANAC                                                                                      A View
       Published for members and friends of
    Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center
    6282 Cranberry Rd, Finland, MN 55603-9700
    218-353-7414, 1-800-523-2733 (MN, WI, ND)
                                                                                                                          The Ridge
                 fax 218-353-7762

                  Kimberly Skyelander

               Jack Pichotta, Founder                                                                               by Kimberly Skyelander, Executive Director
                Tom Berg, Chairman
               Earl Gransee, Secretary

         Rick Bateson ~ Russell Bierbaum
          Blyth Brookman ~ Pat Coppo
           John Daniels ~ Kurt Heikkila
          Tom Osborn ~ Michael Plautz
             Ron Sackett ~ Pat Schoff
                                                                Wolf Ridge Joins the Emergent Universe
        Nancy Schultz ~ Catherine Shreves
                   Aaron Smith
                                                                     ne of Wolf Ridge’s strengths is our ability   between the basic building blocks of matter
       Thomas Atchison ~ Jim Brandenburg                        to interpret complicated scientific information    or individuals in our societies give rise to
         William M. Burns ~ Richard Gray                        and make it understandable for our students.       unpredictable and unexpected behavior at
    Peter Heegaard ~ Robert Heller ~ Ron Kirk
           Donn Larson ~ Mike Latimer                           This has resulted in a very interesting            every scale. At the risk of using a cliché, it’s
          Sigurd Olson ~ Rene Settergren                        partnership. Michael Plautz, one of our board      like studying the phenomena of the straw
                  Werner Tismer
                                                                members and a great supporter of Wolf Ridge,       that broke the camel’s back. Each straw by
                                                                is also a board member of the Institute of         itself may seem insignificant or harmless but
     ProgrAm           AssistAnt Director                       Complex Adaptive Matter (ICAM) located at          if you start adding lots of different straws to
     Carrie Anderson        Peter Smerud                        the University of California, Davis. ICAM has      the camel’s basket it changes the equilibrium
     Jenny Bushmaker FinAnciAl Director                         been developing several Science, Education         of the camel, and may have unexpected
     Dave Graf               Fred Morgan                        and Engagement (SEE) initiatives with the          consequences such as breaking its back.
     Peter Harris
     John Kohlstedt DeveloPment Director                        goal of combining scientific research, formal      Thus emerging major societal challenges
     Erin Manning            Lucy Rogers                        education, and non-formal education to help        like human-induced climate change or our
     Betsey Mead                                                learners of all ages develop an informed           current global economic meltdown have no
     Joe Walewski                   oFFice
                               Carol Ferro
                                                                perspective on science and its role in solving     single cause (or straw) but many causes, and
     Lori Walewski
                              Judy Larson                       global challenges.                                 thus there is no single or even “best” solution.
                                                                                                                   Instead, there may be many different partial
     stuDent nAturAlists
     Ivy Berg
                                          FooD service          The ICAM Initiatives seek to create a four-        solutions that need to interact together. This
                                        Pat Anderson
     Danny Blackman                                             way partnership between scientists eager to        emergent behavior research is “frontier”
                                         Laurie Hedin
     David Butcher*                      Jim Hickman            communicate to the general public about the        research, going where no one has gone
     Erin Cushner                       Tracy Johnson           results of their cutting edge research, teachers   before.
     Liz Doane
     Andrea Doerr*
                                  Marilyn Klemmer               motivated to develop new curriculum for
                                  Katherine Nelson
     Matti Erpested*                                            their students, students who wish to become        The challenge for scientists is informing
                                      Barret Stavseth
     Kati Kristenson               Bambi Turnquist              actively engaged in citizen science, and the       people of their emergent discoveries in ways
     Melody McKnight                                            non-formal science education professionals         that are understood by the general public.
     Brian Minor                 grounDs/builDings
     Andy Petran
                                                                (like Wolf Ridge) who have the skills to           Through Michael Plautz, ICAM learned about
                                         Cory Carlson
     Krista Post              Robert Cunningham
                                                                translate complex scientific phenomena to the      our success with climate change education,
     Christopher Shuler            Rosemary Evans               public.                                            a complicated topic, which we teach to our
     Matt Skogen                           Jeff Iverson                                                            students, parents and teachers. Based on
     John Smith*                            Greg King
     David Stieler
                                                                The initiative that Wolf Ridge was asked to join   this success, ICAM asked Wolf Ridge to be
                                          Vicki Larson
     Danielle Tesmer                    Paul McLeete
                                                                is the Emergent Universe initiative, a novel       partners in an Emergent Universe education
     Angie Ziobro                          Gary Olson           approach to interpreting scientific information.   project. This project will develop on-line
       * apprentice/2nd year naturalist
                                               Kris Sve         What is an Emergent Universe? Scientists are       exhibits and related materials on climate
                                Brenda Van Bergen               discovering that we cannot predict behaviors       change and the environment for middle
     retAil sAles
                                          Lynn Varney
     Lise Abazs                                                 of a whole system, whether it’s an economic        school students throughout the world. Wolf
                                                                system or ecosystem, by breaking down the          Ridge is providing some of the interpreted
     In accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of      whole and studying its individual parts. Or        scientific information for this age group.
     Agriculture policy, Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning
     Center is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of   to put it another way, the whole is much
       race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.
                                                                greater than the sum of its parts. We live in a    The    Emergent        Universe       (www.
         Printed on 30% recycled post consumer paper.
                                                                universe in which interactions and relationships   emergentuniverse.org) project is a completely

virtual, on-line, interactive science center that    This project will open doors for Wolf Ridge
uses a combination of artistic, humanistic,          by creating global-wide partnerships and
and scientific elements to engage and inspire        potential funding opportunities in science
a critically important outreach audience:            education that would not be possible on our
educated, internet-savvy 15-35 year olds with        own. ICAM has 12 branches located around
interests spanning a broad range of disciplines.     the world through universities, institutes,
It is a think-tank type model targeting the          alliances, and laboratories. Wolf Ridge is
world’s future leaders: writers, entrepreneurs,      now the first non-formal education branch of
scientists, politicians, and policy makers           ICAM. Being the first at things is something
in order to increase societal awareness of           we also do well so we’ll keep you informed as
                                                                                                                 Wolf Ridge
                                                                                                                 Wolf Ridge
key scientific research and development,             we explore the emerging possibilities.F
particularly     in    emergent science.

                                                     Meet Chip Brown

                        What is your connection to Wolf Ridge? Chip, 40, lives in the “South Wedge” neighborhood of Rochester,

                      NY. “My connection to Wolf Ridge started in the fall of 1992 as a student naturalist. Following that year,

                  I held various positions at other environmental/science education centers and summer camps and taught at a

               charter school. I was fortunate enough to return to Wolf Ridge as a permanent Naturalist/Summer Youth Program
           Director from 1997 to the fall of 2006. After leaving Wolf Ridge, I coordinated a mentoring program for about a year
         and a half, then returned to graduate school to get a Masters degree in Geographic Information Science.”

    What is your current occupation(s)? “I have two jobs right now. I work for an agricultural consulting service in their
   mapping department. Much of my work is creating maps for farms to help them comply with environmental regulations, though
   we are starting to provide other services focused on precision agriculture. At the end of January, I started teaching my second
   semester of an Introduction to Geographic Information Systems course at Finger Lakes Comm. College in Canandaigua, NY.”

   Share something that you have learned at Wolf Ridge ELC. “At Wolf Ridge, I became a better teacher. Having the
   opportunity to practice and refine my teaching skills by interacting with so many people was invaluable. Also, Wolf Ridge is
   where I started to understand how important an emotional connection to nature is; make that connection, and folks are more
   likely to see the importance of conservation and protection.”

   Please share a Wolf Ridge ELC memory. “One of my favorite ways to start Orienteering Class was to wait until all of the
   kids were seated in class, then surprise them by jumping out of the cupboard in my “secret agent costume.” What a grabber! Most
   of the time they were right there with me, sneaking around the hallway on our way out to test our spy skills outside. Sooner or
   later the magic wore off, but because I had a fun beginning, they were willing to trust me the rest of the class.”

                                  Tell us about your hobbies and family? “Cooking, theatre, and walking (I think I have
                                  perfected my walk, though sometimes I still stumble over a curb or crack in the sidewalk). My
                                  partner, Rob, and I are enjoying a long engagement, and have not yet begun to plan a ceremony to
                                  happen sometime in the next couple of years. Quincy, a 9-year-old collie/shepard mix entertains
                                  us daily with his enthusiasm for walks, squirrels, and treats.”

                                  What book and/or movie you would recommend others read. “I always come back to the
                                  Lord of the Rings books, but I have also been reading a number of graphic novels like Fun Home,
                                  by Alison Bechdel. A very entertaining and insightful view of the world through a combination
                                  of words and pictures.

                                  Can you give us a travel tip? “Travel by bike or on foot. It’s a slow way to explore, but I think
                                  you get a better sense of the people and the place.”

   If you could visit with any conservationist/naturalist/environmentalist, living or dead, who would it be and what
   would you say. “How great would it be to sit around a campfire with Pete Seeger, Joni Mitchell, John Denver and Peter Mayer!
   I get the chills just thinking about the possibilities!”

   What is your favorite place at Wolf Ridge and why? “From early on, I made a connection with the telescope deck. It’s a great
   place to watch the seasons change in Sawmill creek valley, and to watch the changes to the night sky. What could be better than
   viewing the crescent moon, or Saturn’s rings or the northern lights on a cold clear winter’s night from the telescope deck!”F

                                Recycling                             continued from page 1

                                The year 2004 had the second highest percent-           sixth graders to make sure lights are off can be
                                age (next to 2009) within the last seven years at       a tricky thing. Second, there are several items
                                34.8% of waste recycled. The city of Minneapo-          that are hard to tell if they are recyclable or not.
                                lis is working towards recycling half of waste          Pringles cans are not recyclable, nor are shiny
                                produced in the city by 2013. That would re-            granola bar or candy wrappers that look like
    Nature of Things            quire a nearly 15% gain in 2 years when in the          foil – but are really plastic. The Conservation
                                last 17 years participation hasn’t even resulted        Challenge is full of teachable moments and
                                in a full 5% increase in waste recycled. Not to         the students are engaged because they are
                                be misconstrued, these figures are by weight            working together for the reward at the end.
                                and include commercial as well as public. Re-           But why after almost 40 years of mainstream
                                cycling can be lighter than garbage. But it is          public recycling programs is it still a major fo-
                                also broken down by item and even aluminum              cus of every visit to the Wolf Ridge Campus?
                                 can tonnage varies nearly every year from
                                 200+ to 500+ and back down to 300 tons. Recy-          So after swings of economic need, moral obli-
                                 cling participation seems extremely variable.          gation, and many other reasons for recycling
                                                                                        to fall in and out of style, we are left here, the
                                 Aluminum cans are probably one of the most             beginning of 2011. There are a myriad of en-
                                 common recyclables found in American house-            vironmental issues we are bombarded with
                                 holds. We can use them as a model to compare           every day. People are busy, multitasking, won-
                                 cradle-to-grave and cradle-to-cradle scenarios.        ders; the challenge is to make time for habits
                                 Metal is mined, refined and manufactured into          that have global benefits. Recycling has been
                                 a beverage container. It is filled and transported     a common practice throughout history, es-
                                 to consumers. A consumer enjoys a crisp lem-           pecially in times of scarcity. Perhaps if we re-
                                 on lime soda. This is where the path can devi-         cycle more, we will be able to prevent such
                                 ate. That consumer has a choice; throw the can         depletions of mineral and energy recourses.
                                 in the garbage, or the recycling bin. From the         Centers like Wolf Ridge seek to make connec-
                                 garbage bin it will be taken by a garbage col-         tions between our daily lives and the world’s
                                 lector to a landfill where it may not ever break       ecosystems. Cities across the country are us-
                                 down and disappear. This is cradle to grave.
                                 On the other hand, if the consumer drinks a
     Alexis Berke lives on       soda and drops the can into a recycling bin, the
      the North Shore with      journey begins again, cradle to cradle. In Lake
       her husband Mark,
    who usually is charged      County, (where Wolf Ridge is) the waste man-
         with recycling on      agement company collects it. And then when
      Tuesday afternoons.       the collection trailer is full, it is taken to Duluth
       Alexis works as an
     educator at the Great      and sold. A company buys the metal. The re-
       Lakes Aquarium. In       claimed aluminum is broken down and is made
       her spare time she       into a variety of new products from more cans
     enjoys knitting, cross
        country skiing and      to aircraft parts. Recycling just 16 aluminum
     hiking, agate picking,     cans saves the carbon emissions equivalent to
    and block printing. Her     burning a gallon of gasoline. It may seem obvi-
       father still sorts the
     recycling every week,      ous to recycle. But what if there is not a recy-
       at her family home       cling bin around, throw the can away or carry
       in Michigan. Alexis                                                                  Bricks of recycled crushed aluminum cans.
      was a graduate and
                                it with you until a receptacle can be found?
      apprentice naturalist                                                             ing recycling as a way to lessen the economic
       at Wolf Ridge. One       At Wolf Ridge one of the most coveted parts             and sometimes health burden that is caused
    halloween she dressed       of the trip for some schools is winning the             by waste disposal. Lake County mandates that
         as the earth and
        carried a sign that     Conservation Challenge Award. During their              all waste management companies must offer
    said, “Keep our air and     stay students (along with teachers and chap-            recycling collection. This year can be the year
           water clean.”        erones) are given instructions on how best to           that we make the numbers jump. I think of the
                                save energy and reduce waste by recycling.              saying “Anyone who questions the ability of
                                Their liaison makes unannounced checks to               an individual to make a difference, has never
                                their dorms to be sure recycling is sorted and          been in a tent with a mosquito.” We do have
                                lights are off. After having done dozens of             the ability to affect positive changes, with our-
                                checks there are few things that I noticed be-          selves our neighbors and our communities. Let
                                came repeat offenders. First, getting a pack of         it start with aluminum cans, and cereal boxes.F

     Wolf Ridge Legacy Circle
One man’s bequest of respect for the natural world
                        By Lucy Rogers, Wolf Ridge Development Director
B    ob O’Hara and Wolf Ridge are a natural        When Bob started traveling to the Arctic, he
                                                   realized that he wanted his estate to be in
fit. Bob, a retired biology teacher, has spent a
lifetime teaching young people to understand       order. After conducting some research he met      Wolf Ridge
and respect the environment. Wolf Ridge            with a lawyer and decided to include Wolf
is a school that instills the same values in its   Ridge in his trust/will.
                                                   “I fully support their mission and
Bob first became acquainted with Wolf Ridge        want to be a part of it in the future,”
when it was the ELC in Isabella. He organized      he says.
and ran some outdoor education workshops
and conferences held there. Bob also established   Planned gifts go into Wolf Ridge’s
Skisabella Ski Camp at the ELC, the largest in     endowment and support a 2,000-acre
the region. He managed this for over a decade.     campus and a dynamic, innovative
                                                   environmental educational program
Summers are filled with many outdoor               that models sustainability.
adventures for Bob. He has explored the
BWCA for over 50 years, paddled hundreds           Planned giving can extend beyond
of miles along the edge of Hudson Bay, and         monetary aspects. Over the years,
navigated 30 “far north” rivers, many of them      Bob has also developed an extensive
more than once, and many of them above the         assembly of Inuit art. Following careful
Arctic Circle. Through the years, he has come      research, Bob found a museum that is
to understand and respect the local culture of     interested in his collection and matches
the tundra and has befriended members of the       his desired intentions for the pieces.
Inuit community.
                                                   Though he’s retired from the classroom,
Bob generously shares his trip knowledge with      Bob continues to officiate or manage
                                                                                                   First day on the Hood
others. He mentors a number of guides from         swim meets, track and field meets, and                River 2008.
several different youth camps in mapping out       Nordic ski meets. He still paddles north in
their trips on northern Canadian rivers. Most      the summers. Through his thoughtful estate
important, he wants the guides and students to     planning, his passion for the natural world
understand that while they are in the northern     and his concern that we all learn to care for
wilderness, they are traveling through Inuit       our environment will have an impact on
land. He always gives them a government flag       generations to come. Bob encourages others to
to fly from their canoes.                          join him in the adventure of planned giving.F

                                   Make a Legacy Gift
                     We hope you will consider Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center
                     in your estate planning. By specifying a bequest to Wolf Ridge in your
                     will, or naming Wolf Ridge as a beneficiary of all or part of a retirement
                     or life insurance plan, you can ensure that the next generations will
                     continue to be immersed in the natural world and learn to respect and
                     care for the environment.

                     All planned gifts become part of our endowment. Your thoughtful
      planning now will support a 2000 acre campus that models sustainability and an ever-
      changing innovative environmental educational program long into the future.Please
      visit our web site for more information or contact Kim Skyelander at 218-353-7414 or

                                                     Storytelling Tent
                                                               by Dave Graf, Wolf Ridge Naturalist
                               “I will tell you a story…”                            they understand from less clear aspects that
                                                                                     are beyond their personal experiences. When
                               Inside a twelve by sixteen foot wall tent, a          students reconcile differing perceptions, they
    Environmental              naturalist pauses and looks around at a ring          begin to see what the story means to them,
      Education                of intent, quiet faces. Students crane forward        to incorporate it into their worldview. On the
      Methods                  on birch stools. A wood stove radiates heat as        left and right, other listeners learn and process
                               two flickering oil lamps cast shadows past an         too. However, their learning process might
                               old kettle and string of tin cups. It is cozy in      reveal different conclusions, meanings unique
                               there- the snow is starting to melt off boots.        to them. The meaning each person discovers
                               Everyone huddles, wool blankets stretched             continues to develop as the teller twists and
                               across laps. So, the storyteller continues,           spins the plot, revealing more story- image by
                                                                                     image, word by word.
                               “The day before the people elected Theodore
                               Roosevelt to become the 26th president of the         “…The northwest wind arrived with no warning,
                               United States, Andrew Tofte rowed out on the          nearly flipping the simple pine skiff in one gust.
                               cold November waters of Lake Superior to set his      Andrew barely steadied the craft, muttering, as he
                               herring nets…”                                        pulled hard against the oars to meet the building
                                                                                     wind. He strained and leaned, he pulled and he
                               It is why they are in the tent at all- for the        pulled. And then he stopped. Later, his twin brother
                               stories. The class has just come from, or is          John would state as a matter of fact, that he knew
                               on its way to some snowy, frozen woods                Andrew would not try to defeat the wind…”
                               learning adventure- chasing animal signs,
                               crossing frozen lakes, etc. Wolf Ridge calls it
        Dave Graf is the       the Storyteller’s Tent. Its purpose is to provide
     Adventure Education       a unique setting where teachers can go to
      Coordinator at Wolf
       Ridge. He and his       expand learning opportunities through the art
      wife, Emily, are also    of storytelling and enhance students’ cultural
     the busy coordinators     understanding of northern Minnesota history
       of their 3 children’s
      daily adventures. He     through the stories told. Though listeners
    enjoys hockey, growing     mainly sit still and listen silently, each story
        raspberries, and       hopefully sets the mind in noise and motion.
    popcorn movie nights.

                                “…The day was clear, beautiful. Andrew rowed
                               steadily away from the small harbor where he and
                               his twin brother, John, cleaned and packed freshly
                               caught herring in boxes to be shipped to Duluth on           A Birds class visits the storytelling tent.
                               the steamship America. With each pump of the oars,
                               Andrew moved farther and farther from land…”          Stories create communities that consist of
                                                                                     the teller, the audience, and the story itself.
                               It is the unique ability of a skillfully told story   The three components interact as each story
                               to draw an audience into a community of               unfolds- i.e. tellers gesture, inflect, and add
                               listening, while engaging each person on an           accents to communicate, audience members
                               individual level. Because this duality exists in      laugh, frown, and show all manner of reaction
                               the same instant, the universal and personal,         to both the story events and storytelling
                               stories have the potential to be extremely            methods, and the story acts as both bridge and
                               efficient teachers.                                   river to connect listeners to one another and
                                                                                     the teller. The props and atmosphere as well
                               On an individual level, listeners make sense          as the setting at the Storyteller’s Tent intensify
                               of stories by holding story events up to the          those interactions.
                               mirror of their personal experiences; whether
                               that experience includes a chickadee on a             Tucked in a grove of tall spruces, it is set back
                               snowy cap at Wolf Ridge or a meaningful               from the snow packed trail, remote from the
                               adventure from long ago depends on each               buildings. A crackling fire warms the tent,
                               student. Through this process, listeners sort         distinguishing it as a space separate from the
                               out aspects that reflect and reinforce what           winter air outside. Smells of wood smoke and

kerosene, sounds of hissing steam, and the               likely recognize common themes. Although
rough touch of wool provide, not one sense               stories fade, themes endure. Hopefully after
of this place, but many. Instead of an ordinary          leaving Wolf Ridge, students will weave
place to hear a story, the Storyteller’s Tent is         those themes into their own stories; stories
intended to be extraordinary, to transform               that might include the time they went to
stories from a passive activity into one that is         Wolf Ridge and visited a tent with a stove in
active. It is its own experience.                        the middle of the woods - where there were
“…Andrew thought, ‘Keep it steady, I’ll outlast the                                                              Environmental
wind’. Between bailing dark water and riding out         “…The new morning dawned clear. Andrew Tofte
the mountains of waves, Andrew had his hands full.       was alone on the lake. The wind had given in. The         Education
So the day passed, light turned to darkness, and still   waves had traveled on. Andrew looked around.              Methods
the gales roared…”                                       Wisconsin and Minnesota were just smudges of
                                                         color on each horizon. Andrew figured each must
The stories stored in the Storyteller’s Tent             be some 25 miles away. He shrugged and turned
narrate diverse Lake Superior region                     his boat about. When he finally rowed ashore late
experiences representing different times, places,        that afternoon, his neighbors were just returning
and pursuits. Students who learn these stories           from the polls eight miles away in Lutsen.”F

Story source: Wonderland of the Herring Choker by Ted Tofte, Blackwater Press, 1982.

                                                            Paul Sundberg is the feature nature photographer ofInWolf
                                                            Ridge’s 2012 calendar. He resides in Grand Marais, MN. July
                                                            2010, Paul retired after serving 39 years as a park ranger, most
                                                            recently as Gooseberry Falls State Park manager. He began taking
                                                            photos in the early 1970’s after purchasing his first 35 mm SLR
                                                            camera while serving in the military at Fort Bliss, TX. Paul’s
                                                            photographs regularly appear in local publications, state park
                                                            brochures, Boundary Waters Journal, Lake Superior Magazine and
                                                            others. In 2005, North Shore Vision was published containing 60 of
                                                            Paul’s favorite photographs of the area. Check out his website at
                                                            paulsundbergphotography.com to view his photographs of the
                                                            week. Calendars are available for $14.00 for members and $18.95
                                                            for non-members, including shipping. They are also available
                                                            at special prices, in lots of 25 for school fund raising and retail
                N O RT H S H O R E I M A G E S              resale. Proceeds of all calendar sales directly support children
                        Paul Sundberg                       attending Wolf Ridge school programs. Call Wolf Ridge at (218)
                                                            353-7414 for more information and to order.F

Emily (McCredie) Walker (92) is a veterinarian in Groton City, NY. She and her husband have 2 kids. Keiko
Nishimura (93) is a physician and has a 10-year old daughter. They reside in Japan. Julie Flotten (94) and
Alison Wood (98) added a baby girl girl to their family. Alison teaches high school biology and anatomy and
physiology and Julie is an RN. They live in Duluth, MN. TJ (96) and Barb (Peichel) (97) Yocum had a baby
girl. TJ is working as the Intern Coordinator at Dodge Nature Center. Eric Larson (97) gave a presentation
at WR highlighting his successful Save the Poles expedition of traveling to the North & South Poles and
summiting Mt Everest in a 365 day period. Edric Lysne (98) and his wife had a baby girl and he is now
working for Outward Bound. Jill Johnson (98) is an RN in surgical intensive care at Essentia Health in Duluth,
MN. Hartrijk Timmers and Marijn (Stootweg) Timmers (99) had a baby boy, Lukas. Amy Workman (00) soon
will be returning from Costa Rica were she is the EE coordinator at the Cloud Forest School. Michelle Gransee
(01) is the training coordinator for the MN Office of Energy Security. Kirsten Olson (01) is a staff attorney with
the Immigration Law Project for the Legal Aid Society of Mpls. Anna Robillard (02) can be found at The Urban
Ecology Center in Milwaukee, WI as the environmental educator. Annie Wilson (03) is a bilingual teacher at Spangler Elementary
in Longmont, CO. Sarah (Towne) Erickson (05) who is the Education Director at the Great Lakes Aquarium in Dulth had a baby
girl. Adriane Morabito (05) and her husband welcomed baby girl Zoella in December. Molly McGovern (06) and her husband
have started a berry farm and spent the summer planting hundreds of blueberries. Dan Blessing (06) and Greta Arnquist (07) were
successful in their journey from Lake Superior to the Pacific Ocean in a birch bark canoe. Jen (Ester) Walls (08) is teaching at Cannon
River STEM in Northfield, MN. Sean Curry (08) is wearing a Park Ranger hat at Big Cypress National Preserve in Naples, FL.F

                                            Anorthosite Rocks!
                                                         by Andrea Doerr, Wolf Ridge Naturalist

                            T   he vapor of Harriet’s breath clouds the
                            chilly night air as she stomps and wiggles
                            around on the deck. Tonight the full moon is
                            shining brilliantly above jagged silhouettes
     Nature Notes           of spruce trees. She can’t wait for her chance
                            to see a magnified view of craters and can-
                            yons of rock that cover the moon. Harriet’s
                            instructor steps aside and she bolts up to the
                            telescope. If the telescope had instead been
                            focused at rock on the top of nearby Mar-
                            shall Mountain, Mystical Mountain, Sawmill
                            Dome, or Carlton Peak farther north, Harriet
                            would still have been gazing at “moon rock.”
                            These particular outcroppings are al-
                            most identical to the rock that consti-
                            tutes the light colored portions of the
                            surface of the moon, aka “anorthosite.”
                                                                                    Geology students on Marshall Mountain.
                            So what’s so unusual about seeing this “moon
                            rock” here on the earth? Anorthosite be-           are learning to identify their rocks at Wolf
                            longs to feldspar, the rock-forming group of       Ridge. One of the companies that consti-
                            minerals that make up 60% of Earth’s crust,        tutes the bedrock of Minnesota’s economy
                            however anorthosite rarely appears on the          could have used a lesson in our state’s geo-
                            surface. A million years ago glaciers pushed       logic foundation. In the early 1900’s, a young
                            rich, fertile soil from northeastern Minnesota     company purchased land at Crystal Bay,
     Andrea is a second
       year Apprentice      down to Iowa, leaving northern Minnesota           built crushers, and began mining and ship-
      Naturalist at Wolf    with an abundant supply of rock. Glaciers          ping rock to manufacturing plants to create
       Ridge ELC. She       had difficulty eroding anorthosite; a coarse-      sandpaper and other abrasives. Three years
        graduated from
        Colorado State      grained rock composed almost entirely of           later the company had nothing to show but
      University in 2009    mineral plagioclase feldspar. Resistant to ero-    a pile of sand, as the mineral corundum they
       with a degree in     sion, these igneous rocks appear white when        had hoped for was actually anorthosite. Al-
    Zoology and Biology.
      Andrea first tasted   weathered, but have large, transparent pur-        though resistant to erosion, anorthosite is
     Minnesota working      ple, green, and gray crystals on fresh surfaces.   much softer and unfit for use as an abrasive.
       as a crew leader                                                        Fortunately the Minnesota Mining & Manu-
     with the Minnesota
    Conservation Corps,     The Geology class at Wolf Ridge treks from         facturing Company (3M) was able to expand
    and has been rooting    the Science Center to the top of Marshall          its market in other directions and is still suc-
     around the state for   Mountain discussing the geologic history           cessful today despite its rocky beginning.
       more ever since.
    She spends her time     of the area while experiencing the land-
       winning cribbage     forms firsthand. The ridge quickly slopes          The apex of the Wolf Ridge Geology class
       games, cooking,      downward as you walk away from the main            literally and figuratively occurs at the top
    cross-country skiing,
      hiking, but most of   campus and along the billion-year-old rift.        of Marshall Mountain. Students revel in
         all, laughing.     Small-crystal basalt that constitutes the bed-     the view. I quote John McPhee in Annals of
                            rock of this area juts out of the soil along       the Former World, “The geologic history of
                            the pathway. Basalt is a dark, dense igneous       earth can be compared to the width of your
                            rock that cooled quickly as it flowed out of       arm-span, with the tip of your right hand
                            the cracks of the earth, blissfully ignorant of    representing the earth’s beginning. On the
                            anorthosite patiently cooling below, forming       left hand in a single stroke with a medium
                            beautiful, large low-density crystals. Eventu-     grained nail file you could eradicate human
                            ally, after millions of years, solid chunks of     history.” It amazes me to think of the com-
                            anorthosite thousands of feet in size were         paratively short amount of time we have
                            carried to the surface by fresh flows of basalt.   spent on this Earth, but the relatively large
                            After eons of erosion, the resistant domes of      amount of stories we have collected dur-
                            anorthosite appear to float on the landscape       ing that time. I know the anorthosite I stand
                            like marshmallows in a cup of hot chocolate.       upon on the top of Marshall Mountain has
                                                                               more stories that I have yet to hear. That
                            It’s a good thing the citizens of tomorrow         is why I keep returning to the summit.F

                        Winter Finches
                                     by Dave Benson, Naturalist

T   he snow scrunched beneath my feet as I            there will be gazillions; the next, they’ll be
                                                      hard to find.
stepped along a snow-packed road in Lake
County. Everything I could see was suffused
with a bluish-white light, and aside from icy         There is a lot left to learn about these               Nature Notes
snow, all I could see was brown bark, green           irruptions, but it is clear that the food supply
foliage, and white sky. Except for my own             is an important component. These birds can
boot-crunch and parka-swishing, there was no          withstand extreme cold, so they don’t need to
sound. I felt enclosed in a silent, white, frozen     leave their northern haunts to get away from
echo chamber.                                         the cold. They come south when the food
                                                      supply dwindles in the north. The dwindling
But then, at the edge of my hearing, I could hear     food supply can be a result either of weather
a jumble of chatters, warbles, and zips moving        and cycles that reduce the number of seeds,
toward me. I stopped and waited for the noise         or of reproductive success, i.e. a lot of finches
to get closer, and to my delight, a flock of about    burning through the food supply in a hurry.
75 White-winged Crossbills hurtled into a stand
of spruce trees near the road.                        Ron Pittaway, an ornithologist from Ontario,
                                                      even issues a finch prediction each year
The sun had just hit the tops of the trees, and       (see ebird.org), based on the seed crops in
a raspberry-colored male, with his black wings        Northern Ontario. For this winter, he predicts
and white wing-bars, perched at the top of a          that redpolls will irrupt, but the other species
large spruce and warbled his complicated song.        will stay in the north. The redpolls should
The rest of the flock, a mix of pinks, reds, and      be coming, because their favorite food, birch
dull-yellows (but all with dark wings and white       seeds, is in short supply in the north this year;
wing-bars) climbed and jabbered among the             plus, they generated a bumper crop of young              Dave Benson is
branches like parrots, working the cones to eat       redpolls this year--there were reports of two,           a naturalist and
their fill.                                           and even three, broods in some areas.                  writer from Duluth.
                                                                                                             He is the author of
Crossbills are named for the crossed tips of          The movements of White-winged Crossbills,              Owls of the North: a
their bills, which they insert between spruce         in particular, can seem erratic to us. In             Naturalist’s Handbook
cone scales to pry them open and extract the          December, there might be flocks in Duluth,           (stoneridgepress.com).
seeds. We have two species: White-winged              but if the food runs out there, they’ll show up        He is the executive
and Red. Minnesota’s Red Crossbills prefer            in International Falls, or Ely, and so on. White-         director of the
                                                                                                              Damiano Center.
pine to spruce. Several sub-species have been         winged Crossbills can breed successfully
identified, and biologists have threatened to         almost any time of the year, so they aren’t on
split the species into several species that are not   the tight calendar used by many other bird
identifiable in the field, but so far, we are safe,   species.
with one kind of Red Crossbill.
                                                      Often, the best way to get to see winter
The two crossbills are part of a loose group          finches is to begin by listening for their calls.
of species that we call “winter finches.” The         Bird calls are notoriously difficult to describe
others are Pine Grosbeak, Common Redpoll,             with words, but birders often use similes and
and Hoary Redpoll. Other closely-related              metaphors to help them remember flight calls.
finches, Purple Finch, House Finch, Pine Siskin,      In the case of finches, Red Crossbills have a
American Goldfinch, and Evening Grosbeak,             “jib, jib, jib” call; Pine Grosbeaks have a short,
are sometimes lumped in with this group too,          musical, almost-bluebird-like warble; redpolls       White-winged Crossbill
but strictly speaking, they aren’t just “winter”      have long, trilling rattles; goldfinches whine;
finches, because they are fairly common here          siskins mix a zipping run into a hash of
year-round.                                           chatters; and Purple Finches say, “pink,
                                                      pink, pink.” You’ll have to learn the
The crossbills, redpolls, and Pine Grosbeak are       sounds on your own, and one of
called “irruptive migrants,” which means that         the best ways is to get out into the
they migrate, but not in the predictable “south       winter and listen and watch for the
in the fall, north in the spring, at regular times”   finches. The chance to experience
pattern. The winter finches southward trek in         these gaudy birds is one of the
the fall (and, really, they are usually not here      main attractions to walking along
until winter sets in) is not predictable. One year    remote, winter roads.F
                                                                                                                      photo by Jim Williams

                 Upcoming Programs                                                                           Wolf
                                                                                                        Ride f Ridge Cam
                                                                                                        and ba
                                                                                                               rom th
                                                                                                                      eT       p Shu
                                                                                                                ck: O win Cities to e:
                                            Youth                                                       trip $1
                                                                                                               ; res
                                                                                                                             y$         camp
                                                                                                                       ervatio 100; round
                                                                                                                              ns req
 Discoverers: (4th-5th gr) July 17-23, July 31-August 6, August 7-13, August 14-20: $485                                             uired.

 Voyageurs: (6th-7th gr) July 10-16, July 17-23, July 24-30, July 31-Aug 6, Aug 7-13, Aug 14-20: $535
 Adventurers: (8th-9th gr) July 10-July 16, July 24-30, July 31-August 6, August 7-13: $535
 Adventurers BWCA Exploration: (8th-9th gr) July 10-23: $1120
 Jr Naturalists: (10th-11th gr) July 10-16: $535, August 7-20 Apostle Islands: $1300
 High School Ecology Credit Camp: (10th-12th gr) July 17 - August 13: $2675                                      Never
 Summer Sampler: (2nd-6th gr) July 6-9: $325
 Day Camp: (1st-7th gr) June 27-July 1: $160
                                                                                            NEW                 been to over-
                                                                                                               night camp before?
                                                                                                                 Busy schedule? Try
 5 day Canoe in the BWCAW: (7th-8th gr) June 26-July 2: $650                                                       our three day camp
                                                                                               sampler and get a taste of summer fun.
 5 day Isle Royale Backpacking: (8th-9th gr) July 31-August 6: $650                        Arrive on Wednesday and stay three nights
 5 day Kayaking: (9th-10th gr) July 31-August 6: $650                                      experiencing the best of camp. On Friday
                                                                                              parents are invited to join us and stay
                                                                                                   overnight at Wolf Ridge.
      Experience Wolf Ridge. Our youth camp programs offer unparalleled opportunities to
      explore clear lakes and streams, develop life-long connections to the natural world, make
      friends, create memories, and grow in self-confidence. With a wonderfully diverse campus and variety of activities, campers
      can return year after year for new experiences.

                                                         July 3-8, July 24-29, August 7-12

                                                                Fee: Ages 5-adult $290,
                                                                  ages 3-4 $145, and
                                                                    2 & under free
                                                    Imagine a family vacation with no hassles.
                                                  With over 0 different activities to choose from
                                                 during your stay, the only question you’ll face is,
                                                            “Which adventure today?”
                                                                                                       June 19-25 (Min. age 12 yrs.)

                                                                                      Fee: 1-4 people $1960 ($490/person) min. cost.
                                                                                           5th person $440 (10% off)
                                                                                           6th person $415 (15% off)
                                                                                 Sand beaches, sea caves, historic lighthouses, sunken
                                                                                 ships, the greatest lake in the world at your fingertips.
                                                                                   An adventure awaits your family! Your Wolf Ridge
                                                                                  guide will teach you all the kayaking skills you need
     Canoe Trips                                                                   to explore the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.
                                                                                               Maximum group size of .
                   June 19-25, June 26-July 2, July 10-16, July 24-30, August 7-13
        Fee: 1-4 people $1760 ($440/person) min. cost          Learning and laughter are the hallmarks of our family
        5 people $2180 (or 5th person) $420-5% off                 Boundary Waters trips. Wolf Ridge’s naturalist
        6 people $2560 (or 6th person) $380-15% off             guide will teach you all the skills needed to meet the
        7 people $2890 (or 7th person) $330-25% off            challenges of a canoe trip. This unique adventure will
        8 people $3190 (or 8th person) $300-30% off                provide stories that your family tells for years.

                Road Scholar*                                                       Family Reunions
            June 26-July 1, July 3-8, July 10-15,
                     July 31-August 5                                                   Call to schedule your dates.
     Build lasting memories to share with your                         Fee: Cost depends on length of stay. Minimum of 0 people.
    grandchildren ages -1. Become a French-
Canadian voyageur and visit our Ojibwe camp.                           Bring your extended family together to make new memories
Learn the ecology of forests and streams, and                          and share stories. Wolf Ridge will offer a variety of activities
take a day trip to Lake Superior. Some of the                          that appeal to all ages and abilities, tailored to your requests
 other activities include hiking to spectacular                        and the season. Options include our adventure ropes course,
 overlooks, paddling a canoe under stunning                                indoor rock climbing, hiking, canoeing, cross-country
cliffs, and experiencing our Adventure Ropes                              skiing, snowshoeing, naturalist guided hikes, voyageur
  course and indoor climbing wall. Call Road                             or Ojibwe activities, star gazing, crafts, campfires....the
      Scholar at --0 to register.                                                 possibilities are many!
                                         *formerly Elderhostel

 Shop on-line at the Wolf Ridge store:                                           www.wolf-ridge.org
                                     Program registration/membershiP Form

  Name                                                   Sex: M ❏ F    ❏      For more information about Wolf Ridge
  Camper birth date          /   /   Age          Grade entering
                                                                                        1-800-523-2733 (WI, MN, ND)
   City                                State               Zip                                  218-353-7414
   Telephone (Day)                             (Eve)

   Program Title                                  Date                      Payment:
                                                                            Registrations must be accompanied by a $150 non-
   Spouse name, names/ages of children for family program.                  refundable deposit. Program fee minus deposit is due at
                                                                            program start.
   Guardian names for Youth Camp Programs.
                                                                            Payment enclosed: Membership           $
                                                                                              Deposit              $
  Roommate preference                                                                             Program Fee      $
  Do we have permission to include your camper's name, age and                                    Calendar         $
  evening phone number on a carpool list sent to other registered
                                                                                                  Total            $
  participants? ❏ NO ❏ YES

                                                                                    ❏    Check (Payable to Wolf Ridge ELC)
  Send Me a Wolf Ridge Calendar:
  ❏   $14 members/$18.95 non-members per calendar (includes postage)            ❏ Visa           ❏ MasterCard          ❏ Discover
  Become a Member of Wolf Ridge:                                              Card #__ __ __ __-__ __ __ __-__ __ __ __-__ __ __ __

  Please check membership level which you prefer:                             PIN#__ __ __                Exp. Date         /
  ❏    $35+     Individual
  ❏    $50+     Family                                                            Authorized Signature

  ❏    $100+   Benefactor                                                                WolF ridge
  ❏    $200+   Sponsor                                                          environmental learning Center
  ❏    $250+ Organization/Business                                                            6282 Cranberry Rd
  ❏    $2500+ Life                                                                            Finland, MN 55603

                     Wolf Ridge enviRonmental lleaRningCenteR
                      Wolf Ridge enviRonmental eaRning CenteR                                                                             Non-profit
                       6282 Cranberry Road                                                                                               U.S. Postage
                       Finland, MN 55603-9700                                                                                                PAID
                       1-800-523-2733 (MN, WI, ND) or 218-353-7414 www.wolf-ridge.org                                                    Permit No. 1
                                                                                                                                         Finland, MN

                                                                            Complimentary Issue
                                                                         Please Consider Membership

              In This Issue:                                                                              About Wolf Ridge
Recycling........................................................1 & 4
View from the Ridge.....................................2 & 3                                Wolf     Ridge is an accredited residential environmental
Profile: Chip Brown...............................................3                            school for persons of all ages. We offer immersion programs
Wolf Ridge Legacy Circle....................................5                                  which involve direct observation and participation in out-
Storytelling Tent................................................6 & 7         door experiences. Wolf Ridge programs focus on environmental sciences,
2012 Wolf Ridge Calendars.................................7                    human culture and history, personal growth, team-building and outdoor
Student Naturalist Update.............................7                        recreation.
                                                                                                              Our Mission
Anorthosite Rocks!..............................................8
Winter Finches.......................................................9
                                                                               To develop a citizenry that has the knowledge, skills, motivation and
                                                                               commitment to act together for a quality environment.
Upcoming Programs...................................10 & 11
                                                                                                              What We Do
                                                                               We meet our mission by:
                                                                               • Fostering awareness, curiosity and sensitivity to the natural world.
                                                                               • Providing lifelong learning experiences in nature.

      Wolf Ridge thanks these                                                  • Developing social understanding, respect and cooperation.
                                                                               • Modeling values, behaviors and technologies, which lead to a sustain-
        generous donors:                                                         able lifestyle.
                                                                               • Promoting the concepts of conservation and stewardship.
       Fred C. & Katherine B. Andersen
             Foundation - $75,000
   Donald Weesner Yellow Bus Fund - $8,000
    Donald Weesner Foundation - $50,000
          Renee Settergren - $1,000
           Beim Foundation - $7,500
     Allen & Kathleen Lenzmeier - $1,000
          Tom & Margit Berg - $1,000
    Access Financial Services, Inc. - $2,000
         Doug & Bev Bennett - $1,000
            Harpreet Kaur - $1,000


         StoneArch Creative - $1,000
       Russ & Becky Bierbaum - $5,000                                                                                                            olf
                                                                                                                                         r   at W
       Kopp Family Foundation - $1,500                                                                                               Dee

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