More Stories

The New Norm
  • Staff Stories
Jennifer Anderson, Enrollment and Marketing Associate

COVID-19 has hit us all by storm. This is a current update on the CS20 (Spring 2020) semester experience. 

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Ice Cutting
  • History
  • Staff Stories
Michael Salat, History Teacher

A lesson in ice cutting engages students in history, science, team-building, and philosophy on Big Donahue Lake.

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Ice Town 2020
  • Activities
  • Staff Stories
Adam Scott, History Teaching Fellow

CS20 (Spring 2020) Quinzee Ice Town was an epic record breaker thanks to the leadership and enthusiasm of both staff and students!

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Lake Labyrinth
  • Reflection
  • Staff Stories
Maia Stack, Environmental Ed. Teaching Fellow

Getting "slushed" while on a frozen lake can be humbling. Even the best laid plans are not immune to winter slush! 

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Night Hike
  • Outdoor Skills
Haley Chelsvig, Outdoor Skills Teaching Fellow

All students participate in staff-led campus night hikes to get used to being outside in the dark.

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Conservation Dogs
  • Alumni Stories
  • Conservation
Jill Rennicke, Alumni Coordinator

Dogs are a conservationist's best friend. CS1 Alum Kayla Fratt introduces students to Working Dogs for Conservation.

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Bog Walk
  • Science
Andrew Deaett, Science Teacher

The bog walk lesson in Science serves as an introduction for students to a unique ecosystem in the Northwoods.

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Oysters Away
  • Alumni Stories
  • Conservation
Jill Rennicke, Alumni Coordinator

Audrey Swanenberg, a 2008 Alum, is part of an ambitious program to restore the glory of Chesapeake Bay.

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CS19 Kickoff
  • Move-in Weekend
Kate Arpke Houle, Communications Specialist

Here is a little slice of the activities, academics, and adventuring students have been involved with since CS19 arrived almost two weeks ago.

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Superiors Ten
  • Exploration Week
Audra Hamlin, CS18, Stoneham, ME

Exploration Week is a time of bonding, some hardship, and tremendous growth. This is often magnified when the weather presents it's own challenges. 

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  • Reflection
  • Science
Dylan, CS18, Viroqua, WI.

Phenology is the act recording what one observes in nature over time. Here is a look at several pages from spring of one student's Phenology Book.

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Horticulture Lab
  • Activities
  • Stewardship
Melissa Hogfeldt, Ecology Teaching Fellow

Our community garden is one way that semesters become interwoven with one another. One semester will plant while the next may harvest. 

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Maple Tree Tapping
  • Activities
  • Stewardship
Jean Haack, Stewardship Coordinator

Spring is an exciting time in the Northwoods. Snow is melting, birds are chirping and sap is flowing. CS18 got their first lesson in Maple Tree Tapping last week!

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Fulbright Norway
  • Accolades
Kate Houle, Communications Specialist

Teaching Fellow, Martha Torstenson was awarded a Fulbright in Norway researching seasonal adaptations and how they relate to resilience to climate change.

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WFIRST Telescope
  • Accolades
  • Alumni Stories
Jill Rennicke, Alumni Coordinator

Conserve School alum, Eric Frater (2007) works on a space telescope that just might illuminate clues to the origins of life on earth

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Bogs by Night
  • Science
Leanna Jackan, Science Teacher

Science Teacher, Leanna Jackan hosted a late night candlelight bog hike where students explored both folktales and scientific explanations of bogs.

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Solo Prep
  • Outdoor Skills
Haley Chelsvig, Outdoor Skills Teaching Fellow

Yesterday, with excitement, students embarked on their Solo trips, a mainstay of the Conserve School experience.

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Fun with Fungi
  • Activities
Shelby Roback, Stewardship Teaching Fellow

Students explored the world of fungi both artistically and scientifically. Learning about and hunting mushrooms in the forest and then painting them in the art room.

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Picture This
  • Exploration Week
Emily, CS17, Bayfield, WI

Weather rolls in quickly on Lake Superior. This is one student's experience backpacking during Exploration Week on Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

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Time Traveling
  • English
Jeff Rennicke, English Teacher

The Five Lake Loop is a favorite lesson for both students and teachers alike! It is a combined History and English lesson that traverses the Sylvania.

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Edible Harvest
  • Stewardship
Eleva Potter, Stewardship in Action Teacher

In Stewardship class students harvested wild edibles, made delicious recipes, and came up with their own guidelines for harvesting with respect and for sustainability.

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New Camper on Staff
  • Staff Workshop
Kate Houle, Communications Specialist

Our new English Teaching Fellow, Noah, from Detroit has shared a journal entry from his first camping trip in the Sylvania Wilderness during a staff training expedition.

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Alaska glacier travel
  • Adventure
  • Alumni Stories
Jill Rennicke, Alumni Coordinator

Ahmae Epstein, CS11 Alum, describes how Conserve School ignited her passion for Alaska and made her determined to witness it with her own eyes. 

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Educational Sustainability
Eleva Potter, Stewardship in Action Teacher

The summer residency for UW-Steven Point's new Doctorate of Education in Education Sustainability took place at Conserve School. Doctoral students from California, Rhode Island, Maryland, Beijing and Wisconsin met to present what they learned in the first year of their program.

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A Sense of Place
Clayton, CS16 Student (Shorewood, WI)

...the power of the solo experience becomes clear. Through spending over 24 hours in a single area, some of the more intricate workings of this campus became familiar.

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Leaving With a Purpose
Margaret Butler

... I feel like I understand myself better and have a clearer view of my own passions and aspirations. I'm excited to further my work as an environmental steward and apply what I've learned at Conserve to my hometown and all other communities and places I live...

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The Five Lake Loop
Kate Houle, Communications Specialist

What do History, English, and the famous Five Lake Loop have to do with each other? Read about the much anticipated and loved day of hiking and portaging to five different lakes in the Sylvania Wilderness!

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A Story of Art
Jill Rennicke, Alumni Coordinator

Nyika Campbell, CS8 Alum attends the University of CO Boulder, her art inspires us to look closely and to appreciate the creativity in each piece. Sometimes a visual story speaks for itself. Thank you to Nyika for sharing her work. We continue to be inspired by our alums and the work they are doing.

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Growing a New Path
Jill Rennicke, Alumni Coordinator

Not all college paths are created equal. CS4 alum Mikaylo Kelly has designed his own special major called "Food Justice" at Augustana College to explore the ever-changing human relationship with food: what we eat, how it is produced, and the impact it has on the earth.

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We've Weathered the Storm
Stefan Anderson

Today marks the beginning of the fifth week for the students of Conserve School semester 16. Over the past 31 days the students have moved from a tentative group of strangers to a close knit group of friends. I have appreciated the chance to observe this evolution.

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Three Bear Sled Dog Race
Emily Hayne, Wilderness Fellow

A special event for the town of Land O' Lakes, many locals and visitors gather to support Sled Dog racing teams. Also an especially memorable weekend for Conserve School students as they volunteer and learn about the unique winter sport of Dog Sledding.

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January is Renewal Time
Stefan Anderson

The past month has been a busy one as Conserve School has moved from a tearful goodbye for the students of semester 15 to the intensely busy work of refreshing the campus for the arrival of the semester 16 students. I have often heard comments about how great it must be to work at Conserve School with such nice relaxing breaks between the semesters. This month I would like to share with you a bit of how staff have been spending that "relaxing time".

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CS15 Nature Photography
Jeff Rennicke, Photography and English Teacher

In this hands-on, experiential course we explore the role of photography in nature appreciation, art, and activism using the natural setting of the Conserve School campus and the nearby Sylvania Wilderness as our subject.

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Women On Wheels
Katie Ledermann, CS3

Pedaling for Power: CS3 alumi Katie Ledermann completes a bicycle ride across the country to raise awareness of the importance of our public lands. Click here to read Katie's story of her journey.

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Holiday Craft Fair
Kate Houle, Communications Specialist

The bonding, the warmth, the creativity, good conversation, camaraderie and laughter were fueled by homemade treats and the satisfaction of making and creating with our own hands.

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Outdoor Skills Workshop
Wilderness Teaching Fellow, Emily Hayne

"Lumberjack lessons and events have widened my idea of what outdoor skills are. I used to think that outdoor skills just included things like backpacking, rock climbing and canoeing, but really there so much more."

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Noticing the Unnoticed
Tanner, CS15, Oak Creek, WI.

"The photos from the simple camera I traveled with will be visual aids to all my peers and to me in the future, showing what we need to fight so hard to preserve and continue enjoying for our generation and generations to come."

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Stewardship Day
Jennifer Anderson

Each semester a day is devoted to giving back to Conserve School in the form of stewardship. This spring, students spent half of the day working on permaculture projects in the garden and the other half pulling invasive species.

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