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Student Posts

Bottomless Halibut and the Art of Persuasion

Five sun rises and six sun sets went by in the in the blink of an eye.

The 2018 Environmental Rhetoric course brought together 12 students, of all ages, from all walks of life. The unifying factor? A deep love and fierce passion to protect the natural spaces of our world.

The course was based around the book Across the Shaman’s River, and taught by the author, Dan Henry. For six days, we discussed the themes of the book that centered around John Muir, Wilderness, Indigenous people of the region, and above all, rhetoric. The art of using all available means to persuade.

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Harker School to Inian Islands Institute

Inian welcomes guest writer Edwin Su, a high school student from Harker School in San Jose, California. Edwin and his classmates participated last July in the first high-school-age programming at Inian Islands Institute. 

Coming from an extremely urban background in the Silicon Valley, I never stopped to think where everything I consumed came from. The food that I ate, the energy I used, and the technology that fueled my everyday life was all a mystery to me despite how much I depended on them. My curiosity of the sources of these needs grew when I read the description of a course that was going to be taught at my high school in the summer. It was titled “Human Ecology: Our Place in Nature,” and it focused on educating students about how the environment is affected by people. Read more

Teachers in the Wilderness

Inian welcomes guest writer Kate Schafer, science teacher at Harker School in San Jose, California, and participant in our first Teacher Expedition in partnership with Discovery Southeast.

I teach at a school in the middle of Silicon Valley.  It’s an amazing school filled with students that are serious and dedicated.  They are focused on getting into colleges that will help them to get good jobs that their families will be proud of.  I’ve been teaching there for a decade, and during that time, I have been continually amazed by their curiosity and desire to try and make the world a better place, but typically this is in the context of becoming a doctor, a lawyer or an engineer. Read more

“Alaska. Yoga. Retreat.”

Inian welcomes guest writer Wendy Cypert, participant in our 2016 Alaska Yoga Retreat. 

Somewhere in California behind a desk…

It began with a day dream, a respite from the relentless emails, phone calls and customer demands that crowd so many of our day to day lives. I longed for quiet and for solitude, maybe a retreat in someplace beautiful…?  In the rectangular blue search bar I wistfully typed…ALASKA. YOGA. RETREAT Read more

To Alaska

As guest blog writer, Inian Islands Institute welcomes Elizabeth Hillstrom, a wonderfully bright Stanford student in mechanical engineering — and, we hope, a future intern at the Inian Islands!

We came to Alaska to learn about sustainability.  There were over twenty of us at any given time: twelve undergraduate students, plus our professor, instructors and course assistants, a local coordinator, a media tag-team, and a rotating cast of guest lecturers, experts in everything from ecology to policy to art history.  We moved as a herd.  We did not come to the woods to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life; we came as a mob of disoriented students with a support crew, hoping to glean something intellectually useful from an environment and lifestyle completely foreign to us: to neatly wrap up these lessons and take them back to our well-planned academic lives.

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Into the Wilderness

Inian Islands Institute welcomes Erin Bumpus, a junior at Earlham College in Indiana, as this month’s guest author!

Never in my life had I seen waters so turquoise.  Our little boat drifted towards the Inian Islands over a forest of kelp, vibrant with life.  The above-water scenery looked like a landscape painting, something I’d seen only in pictures, or wildlife documentaries narrated by invisible men with British accents.  In the distance lay a panorama of snow-capped mountains. In the foreground, rocky shores decorated with three green houses and the smiling faces of Zach Brown and Annika Ord, our instructors for the week.

We crossed a small bridge to a little garden and the buildings that make up the property, where Jane Button, the most lovely individual and as we would all soon learn, the most amazing cook in all of the Inian Islands, gave us a tour.  Not two hundred yards from the Hobbit Hole, we found ourselves standing at the edge of the Tongass National Forest.  We were surrounded by Wilderness.

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