Message from the Executive Director

Saul7.7.14.jpgWe’re looking for people with a passion for field-based environmental education who want to influence change by building healthy, creative organizations. That means an equal interest in field teaching techniques and the behind-the-scenes work that makes programs happen and organizations thrive.

At North Cascades Institute, we believe that people learn best by doing. This commitment is at the heart of the Institute and its graduate program. Our 28 years of experience has shown us that experience in the field is the best way to learn about the natural world and how to teach others about it. We also believe it’s the best way to learn essential leadership skills -- working in a fast-paced organization facing real challenges and opportunities. Together, these experiences will prepare you for an exciting future.

What will this program give you? At the end of seven quarters, you will receive a Master of Education in Environmental Education from Western Washington University’s Huxley College of the Environment. You’ll also earn Certificates in Northwest Natural History and Leadership and Nonprofit Administration from the Institute. You will have a solid grounding in place-based education and natural and cultural history. You will be able to design and implement real programs, understand budgets and financial statements, develop successful grant proposals, work with the media, hire and lead a staff, and ask for big money from major donors. You will be ready to start and sustain your own 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization or get a great job helping an established organization flourish.

For one year you will live and work at our Environmental Learning Center next to the glacial green waters of Diablo Lake. Nestled in the heart of North Cascades National Park, the Learning Center is surrounded by 7,000,000 acres of protected public lands in Washington and British Columbia.

With our partner, Western Washington University’s Huxley College of the Environment, we will help you map the future contours of your life.

If you want to be a leader in this field linking education and the environment, we designed this program with you in mind. We invite you to come and hike our trails, paddle our lakes, visit the Learning Center and call with your questions. We’re excited to have you join us in this great adventure!

Graduate M.Ed. Program Brochure
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Accolades
  • Western Washington University is the highest-ranked public master’s-granting university in the Pacific Northwest according to 2013 college rankings from U.S. News and World Report, and was named a Top 50 university offering “outstanding value with a first-class education” by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. Ranked in the top 50 of Sierra Magazine’s Coolest Schools.


  • Bellingham was named one of the best outdoor adventure towns by Outside Magazine and National Geographic Adventure and one of the “24 Best Places to Live and Work” by Sunset Magazine.


  • North Cascades Institute is the Recipient of the Environmental Education Association of Washington’s Organizational Excellence award, Charity Navigator’s Best Environmental Protections and Conservation Group, Bellingham Alive! Readers Poll "Best Place to Work" and Sunset Magazine’s Environmental Heroes award.