So Long, Saul!

After 35 exciting and fulfilling years as part of this extraordinary community, I am excited to announce that I plan to retire this year on the last day of June. I believe this is the right time for me—and the right time for North Cascades Institute.

Finding the next leader for North Cascades Institute will be a significant milestone. In spite of the chaos that envelopes the world at the present moment, the Institute is healthy and resilient. Our vision, mission and programs will be needed more than ever in the years ahead. While we currently face a challenging confluence of events — the Covid-19 pandemic, a troubled economy, an urgent, widespread focus on racial justice, an incredibly significant national election, and worldwide climate disruption — we must embrace new opportunities as we look to the future.


Succession is about more than finding a new leader who fits the current demands of the job and needs of the Institute. This is a time to take advantage of our current strengths and resiliency to take us to the next level. My transition will allow us all to explore new ideas that will advance and leverage the mission of the Institute, broaden and diversify our audience, and help our board and staff lead the organization into the exciting times ahead.


I intend to: stay open to change and look forward to new adventures and new learning; continue to work and serve, but on my own terms; and spend more time with family and friends to walk and paddle in wildness, watch birds and write in subalpine meadows. And of course, I plan to stay involved with North Cascades Institute and this special part of the world.

In short —less administration, more poetry.

Warmest regards,

saul weisberg signature.jpg
Saul Weisberg, Executive Director


Here's how we celebrated Saul's 35 years of leadership through online events:

• Wednesday, Feb 10: "Light in Winter: A Dialogue Between Two Poets"
An online poetry reading with Saul Weisberg and Holly Hughes. WATCH >>

• Wednesday, March 17, 6 pm
Saul Weisberg in conversation with Kathleen Dean Moore as the kick-off event for the Nature of Writing Spring Speaker Series with Village Books. WATCH >>

• Wednesday, March 24, 6 pm
Saul Weisberg is the featured speaker at Skagit Land Trust's virtual Annual Membership Meeting, and we'll debut a new video on Confluence Easement on the Institute's property on the Skagit River in Marblemount. WATCH >>

• Thursday May 13, 7 pm: "An Evening with Saul Weisberg & Friends"
Join us for a fun evening of looking back over Saul's 35 years at the helm of the Institute and a conversation facilitated by journalist William Dietrich, and author and former dean of Huxley College of the Environment at WWU John Miles

Thursday June 24 6-7:30 pm
We celebrated Saul Weisberg's many accomplishments and long-lasting legacy as a visionary nonprofit leader, educator, naturalist and writer with this online tribute, featuring voices from across the Institute's history sharing stories and well-wishes, plus music, poetry and a toast. From Institute co-founder Tom Fleischner to former staff, board members and graduate students, from partners at the National Park Service and US Forest Service to poets and artists, "Saulapalooza" was a fitting tribute to a singular and extraordinary career of leadership, generosity and service.

About Saul Weisberg

Saul is executive director and co-founder of North Cascades Institute. He is an ecologist, naturalist and writer who has explored the mountains and rivers of the Pacific Northwest for more than 30 years. Saul worked throughout the Northwest as a field biologist, fire lookout, commercial fisherman and National Park Service climbing ranger before starting the Institute in 1986. He has authored Headwaters: Poems & Field NotesFrom the Mountains to the Sea, North Cascades: The Story behind the Scenery, Teaching for Wilderness, and Living with Mountains. Saul has served on the board of directors of the Association of Nature Center Administrators, the Natural History Network and the Environmental Education Association of Washington. Saul and his family live near the shores of the Salish Sea in Bellingham, Washington.

Media coverage of Saul includes "Follow The River: Saul Weisberg’s Lifelong Journey Down the Skagit" — a profile by the Skagit Watershed Council — and several interview podcasts: "Exploring North Cascades National Park" from Living on Earth, "Parks as Classrooms" (2018) and "Park Connections" (2020) from National Parks Traveler.