October 2021 Newsletter
Indigenous Peoples' Day
(One of the 365 days every year we should spend thinking about the original knowledge holders of the places we inhabit and visit)
Our intrepid group of Montana Afoot & Afloat travelers kicked off their fall semester with a backpacking trip along the Rocky Mountain Front, kayaking expedition on the Upper Missouri River, visits to the Blackfeet Nation and Fort Belknap Indian Community, and meetings with a host of ranchers, farmers, land managers, activists, and other community members in the special landscapes where the mountains meet the plains.

The group recently set out on a backpacking trip in the Big Snowy Mountain Range, where they began to explore theories and case studies in environmental ethics. After a front country journey into the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, they are now gearing up for the fourth and final section of their course centered around a float down the Bighorn River and time on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. Mark your calendars for October 27, when the group will return to Missoula for a final presentation synthesizing their experiences in the field, which we'll stream live on WRFI's Facebook page. Keep an eye on Facebook and Instagram for details on time and location as the date approaches!
Want to experience the seasonal shift from summer to fall while immersed in Montana's mountain, river, and prairie communities? Apply today for WRFI's 2022 Montana Afoot & Afloat course, and earn an entire semester's worth of credits OUTSIDE the classroom!
Know anyone interested in learning more about WRFI? Send them our way! We'll be hosting virtual information sessions throughout fall semester and we welcome all students, faculty, advisors, and others who want to know more about who we are and what we do. These are great opportunities to meet WRFI staff and alumni, hear stories from the field, and ask questions about how students can make WRFI a part of their college plan.
View the full schedule on our website, or register for a Zoom link below:

**Please note that times above are listed in Mountain Standard Time**
Earn college credit—OUTSIDE! Now accepting applications for 2022 courses!
Desert Canyons & Cultures | Mar 22 - May 23, 2022
Energy & Climate Change in Montana | June 14 - July 11, 2022
Summer Semester | June 16 - July 27, 2022
In the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem | June 20 - July 10, 2022
Climate Change & Visions of a Sustainable Future | July 20 - Aug 9, 2022
Human/Land Relations | Aug 24 - Oct 25, 2022
Desert Canyons & Cultures | Sept 13 - Nov 14, 2022
Meet Seneca Norvell
As a student at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, Seneca Norvell noticed a poster on campus that seemed to be about taking a class while cycling. Further inspection led her to more information about WRFI's Cycle the Rockies course, which immediately captured her attention. Seneca was majoring in Studio Art, but was intrigued by the opportunity to learn holistically with WRFI—that is, to learn about energy and climate change while also exploring what it meant to use her own body to power movement across a vast landscape with a new group of people. In the summer of 2021, she joined a group of eight other students from across the country as they cycled across the state of Montana examining climate change impacts, rural economies, and the future of energy production in the West.

Seneca appreciated how many of the guest speakers on her course brought up themes of community and the possibility for small actions to have large impacts. She was deeply inspired by the people she met who were working collaboratively on ideas that may have had small, local origins, but that also carried the potential to have far-reaching implications. These encounters left her feeling hopeful about her own abilities to contribute to social and environmental change.

As she moves forward with her studies at St. Olaf, Seneca hopes to keep one foot in the art world while also pursuing a path centered around environmental action. As the recipient of WRFI's 2021 Beth Morris Scholarship, Seneca produced a collection of sketches that aim to synthesize her experiences on Cycle the Rockies, which are now available to view as a part of her digital portfolio.
"When I set flight for Missoula in the middle of June 2021, little did I know how the next 28 days were going to unfold. On June 16th, I left Missoula for Billings with 8 other students and 2 professors. We biked from Billings to Whitefish, carrying everything we needed, including textbooks, tents, cooking supplies, tired bodies, hungry minds, and full hearts. Cycling strips life down to the essentials: food, sleep, humor, community. The following collection of sketches and multimedia works come from the time I spent moving forward and up and down mountains. They are moments that struck me in some kind of profound way. They are landscapes I stood trying to understand how it can be so. They are moments I let the rational fly from my brain. The sketches are abstracted to various degrees. With time and actual colors magnified by experience while cycling, I wasn’t trying to create realistic images."

-Seneca Norvell
Wild Rockies Field Institute is a 501(c)3 organization. Your gift is fully tax deductible. Our Federal Identification Number is 81-0487425.