Nature Up North is a community-based organization based at St. Lawrence University whose mission is to foster a deeper sense of appreciation for, and connection to, the North Country environment and in doing so to create a bioregionally literate community that is committed to protecting the wild things and wild places that define this place we call home.
The goal of Nature Up North is to use technology to encourage and enhance outdoor experiential learning. In a world increasingly dominated by technology and defined by a growing sense of apathy toward the natural world, Nature Up North seeks to build an environmental community in northern New York using the technological tools with which people are most familiar. Using web-based technology, Nature Up North enables sharing of experiences and observations in nature through science, art, photography or writing. We seek to foster connections between the North Country landscape, the people who inhabit it, and the inextricable connections between the two.
Connect with Us
Interested in getting outdoors and learning more about the North Country environment? No matter what your age, interest, or ability level, there are many ways to get involved with Nature Up North:
- Get outside with us. We offer guided hikes, canoe paddles, naturalist walks, community campfires, and educational workshops that are free, open to the public, and led by our talented staff members!
- Citizen Science. Our citizen science projects will help you learn to become a scientific observer in your own back yard while contributing valuable information on the North Country environment. Have you ever wondered what flowers are the first to bloom in spring, what birds are first to migrate back to the North Country, or what trees are last to lose their leaves in fall? By helping us collect data about these events, you will be contributing to important scientific research that is going on across the country. Check out our Citizen Science page for more info.
- Join our online community. Create a free user account and start sharing your Encounters, download free trail maps, learn about the fun local outdoor events on our Events Calendar. Join the discussion by commenting on others' Encounter posts and clicking "Northworthy" on the posts you like.
- Become a community partner. Nature Up North is developing partnerships with individuals and organizations here in the North Country who are interested in environmental education, outdoor recreation, and healthy lifestyles. If you are interested in partnering with us, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- K-12 Programs. We are working with local teachers and enhance school curricula with more hands-on, place-based environmental learning opportunities. If you are a teacher or administrator, contact us to talk about ways we can work with you.
YOU are the roots that anchor this project to the North Country. Your questions, comments and suggestions are an integral part in helping us develop a project that meets your needs, and the needs of our community. So get outside! Explore, examine, share, and help Nature Up North become the project it is meant to be.
Nature Up North is the brainchild of Dr. Erika Barthelmess who is a vertebrate ecologist and conservation biologist. Erika works as an Associate Professor of Biology at St. Lawrence University. She earned her B.A. in Biology at Earlham College, her Ph.D.in Systematics and Ecology at the University of Kansas, and conducted post-doctoral research at Vanderbilt University before arriving at St. Lawrence.Her research interests are broad and include the biology of small, isolated populations, the intersection of behavioral ecology and conservation, road ecology, and the ecology and natural history of porcupines. Her longstanding interest in environmental education began as a college student when she worked in a local museum offering programs for local school groups. More recently, she has provided educational programming for State Parks and local North Country schools. In her spare time, Erika enjoys hiking, canoeing, and Labrador retrievers. She is also the past-president of the St. Lawrence Land Trust, a North Country conservation organization.
Kayla Edmunds is a 2021 graduate of St. Lawrence University, where she studied Conservation Biology and African Studies. As an undergrad, she worked as a Nature Up North Summer Naturalist and Digital Media Intern during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, developing online content and virtual environmental education experiences to continue providing programming, even without in-person meetings. Growing up in New Hampshire, her love for the outdoors began with climbing trees and adventuring in her backyard, and expanded through her high schools outdoor program (Project C.L.I.M.B.), which led backpacking trips in the White Mountains. In her free time, Kayla enjoys playing clarinet in the University Wind Ensemble and looking for insects (especially weevils), and is a member of the Grasse River Heritage Board of Directors. Kayla is excited to share her love of the outdoors and foster the same appreciation for and knowledge about the North Country environment that she has.
Interns and Volunteers
Aurora Hager | Digital Media Intern
Aurora is a Senior from Rochester, NY, majoring in Environmental Studies - Sociology Combined with a minor in Spanish. Some of her hobbies include reading, cooking, and playing soccer. One of Aurora's favorite outdoor memories is hiking Ampersand Mountain with a few of her friends as the view as absolutely beautiful and the weather was perfect for an early fall season. Aurora is excited to continue into her 2nd year as a NUN intern as she has always appreciated the community outreach Nature Up North promotes and also wanted to join the program to help people discover their own connection to nature as she has and create long-lasting outdoor memories for everyone.
Shannon Pyne | Digital Media Intern
Shannon is a Senior Creative Writing major, and Studio Art minor from Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Her favorite things to do outside are hiking and camping, and she has a goal of visiting every national park in the United States. In her spare time she enjoys reading, playing ultimate frisbee, and cooking!
Roisin Creedon-Carey | Digital Media Intern
Roisin is a Junior Environmental Studies major with an interest in outdoor recreation management! She also loves knitting and baking. Roisin is from Plattsburgh, NY, and outdoors she likes to canoe and backpack, but often just enjoys looking at the ecosystem around her. She is trying to get into birding as well!