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 email@example.com.
- 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.
Dan French is a 2021 graduate of Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. While there, he majored in Sustainability with minors in General Business and Management. As an undergrad he had the opportunity to intern with the National Park Service's Office of Policy in Washington D.C., conduct self-led research on the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid's impact on North American species of Hemlock, and was elected sectetary of his universities ultimate fresbee team, Bentley Icehouse. A native of Potsdam NY, Dan spent many summers cultivating his love for outdoor education at 4-H Camp Overlook where he was a camper turned staff for a total of 14 years. In his free time, Dan enjoys hiking in the Adirondacks and skiing when the snow allows. Most recently, Dan returned to the North Country after a one year term of service as an AmeriCorps member in Montana. He served as the National Wildlife Federation's Garden for Wildlife (TM) Coordinator in Missoula and the surrounding area. Now that he's back, Dan hopes to expand his connection to the environment through whitewater kayaking, backpacking, and expanding access to the wonders of the North Country to anyone and everyone who wants to tag along.
Interns and Volunteers
Fallon Lynn | Summer Naturalist Intern
Fallon is a Senior Creative Writing major at St. Lawrence University and grew up in Upstate New York. She lived in the Finger Lakes region, on Skaneateles Lake, and spent a considerable amount of her childhood in Lake Placid hiking the the Adirondack High Peaks. This summer she is excited to transition from Wine Country to North Country and create new connections with the community and the natural environment we share.
August Kotula | Summer Naturalist Intern
August is a Junior from Peterborough, New Hampshire majoring in Conservation Biology. He is a member of the cross county and track and field teams at St. Lawrence University, and spends most of his time outside even when he is not running. His favorite thing to do outside is to turn over rocks and see what's hiding underneath them, and also really enjoys canoeing.
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!
Patrick Chase | Digital Media Intern
Patrick is a Sophomore from Queensbury, NY. Patrick is interested in majoring in Government and minoring in Environmental Studies. He enjoys hiking the high peaks and skiing with his family in the winter.
Anja Simic | Computer Science Intern
Anja is a Sophomore from Serbia, panning to major in Computer Science. Some of her other interests include philosophy, literature, and chess. This is her 2nd year with Nature Up North and she is excited to continue learning and working on projects!
Laura Bolcduc | Computer Science Intern
Laura is a Junior Environmental Studies/Math combined major with a double major in Computer Science. She is from Gorham, Maine and to get outside enjoys hiking and taking walks around campus/town with her friends! In the computer science world Laura is interested in working and learning more about machine learning.
Eric Williams-Bergen is the Director of Research and Digital Scholarship at St. Lawrence University. He brings together his knowledge of scholarly resources and emerging technologies to help the libraries and IT focus on the planning, implementation and support of digital projects such as LIT web resources, digital collections and institutional repositories. Also a homesteader, Eric has served as a board member for GardenShare and specializes in developing websites for local nonprofit organizations and cooperatives. He has played a key role in developing St. Lawrence University’s new Sustainability Semester. He received his undergraduate degree in Philosophy from St. Lawrence University and a Master’s in Library and Information Science from Simmons College. Outside of his work for the University, Eric enjoys spending as much time as possible in the natural world, including kayaking, hiking, and biking with his family.