Burrowing Owls via Flickr

On the insistence of owls

1. One day last summer, my partner and I hiked a loop that began at Crawford Oaks in Columbia Hills State Park, located on the Washington side of the river, just east of The Dalles. It was a spontaneous decision—to go on the hike in the first place, to do a full loop, to begin [...]

SECRETS Costume Ball flier

SECRETS After Dark: Costume Ball

It’s that time of year again: the Columbia Gorge Ecology Institute cordially invites you to join us for a night of celebration at our annual SECRETS After Dark Costume Ball. This year, our event will take place on Friday, October 28th at River City Saloon (207 Cascade Avenue, Hood River). Starting at 8pm, join us [...]

Meet a rock

on Getting Close

  I have this memory: I was very young, sitting in the backseat of my mom’s car, her driving. Looking out through the windows like I’d just noticed their transparency, I saw for the first time, I mean really saw, the mountains surrounding us, making up the Rogue Valley in which we lived. Curious and [...]

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How to Adapt

a brief user’s guide on getting through life, as gleaned from plant adaptations invented by students in our SECRETS program.   1) Everything that comes out of your mouth can be a seed—or a thorn.                                         [...]

Blue belly

on Wonder

In grad school, I learned to be really good at answering questions. You had to be—English departments, in striving for quantifiable excellence that might mirror their scientific sister departments, have come to prioritize things like thesis statements, highly specialized arguments, and the propping up of one’s reasoning on legs made of unquestionable steel.     [...]

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SECRETS After Dark Costume Ball

Join us for our first annual SECRETS After Dark Costume Ball on October 25th. The theme for the costumes this year is going to be Mythological Creatures of the Woodland Realm. Costume ideas may include fairys, trolls, sasquatch, bird people, talking trees, and many other mythical creatures (we know, sasquatch isn’t mythical but it’s a [...]

First Impressions

It’s my second week in the Columbia River Gorge and I still cannot believe how lucky I am to call this place my new home. As I recall the awe and beauty I felt gazing at Mt. Hood for the first time, I remember how I immediately wanted this land to become a part of [...]

Spring Equinox Party on Saturday March 22nd

Jumping for Joy

2013 Fall Field Trips Slideshow

With all of the sunny weather we’ve had recently and our 2013 fall field trips complete we’re looking forward to moving into a snowy winter. However, we were fortunate enough to capture the sun with the majority of our field trips and had an incredible time expanding the sense of wonder within all of the [...]

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Volunteer with SECRETS!

You’ve heard of our SECRETS program, maybe you even went through it! Now we want your help to educate a new class of SECRETS stewards! After 16 years in the Gorge and working with thousands of students we are still just as excited to be starting 17th year! If you want to be involved we [...]