CongratsTamarac Refuge Photo Contest Winners!

Susan's Eye By Alyssa Olson

Congratulations to 2011 students winners of Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge Nature Photo contest!!!!!

19 students from the summer Nature of Technology Camps submitted to the contest this year. These photos represent 2 days of shooting at the Refuge.

5th-8th grade students participated in the Nature of Techology camps, July 11-14 at Waubun High school and July 18-22 at Mahnomen High School.

This program is sponsored by the Center for College Readiness at Minnesota State Technical College and Extension Service at the White Earth Tribal and Community College in Mahnomen, MN and 4-H of University of Minnesota.

The Tamarac Photo Contest recognizes outstanding amateur nature photography that showcases the wildlife, plant life, and natural beauty of the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge. Student work was entered in all categories regardless of age as well and in two newly added categories of “Youth: 12 years and younger” and “Youth: 13 to 17 Years Old”.

  • Plant Life

Third Place: Susan’s Eye, Alyssa Olson, 8th, Mahnomen High School

Clear Water and Leaf By Meya Rojas
  • Youth: 12 years and Old and Younger

First Place: Clear Water and Leaf, Meya Rojas, 7th grade, Waubun High School

Second Place: Things are Looking Up, Tessa Zima, 7th grade, Waubun High School

Third Place: Pearly Everlasting Fuzz,  Anna Donner, 7th grade, Waubun High School

  • Youth: 13-17 Years Old

Second Place: Susan’s Eye, Alyssa Olson, Mahnomen High School

Third Place: Just Hanging Out, Justine Haugo, Mahnomen High School

M.Rojas, T. Zima, and A. Donner


Honorable Mentions

Waubun High School: Zoe Allen, 6th grade, Anna Donner, 7th grade, and Reba Lego, 9th grade

Mahnomen High School: Wyatt Benedickson, 6th grade, Josie Defoe, 7th grade, and Alyssa Olson, 8th grade


WE Man Tracking training featured on MPR

Trackers revive, teach old skill for finding lost people

by Dan Gunderson, Minnesota Public Radio

October 28, 2011

Naytahwaush, Minn. — In the vast forests and open spaces of Minnesota, finding missing people can be expensive and time consuming.

When someone is lost in the north woods, searching for them often requires airplanes, helicopters and dozens of people.

To make such searches more efficient, White Earth tribal conservation officers are learning an ancient skill called man tracking.

Learning to follow the tracks people leave behind can save time and money, said Al Fox, the tribe’s chief conservation officer. But to do so, searchers must crouch low to the ground to read signs an untrained observer would miss, like footprints buried beneath pine needles and leaves.

“If you get down in here you can actually see little details,” Fox said of clues left in the forest during a training exercise earlier this month. “Like right here. See that imprint right there? That would be the heel strike. That would be the back of the boot.”  –more on MPRNews website

November Workshops

Intro to Beading Monday, November 14th  6-8 pm.
Learn how to make beaded earrings from several different styles. Children ages 12 and up are welcome with an adult for the same cost of $12. Class is limited to 8 people. Sign up today! Instructor, Dennis Williams, belongs to the Pillager Band of Ojibwe and lives with his family on the White Earth Reservation in Mahnomen.  His interests include grass dancing, making beadwork/designing regalia for family and friends, playing basketball, and working with youth throughout Indian Country.
Intro to FermentationSaturday-November 19thfrom 9-3pm
Make your own Kimchi!
Kimchi is a generic name for a multitude of seasonal and regional varieties of pickled or fermented vegetable side dishes flavored with spices, and high in vitamins, minerals, and lactic acid. This class will be hands on experience into the process of Fermentation. Fermenting is a great way to preserve and boost nutrient density and is an easier way for the body to assimilate those nutrients. Class fee is $8 and is limited to 12 people.
Steve Dahlberg is an instructor and Director of Extension at White Earth Tribal and Community College. 
Both classes will be held at Wadiswan building (new campus) at White Earth Tribal and Community College, 2250 College Road, Mahnomen, MN
To register Call Becca at 218-935-0417 Ext 314 or email at

2010 Nature of Technology Camps are a success!

By Kaitlyn Murray, Waubun

Twenty-nine students in grades six through eight participated in the Nature of Technology Camps held July 12-15 at Waubun High School and July 19-22 at Mahnomen High School. Students were given intensive training in Nature Photography and an introduction to GPS, throughout the camp and especially on the day trip to the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge.

“I liked being able to be in the bird blinds and take pictures (while at the Tamarac),” said Hattie Dorman.

Students also learned how to use a telescope as a camera called digi-scoping,  how to use an online editing and enhancing program  called Picasa as well as basic how to create a photography show. The student’s work was celebrated by staff and family in a closing photography show.

“I learned how to take lots of cool pictures and how to take them at different angels.” Said 8th grader Laura Lindsay.

The Waubun and Mahnomen Nature of Technology camps were made possible by a grant from the Minnesota State Community and Technical College awarded to the Extension office of the White Earth Tribal and Community College in partnership with the University of Minnesota, 4-H. To see some of the  Waubun student’s work go to

Waubun Camp (Left to right) Front row: Steve Maanum, Hannah Lanoue, Murphy Cammisuli, Ethan Benson, Reba Lego, Hattie Dorman, Megan Fairbanks, Heyley Lehmann, Josie Bellanger, Matt Fairbanks and Rebecca Dallinger 2nd Row: Steve Dahlberg, Laura Lindsay, Zach Beaupre, Alexis Belland, Kaitlyn Murray, Lara Hanks, Miya Rojas, Tanner Bellanger, Hunter Boudreau Photo by Pam Lehmann
Mahnomen camp (Left to right ) Front row: Steve Dahlberg, Extension WETCC Director, Katahna Bosley, Whitney Granger, Alyssa Olson, Rebecca Dallinger (Camp Coordinator &Photographer), and Photographer Steve Maanum 2nd row, Joe Courneya (U of MN 4-H), Skye Arriola, Angela Amberg, Keshawn Goodwin, Ashley Johnson, Michael Larson, Justine Haugo, Debbie Dixon and Javonnis Knox Photo by Pam Lehmann

The Fine Art of Vinegary


Leatherwood Vinegary is nestled on a beautiful site north of Long Prairie River. Ron and Nancy Leasman are the artisans living and working with natures gifts on this mystical quaint farm. WETCC Extension and Leatherwood Vinegary crossed paths during a Regional Flavors Ecotourism gathering. That is where the journey begins.

The universe seems to open paths to knowledge at the most opportune times. A group of community members that were involved in the garden immersion sessions were reflecting over the lessons that presented themselves over the past year. Our gardens and wild food harvests were spectacular this year. Sometimes all that goodness has it challenges . We were running out of fresh ideas of how to prepare, process and/or store the abundant crops from the years harvest. Too many times over-planted crops end up in the compost pile. Kale and cucumbers are wonderful and nutritious, but you can only eat so much of it.  We also wrestled with the issue of the fruits having a lot of sugar added to them in making jams and juices. Being the enthusiastic group that we are, we knew resolve would come our way.

The fine folks from Leatherwood Vinegary offered a tour of their amazing establishment. Once there, the answers to so many issues came to us in one neat package. Vinegar. A kitchen staple that may be overlooked and under used by many of us.

Plans were made on the spot for a workshop to learn the basics of vinegary. A small group went to the intensive hands-on teachings given by experienced vinegarist, Ron Leasman. With a lot of patience (and written instructions), Ron sent us on our way to produce fine vinegars.

In a few months, this group will have had enough experience to share their knowledge with the community. Please contact WETCC Extension if you would like to learn the fine art of vinegary!