Getting to Know the North Cascades Institute (NCI)

This week, we were lucky enough to visit the North Cascades Institute (NCI) where we had a tour led by the lovely Chris Kiser, a Program Coordinator at NCI. Completed in 2005, NCI is located right on Diablo Lake, a gorgeous, turquoise lake just south of Ross Lake tucked into the mountains with incredible views in every direction. To start off, Chris amazed us with the fact that the North Cascades National Park (NOCA) is the second most ecologically diverse National Park in the country. NOCA is also the only park “complex” in the United States, meaning it includes both National Park and National Recreation.

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What’s New at the Zoo?

The Experience: 


Tree Kangaroo

The Woodland Park Zoo is home to a remarkable range of animals from all corners of the world. When we, the SCA interns plus Jimi and Leila, visited on Tuesday we were able to see most of the animals. As we entered the zoo we were handed tokens which were used to show support for research and conservation projects funded by the zoo. I placed my token in the box supporting northwest carnivore research since that is a local project. The zoo funds these projects from a percent of the admission fee, no matter the percent support shown by the public. Another admission related fact: if you take public transit to the zoo and show your transfer or ORCA card then you are eligible to receive two dollars off admission.

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Burke Museum: Not Jurassic Park, but Close Enough


Giant sloth fossils from the ice age

This Wednesday, we, the group of SCA interns, made our way to the Burke Museum. Located in the bustling University district, the Burke Museum is a treat to visit. As we entered the museum we were greeted by our tour guide, Michael. Michael is post undergrad and a volunteer in the museums docent program. Michael, the former zoology major, told us that he never considered education as a life path until he became a volunteer at the Burke Museum. Though it was Michael’s first guided tour, he did an excellent job keeping us involved by asking us questions about what we thought certain artifacts were.

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Wandering the Wing Luke

Today our four interns and a new volunteer, Jimi, ventured out for a tour of the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience and a discussion with the Education Coordinator at the museum.

Handmade mahjong set

Wing Chong Luke himself was the first Asian American to hold elected office in the state of Washington and was a crucial part of the passing of an Open Housing Ordinance in Seattle in 1963 that had provisions against racial discrimination in the selling/renting of real estate. We toured the museum which skillfully recreated a hotel which many immigrants new to Seattle stayed in. After learning a great deal about Wing Luke the plight of the Asian Pacific Americans and their role in Seattle history, we learned about the fabulous opportunities for middle schoolers and high schoolers at the Wing.

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A Trip to the Pacific Science Center

10351581_1450947575160773_5217649452227862257_nThis Friday, two other project interns and I visited the Pacific Science Center. It was quite an experience for me to see the Pacific Science Center again. I hadn’t actually walked around the entire museum since I was far younger. It was fun to see the dinosaur and naked mole rat exhibits that I remember from my childhood. Also, random side note, naked mole rats are extremely fascinating creatures with super interesting social systems. If you ever have time to check out their Wikipedia page, you’ll learn some cool animal facts. There were also several new exhibits such as “Professor Wellbody’s Academy of Health and Wellness.”

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Great to See EMP

10408163_1449665488622315_2876440572608723235_nThis Thursday we, the interns of this project, went to Experience Music Project (EMP). Though some of us had not been to EMP before, I had visited the museum about a year ago and was very excited to go again. The EMP really is an experience. The building itself is designed in such an interesting way that if the museum had no exhibits people could still be entertained simply looking at the interior. However, the exhibits in the museum are extremely impressive as well.

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Today the interns ventured out of downtown Seattle to visit the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) in its new location in South Lake Union. We were greeted by the fashionable Adult Public Programs Assistant and Education Coordinator who gave us a tour of the museum and also had a lot to tell us about the programs for teens, some which are very recent, that are available at the museum.

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