Photo Gallery: 24 hours in the field with the Salish Sea Biodiversity, Culture, and Conservation class

WWU students enrolled in the Salish Sea Biodiversity, Culture, and Conservation course started class Tuesday, Aug. 9, with high spirits and a much heavier pack than most imagined as they set off on a week-long hike through the North Cascades.

The hiking trip is just one portion of the four-week summer field school, where students have the opportunity to learn from ecologists, resource managers, Indigenous land managers, conservation professionals, activists, and each other as they experience the natural world.

The group hiked roughly five miles their first day and summited Tamarack Peak the next morning, all just a normal day of class for Thomas “Abe” Lloyd, the Department of Environmental Sciences instructor who leads the course.

WWU photographer Luke Hollister tagged along for part of the trip to give us a look at the first 24 hours on the trail.

Students observe 360 views of the Cascades after hiking up Tamarack Peak.
Environmental Science Instructor Thomas “Abe” Lloyd, far right, takes a class photo before heading out on the Pacific Crest Trail.
Students camped below Tamarack Peak and a full moon on August 9.
Students listen to Environmental Science Instructor Thomas “Abe” Lloyd and take notes during a mid-day discussion.
Students begin their final trek of the day as they head from Windy Pass to a camp below Tamarack Peak after stopping for a short break.
Student Betsy Knutson-Keller observes a plant while taking notes atop Tamarack Peak.
Students climb on their hands and knees up to the top of Tamarack Peak after getting a 6:30 a.m. start to their morning.
A student looks at the view looking north from the top of Tamarack Peak.
Student Finn Tobias hikes along a ridge on Tamarack Peak.
Elliana Currie hikes across Windy Pass.