Northland College is a liberal arts college with a focus on the environment and sustainability
In 1971, shortly after the first Earth Day, Northland College hosted its first environmental conference. One keynote speaker was Sigurd Olson. The environmental outreach arm of Northland College, the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, opened its doors in 1972. The institute works to educate the North country, students and community members about Great Lakes environmental issues.
Northland College is a sponsoring partner of the Chequamegon Bay Area Partnership, a coalition of 14 regional municipalities and tribal governments, state and federal agencies, and non-profit organizations working toward the restoration of Lake Superior. Since September 2010, the partnership has won more than $1 million in competitive grants from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to fund habitat restoration, outreach, and education and environmental survey initiatives. This amount includes two grants totaling nearly $500,000 awarded in August 2011.
The college is also part of the Eco League, a five-college consortium that enables students to spend semesters at Alaska Pacific University, Green Mountain College, Prescott College and College of the Atlantic.