Ice Climbing in Iowa

02/24/2014 at 9:58 pm

Few states are as progressive as Iowa. Iowa was one of the first states to allow women to own property (1838), prevent forced repatriation of slaves (1838), legalize interracial marriage (1851), grant African Americans the right to vote (1867), desegregate the public schools (1868), elect a woman to public office (1869), and many other laudable actions. A more complete list can be viewed here. This progression doesn’t end with civil rights issues.

Just a sports like skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, to list a few, have seen great progression in their sports over the last 25 years, ice climbing was ripe for change. Along came Don Briggs — a professor at the University of Northern Iowa — who had the outside-of-the-box mentality to expand ice climbing to grain silos. Suddenly Iowa had a new achievement to further strengthen it’s reputation as one of the great mountaineering states. As an example …

Labor Day Weekend – South Dakota

09/09/2013 at 8:51 pm

Spontaneous decision making is the hallmark of any good adventure. Going to Rapid City, SD for Labor Day Weekend was one of those decisions. We figured that if we left Ames around 3pm, we would get to Sioux City around 6pm to meet Bailey. After Bailey made a cameo at a baseball game to see if he would win (he didn’t) two round trip tickets to anywhere in the US courtesy of American Airlines, we were able to get out of Sioux City around 9pm and on our way to Rapid City. This allowed for seven hours of throwback music from every band on the ipod we know but never play — or play in secret because we don’t want anyone to know. Some classics included Smash Mouth, Andre Nickatina, Shaggy, Avril Lavigne, Metallica, the list goes on for seven hours until we arrived in Sioux City at 3am Mountain …

Mt. Rainier Expedition Skills Seminar

05/27/2013 at 3:59 pm

Some of the most beautiful and least explored places on this planet are not always easily accessible. An article in the NY Times about the Karakorum Highways piqued my interest in eventually visiting the Himalayas and hopefully the Baltoro glacier in Northern Pakistan. In order to become more acquainted with Glacier travel I decided to sign up for a Mt. Rainier mountaineering skills course offered by RMI (Rainier Mountaineering Inc.) This course introduces participants to all the skills necessary for greater challenges than treks through the Himalayas. After completing the skills seminar participants will have been introduced to all the skills necessary to climb peaks like Mt. McKinley in Alaska or the volcanoes in Ecuador or Mexico among others.

The Camp Muir Expedition Skills Seminar spent Sunday, day 1, at the RMI headquarters in Ashford. This first day was very much an orientation day making sure that everyone …

A journey north of the city

05/03/2013 at 12:12 pm

The American Educational Research Association had the annual meeting in San Francisco last weekend drawing around 15,000 participants from around the world. I was accepted to present some research from the SWH project regarding the effect of the implementation quality of the SWH on student performance. The presentation went well with roughly 75 people attending the session at 8am on sunday morning. There was quite a bit of interest in the topic and methodology after presentation.

The SWH team had four presentations displaying many of the good results we have been seeing due to the inquiry based approach to teaching science that has been employed in all these elementary schools across Iowa. Marcia was presenting results regarding increases in critical thinking and a couple of Brian Hand’s post docs also had presentations. I think everyone enjoyed the great weather in the city and the plethora of good food. I know …

Skiing in Utah – President’s Day Weekend

02/19/2013 at 9:55 pm

Last weekend the family went out to Utah to have an early celebration of our mom’s upcoming 50th birthday. What better way to celebrate than two great days of (injury free?) skiing and snowboarding. Local skier Karl Fostvedt showed us some of the best Utah skiing and made us prove we weren’t gapers by testing our skills on the difficult, double black diamond slopes. We had a perfect bluebird day on Saturday up at Snowbird and an off and on day up at Park City on Sunday.…