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NewslettersPeople & PartnersLearning from the Land • Chinook Encounters • From Our Community

January 31, 2017

Resolutions | January 2017 Newsletter

The air is cool, the nights are long, the gardens are asleep. Perhaps it is nature that inspires us to draw inward, treating January as a month for reflection and resolve. Many of us experience the new year as a time to become more fully ourselves—more committed to our heartfelt principles and healthy practices, and more fully engaged in sharing our passions, talents, and longings on behalf of what matters most to each of us.

In a changing world, how will we build and sustain resilient, equitable communities? How engaged can we be in issues that affect us and our neighbors? Together, can we counter hate with love, fear with gratitude, and complacence with hope grounded in practical action?

Read More →

March 10, 2015

Chinook Encounters: Call for Submissions

Help us give voice to the beloved place that is Chinook—the heart of South Whidbey, of the Salish Sea, and of Cascadia. Our experiences and our voices are no less a part of this place than the robins’ and the tree frogs’. Share your stories and help this place be heard!

The Whidbey Institute seeks accounts of your personal encounters with, or at, Chinook—from a meeting with a plant or animal, to a meeting with a friend or a memory, to a meeting with some undiscovered truth or hidden part of yourself. Submissions of prose, poetry, visual art, videography, music, and photography will be gratefully accepted. Read More →

June 22, 2017

Breaking Ground | June 2017 Newsletter

In this issue, find news about Meadow Row North Groundbreaking, development plans at 23rd & Union, Waldorf Potlatch, Thursdays in the Westgarden, our new Art Barn roof, and more!

Click here to view the entire issue and read on. 

May 15, 2017

Big Love | May 2017 Newsletter

You showed us BIG love during Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG on Wednesday. Our community of 225 donors, including 61 new donors, gave $50,048. Combined with $40,000 from two matching grant donors, we are looking at a record-breaking $90,048! This is an essential step for our WI2020 capacity-building campaign as we raise $4.5 million over four years to better serve a growing community.

We especially enjoyed the loving words we received from donors throughout the day. Here are just a few comments that touched our hearts:

“My time at the Whidbey Institute enriched my life beyond explanation. The people and the land combined to enlighten both my mind and soul and I am eternally grateful.”

“There is an abundance of need for us to come together for collaborative inquiry in these turbulent times. The enlivening and contemplative space for learning and connection to earth and others at the Whidbey Institute gives me hope.”

“There is a saying, ‘You can’t choose your family,’ but I was raised to know this is not true. The folks at Whidbey Institute are my neighbors, my friends, my family, and my spiritual home.”

Click here to view the full issue and read on.


May 12, 2017

Landscape & Facilities Assistant Position Available

Posted May 12, 2017.

Click here for the full job description and application instructions.

The Landscape and Facilities Assistant will fill a 10-hour per week position (now through November) and will be responsible for assisting with land and facilities needs at the Whidbey Institute, a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit with 3.5 miles of public trails on 100+ acres, event facilities, and several landscaped and gardened acres.

Work may include weeding, weed whacking, mowing, trail work, landscape gardening, use of chainsaw, splitting wood, basic facilities and road maintenance, construction assistance, garden assistance, event setup, and general on-site assistance.

A consistent schedule is preferred with some flexibility if need arises on other days. Experience working with landscapes, gardens, and basic construction as well as with hand and power tools is preferred, but work ethic and a learning mindset are the priorities.

View required qualifications and more details here.

Working for Good: An Interview With Jessi Massingale

Floyd|Snider recently held a company retreat at the Whidbey Institute, which included a service component with our staff on the land. From the Whidbey Institute staff perspective, the day was an incredible example of volunteerism done well.

The friendship between our two organizations runs deep—Floyd|Snider has had a longstanding tradition of supporting employee participation in Powers of Leadership, and Kate Snider, founding principal, is the current Whidbey Institute Board President.  I had the opportunity last week to talk with Jessi Massingale, a Floyd|Snider Principal with an oceanography and engineering background, about her team’s experience on the land. Here’s that conversation. —Marnie Jackson Read More →

April 25, 2017

Blossoming Connections | April 2017 Newsletter


April 2017 Newsletter: view the issue here

In mid-March, staff member Madisun Stern was tasked with obtaining centerpieces for a donor event at the Whidbey Institute. She wrote this piece about her ensuing experience of community generosity:

With local floral arrangements hard to come by in March, I imagined our flower fund going towards the lush, gorgeous greens that had survived a devastating barn fire at Willowood Farm earlier this spring. My ask to Farmer Georgie for this was instantly met with refusal, and the most gracious generosity—she wouldn’t sell, but would gift us all that I asked as a donation to the Institute. Just weeks before, she’d lost her entire business, except for the produce in her fields—produce that will now adorn the tables at our event. To top it off, their farm assistant (one my dearest friends) surprised me again, going above and beyond by creating the glorious arrangements herself—a service never provided by the farm before! I was humbled to assist on finishing touches, including an adventure to find the perfect beach stones to weight the vases. Read More →

March 28, 2017

Seeking Part Time Volunteer Coordinator

The Volunteer Coordinator will fill a new 10-hour per week position and will be responsible for nurturing the growth of a culture of volunteerism at the Whidbey Institute, a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit. The right person for this job has a strong commitment to service, communicates well, and works well with others in both lead and support roles. Experience with event coordination is a plus.

We seek a flexible, collaborative team member who will fully engage with the Whidbey Institute staff and board, and will help us serve our mission to cultivate place, nurture community, and co-create experiences which grow our human capacity for compassionate, courageous action.

This position averages 10 hours per week, with seasonal variability. The compensation for this part time position is $18 per hour, depending on experience.

• Working with staff to identify volunteer-ready projects and needed skills, then creating and maintaining a list of appropriate routine and one time volunteer projects.
• Working with Land Steward to grow and maintain trail volunteer engagement strategy.
• Working with Communications Manager to develop outreach for volunteers.
• Sourcing and developing relationships with skilled, one-time, and repeat volunteers.
• Organizing volunteer orientations, volunteer workdays, and volunteer celebrations; overseeing the tracking of volunteer time and contributions.
• Participating in relevant staff meetings.

• Proven ability to attract and develop a community.
• Proven ability to self-start, initiate, and build new projects.
• Excellent organizational, time management, and communications skills.
• Computer competency.

• Whidbey Institute is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.
• Applications received by April 10, 2017 will receive priority consideration.
• Qualified applicants are invited to email a letter of interest, resume, and contact information for three references to Marnie Jackson, Communications Manager, at

Pictured: students from the Learn and Serve Environmental Anthropology Field (LEAF) School at Edmonds Community College, volunteering at Whidbey Institute.

From Our Community

These resources are offered by Senior Fellows of the Whidbey Institute or other close members of our community, and are not produced by the Whidbey Institute.

Photo © Tim Snell

Conversations with the curious, compassionate, and courageous co-creators of our desired and emerging future, inspired in part by encounters and inquiries at the Whidbey Institute.

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Walking through nature with a neuroscientist who loves plants and ponders big questions.

Nature’s Depths


Leadership Can Be Taught  “A doorway into the classroom of Harvard’s leadership virtuoso Ronald Heifetz and his colleagues—and an approach to adaptive leadership that responds to the challenges of our more complex and changing world.”

Common Fire  “Revealing how we become committed, and sustain our commitment, to the common good in the face of moral ambiguity, daunting complexity, and frequent discouragement.”

Big Questions, Worthy Dreams  “How mentors and mentoring environments will play a vital role in the potential transformations of thinking, feeling, and networks of belonging that are harbored within emerging adults.”

Mentor  “A practical, engaging exploration of mentoring in adult higher education and its power to transform learning.”

Leadership for the New Commons