One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.”

― Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac


Goals of an organization speak to the mission.  Below is a list that should better help you understand what SDI is, can, and wants to do!


Inspire educators and students to expand their understanding and appreciation (sense of place*) for the geology, natural resources, history, conservation and sustainability of Driftless Region through Sustainable Driftless, Inc.’s  Decoding the Driftless film and lesson plans.

How to do this important and transformative work?

  1. Communicate with key educational staff (library media) within the four state Driftless Region   informing them of free access to the film and lesson plans.
  2. Provide material support (film on USBs, lesson plans, standards alignment, map, etc.) to respondents and support for integration into the classroom through part-time education outreach services.
  3. Develop additional Sustainable Driftless Magazine online resources supporting:
    • Recommended field trip (virtual and face-to-face), educational projects, maps, videos, and lesson plans and relevant fine arts, health, sensory, exceptional education resources
    • Develop educational podcast series appropriate for use by educators and students consisting of interviews with experts or specialists in the areas of the Driftless Region
    • Promote Archeology- Native Americans settlement of the Driftless Region, artifacts, rock and art paintings, burial mounds, LiDAR  geology – Glacial geology, cartography, fossils, sinkholes, caves, Algific talus slopes, goat prairies, natural resources
    • Explain hydrology including watershed, rivers and streams, groundwater, Mississippi River, locks and dams, flood control
    • Highlight plant and animal habitat, biodiversity, adaptation, migration, sustainability and conservation, sense of place*and stewardship
    • Address adaptation issues that comes from the critical timeline of climate change within the Driftless

FOSTER the development of a Sense of Place; and care for this place

*Sense of place refers to the emotive bonds and attachments people develop or experience in particular locations and environments, at scales ranging from the home to the nation. Sense of place is also used to describe the distinctiveness or unique character of particular localities and regions.


–Jan Wee, 

Educational Outreach Coordinator

Sustainable Driftless, Inc.