We struck out this year in our search for a specific, critically endangered mountain caribou herd. We’ve had luck with other herds in the past during their annual fall migration in the larger Rocky Mountain ecosystem where we’re focusing our work.

Aside from bad luck, our lack of sightings can be chalked up to herd numbers declining again this year and wacky weather shifting age-old patterns as the animals scrambled to adjust to winter in September and spring in October. Yet missing the chance to document caribou is still part of an important story.

Mountain caribou in the snow.

As we storyboard for Nature Labs (check out our Instagram stories for the thrilling adventure!), we are weaving our experiences in nature into the digital classroom we’re designing for high school students. In our reality TV world, narrative driven storytelling is a critical teaching tool and our failed caribou adventure, we hope, can spark hard conversations.

Mountain caribou in a clearcut.

Can or should we protect every species at risk? What resources do we dedicate and what strategies should we use? What are our cultural, economic and moral responsibilities? How do we engage each other in these conversations and how can they lead to new thinking and new ideas?

By equipping teachers with the resources they need, we hope to make nature matter in a tangible, accessible way for a new generation. Why? We want to help the next wave of chefs, bankers and ranchers think more critically about the challenges we share in combating the pressing biodiversity crisis.

You can help us bring Nature Labs to life.

Whether purchasing a print on our shop, joining us in the field, making a donation or spreading the word, every act counts.

Thank you,

Jill & Simon