John Bates & Mary Burns

Wildflowers to Nesting Loons to Old-Growth Forests - Nature Study

May 20-25, 2017 (Four Teaching Days)

Well-known for its extraordinary number of lakes and its vast national and state forests, northern Wisconsin is home to an exceptional diversity of wildlife. We’ll hike in a variety of habitats from bogs to old-growth forests, go birding in a state wildlife area, assist with bird banding, take a wildflower hike, and paddle a river and lake system. Through additional presentations, participants will dive into the life histories of animals, from uncommon species like wolves, eagles, loons, and lake sturgeon to commoners like white-tailed deer, beaver, and Canada geese. The week will be easygoing but active with several hands-on/feet-wet sessions as well as more traditional talks.

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John Bates is the author of seven books and a contributor to seven others, all of which focus on the natural history of the Northwoods. He’s worked as a naturalist in Wisconsin’s Northwoods for 27 years, leading an array of trips all designed to help people further understand the remarkable diversity and beauty of nature, and our place within it.

John won the 2006 Ellis/Henderson Outdoor Writing Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers for his book Graced by the Seasons: Spring and Summer in the Northwoods. He has also served on the Board of Trustees for the Wisconsin Nature Conservancy and the Wisconsin Humanities Council, and now serves on the Board of the River Alliance of Wisconsin and the Board of the Northwoods Land Trust.

Mary Burns expresses her love of northern woodlands and waters in her weavings and writings. An award winning weaver, her work resides in private homes across the United States.  Mary creates tapestries and felted work that reflect the hues and patterns of the natural world. Mary’s most recent project is the Ancestral Women Exhibit. The exhibit includes woven portraits of an elder from each of Wisconsin’s 12 Native tribes as well as an additional 12 complimentary weavings. She teaches tapestry and other forms of weaving as well as felting.

Mary’s love of the natural world also shines in her natural history work she does with her husband John Bates. Together they lead wildflower, birding, and natural history hikes and discussions. Mary’s first novel Heartwood (2003) is a fantasy/natural history novel for young adults. She is a contributor to A Place to Which We Belong: Wisconsin Writers on Wisconsin Landscapes (1998). Mary and John have lived in Mary’s grandparent’s home in northern Wisconsin since 1984.

This is a Studio and Feild Study Workshop.
Something for All Levels.

Workshop Fee plus tax per student: 
If 12 or more students attend class (all teaching days): $305
If 11-10 students attend class (all teaching days): $315
If 9-8 students attend class (all teaching days): $325
Room & One Dinner Fee plus tax: $385
(There are 5 nights' accommodations included in the "Room & One Dinner Fee" listed above.)
Cancellation Policy, Class Fees and Tiered Pricing Explained
A partial tuition scholarship is offered
Workshop Itinerary


REGISTER NOW for John & Mary


Workshop Itinerary

For this week, the arrival date is Saturday, not our normal Sunday.

Saturday, 5/20
Check-In to your unit at Dillman’s (check-in time is 3:00)
5:00 Welcome Reception (included in package)
6:00 Dinner at Dillman's (included in package)

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday 5/21-5/24
Breakfast On Own
9:00 a.m. - Noon Class in Session
Lunch On Own or Box Lunches can be ordered (pre-order required)
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Class in Session

Wednesday, 5/24
NOON Farewell Champagne Toast (included in package)

Thursday, 5/25
Depart - check-out time is 10:00

Optional Events - Sign Up Required / Subject to Change:
    Sunday 5:30 p.m. Dine-Around Dinner

    Monday 5:30 p.m. Dine-Around Dinner
    Monday 7:00 p.m. S'more Roast (no charge)

    Tuesday 8:00 a.m. Yoga
    Tuesday 5:00 p.m. Moondeer & Friends Gallery Tour (no charge)
    Tuesday 6:00 p.m. Dine-Around Dinner

    Wednesday Noon & 4:00 p.m. Pontoon Ride on White Sand Lake (no charge)
    Wednesday 5:30 p.m. Dine-Around Dinner


Dine-Around Dinners: Registration required at the front desk, meet at 5:00pm in the main lobby for carpooling.

Day students are welcome to attend the Welcome Reception and Farewell Reception (included in your package). You are also invited to join the class dinners (additional fee). PAL’s (Participants at large) can vacation at Dillman’s for $45 per night for accommodations. Costs for box lunches and dinners are additional.