Lumberjacks gave back in 2023 (and we have pictures!)

Congrats, Lumberjacks—you truly gave back in 2023! Lumberjacks used 1,576 community engagement hours this year working with a variety of different local nonprofits, that included everything from cleaning up and restoring local environments to distributing food boxes to cleaning cages at High Country Humane. Check out pictures from our Lumberjacks’ hard at work.

Looking to use your remaining community engagement hours or planning ahead for next year? Check out the Center for Service and Volunteerism’s list of area organizations that need volunteers.

Staffers at the Center for Service and Volunteerism volunteered at the NAU Hat Ranch, a historically and ecologically important property 70 miles south of the Grand Canyon.

Staff members at the Civic Service Institute volunteer at the Hat Ranch.


Margaret Steiger, assistant director of chapters and volunteer outreach with Alumni Engagement, did a multi-day volunteer trip with the Grand Canyon Trust along with her spouse (also an NAU alum—it was their wedding anniversary!). For three days, a team of volunteers and Forest Service staff built exclosure fences to protect fragile wetlands from the impacts of over-grazing. They also built beaver dam analogues that raised the water table of the wetland and began to restore the landscape. “This was such fulfilling work, and I am grateful that my workplace encourages me to give back in impactful ways,” Steiger said.

Collage Margaret Steiger and her spouse in front of Medicine Lake and beaver dam

This year, the Information Technology Services team volunteered at the Flagstaff Family Food Center warehouse. They assembled produce boxes and provided assistance to the staff in distributing food boxes, helping to distribute groceries to several families and crafting roughly 300 produce boxes.

A collage of ITS staff members volunteering at the FFFC

In addition to doing trash pickup for the City of Flagstaff over the summer, members of the Staff Advisory Council also showed up to help out at the Flagstaff Family Food Center.

Members of the Staff Advisory Council at the FFFC

More from the Flagstaff Family Food Center—Staff from the Office of Sponsored Projects had a volunteer day at FFFC in October. Some staff worked in the warehouse packing produce, others packed dry goods and some distributed food boxes to the public. The team, who hopes to do this quarterly, found it was an insightful experience about the growing need to help local organizations’ efforts to prevent food insecurity.

Members of the Office of Sponsored Projects helping out at the FFFC.

Staff from throughout NAU participated in the Center for Service and Volunteerism’s High Altitude Service Project during Family Weekend in October. Lumberjacks from all over met on the University Union west lawn to do volunteer work combatting food insecurity, providing warm clothing and collecting needed items for children in foster care.

NAU staff members fix bikes and sort clothes at the High Altitude Service Project.

The Ingram (chemistry) and Calvo (environmental engineering) labs participated in a community event with the Cocopah Tribe on April 22 describing water research to community members. The research is looking at potential contaminants in the Cocopah water system and working with the Cocopah community to address their concerns. The research is led by professors Jani Ingram and Diana Calvo Martinez along with their undergraduate and graduate research students.

Several students along with Jani Ingram and Diana Calvo at a community event with the Cocopah tribe

Members of NAU Communications, NAU Social and NAU-TV volunteered at High Country Humane, cleaning out dog cages (at high speed—it was a hot day and the dogs couldn’t stay outside for too long!)

Members of the NAU Communications team give LJs and two cute puppies look at the camera.


And one more for the Flagstaff Family Food Center! The College of Engineering, Informatics and Applied Sciences advising team donated time to help at the local Food Bank in Flagstaff.

NAU Communications