NOLS President John Gans announced on November 28 his plans to retire at the end of 2019. He is the fifth president in the school’s 53-year history and longest-serving leader. Gans has been a part of the school for 38 years and at the conclusion of 2019, he will have served as the school's executive director and president for 24 years. He started his NOLS journey as a scholarship student in 1979 on a Semester in Kenya, later serving as director of NOLS Alaska, admissions and marketing director, and operations director before assuming the role of president in October 1995.
U.S. Naval Academy senior and NOLS Alaska grad Margaret Dods was recently awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in recognition of her academic achievement and excellent leadership skills. The Naval Academy’s 52nd Rhodes Scholar, Dods will pursue a masters in philosophy at Oxford before completing her service in the Marine Corps.
NOLS grad Meredith Lind discovered the power of active followership while sea kayaking in the Marlborough Sounds during her semester in New Zealand. Now a software consultant and developer, Meredith frequently applies the concept of active followership in the office, recognizing that sometimes asking thoughtful questions can be just as informative as years of experience.
The NOLS Cookery, edited by NOLS Rocky Mountain Rations Manager Claudia Pearson, won the “Classic” category of the 2018 National Outdoor Book Awards. Now in its seventh edition, the Cookery is chock-full of iconic NOLS dishes like backcountry pizza and cinnamon rolls—as well as tips on nutrition and backcountry cooking techniques.
This summer, two rising seniors at Branksome Hall school received scholarships to fund month-long NOLS expeditions of their choice. One student learned to mountaineer and whitewater canoe in the Yukon, while the other backpacked and sea kayaked her way across Alaska. Both returned home with newfound confidence in their leadership abilities.
As part of their 2018 gap year experience, Winterline students backpacked through the Gila National Forest on an eight-day NOLS expedition. Reflecting on their course, students touched on themes of leadership, tolerance for adversity, appreciation for the natural world—and fun.
For former park ranger Mark Kaufman, the NOLS Med Kit 4.0 makes the short list of recommended gifts for outdoorsy friends. Like wool socks, a good light, and water filtration devices, a NOLS med kit is a must-have for backcountry trips.
Three Wyoming counties recently opted out of a collaborative process allowing local stakeholders to partake in land management decisions surrounding wilderness study areas. NOLS Rocky Mountain Assistant Director Andy Blair commented that lifting protections in these areas and opening up them to energy development would disrupt student experiences in valuable wilderness classrooms.
Portland, Oregon—At the October 2018 Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC) in Portland, Clare Dallat received the Charles (Reb) Gregg Award for her contributions to risk management in the outdoor industry. This award, presented annually at the WRMC, recognizes an individual who has demonstrated exceptional leadership, service, and innovation in wilderness risk management.
Photo by Claire Burgeson
Lander, WY—On October 13, 2018, NOLS presented its annual stewardship award to Jessica Wahl, Government Affairs Manager for the Outdoor Industry Association. The NOLS Stewardship Award, presented annually since 1990, recognizes individuals who have demonstrated exceptional stewardship of public lands and the environment.