Lander, Wyoming—NOLS and Saybrook University have partnered to launch an innovative new Master’s in Leadership program that balances online study with outdoor education. A 32-credit, three-semester program beginning in January 2019, the NOLS Saybrook MA in Leadership includes three wilderness expeditions led by NOLS and several residential conferences.
In a recent Washington Post article, writer David Brown shares his experiences as a 65-year-old student on a challenging 14-day New Zealand sailing course. Impressed by the awe-inspiring Marlborough Sounds and the excellent instruction he received, Brown also reflects on how the range of ages and life experiences of his fellow students enhanced the course.
After a guided backcountry ski trip in the Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia, former NOLS instructor Molly Absolon reflects on the concept of active followership. An experienced backcountry skier, she sometimes found the guides’ decisions limiting, especially since the trip’s structure didn’t encourage clients to take an active role in the decision-making process.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently identified two Wyoming trail systems as priority areas for maintenance, but failed to set aside federal funds to address the issue. The Shoshone National Forest, a NOLS operating area, is one of these high priority sites. Andy Blair, assistant director of NOLS Rocky Mountain, says that there’s more work than the local Forest Service staff can keep up with.
A founding member of the Outdoor Industry Association and former top executive at companies like The North Face, Sierra Designs, and Camelbak, NOLS grad Sally McCoy is all for protecting public lands. But in order to do that, she points out, the outdoor industry needs to help make public lands accessible to a more diverse community.
NOLS Instructor Jeremy Cronon gives The New York Times the rundown on New Zealand’s public trail hut system. Nearly a thousand of these structures are open to trampers (aka backpackers) for a minimal fee. Jeremy reports that “each hut has its own quirks, stories and memories,” which travelers record in the hut's unique "Intention Book."
Outside recognizes former NOLS Instructor Miho Aida as an environmental educator and champion of inclusivity, challenging the outdoor industry to make room for women from marginalized communities. Her award-winning documentary, The Sacred Place Where Life Begins: Gwich’in Women Speak highlights the role Native American women activists have played in fighting to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the significance of this land to the Gwich’in people.
Grit & Rock recently recognized NOLS instructor Josie McKee as one of the 2018 recipients of its First Ascent Award, a grant that supports mountain exploration and first ascents by women. Along with team members Whitney Clark and Caro North, McKee received a Grit & Rock Performance Award to help fund her attempt of a new route on India’s Mt. Arjuna.
With input from Shana Tarter, assistant director of NOLS Wilderness Medicine, Outside’s Gear Guy discusses the advantages of purchasing a premade first aid kit. The bottom line? It’s much more economical than trying to construct your own, plus you’ll be prepared for a range of situations without adding a lot of weight to your pack.
Outside’s Gear Guy gets some pro tips from NOLS instructor Jared Spaulding and other experts on the best practices and gear for pooping in the woods. From investing in a trowel to unscrewing the caps of your soap and water bottles before doing your business, these simple reminders can make a serious difference to your comfort and health in the backcountry.