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NOLS is a nonprofit global wilderness school that seeks to help you step forward boldly as a leader.
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Alaska Bear Incident Update

By NOLS on Jul 24, 2011
Original Post: 11:00 a.m. 7/24/11
UPDATE 7/27/11, 8:00 a.m.


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Topics: Behind the Scenes

Hello from the Backcountry!

By NOLS on Jul 7, 2011

When it comes to hearing about how courses are going, no news is good news... but good news is great! Kumari Ratnayake, a student on a Rocky Mountain Outdoor Educator course sent this letter out from a food re-ration to us here at NOLS HQ.

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Topics: letter, NOLS, Patagonia, Expedition Prep, video contest, rocky mountains, pictures, Kumari Ratnayake, hello, Outdoor Educator, drawing, journal, backcountry

Snake Envenomations in North America

By NOLS on Jul 1, 2011

In North America snake envenomations are generally caused by Crotalids (e.g., pit vipers: rattlesnakes, water moccasons, copperheads) and far less frequently Elapids (coral snakes).

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Topics: wilderness medicine

Scandinavia Backpacking Course Highlight

By NOLS on Jun 17, 2011

Interaction with the local Sami people and to learn about their ways of life, has been a highlight of NOLS Scandinavia courses in the past. This year we have added a 4-day cultural component to this course.

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Topics: NOLS, Behind the Scenes, Scandinavia, sami, National Outdoor Leadership School, Backpacking

165 field instructors under one tent - The nols faculty summit wrap up

By NOLS on May 18, 2011

The first annual National Outdoor Leadership School Faculty Summit wrapped up last Thursday, and responses are rolling in that it was a huge success. The three-day professional development and community-building conference was held in Lander, WY from May 10-12.

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Topics: NOLS, staff training, may 2011, speakers, field instructor, National Outdoor Leadership School, Faculty Summit, field guide, seminar, field staff, Educators Notebook, instructor, guide, 2011

A Day at the NOLS Faculty Summit

By NOLS on May 11, 2011

It's the second official day here at the NOLS Faculty Summit. Distinguished alumni and veteran instructors from around the world are sharing their knowledge and experiences with the rest of the NOLS faculty.

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Topics: NOLS, gates richards, dan garvey, john gookin, wilderness education, nols faculty summit, Educators Notebook, nols instructor, outdoor education, jim sibthorp, mark jenkins, ann mills

The Faculty Summit Has Begun!

By NOLS on May 10, 2011

Over 150 instructors from around the world have gathered for a week of workshops, discussions, lectures, seminars, networking and fun. Topics range from river crossing techniques to the state of inclusion here at NOLS. Today we will hear from Tori Murden McClure, John Grunsfeld, Joe Thomas, and an expedition-full of veteran instructors. Follow along on Twitter at #NOLSsummit.

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Topics: NOLS Faculty, leadership leassons, wyoming news, Faculty Summit, experiential education, Lander Wyoming, KTWO, Educators Notebook, nols instructor

WMI Field Guide in Spanish

By NOLS on May 6, 2011

WMI Instructor Felipe Jacome translated the popular the WMI Field Guide, a compact and lightweight version of WMI's Wilderness Medicine Handbook, into Spanish! This joins the growing inventory of WMI Curriculum available in Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese.....

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Topics: NOLS, Spanish, spanish guide, wilderness medicine, field guide, spanis medicine guide, spanish language medicine

Camping Recipe: Kelly’s Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

By NOLS on May 3, 2011

Emerging from my sleeping bag on a chilly morning I can think of no better breakfast than a piping hot concoction of butter, four, and sugar.

There’s just one problem: I don’t like gluten and it doesn’t like me back. Gluten intolerance can be tricky, especially in the backcountry.

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Topics: NOLS, Expedition Prep, Breakfast, recipe, baking, cooking, Whisperlite, health, cooking in the woods, Educators Notebook, dessert, cooking in the wilderness, "gluten free", the cooker, "cinnamon rolls", backcountry, backcountry recipe

The difference between wilderness and urban medicine...

By NOLS on Apr 21, 2011

... is often described as patient care in austere environments with limited equipment, prolonged transport and poor communication.  An understated difference is the decisions we have to make in wilderness whether the patient needs to be evacuated to a physician's care, and if so, with what urgency. As an ambulance EMT I make an assessment, provide necessary treatment by protocols and in most cases transport the patient.  I rarely make a decision whether or not the patient needs to see the doctor.
Yet in the wilderness this may be my decision to make.  My judgment can affect the patient’s health, the safety of my expedition members and rescue personnel, and the quality and success of our planned wilderness  journey.     
We  find decisions and judgment a fascinating area of study and have gathered some thoughts in an article on medical decision making that you can access at:
Tod Schimelpfenig
Curriculum Director -Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS
Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine

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Topics: tod schimelpfenig, urban medicine, wilderness medicine, WMI, difference

NOLS Instructor Rock Climbing Rendezvous

By NOLS on Mar 25, 2011

NOLS Instructors gathered at Red Rocks, Nevada in late February for a reincarnation of the Rock Climbing Rendezvous. This “gathering of the guides” sought to bring Instructors together for a week of climbing, knowledge sharing and good company. Participants took advantage of the longer route potential at Red Rocks and challenged themselves on big multi-pitch objectives.

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Topics: NOLS, Training, National Outdoor Leadership School, climbing, red rocks rendezvous, instructor, Live the Dream, red rocks, rendezvous, rock climbing

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Information

By NOLS on Mar 11, 2011

A magnitude 8.9 earthquake struck near the east coast of Honshu, Japan, at 5:46 am Greenwich Mean Time on Friday, March 11, 2011. The earthquake triggered a Tsunami. Tsunami alerts were initially issued for coastal Chile, Australia, New Zealand, and the West Coast of the United States, and Mexico, among other locations worldwide. We are in the process of contacting NOLS bases in these operating areas, and will continue to update you via this blog as more information becomes available.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes

Decision Making Lecture - Leadership Week Update

By NOLS on Feb 25, 2011

On the third day of Leadership Week, Tod Schimelpfenig gave to me, a Leadershot on decision-making!

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Topics: NOLS, leadership week, tod schimelpfenig, decision making, #NOLSLW, WMI, Educators Notebook

Lights On Interns - Leadership Week Update

By NOLS on Feb 25, 2011

Leadership week saw NOLS working with a program called Lights On in Lander, an afterschool program to promote academic excellence and positive youth development. On Tuesday, we talked about backcountry nutrition and on Thursday we taught the group how to best get ready for a day excursion into the Wind Rivers! But don’t fret, it wasn’t all talk- we played some games in the gym and then munched on some yummy trail mix from the rations room at NOLS Rocky Mountain. They were Happy Campers to say the least!

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Topics: NOLS, leadership, leadership week, Behind the Scenes, Senior Citizen's Center, Intern, Lander, lights on, #NOLSLW, students, community, volunteer, Rocky Mountain

New Zealand Earthquake Information

By NOLS on Feb 23, 2011

At 23:51:43 UTC on Monday, February 21, 2011 a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck Christchurch on the South Island of New Zealand. This crippling earthquake has left more than 100 dead and several hundred remain missing. The worldwide NOLS community sends its thoughts and prayers to the people of New Zealand.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes, "New Zealand Earthquake"