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Welcome to NOLS India: Expeditions in the Himalaya

By NOLS on Aug 12, 2019

Written by Annalise Grueter and Manohar D'silva. 

Photo by Kirk Rasmussen.

A line of solemn, snow-capped giants stretches across the three northernmost states in India.

These soaring peaks belong to the world’s highest mountain chain: the Himalaya.

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Topics: Himalayas, Himalaya, Educators Notebook, NOLS India, cultural expedition, stories

Turnback Canyon: A NOLS Instructor Shares Lessons from Whitewater Paddling the Alsek River

By Natalie Sands on Apr 9, 2019

I sit on a rocky shelf, studying the colours and rock formations of a mountain across the river that seems to stare back. The ridge below Bates Creek has bright orange scree that contrasts against the nearby grey and black rock, still scarred by the ancient glaciers lining this valley.

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Topics: whitewater, kayaking, Educators Notebook, Yukon, instructor, inspiring women, paddling, Instructor expedition, stories

Instructor Expeditions of 2018

By NOLS on Mar 25, 2019

How do you become a better educator? There’s no one best answer, but continuing to be a learner yourself is certainly up there.

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Topics: whitewater, Training, kayaking, Educators Notebook, instructor, mountaineering, rock climbing, education, Instructor Development Fund (IDF), Instructor expedition

The Places that Scare You: First Ascents on Patagonia’s Northern Icefield

By Willy Oppenheim on Feb 4, 2019

Approaching Pantragruel (left). The peak at right is Gargantua. Photo by Willy Oppenheim.

Months later, I still find myself wondering what brought me there, and what I brought back.

Always it is like this: from the warmth of home, the mind moves towards cold and distant lands. From known to unknown, from comfort into fear, from one set of questions towards another at once more vast and elemental. From union into aloneness, and then back again—but never to stay.

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Topics: Patagonia, Educators Notebook, mountaineering, Instructor Development Fund (IDF), Instructor expedition, stories

New Perspectives on Risk Management: WRMC 2018

By Day Scott on Dec 12, 2018

Photo by Day Scott

As an outdoor educator and a student of wilderness medicine, I thought that I had a pretty good idea of what wilderness risk management was all about…preparedness! I thought, “I know how to do that”, and was looking forward to learning about how to do it better. Boy, was I wrong.

Going to the Wilderness Risk Management Conference really helped me gain a different perspective of risk management and provided me with an impactful educational experience.

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Topics: WRMC, risk management training, risk management, Educators Notebook, education, Wilderness Risk Management Conference

Creating a Diverse Community of Risk Managers

By Lexi Golestani on Jan 1, 2018

The NOLS Risk Management Training (RMT) is designed to educate and empower administrators to develop or adapt their risk management practices to best suit their organization’s needs. View the upcoming schedule here.

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Topics: WRMC, risk management training, Educators Notebook, education, Wilderness Risk Management Conference

Leaving a Legacy: Learning and Leading Risk Management Collaboration and Dialogue in Seoul

By Lexi Golestani on Dec 14, 2017

Editor's Note: Tara Verenna, the Director of Teaching and Learning at the Korea International School (KIS), runs an Experiential Education program focused on outdoor learning for students grades 4-12. Tara sought out NOLS for a Risk Management Training course (RMT), which ran in mid-September 2017. We caught up with Tara afterward to learn about her experience, and how the concepts and guidance provided by the RMT are helping to shape KIS’ risk management policies and procedures.

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Topics: WRMC, risk management training, risk management, Educators Notebook, education, Wilderness Risk Management Conference

Enhancing Student Experience and Inclusion through Risk Management

By Lexi Golestani on Dec 1, 2017

It’s mid-November, and a crew of excited Cal Poly Pomona (CPP) undergraduates loads into a few vans bound for the Pacific Ocean, anxiously anticipating their first open water dive. There is an air of hearty excitement mixed with a small dose of nerves; this is the feel of an adventure beginning.

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Topics: WRMC, risk management, Educators Notebook, education, Wilderness Risk Management Conference

Growing Confidence through Solo Canoeing

By Rumi Kodama on Jun 14, 2017

Editor’s note: Instructor Rumi Kodama takes us inside the connection between person and paddle as she develops her whitewater canoeing skills.

Knowing and understanding a canoe stroke goes much deeper than the movement of the paddle. It’s all about the interplay between the paddle, the canoe, and the movement of the water.

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Topics: Educators Notebook, nols instructor, inspiring women, whitewater canoeing, women in leadership, stories

Instructor Expedition: A Grand Canyon Trip with Friends

By NOLS Blog on Jan 16, 2017

NOLS instructors write about paddling the Grand Canyon with family and friends.

Ribeye steaks on day eleven? This was not a NOLS course. This was a descent of the Grand Canyon, made possible by the NOLS instructor development fund—the classic journey, with all the iced sodas you can drink and rapids that might keep an oarswoman awake at night.

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Topics: Educators Notebook

Reflecting on the 2016 Wilderness Risk Management Conference

By Sarah Buer on Oct 19, 2016

Working at NOLS, and in the wilderness medicine department for that matter, my colleagues and I are not unfamiliar with what can go wrong in the backcountry—that is what we teach our students to respond to, after all. Walking through the Exhibitor Reception the first evening of the Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC) in Salt Lake City, I met and mingled with a lot of folks who were dedicated to that same goal of being a leader in crisis situations, in one way or another.

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Topics: WRMC, Educators Notebook

Growing Your Comfort Zone in the Wilderness

By Molly Herber on Sep 2, 2016

We read in plenty of places that getting out of your comfort zone is a good thing—it seems these days that everyone wants us to step outside of it and push its boundaries.

You can imagine the comfort zone place as a big pile of cozy pillows, with the temperature set at about 75 degrees Fahrenheit and with fuzzy socks on your feet. You’re safe. You know what to say and how to behave. You can complete tasks without even thinking. In all probability, you like your comfort zone.

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Topics: risk management, Educators Notebook, education, leadership

Why Wildlands Studies Attends the Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC)

By Cassi Smith on Aug 18, 2016

For over 36 years, Wildlands Studies has provided environmental field courses to undergraduates in the U.S. and around the world. Leslie Arutunian, director at Wildlands Studies, reflects on the organization and her involvement with the Wilderness Risk Management Conference since 2008.

Learn how risk management relates to student groups at Wildlands Studies and why Arutunian returns to the WRMC year after year.

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Topics: WRMC, Educators Notebook

Why Inclusive Conservation Crews Attend the WRMC

By Cassi Smith on Aug 3, 2016

We recently caught up with Jay Satz, Senior Director of Partnerships and Innovation at Northwest Youth Corps (NYC). The NYC is a job training, educational, and conservation experience for youth and young adults, operating since 1984. They run conservation service programs in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and northern California. Perhaps you will see similarities to your own program and discover how the Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC) can help you.

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Topics: WRMC, Educators Notebook

The Woods Project and the WRMC

By Cassi Smith on Jul 26, 2016

Steve Rosencranz, founder of The Woods Project, recently spoke with us about his organization, risk management, and the Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC.) The Woods Project was founded in 2001 and provides opportunities for low-income youth to experience the outdoors.

Read on to discover how the WRMC has benefited The Woods Project and how it can benefit you.

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Topics: WRMC, Educators Notebook