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Intro to Federal Public Lands in the U.S.

By Katherine Boehrer on 8/30/16 10:32 AM

America’s federal public lands are an amazing resource for all kinds of recreation—but how much do you know about the different kinds of public land?

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Topics: adventure, Environmental Stewardship, stewardship, education, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability, leadership

Backcountry Chilling Over Oil Drilling [Book Review]

By Sam Cook on 6/16/16 4:52 PM

There’s been a debate about it since 1980.

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has been threatened for years because of the oil within its borders. Due to political pressure, a 1.5 million-acre section of coastal plain was left unprotected. In 1980, Congress renamed the region, calling it the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA).

Now, the ANILCA prohibits oil and gas development on that coastal plain, but allows for Congress to permit it in the future.

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Topics: Alumni, review, adventure, Environmental Stewardship, wilderness, backcountry, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability

DIY Composting

By Cat Cook on 6/1/16 9:53 AM

Learning to minimize your impact on the environment is a fundamental part of the NOLS curriculum. One pillar of the Leave No Trace principles we teach is to “Dispose of Waste Properly.” In the wilderness, this often means carrying out the garbage created as we travel. NOLS alumni are familiar with the process of packing out food scraps and other trash, literally carrying their own waste.

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Topics: Environmental Stewardship, education, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability

Ugly Boxes Doing Beautiful Things: How You Can Do Sustainability

By Cat Cook on 5/10/16 7:51 AM

Introducing: The NOLS Ugly Box

Order something from the NOLS online store and you may be surprised by what shows up on your doorstep: a not-so-pretty cardboard box, slightly worn and clearly used, possibly wearing a label from another company. While many online retailers take great care in packaging their products in a brand-centric, aesthetically-pleasing container, NOLS is thinking in a different way: why use a new box when you can reuse an old one?

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Topics: Alumni, Environmental Stewardship, education, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability

How You Can Be More Sustainable Every Day

By Sarah Zimmerman on 4/22/16 8:34 AM

At NOLS, we try hard to incorporate earth-friendly practices into our work every week, every day, around the world. We try new ideas, like planting native flower seeds, and stick with the old practices that we’ve been working on for years, like repairing gear to keep it in use.

Here are just a few examples from a long list of sustainable practices from each of our locations around the world and plenty of ideas about how you can practice sustainability in your own way at home!

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Topics: NOLS Yukon, NOLS Patagonia, NOLS Mexico, NOLS Australia, NOLS Alaska, NOLS New Zealand, NOLS Pacific Northwest, Environmental Stewardship, NOLS India, NOLS Scandinavia, NOLS Southwest, education, NOLS Northeast, NOLS Teton Valley, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability, NOLS Tanzania, NOLS Three Peaks Ranch

Celebrating Earth Week at NOLS

By Sarah Zimmerman on 4/18/16 1:37 PM

At NOLS, we value the environment and are excited to celebrate it during Earth Week! A healthy environment sustains our livelihood on many different levels because we love to work, play, and learn outside.

Take a look at what we’re doing to celebrate Earth Week at Headquarters in Lander, Wyoming—maybe you can bring some of these ideas to your workplace!

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Topics: Lander, Environmental Stewardship, stewardship, sustainability

The Wilderness Act: "Leaving a Glimpse of the World as It Was"

By Anne McGowan on 11/4/15 1:53 PM

As NOLS continues to celebrate its 50th anniversary across the globe, the Wilderness Act celebrates its 51st. It’s not a coincidence: NOLS founder Paul Petzoldt testified before Congress in favor of the Wilderness Act more than five decades ago. And almost six months to the day after the act’s passage, Petzoldt founded NOLS.

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Topics: National Outdoor Leadership School, Environmental Stewardship, wilderness

The Story of Gear: Reuse as an Ethic and Necessity at NOLS

By Kara Colovich on 9/7/15 8:15 AM

In the mountain town of Coyhaique, Chile, Phil Henderson, the NOLS Patagonia Equipment Manager, strips the last rings off of a tent that has just returned from a 30 day mountaineering course in the Andes.

This tent has seen the last of its exploration days—worsening tears spread through its seams, causing water to leak onto unwary sleepers—but this is not the end of its journey.

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Topics: NOLS Patagonia, Environmental Stewardship, education, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability, leadership

Wilderness: What National Parks Are For

By Molly Herber on 8/25/15 8:00 AM

When most folks visit national parks, it’s a fairly tame experience. They drive to an iconic site, pop out of the car for a few minutes or maybe even an hour, and then go on their way. The wildest moment might be a tussle with another visitor over the best vantage point for photographing Yosemite Falls.

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Topics: Environmental Stewardship, wilderness, backcountry, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability, leadership

Working to Keep Wyoming Streams Held to Higher Standards

By Evan Reimondo on 8/18/15 9:09 AM

NOLS is contesting a recent rule implemented by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) that resulted in the downgrading of water quality standards for approximately 76 percent of streams in Wyoming. Many of these streams meander the lands used by NOLS courses throughout the Wind River Mountains, Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming Range, and the Red Desert.

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Topics: NOLS Rocky Mountain, Environmental Stewardship, education, backcountry, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability

How to Give Effective Feedback to Land Managers

By Dave Schimelpfenig on 6/17/15 8:00 AM

There are many uses of public land, and they don’t always align. For example, it would be challenging for NOLS to teach wilderness skills surrounded by oil and gas development. How do managers decide what should be done with a tract of public land? Ideally, they hear from the people who use the land.

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Topics: NOLS Rocky Mountain, Wyoming, Environmental Stewardship, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability

From A Gap Year to Yahoo! Sustainability

By Karly Copeland on 5/27/15 2:00 AM

Chris Page is passionate about a lot of things, but when we started talking about her time as a student at NOLS Mexico, the delight in her voice was apparent.

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Topics: Alumni, leadership, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability, Environmental Stewardship

New Film Features American Icon: Sage-Grouse

By Evan Reimondo on 5/20/15 3:16 AM

You may have heard of the greater sage-grouse by now—it’s been in the media an awful lot lately.

The species is an American icon that was once ubiquitous across the sagebrush steppes of the West. Now, the sage-grouse has disappeared from much of its former range.

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Topics: Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability, Environmental Stewardship, wilderness

Beyond the Ration: Sustainable Food at NOLS

By Karly Copeland on 5/6/15 1:30 AM

The NOLS ration is carefully engineered to meet the nutritional needs of our students and instructors. It is sprinkled with sweet treats to celebrate summits, birthdays, and other events that call for chocolate! And who doesn’t think of those peanut butter filled pretzels with fondness? However, to the NOLSie fresh off a 30-day expedition, even the most delicious maltball pales in comparison to the idea of fresh produce. As such, when our students and staff are in town we do our best to feed them the freshest food possible. Some locations are able to take things even further by growing their own food on site.

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Topics: NOLS Patagonia, NOLS Mexico, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability, cooking, NOLS Alaska, Environmental Stewardship, NOLS India

Get Outside! 4th Grade Outdoor Education Day

By Becca Sage on 5/1/15 12:30 AM

Meadowlarks chirped and white clouds dotted the sky as about 140 happy Lander 4th graders gathered on Friday, April 24th, 2015 for the annual 4th Grade Outdoor Education Day. The Central Wyoming College Sinks Canyon Center was filled with excitement as local students participated in a day of learning outdoors.

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Topics: Lander, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability, adventure, Environmental Stewardship, education