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Why I Left School for a NOLS Semester

By Claire Burgeson on 10/15/18 9:50 AM


Photo by Claire Burgeson

The second week of my sophomore year of college, I walked into my 9:00 a.m. history class and asked myself, “What am I still doing here?”

I was doing what I'd always done: what was expected of me. I had graduated high school, chosen a college, and just chosen a major—journalism. I got good grades, had friends—on paper, I was a list of checked boxes.

At the same time, I felt my energy and creativity drain through the holes that the classroom grind had worn through me.

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Topics: outdoor semester, Semester in Baja, NOLS Mexico, study abroad, Gap Year

Learning a Non-Linear Leadership Style from Sea Kayaking

By Jen Dulz on 6/12/18 10:00 AM


Getting ready to launch the boats. Photo by Ali Bradley.

It was hot. I struggled to find shade as our group went through necessary orientation tasks: carry 3-5 water droms behind each boat, assign cook groups, gather group gear, divide group gear, assign and load boats.

Since I'd paddled on a NOLS trip before, I was "voluntold" to be the lead boat in a single kayak. I learned our heading, received a few instructions about monitoring my speed, and then we launched—a group of women on a Baja Sea Kayaking course.

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Topics: NOLS Mexico, Baja, Sea Kayaking, women, leadership, all-women

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.

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

12 Photos to Get You Excited for Spring

By Molly Herber on 3/16/16 10:40 AM

Spring is coming—it's time to start frolicking through wildflowers and get antsy for summer expeditions.

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Topics: Live the Dream, NOLS India, NOLS Mexico, NOLS Patagonia, NOLS Southwest

5 Cool Things You Learn From Sailing

By Molly Herber on 9/10/15 1:12 PM

Is sailing just for people like this?

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Topics: Expedition Prep, NOLS Mexico, sailing, video

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, NOLS Mexico, Baja, instructor

Weathering Storms and Riding Waves: Interview with Jim Acee (Part 2)

By Molly Herber on 5/22/15 2:00 AM
Jim on his student course in the Rockies in 1974. Photo courtesy of Jim Acee.
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Topics: NOLS Mexico, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability, Baja Sea Kayaking, adventure, instructor, Live the Dream

Weathering Storms and Riding Waves: Interview with Jim Acee (Part 1)

By Molly Herber on 5/21/15 2:00 AM

Jim Acee, a Pittsburgh native, took the first NOLS semester course, a Semester in the Rockies in 1974. After that, he filled various positions: a NOLS instructor in the Rockies, Baja, and Utah, scrap metal salesman, corporate marketer, professor, director of Boise State’s Center for Executive Management Development, caregiver, dancer, whitewater rafter, and more. We caught up with him to hear the stories of his adventures (and he has many) with NOLS and beyond.

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Topics: Alumni, leadership, NOLS Mexico, NOLS Rocky Mountain, Wyoming, instructor, Live the Dream

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 to Know NOLS Mexico

By Casey Adams on 5/27/14 8:15 AM

NOLS Mexico Director Carolina Cortés knows anyone could find what they’re looking for at NOLS Mexico: “Baja offers something for all tastes. Baja is a place of extremes and contrasts. This part of the world should be a ‘must see’ on everybody’s bucket list, “ she recently wrote from the entirely off-the-grid facility in Baja California.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes, NOLS Mexico

Come to NOLS Mexico!

By NOLS on 2/21/12 3:15 AM

Imagine a land of stark contrasts: ocean and desert, cactus and pine, teeming seas and sparse shores. This is the Baja Peninsula, a land of unique wilderness opportunity. NOLS Mexico is the home of our ocean-based programs where you can learn how to sea kayak and sail as well as backpack.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes, NOLS Mexico