NOLS Blog

Browse by Category

The Value of Hot Sauce: Thoughts from a Backpacking Course

By Molly Herber on Apr 21, 2015
Airing out my feet after a long walk. Photo by Gordon Watt.
Read More

Topics: Alumni, adventure, Live the Dream, Pacific Northwest, backcountry

Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation!

By Tasha Block on Jun 23, 2014

Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation (ASC) is an organization that provides opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to give back to conservation science. ASC pairs a network of outdoor volunteers with scientific agencies that are in need of data from hard to reach places. This is a fantastic opportunity for NOLS alumni to put their wilderness skills to use in aid of conservation science! For more info check out ASC’s web page here. A recent project in the Pacific Northwest placed volunteers on a 3-month long search for Pacific Marten in the Olympic National Forest. You can explore Olympic National Park, immediately to the west of the project area, on a Fall Semester in the Pacific Northwest, Pacific Northwest Backpacking Adventure, or Pacific Northwest Backpacking course. Check out the video of the search for the Pacific Marten below (credit to ASC).

Read More

Topics: Alumni, Environment, Conservation, Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, Research, Live the Dream, Pacific Northwest

Stewarding the Mt. Baker area

By Tasha Block on Jun 11, 2014

The beautiful Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest lies to the north and east of the NOLS Pacific Northwest campus in Conway, WA. This area of alpine ecosystem wilderness serves as an amazing classroom for our North Cascades Mountaineering and Outdoor Educator Mountaineering Programs. Each summer the Forest Service looks for volunteers to serve as Mountain Stewards to help teach hikers and climbers in the area to look after and protect this beautiful area of the Cascades. For those from the Northwest, check out this amazing opportunity to give back here!

Read More

Topics: Forest Service, Mt. Baker, NOLS PNW, Environmental Stewardship, Pacific Northwest

Expedition Denali stories inspire in Lander and beyond

By Casey Adams on Mar 4, 2013

Last week, the Expedition Denali team traveled to Lander,
Wyo., where they spent a day at NOLS Headquarters for their final gathering
before they attempt to summit Denali in June. As part of this visit, they held
a forum for local NOLS staff in which they shared their motivations, fears, and expectations for joining Expedition Denali. Each brought his or her own story to the team, creating a strong, diverse group that will be able to impact the lives of a variety of children across the nation.

Read More

Topics: NOLS, Behind the Scenes, Seattle, Adina Scott, Expedition Denali, Ryan Mitchell, National Outdoor Leadership School, active, adventure, youth of color, Outdoors, youth, Tyrhee Moore, expedition, climb, summer camp, Pacific Northwest, D.C. Philadelphia, Denali, wilderness

Well-prepared for Bears in the Northwest

By Marie Siwicki on Jun 1, 2012

In the wake of last summer’s encounter with an Alaskan Grizzly, NOLS spent the winter reviewing our school-wide bear practices. While our bear practices were and are state-of-the-art, this review drew on input from experienced NOLS faculty and outside experts to alter our teaching methods related to bear safety and changed some bear spray practices.

Read More

Topics: Bear Safety, Educators Notebook, Pacific Northwest

Innovative Thinking

By Eliza Scally on Jun 10, 2011

Sometimes-–well, most of the time--working as a NOLS instructor and teaching in the field means being able to think creatively. Ben Lester, an instructor on the Semester on the Borders course, is a prime example. Having struggled with explaining the physics of sailing to his students in the past, he decided to get creative. He took on the project of building scaled models of NOLS Pacific Northwest’s keelboats, Sol Quest and Luna Quest to more easily demonstrate how the keel “works as a pivot point--turning the boat into or away from the wind depending on how the sails are trimmed”.

Read More

Topics: model boat, sailing, keel boat, innovative thinking, wind class, Ben Lester, building, SWNW, Educators Notebook, instructor, semester on the borders, Pacific Northwest

If a tree falls in the Pacific Northwest..

By NOLS on Nov 22, 2010

...but everyone is out mountaineering, does it still damage staff housing? The answer is, yes it does. But, we're in the process of taking care of it. Here are some pics from a recent windy day here at NOLS Pacific Northwest.

Read More

Topics: tree, NOLS, Behind the Scenes, Semester, wind, tree falls in the forest, Pacific Northwest

Instructor Q&A with Amy Rathke

By NOLS on Oct 22, 2010

Where did you get your start in outdoor education?
Family hikes and trips around the Pacific Northwest while I was growing up gave me a solid start.

Read More

Topics: NOLS, amy rathke, answer, girl scout, Educators Notebook, instructor, question, Pacific Northwest

Team NOLS PNW dominates Ski to Sea 2010!

By Sara Cottingham on Jun 8, 2010

The PNW in-town staff got a chance to display their athletic prowess in the annual Ski to Sea relay race in Bellingham, WA on Sunday.

Read More

Topics: NOLS Pacific Northwest, Bellingham, Live the Dream, Ski to Sea, Pacific Northwest