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New Courses for Summer 2017

By Molly Herber on 2/21/17 9:50 AM

When we decide to create a new course, it comes from a combination of our faculty’s passion for the area and constant desire for growth, and from what students say they want to see more of.

So, here’s a peek at the new courses you can take starting the summer of 2017. You can focus on service learning, explore the far north of Norway, or walk through the heart of Alaska’s Talkeetna Range.

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Topics: service, Behind the Scenes, NOLS Rocky Mountain, Sea Kayaking, NOLS Alaska, Backpacking, NOLS Scandinavia

Educator Expedition: Assistant Overnight Guide Course - Learning the Ways of the Ocean

By Genevieve Bartlam on 7/22/16 9:55 AM

Where did you go for your trip and how long was it?

For this 9 day course we explored two different areas around Vancouver Island off of the west coast of British Columbia. We spent the first 3 days working on skills base camped on the south part of Gabriola Island, one of the Southern Gulf Islands then drove across Vancouver Island to the west coast and spent the next 5 days in Clayquot Sound just north of Tofino.

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Topics: Sea Kayaking, NOLS Pacific Northwest, Educators Notebook, education, leadership

Educator Expedition: Paddling at the South Pacific Sea Kayak Symposium

By Jonny Hepburn on 7/21/16 10:46 AM

Southern Chile offers world class sea kayaking. In northern Patagonia, where NOLS is based, the Pacific Coast of South America fragments into a network of islands and fjords that offer some of the most remote, challenging, and beautiful paddling in the world. I had the chance to spend almost five months travelling and working for NOLS in Chile this past winter, and was grateful to receive an IDF grant to attend the South Pacific Sea Kayak Symposium in December.

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Topics: NOLS Patagonia, Sea Kayaking, Educators Notebook, instructors, education, IDF, Instructor Development Fund, leadership

How I Became a NOLS Nerd

By Jonas Alexanderson on 6/14/16 10:05 AM

“Next year I will turn 50 years old,” I told my wife. This was 2011 and I didn’t want any presents. Instead, I wanted to travel to Alaska from my home in Sweden to sea kayak.

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Topics: Alumni, Sea Kayaking, NOLS Alaska, adventure, Live the Dream, education

Educator Expedition: Golden Gate Sea Kayaking

By Mike Dooley on 4/6/16 5:05 AM

NOLS instructor Mike Dooley talks about lessons from a sea kayaking leader training course in San Francisco Bay.

Where did you go for your trip and how long was it?

In February 2016 I was a participant on a British Canoe Union (BCU) 5-Star Sea Kayak Leader Training. The three-day course was located at Golden Gate, the entrance to San Francisco Bay.

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Topics: Sea Kayaking, NOLS Alaska, Educators Notebook, instructor, education, IDF, Instructor Development Fund (IDF)

Fitness Guidelines to Get Expedition-Ready

By Molly Herber on 1/29/16 2:49 PM

NOLS courses are pretty darn rigorous. Whether you’ll be paddling from camp to camp, hauling gear onto a glacier, or managing a rambunctious packhorse, you’re going to be pretty tired by the end of the day. But with a little planning and determination, you can prepare for the physical challenges of your course, or any extended backcountry trip, by following these guidelines!  

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Topics: Expedition Prep, Sea Kayaking, climbing, Backpacking, backcountry

No Borders in the Backcountry

By NOLS Blog on 11/20/15 8:36 AM

By Jen Pontrelli, NOLS Professional Training 

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Topics: Alumni, Behind the Scenes, Sea Kayaking, NOLS Alaska, backcountry, NOLS Professional Training

Waking Up in the Wilderness

By Carolyn Highland on 10/14/15 8:00 AM

I woke in the middle of the night to cold on my nose and a black strip of sky smattered with stars in my vision. It was all I could see, my sleeping bag cinched up around my face, laid out on the bare ground. I lay there unmoving, every cell of my body awake and aware of itself. It felt as though I’d been tapped on the shoulder, as though some massive universal force had tugged at me, whispering “you need to see this.”

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Topics: Alumni, Sea Kayaking, NOLS New Zealand, Live the Dream, mountaineering, wilderness

Living History in a New-Old Home

By Molly Herber on 8/9/15 8:00 AM
Travis during her 1995 Alaska Sea Kayaking course. Photo courtesy of Emma Caulkins
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Topics: Alumni, Behind the Scenes, Sea Kayaking, NOLS Alaska, Backpacking, NOLS Teton Valley, leadership

Gap Year: An Incredible Opportunity

By Molly Hunt on 6/19/15 8:00 AM

While taking a gap year is not a normal thing to do in the U.S. after graduating from high school, it was hands-down the best experience that I could have had before entering college. I had no guidance in selecting a gap year—my college counselor didn’t even know what a gap year was. I, alone, had to plan my year with diligence, create goals, and nail down the things in my life that I sought to improve before entering college. Little did I know when I chose NOLS that I was about to embark on a hugely positive, life changing adventure.

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Topics: Alumni, Semester, Sea Kayaking, NOLS New Zealand, Backpacking, Live the Dream, video

Educator Expedition: Paddle Sport Coaching

By NOLS on 1/15/15 1:48 AM

By Rachael Bates, NOLS Instructor

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Topics: Sea Kayaking, Educators Notebook

Educator Expedition: The Gales Storm Gathering

By NOLS on 1/8/15 1:15 AM

By Steve Robitshek, NOLS Instructor

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Topics: Sea Kayaking, Educators Notebook, instructors, expedition

Former NOLS Chair honored

By Casey Adams on 8/13/13 2:38 AM

The Murie Center
presented former NOLS Board of Trustees Chair Gretchen Long with the third
annual Spirit of Conservation Award last week.

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Topics: NOLS, NOLS Board of Trustees, Conservation, Sea Kayaking, award, The Murie Center, Grand Teton National Park, Environmental Stewardship, wildlife, wild places, Spirit of Conservation Award

Eating Well at NOLS Scandinavia

By Jessica Fuller on 6/20/12 12:37 AM

Here at NOLS Scandinavia, our season has begun! The first course of Scandinavian Sea Kayaking and Backpacking is currently paddling the waters of Norway, with the switch to backpacking to occur in two days. More courses are soon to follow!

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Topics: Scandinavia, Expedition Prep, Sea Kayaking, Backpacking, rations