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Dream with Your Eyes Open: Women's Baja Sea Kayaking Expedition

By Jessey Jansen on Apr 15, 2019

Jessey shares rhythm and memories from the spring 2019 Women’s Baja Sea Kayaking - Prime course.

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Topics: NOLS Mexico, Sea Kayaking, Baja Sea Kayaking, women in leadership, stories

Tolerance for Uncertainty: Sea, Mountains, and Culture on a Patagonia Semester

By Molly Herber on Jul 30, 2018

Enjoying rainbows in Patagonia. Photo by Ignacio Martínez.

“Learn, just learn about this unique and remote place in the world, connect with the people, nature, history, and its wild places—the glaciers, ice fields, rivers, lakes, islands, and sea.”

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Topics: chile, Semester, Sea Kayaking, culture, Live the Dream, mountaineering, Semester in Patagonia, stories

Learning a Non-Linear Leadership Style from Sea Kayaking

By Jen Dulz on Jun 12, 2018


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, all-women, leadership, women in leadership

Sea Kayaking the Great Bear Rainforest

By Jonathan Brooks on Feb 6, 2018


Jonathan with bonsai island. Photo by Julie Bremner.

“This place is full of life on life on life!”

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Topics: Sea Kayaking, British Columbia, Live the Dream, instructors, Instructor Development Fund, Instructor Development Fund (IDF), stories

New Courses for Summer 2017

By Molly Herber on Feb 21, 2017

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 Jul 22, 2016

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 Jul 21, 2016

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 Jun 14, 2016

“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 Apr 6, 2016

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)

No Borders in the Backcountry

By Jen Pontrelli on Nov 20, 2015

“What did I get myself into?!”

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

Waking Up in the Wilderness

By Carolyn Highland on Oct 14, 2015

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 Aug 9, 2015
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 Jun 19, 2015
Pausing to scout the route. Photo by Cameron Pattison.

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

Educator Expedition: Paddle Sport Coaching

By NOLS on Jan 15, 2015

By Rachael Bates, NOLS Instructor

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Topics: Sea Kayaking, Educators Notebook

Educator Expedition: The Gales Storm Gathering

By NOLS on Jan 8, 2015

By Steve Robitshek, NOLS Instructor

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Topics: Sea Kayaking, Educators Notebook, instructors, expedition