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NZSF-3 Semester Begins

NOLS New Zealand Semester Three (NZSF-3 9-18-2014) students all arrived safely at NOLS NZ yesterday and are about to head out for their semester adventure. This semester begins with an over night stay at the Te Awhina Marae the local Maori meeting house.
The group will then attempt to Canoe 180 kilometers down the Clarence River, from the mountains to the pacific ocean  The Semester will then go Hiking and Mountaineering. 

77 days worth of field rations


P9170024Students enjoying the dining room and kitchen at the new
NOLS NZ facilities 


Semester Three Porgression 

Cultural: 19-20 Sep
1 – Canoe: 20 Sept to 15 Oct
Branch switch:  15-16 Oct

2 – Backpacking: 16 Oct to 8 Nov
Field Switch: 8-9 Nov

3 – Mountain: 9 Nov to 2 Dec
Course ends: 3 Dec


Send Mail to 

(Students Name and Course Code)
4 Serpentine River Road
Aniseed Valley RD 1 
Richmond 7081
New Zealand 

Students will recieve mail when they return to the NOLS NZ base inbetween sections




Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Sep 18, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

Odile Likely to Bring Some Rain

Hurricane Odile made landfall on the southern end of the Baja California peninsula last night, nearly 800 miles from the nearest NOLS students. The current forecast predicts the storm will turn away from the area in which NOLS students are currently hiking, the San Pedros in northern Baja California.

Though the courses will probably see some rain and winds as a result of the passing storm, it is likely Odile will diminish to a tropical depression by that time, reducing winds to less than 39 miles per hour.

We will continue to monitor the weather and will provide updates here.

UPDATE, 4:45 p.m. MST: Hurricane Odile has been steadily weakening as it travels over the southern end of the Baja California peninsula. Though courses will likely experience some heavy rain, forecasts still anticipate the storm tracking east of the course area in northern Baja.

Permalink | Posted by Casey Adams on Sep 15, 2014 in the following categories: Mexico

NZ Fall Semesters Spring into Action!

Fall Semesters NZSF-1-9/11/14 and NZSF-2-9/11/14 have got the New Zealand spring season underway with both groups now in the field for their 77 day adventures. NZSF1 left for the Arrowsmith mountain range to start their Mountaineering section in the majestic Southern Alps. Meanwhile, NZSF2 visited the Marae (traditional Maori meeting house) in Motueka to learn about NZ's Maori culture, before transfering to the Marlborough Sounds to embark on their Sea Kayak section.

P9110069A mountain of imminent mountaineers! Instructors Mitch and Lloyd will teach NZSF1 students the art of safe alpine travel in the Southern Alps.

  P9110086Some smiling soon-to-be Sea Kayakers. Instructors Mike and Ben will be teaching students how to keep their boats the right way up in the Marlborough Sounds.

Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Sep 15, 2014 in the following categories: New Zealand

Cutting Out Boxes

by Travis Welch, WMI Program & Retail Store Manager

The NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute is always looking for ways to improve. Many of our innovations come in the form of curriculum, delivered to thousands of students every year. However, we also have an operations side that is the “behind the scenes” part of the business and makes it possible to run 750 courses a year. On the surface, innovations on the operations side of things might not seem as exciting as curriculum delivery, but the impact can be significant. Recently, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute switched from shipping our gear in cardboard boxes to heavy-duty, reusable, plastic shipping totes. These totes, used for our Wilderness First Aid courses, will decrease our cardboard box consumption by over 1,000 boxes a year. This will also decrease the amount of other shipping materials that we use. The initial cost of these totes is greater than cardboard, but they will pay for themselves over the next several years. Although the fiscal payoff will take some time, the waste reduction and resource conservation are enough for us to count this change as an immediate win!

WFA shipping totes
WFA shipping totes ready for their next course.


Permalink | Posted by Karly Copeland on Sep 10, 2014

WMI Hosts Annual Staff Meeting


This week, NOLS Wilderness Medicine professionals flocked to Lander from near and far for the annual Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI) staff meeting. 

Along with a large group of Lander residents, there were attendees from Colorado, Utah, Washington, and Eastern states. Those who traveled far were staying at the cabins at the Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus, which is one of six LEED Platinum certified buildings in Wyoming.

This diverse group came together for continuing education opportunities in wilderness medicine. The schedule for the meeting includes medical professionals discussing how to best treat patients in the backcountry. Earlier this week, a three-day EMT refresher course was held for those looking to recertify their skills. On Thursday night, participants could take part in a CPR recertification class.


Yesterday morning, WMI Director Melissa Gray officially kicked off this three-day meeting with updates on the state of the school. She ran through some important facts about the past year at WMI.

Courses run this year were up 3.5 percent. Students took WMI courses as stand alone courses and as part of field courses. Many classes were taught through Landmark Learning and at REI stores. Two hundred and fifty instructors taught classes with the help of 22 support staff members in the office.

Today, topics will include: wilderness toxicology, dislocations, and neurological injuries. Forums are scheduled with the NOLS Executive Director team and the annual WMI curriculum forum. 

The meeting will conclude on Saturday with a hypothermia session and outdoor activities. Participants will choose between ALS skills, technical rescue skills and hiking.

WMI is looking forward to the start of another great year! 

Permalink | Posted by Kim Freitas on Sep 5, 2014 in the following categories: Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus

Teton Valley Ranch Camp and the WRMC

The latest installment of the WRMC blog series profiles Teton Valley Ranch Camp (TVRC), a Western style youth camp that has been operating in Wyoming for 75 years, and stands as Wyoming's most historic residential summer camp. In this interview we caught up with TVRC Executive Director Carly Platt.


Continue reading "Teton Valley Ranch Camp and the WRMC"

Permalink | Posted by Rahel Manna on Aug 28, 2014 in the following categories: Alumni, Leadership, Professional Training, Teton Valley, Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wilderness Risk Management Conference

Exploration Film Tour Celebrates the Spirit of Adventure

The first annual NOLS Exploration Film Tour features two and a half hours of exciting short films based on themes of wonder, discovery, curiosity, and the timelessness of the wilderness experience. 


For one night, come celebrate the wonder of the outdoors through film. NOLS believes these films will inspire viewers to get outside and have their own adventures.

Continue reading "Exploration Film Tour Celebrates the Spirit of Adventure"

Permalink | Posted by Kim Freitas on Aug 22, 2014 in the following categories: In The News

Lander Valley High School and NOLS team up for incoming freshmen orientation

On August 12th and 13th NOLS teamed up with Lander Valley High School to provide a taste of outdoor recreation to the freshmen orientation. This is the second year that NOLS has helped out with the freshmen orientation and NOLS hopes to make it an annual event for years to come.


Continue reading "Lander Valley High School and NOLS team up for incoming freshmen orientation"

Permalink | Posted by NOLS on Aug 15, 2014 in the following categories: Alaska, In The News, Rocky Mountain

City Kids Wilderness Project and the WRMC

The Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC) unites hundreds of the nation’s leading outdoor organizations, schools, and businesses annually in an effort to “offer an outstanding educational experience to help mitigate the risks inherent in exploring, working, teaching, and recreating in wild places.” WRMC attendees absorb and learn a lot from one another through workshops, exercises, structured networking sessions, and much more.

We want to highlight some of the organizations that continually come the WRMC and find out why they attend and how the WRMC has influenced their risk management practices. Recently, we interviewed Colleen McHugh, the program director of City Kids Wilderness Project (CKWP), an outstanding nonprofit youth organization that has been returning annually to the WRMC.


Continue reading "City Kids Wilderness Project and the WRMC"

Permalink | Posted by Rahel Manna on Aug 14, 2014 in the following categories: Alumni, Leadership, Professional Training, Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wilderness Risk Management Conference

Montana Conservation Corps & the WRMC

In this installment of the Wilderness Risk Management Conference blog series, we are focusing our attention on the Montana Conservation Corps (MCC). This nonprofit development program for young adults has been following in the footsteps of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s, using conservation projects to foster citizenship and personal growth in its members. WRMC staff caught up with Montana Conservation Corps Program Director Lee Gault, who represented MCC at the WRMC 10 years ago, and asked him about the dynamic relationship that has been evolving between MCC and the WRMC for over a decade.



In the span of one year, the MCC, as a single branch, is able to train 300-400 participants of varying age groups and backgrounds. The different programs offered at MCC also vary greatly. One program in particular, the Veterans Green Corps, serves American military veterans who are “transitioning from military to civilian life” and “range in age from 24-35” said Gault. Using the training and exposure that the MCC program provides, many American veterans who are MCC alumni are able to transition into civilian positions and go on to work with the national parks service and the national forest service.


Continue reading "Montana Conservation Corps & the WRMC"

Permalink | Posted by Rahel Manna on Aug 12, 2014 in the following categories: Alumni, Leadership, Professional Training, Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wilderness Risk Management Conference

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