Golden Apple Scholarship winner taking NOLS course in 2013
Angela Rosenberg, a math teacher at Edgewood HS, of Edgewood, Md. received the first annual Golden Apple scholarship from Freedom Federal Credit Union. Rosenberg was always interested in the outdoors and became more interested when her friends took her rock climbing and hiking. She enjoys rock climbing best, and wants to continue to improve.
Golden Apple Scholarship applicants must document how they use the $1,000 towards furthering their own continuing education. Rosenberg plans to take a year off for Project Adventure and a NOLS course. She then plans to incorporate the skills developed through the programs to make math teaching more meaningful and fun to her students and incorporate experiential learning. Demonstrating to her students that even an outdoor leader uses math will show them that math is used everywhere.
Rosenberg taught high school math for three years and feels that, “traditional classroom teaching isn't for me at this time in my life.” She resigned from teaching to continue her master's degree full time. She is studying at Plymouth University with a self-designed focus on adventure learning, and she hopes to finish by next summer and set a specific career goal.
“Adventure learning can take me anywhere from challenge ropes courses to programs like NOLS or Outward Bound, to experiential education schools, to adventure based counseling, and beyond... I can take things pretty much wherever I want, and I can see myself in many different jobs,” explained Rosenberg.
Rosenberg plans to take the NOLS Southwest Outdoor Educator course in Tucson, Ariz. She had always wanted to take a NOLS course. Her advisor at Plymouth State told her that a NOLS course could count towards her master’s program.
Rosenberg recalls, “I was so excited because I have heard that the NOLS instructors are the best of the best, and the courses are surely an amazing opportunity.”
Since her master’s program is self-designed, she hopes the NOLS course will help her to see her strengths and spark an interest to move in a focused direction.
Rosenberg is currently on a U.S. road trip. Her planned stops include Baltimore, Chicago, Nebraska, Denver, Buena Vista, Durango, Telluride, Grand Teton/Yellowstone, Craters of the Moon, Bend, Klamath Falls, Mt. Shasta/Weed, Grass Valley, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, LA, Long Beach, San Diego, and the plan for the way back is Sedona, Flagstaff, Grand Canyon, Santa Fe, Nashville, Asheville, and back to Baltimore.
“For now, I'm just learning and exploring as much as I can.”
NOLS ladies at Little Red
Nearly a dozen NOLS women participated in a very important bike ride last weekend. We were proud to be represented at the annual Little Red Riding Hood, a non-competitive cycling event that raises funds for cancer research at Huntsman Cancer Institute in Utah.
Leslie van Barselaar, WMI marketing coordinator, sold her road bike when her cancer recurred in 2010 thinking she’d never ride again. When she crossed the finish line last weekend, having completed 36 miles, Leslie was struck with joy and relief.
“I hadn’t realized how much that moment transcended the long four years of cancer treatment and assaults to my body with replacing that trauma with regained trust and faith in what my body could do,” she reflected.
Leslie rode with her friend and colleague, Debra East, WMI admissions supervisor. Debra rode last year, providing inspiration for Leslie, who supported her 2011 ride, to join this year. The two were joined by a number of coworkers.
“It was great to share the road with so many NOLS colleagues, including women I work with daily in the Wilderness Medicine Institute office,” Debra noted. She said she could feel the shared energy of the women riding in support of the Huntsman Institute’s research and staff.
“It is an empowering ride that can span the ages of girls to older women, all riding together, raising funds for [ovarian] and breast cancer research University of Utah’s Huntsman Cancer Institute,” Debra wrote.
The all-female environment was new and delightful for Kate Herden, one of our marketing representatives.
“The beauty of all of the riders is what really struck me. It seemed like everyone from 9 to 90, tall/short, thick/thin, was riding with such a sense of pride,” she wrote.
Among those women was Linda Lindsey, NOLS’ human resources and inclusion manager. She said she particularly enjoyed the non-competitive environment as she took on her first 50-mile solo ride (she’s put in many on a tandem bike). She didn’t have any trouble finding local women who were also training for the event in Cache Valley in Utah.
WMI Registrar Jenna Helgeson signed up for the full 100 miles and trained a bit with Kate, photographer Lindsay D’Addato, and designer Sam Baker. On the day of the ride, they came upon Leslie and Debra about 57 miles in and all rolled into town together.
“We took the last leg as a group relying on our never ceasing laughter, singing and daydreams of ice cream to drive us home!” reported Kate.
We at NOLS are very proud of these women for taking on the challenge of “Little Red,” working toward a difficult goal, sometimes on their own and always in support of one another. And all for a good cause. Well done, and thank you to all of you.
Debra East, WMI admissions supervisor
Leslie Van Barselaar, WMI marketing coordinator
Lindsay D’Addato, photographer
Kate Herden, marketing representative
Jenna Helgeson, WMI registrar
Sam Baker, designer
Jennifer Connell, research and campaign cordinator
Shana Tarter, WMI assistant director
Pip Coe, alumni and development director
Linda Lindsey, human resources and inclusion manager
Judy Crawford, WMI instructor
Update on Funding the Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus Construction
The Wilderness Medicine recently celebrated a milestone in internal fundraising when 75% of their staff graciously gave a gift toward the construction of the Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus. Tod Schimelpfenig, WMI Curriculum Director and NOLS senior staff, stepped up to lead a staff-initiated campaign that also put his skin in the game. Schimelpfenig gallantly offered to display himself wearing a WMI Buff® as a tube-top if 85% of the WMI staff donated to the cause.
"Though we did not hit our 85% goal,” states Schimelpfenig, “We are very pleased so many of you chose to participate. One hundred and eighty-six WMI in-town and instructional staff donated to the Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus campaign. This is a stunning achievement. Your generosity and commitment to WMI is beautiful and we deeply appreciate it. Next, the NOLS fundraising folks will leverage your dedication to raise the remainder of the money we need to build our campus, and our future. Again, thank you from the whole of our hearts."
This staff campaign supports the challenge goal set by biomedical entrepreneur and philanthropist, Mr. Hansjorg Wyss. In short, if NOLS supporters raise $1.5M toward the completion of the campus, Mr. Wyss will generously match our dollars.
Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus fundraising facts to date:
1) Total currently raised towards the $1.5 million goal is: $1,067,612.30
2) Total number of donors: 354
3) Total left to raise: $432,387.70
For more information about the Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus please see our blog at:
To donate to our cause please go to:
Faculty Summit workshop examines technology in the backcountry
As the final day of the second annual NOLS Faculty Summit began to wind down, the final workshops of the week imparted final insights and discussions.
One of these was on the topic of communication and technologies in the wilderness classroom, an ever-evolving subject. Facilitated by NOLS Professional Training Program Coordinator Marcio Paes Barreto, the forum explored questions along continuums such as “Is a GPS enabling or distracting? How about a Kindle, with or without search capabilities?” and “Where do you stand on managing technology like iPhones on a continuum from physical removal to a verbal contract?”
These questions were posed not with the goal of setting or revising NOLS policy, but of discussing shifting technological advances and reliance, as well as the value of removing (or relying on) such tools while on a NOLS course. The forum examined faculty members’ perspectives and experiences with radios, phones, personal locator beacons, cameras, and new navigation apps on iPads.
NOLS has always believed that living in nature—free of society’s distractions—teaches responsibility, that wilderness is the best place to develop leadership skills. Nonetheless, devices like GPS and satellite phones can serve as both educational and risk management tools. As the wave of technology rolls forward, NOLS must remain on that wave, not behind it, as it seeks the best ways to educate students.
Ultimately, the group agreed that when communication and information technology overlap, disruption can be avoided when educational goals are incorporated. This, of course, will be an intriguing wave to watch as NOLS leads the outdoor education industry into the future.
For a video from this event and more, keep an eye on NOLS.TV starting next week.
Summit Addresses Environmental Issues
After spending much of the first day of the Faculty Summit discussing leadership skills, teaching techniques, and ways to foster inclusion, the second day began with a reminder to faculty: you have an incredible opportunity to inspire a new generation to care about the environment.
Dan Garvey delivered the morning’s first presentation. Garvey’s humorous approach softened the otherwise sobering discourse about ethical failures and their catastrophic impact on the environment.
Next, George Luber delved further into the theme of environmental consciousness with a thorough presentation of the changes occurring in the environment and, consequently, in the health of Americans.
Although Luber’s statistics were staggering, he, like Garvey, urged NOLS faculty to take the information and act, rather than allow it to be paralytic in its seriousness. For example, he suggested appealing to the self interest of students, whose appreciation for wild places grows during a NOLS course.
“Instead of pointing out all of the weeds, get in the garden,” deplored Garvey.
For videos of talks, forums, and workshops at the NOLS Faculty Summit, please visit NOLS.tv
Inspiring Alumna: Morgan Dixon opens Faculty Summit
Yesterday morning was the start of the 2012 NOLS Faculty Summit. Scott Robertson and Executive Director John Gans kicked off the event with a brief welcome to the nearly 160 faculty members assembled at the Sinks Canyon Center. Over the three days of the Summit, faculty will participate in a variety of forums and workshops focused on professional development, community building, and inclusion. The highlight of the first day was Morgan Dixon’s opening address, which set the tone for the summit by inspiring attendees to spread lessons from NOLS to a greater audience.
Dixon, an alumna of the Pacific Northwest Trip Leader, began with a line by poet Linda Hogan.
“The body’s purpose is to use life up,” quoted Dixon.
Although this line aptly synthesizes the philosophy of many NOLS faculty members, it is far from a reality for the majority of Americans.
“How many people in out country use the body in that way? This is a crisis for all Americans. This is why the lessons NOLS espouses are just so important in these times,” explained Dixon.
Fostering healthy lifestyles in less privileged communities is so important to Dixon that she created the GirlTrek movement. GirlTrek uses walking, the most basic component of any NOLS course, to foster healthy lifestyles amongst African American women and girls. As Dixon emphasized, role models play a critical role in the success of this program
“When I got back my NOLS course, I sent pictures to my friends. The response was far greater than I expected. That one photo of [an African American woman] in the wilderness was more important than years of work,” said Dixon. “People could suddenly imagine being in a freer place.”
Dixon ended by reminding attendees that many people will never have access to the NOLS experience, but that the lessons from the field can be brought into the frontcountry, into cities, to inspire healthier lifestyles and more role models. This is how the group under the tent will become more diverse.
Notes from the Field: Phil is on the mend
After descending to base camp on Everest, NOLS senior faculty member and Rocky Mountain River Base Manager Phil Henderson writes from base camp about his condition.
I am now back at base camp and have been for several days. The khumbu cough got the best of me during my last rotation. A combination of being sick, coughing, elevation gain of 5,200 meters to 6,400 meters, and high temps in the Western Cwm took its toll and left me very weak. When I arrived at camp II, my O2 saturation levels were at a mere 55 percent without oxygen. I rested over the next several hours without the oxygen, but my O2 sats never got above 65 percent. We decided it would be a good idea for me to sleep with O's. I slept with a oxygen at 0.5 liters/minute and checked my sats throughout the night; they never went under 90 percent.
The next morning I was up, packed and read to hike back to base camp at 6 a.m. On the trail with the mask still on and the oxygen now at two liters/minute, I was quickly past camp I and back into the infamous Khumbu ice fall. I was back in base camp within three and a half to four hours. My cough continues to produce and keep me awake part of the night. My O2 sats here in base camp have improved to around 80 percent. I received some medication from the Everest Base Camp doctor, which has improved my condition over the past two days as I continue to rest and recover.
Faculty Summit kicks off with clinics
The second annual NOLS Faculty Summit kicked off today, with clinics up and down Sinks Canyon outside Lander. Both the river crossing clinic and rock rescue clinic kicked off early in the morning, and the afternoon included a Tyrolean traverse clinic.
Our pants are flapping in the wind! The famous NOLS wind pants mark the location of the majority o the Summit events, Sinks Canyon Center. Kyle Duba photo
The river crossing clinic, led by NOLS Director of Risk Management Drew Leemon, provided instructors with an opportunity to discuss and practice NOLS accepted field practices across the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie River.
Meanwhile, the daylong rock rescue clinic gave new and experienced instructors alike the chance to learn and conduct a variety of rescues on the rock walls of the canyon.
The afternoon was rounded out with a clinic on the Tyrolean traverse, a means of transporting equipment or people over an obstacle—in this case, a river. You can also find a video of this venture on County 10.
Each of these clinics was led by NOLS faculty and executed in a safe and fun environment. Over the next three days, the participants will delve into workshops and lectures by experts in the outdoor industry as part of the Summit. Keep an eye on NOLS.TV for videos of the week’s events if you weren’t able to attend in person.
Notes from the Field: Voicemail from Camp II
NOLS senior field instructor and Rocky Mountain River Base Manager Phil Henderson is still on the expedition on Everest. His partner Mark Jenkins called a voicemail in to the National Geographic office last week with an update on NOLS' own Phil. Listen or read the transcript here.
Notes from the Field: Phil Henderson touches Camp III
Yes, things are very real up here. Some are unfortunate accidents; other things are risk of being in the mountains. The incident where the Sherpa fell into the crevasse was totally avoidable. I have gone through the Khumbu Icefall four times now, once completely alone. I clipped into almost every fixed rope, which are many, most so that I would not fall into a crevasse, others so that my body could be found at the next fixed anchor should anything cut loose.
There was a huge avalanche a few days ago between camp 1 and 2. It ran from high up on Nuptse completely across the glacier floor to the west shoulder of Everest. The smoke cloud went 300 meters high. One Sherpa was caught. A few minutes earlier and it would have taken out 30 to 40 people. We were at camp 2 when this occurred and sent a couple of people to help with the search.
The next day we headed to touch camp III, which is half way up the Lhotse Face, and return to camp II (climb high sleep low).
At this time the Lhotse Face is steep blue ice. We have had very little precipitation since arriving April 1, and what little we have had has been blown away by high winds. Imagine a mile of fixed line and more than 20 people on up line and rappel line at all times, old blue ice with no new snow cover. The sun bakes the ice and exposes rocks of all sizes. Climbers, some with little ice climbing or fixed line experience, release rocks and ice of all sizes with poor crampon technique. The best place to be on the Lhotse Face is directly behind another climber or two so when you hear the yell “rock,” you can duck behind the person in front of you.
I was in this situation while ascending the fixed line a few days ago. I believe I ducked behind another climber more than five times; small rocks hit my helmet twice. During my descent, I knocked small rocks and shards of ice down with my hand several times, yelled rock for my partner many times, and was almost clocked by a melon sized rock that whizzed by, three meters away. Being on the fixed lined going up the Lhotse Face, you are at risk of being hit by whatever comes down.
That is what happened again two days ago. Two Sherpas were hit in different incidences. One was knocked unconscious, broke his jaw and was evacuated via helicopter later that day from just above camp II. The other was hit in the shoulder and was able to hike back to camp.
So, again I and others ask ourselves, “Is it worth the risk to climb this mountain?” We are still trying to find the answer. In the meantime, we keep climbing, use our technical, judgment and decision-making skills, and hope for the best.
The one thing I am very comfortable with are my skills. As a member of this expedition, I have used many of the NOLS core competencies/values: expedition behavior, communication, basic mountaineering and camping skills, repair skills, and tolerance for adversity just to name a few.
Having a solid foundation and understanding of these outdoor skills has allowed me to have fun, travel safely and be a positive contributing member of this expedition.
I've also notice people in the Khumbu are proud NOLS grads like myself: