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Facility Efficiency Improvements at NOLS Pacific Northwest

When it comes to sustainability, every little bit counts. Even a toilet. When Karly Copeland, NOLS Sustainability Coordinator, made a call to NOLS Pacific Northwest to do an annual facility efficiency audit, toilets came up a lot. As it turns out, there is a lot that goes into sustainably updating a facility. Everything from appliances, light bulbs, and pipes, to weather stripping, sink fixtures and toilets must be taken into account. Some fixes are simple while others require much more attention, planning and funding.

The NOLS facility efficiency initiative is a crucial component of meeting the school-wide goal to reduce carbon emissions by thirty percent by the year 2020. By looking closely at each NOLS facility, the initiative is designed to bring seemingly minor details to the forefront, and ultimately make a big difference. We’ve all heard that we can minimize our carbon footprint by riding our bikes, taking shorter showers, or changing a light bulb. NOLS recognizes the importance of making these suggestions a reality.

 The NOLS Pacific Northwest audit is a great example of the attention to detail and important questions that must be asked in order to optimize sustainability within a facility. Are the pipes properly insulated? Are the appliances energy efficient? Are the light bulbs LED or fluorescent, and do they have motion sensors? Are the toilets low-flow? Many of these details and more were discussed in the conversation between Karly and John Harnetiaux, the Operations Manager of NOLS Pacific Northwest, and Mitch Harter, Facilities and Fleet Manager of NOLS Pacific Northwest. The audit consisted of reviewing data pertaining specifically to the Pacific Northwest facility, a thirty acre-property with eleven different buildings. Various efficiency improvements were discussed such as the heaters in the staff housing units, water pipes in the food services building attic, the weather-stripping on the doors, and of course, the toilets. All of these improvements and more are recorded, labeled and prioritized in the audit.

“The Pacific Northwest campus was built in the early 90's, and was originally designed with various energy efficiencies in mind. Within the last five years, as the buildings on the property have begun to age into their twenties, we've been attempting to do more retrofitting, as well as some larger scale sustainable construction projects,” commented John Harnetiaux.

As multiple NOLS locations, such as NOLS Pacific Northwest, continue to make improvements on the energy efficiency of their facilities, the goal of drastically reducing carbon emissions by 2020 will be that much more attainable.

Solar Panels at NOLS Pacific Northwest
 

Permalink | Posted by Becca Sage on Jan 16, 2015 in the following categories: Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability, Pacific Northwest

Educator Expedition: Paddle Sport Coaching

By Rachael Bates, NOLS Instructor

This fall I had the privilege to participate in two courses during the British Canoe Union (BCU) week, sponsored by Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe, in Portland, Oregon.  NOLS generously supported my continued training through the Instructor Development Fund. This education transfers to outdoor education environments and benefits NOLS students. The courses I took part in were the BCU Coach 2 training and the BCU 4 star sea kayak leader assessment.

The Coach 2 training is a four-day course focused on developing paddle sport coaching technique and providing stroke refinement through engaging activities. Paddle sports encompass a variety of boats, such as whitewater kayaks, stand up paddleboards, sea kayaks, canoes, and polo boats. As a participant, I created lesson plans that were applicable to all paddle sports, using activities to emphasize the fundamentals of paddling and designing activities that involved a high level of student observation.

We implemented new lessons every day and received feedback from peers and course instructors regarding our lesson delivery and content. This experience provided me exactly what I was hoping for: tools to individualize paddle stoke and provide feedback for students through fun, and engaging activities.  I also refined my ability to observe.

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Rachael on a personal sea kayaking trip.

I am always seeking opportunities to better serve and educate my students on NOLS sea kayak courses. This coaching course provided me with just that. The course was interactive, fun, and focused on the application of knowledge. The skills I learned are directly transferable to my work with NOLS and will continue to develop my ability to create quality paddlers in the sea kayak and canoe program.

 

Permalink | Posted by NOLS on Jan 15, 2015 in the following categories: Instructor News

Win a Free NOLS Course in San Diego

Visit the NOLS booth at the Travel and Adventure show in San Diego, February 14–15, and enter for a chance to win a free NOLS course. 

For over 11 years and 54 shows, travel enthusiasts from around the country have been dreaming, planning and finding their next vacation at Travel & Adventure Shows. NOLS will be present at the upcoming show in San Diego, and we can offer free tickets (use the code EXHNOLS).

From African safaris to Caribbean getaways, rainforest adventures, and domestic experiences, you’ll meet hundreds of the top travel brands from around the globe, including NOLS. If you’re interested in talking to NOLS about an adventure of a lifetime for yourself or for a young family member, stop by in the San Diego Convention Center. Meet NOLS representatives, watch fun demos, and enter to win that free NOLS course*!

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While at the Travel & Adventure Show, explore the cultural stages: the Global Beats Stage invites you to get on your feet and dance to the music of far away lands while the Taste of Travel Theater will fill your nose with the aroma of some of the world’s most unique cuisines.

Or head to a session at the Destination Stage where the top travel destinations show you how to experience the best that they have to offer. At the Travel Channel Theater, find inspiration and how to travel like a local from  celebrity speakers including Samantha Brown, Rick Steves, Pauline and Arthur Frommer, Patricia Schultz, Roger Staubach, Travel Channel personalities and more. 

Located in seven markets across the United States, the Travel & Adventure Show is like walking through a guidebook contained under one roof. Join us Feb. 14–15 in the San Diego Convention Center to dream it, plan it, and maybe even win a NOLS course. 

For more information on attending the Travel & Adventure Show, please visit their new website at www.TravelShows.com!

* Win a Free NOLS Course! Entry at the NOLS booth is required for eligibility. One winner will be selected from total entries at all 2015 Travel and Adventure Shows. The winner will be notified by April 17, 2015.

Permalink | Posted by NOLS on Jan 14, 2015

NOLS NZ is open

NOLS NZ is now open for the season. We all enjoyed a classic New Zealand Christmas break with its mix of heavy rain and scorching hot days.  

New Zealand in-town staff for this season  IMG_2622
Wes       Joy           Puja            Sheldon        Andy 
TC            Christian      Jordy           Camine          Roo

This season we are running three Spring Semesters and two 30-day Backpacking Courses. The first courses start next week. 

If you would like to send mail to students at NOLS NZ, please send to the address below. Allow 10-14 days for delivery. Please write their couse code after their name. 

Student's Name & Course Code
NOLS New Zealand
4 Serpentine River Road
Aniseed Valley RD1
Richmond 7081
New Zealand

 

 

Permalink | Posted by Roo Riley on Jan 11, 2015 in the following categories: New Zealand

Educator Expedition: The Gales Storm Gathering

By Steve Robitshek, NOLS Instructor

The Gales Storm Gathering event is intended as a fun, invigorating sea kayaking instructional event for students looking to gain experience “in conditions” on the Great Lakes, according to the website.

“We all want to know what variables change for rolling, rescues, towing, leadership, and group management once the placid waters of summer have dissipated.

“The Great Lakes offer a terrific opportunity for sea kayakers to experience the beauty of lumpy conditions. Lake Superior has a variety of wind conditions, sea states, and waves in autumn. Often students will seek training in far-flung locales on the east coast, west coast, or overseas; when in fact our freshwater seas offer this exact sort of paddling environment right next door. This coupled with some very world class coaches can make for the best learning experience.”

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Ahh paddling to have fun, push skills, and get wet!  No students, no responsibilities, no curriculum, no camping, and lots of learning—why would one not attend? I relished this chance to paddle to just paddle, with coaches and participants that simply wanted to push skill development in challenging conditions. All this and time on the Big Lake in Pictured Rocks National Seashore!

Goals of the Gales Storm Gathering, Oct. 3–5, 2014, included building confidence in existing skills, reinforcing good habits in wind and waves, correct bad habits with real-world experiences and top-notch rough-water coaches, teaching safe and fun paddling in beautiful surroundings, and providing access to outstanding coaches from around the world.

I’ve been looking to get outside of NOLS to experience what other organizations and people do to manage risk, teach, and coach. Thanks to the NOLS Instructor Development Fund, I was able to attend the Gales Storm Gathering. This symposium pushed me in challenging conditions. Jeff Allen, one of the coaches, introduced many scenarios to manage as well as great coaching during the event.

Adding the skills and experiences to my toolbox will enable me to coach and challenge students more in all the different settings we typically encounter on NOLS sea kayaking courses.

Permalink | Posted by NOLS on Jan 8, 2015 in the following categories: Instructor News

Enter to Win a Free NOLS Course

Visit the NOLS booth at the Travel and Adventure show in San Francisco, February 7–8, and enter for a chance to win a free NOLS course. 

For over 11 years and 54 shows, travel enthusiasts from around the country have been dreaming, planning and finding their next vacation at Travel & Adventure Shows. NOLS will be present at the upcoming show in San Francisco, and we can offer free tickets (use the code EXHNOLS).

From African safaris to Caribbean getaways, rainforest adventures, and domestic experiences, you’ll meet hundreds of the top travel brands from around the globe, including NOLS. If you’re interested in talking to NOLS about an adventure of a lifetime for yourself or for a young family member, stop by in San Francisco Feb. 7 and 8. Meet NOLS representatives, watch fun demos, and enter to win that free NOLS course*!

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While at the Travel & Adventure Show, explore the cultural stages: the Global Beats Stage invites you to get on your feet and dance to the music of far away lands while the Taste of Travel Theater will fill your nose with the aroma of some of the world’s most unique cuisines.

Or head to a session at the Destination Stage where the top travel destinations show you how to experience the best that they have to offer. At the Travel Channel Theater, find inspiration and how to travel like a local from  celebrity speakers including Samantha Brown, Rick Steves, Pauline and Arthur Frommer, Patricia Schultz, Roger Staubach, Travel Channel personalities and more. 

Located in seven markets across the United States, the Travel & Adventure Show is like walking through a guidebook contained under one roof. Join us next month in the Santa Clara Convention Center to dream it, plan it, and maybe even win a NOLS course. 

For more information on attending the Travel & Adventure Show, please visit their new website at www.TravelShows.com!

* Win a Free NOLS Course! Entry at the NOLS booth is required for eligibility. One winner will be selected from total entries at all 2015 Travel and Adventure Shows. The winner will be notified by April 17, 2015.

Permalink | Posted by NOLS on Jan 7, 2015

WMI Soap Note App Launches

In November 2011 Dan Rogers was hooked.

Earlier that year, he had been working in Baltimore as a developer for Eye Byte Solutions. After taking a WMI Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course in January, Rogers decided it was time to leave his job, head west, and spend more time outdoors.

“That opened the gates for me of really wanting to get out on bigger adventures, which just weren’t possible for me in Baltimore” Rogers reflected.

He left the East Coast to be a trail crew leader before taking his second course, a Wilderness EMT in Jackson, Wyoming, using funds from the Veterans Association (Rogers served 8.5 years with the Army and National Guard). Within a month of his course ending, he was working for the WMI office in Lander, Wyoming.

While he loved the West, Rogers couldn’t deny his passion for the tech industry or the renewed persistence of Eye Byte. A perfect solution was in the making.

Rogers left WMI and started a satellite office of Eye Byte in Jackson. He now lives and works in Teton Valley as Eye Byte’s UX and Web Development Director. When he isn’t working, he is in the mountains.

“It’s one of the best balances I’ve ever had, really. I’m able to still do what I’m passionate about, while being based here in the Tetons,” Rogers noted.

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Rogers climbs the Grand Teton.

Rogers and WMI never lost contact. He had made a good name for himself at NOLS, and when WMI was looking to build an app for students, Eye Byte got the contract and Rogers was the developer.

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“Really being able to understand where users and WMI staff were coming from, how the process works and how SOAP notes work, having filled out a million of them myself,” the WFR and WEMT grad noted, made the project a success.

The app, now available for iPhones and Android phones, is a great tool to help students and first responders alike document thorough patient assessments. Using the SOAP (Subjective, Objective, Assessment, and Plan) approach to recording information, the app allows users to save findings, attach photos, and share the report via email when connected. The app can operate offline, offers helpful information windows and tools, allows users to record multiple sets of vital signs, and more.

Download the app today and make sure you have it when you need it. 

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Permalink | Posted by NOLS on Jan 2, 2015 in the following categories: Alumni, Wilderness Medicine Institute

Patagonia Year stories

Our Patagonian Year courses PY-1-10/18/14 and PY-2-10/18/14 have recently finished their Wilderness First Responder classes on our campo. Plenty of time to talk to the students and ask them about their adventures!

While sitting down with Sophia, Haley and Meghan, we got to talking about all of their highlights and most favorite memories. But also about ‘the other side’ of their stories, which told me about new challenges they encountered and how it shaped them in their expedition behavior.  

Sophia “Being out in the wilderness pushes us. It pushes us so hard and we are so challenged! Like, waking up at 4 am to cook for your group on a cold, snowy day. You want to be the kind of person who can just wake up really early and make the most awesome pancakes! Realizing that you do not really enjoy that is hard.. The disappointments and hardships you face, but also the successes, are so much stronger in the wilderness. Because they are all tangible. For example, whether we have that warm breakfast on an early cold morning, or whether we make it to the top.. But we have the opportunity to change and develop through those moments. So we push ourselves. You push yourself to be good, helpful and a great team member.”

Haley “The reason why I get up in the morning, why I maintain a positive attitude when it is pouring rain, I am freezing cold and my rain gear has allowed all of the Patagonia rain to come in - is because of the people I am with. Because that is the essence of the trip, you have to work together, rely on and care about one another. And you want to! So you get up in the morning to make pancakes, because you want to show your family that you care about them and that you are there going through the same hardships are they are. And you want to push yourself for that.”

Meghan “Even on hard days though, I would still think of it as the best day ever. It was not like that all the time, but some days when we were hiking.. We would stop, look around and be in the most beautiful place of our life. And everyone was in awe of what we are seeing and experiencing. So even with the moments of hardship there are times of realization.. This is why I am here. This is exactly what I wanted it to be.”

It was obvious to me that these girls had just experienced an incredibly valuable and rich life lesson, and are very excited about all the adventures that still lay ahead of them!

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Sophia, Haley and Meghan relaxing on the campo


Posted by Inge • NOLS Patagonia intern

Permalink | Posted by Kamil Sade on Dec 19, 2014 in the following categories: Patagonia

NOLS, REI proud to sponsor Latino Outdoors WFA

On November 8-9, NOLS and REI collaborated to offer a two-day Wilderness First Aid (WFA) course to the leaders of Latino Outdoors.

José González for scenarioJosé González founded Latino Outdoors with this simple idea: Where are the Latino-led organizations with conservation and the environment as a primary focus?

His connection to nature began when he was a kid growing up in México growing crops on a farm. Later on, in the United States, González had a different experience when he saw Sequoias for the first time—much different than the one he had as a kid running around the hills by his backyard.

“This place was a protected space and it seemed so magical to me,” he reflected.

While in college, González saw himself in the migrant students he was teaching about the outdoors. He found himself wondering why he didn’t see more Latinos in national parks and outdoors.

So he created Latino Outdoors, a place to give a home to his love of the outdoors and his strong commitment to share this love and training with Latino communities. The organization is a community and network of outdoor professionals. It is a starting and continuing point for Latino outdoor and conservation professionals who engage and learn with Latino communities and a starting and continuing point for Latinos to engage and learn about the outdoors and conservation organizations.

“We use Spanish as a cultural asset, English as a professional tool, and being bilingual as an affirmative identity,” González said. “We seek to provide opportunities to network and build professional connections, to be a training ground for current and future professionals, and we are cooperative and collaborative by nature.”

In early November, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute and REI collaborated in support of this important organization. NOLS and REI were pleased to be able to provide the two-day course to Latino Outdoors leaders on scholarship.

WFA course Latino Outdoors

“This kind of technical assistance is crucial in the community-building work we do and in amplifying the work that gets more of our communities into a diverse range of outdoors experiences,” Latino Outdoors Facebook stated shortly after the course.

Additional WFA opportunities can be found here.

Permalink | Posted by NOLS on Dec 18, 2014 in the following categories: Alumni, Wilderness Medicine Institute

Join Us at the Chicago Travel and Adventure Show

For over 11 years and 54 shows, travel enthusiasts from around the country have been dreaming, planning and finding their next vacation at the Travel & Adventure Show. NOLS will be present at the upcoming event in Chicago, as well as shows this spring, and you can get a free ticket to join us by using the code EXHNOLS.

From African safaris to Caribbean getaways, rainforest adventures, and domestic experiences, you’ll meet hundreds of the top travel brands from around the globe, including NOLS. If you’re interested in talking to NOLS about an adventure of a lifetime for yourself or for a young family member, stop by in Chicago Jan. 17-18 this year. Hear from NOLS representatives, watch fun demos, and enter to win a free NOLS course*!

T&AS.Black (1)

While at the Travel & Adventure Show, explore the cultural stages: the Global Beats Stage invites you to get on your feet and dance to the music of far away lands while the Taste of Travel Theater will fill your nose with the aroma of some of the world’s most unique cuisines.

Or head to a session at the Destination Stage where the top travel destinations show you how to experience the best that they have to offer. At the Travel Channel Theater, find inspiration and how to travel like a local from our celebrity speakers including Samantha Brown, Rick Steves, Pauline and Arthur Frommer, Patricia Schultz, Roger Staubach, Travel Channel personalities and more. 

Located in seven markets across the United States, the Travel & Adventure Show is like walking through a guidebook contained under one roof. Join us this year at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont on Jan. 17–18 to dream it, plan it, and enter to win that NOLS course. 

For more information on attending the Travel & Adventure Show, please visit their new website at www.TravelShows.com!

* Win a Free NOLS Course! Entry at the NOLS booth is required for eligibility. One winner will be selected from total entries at all 2015 Travel and Adventure Shows. The winner will be notified by April 17, 2015.

Permalink | Posted by Casey Adams on Dec 17, 2014

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