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Caroline Byrd

Caroline ByrdThe minute Caroline Byrd laid eyes on the Rockies, she knew they were the place for her. That was nearly 20 years ago and Caroline is still in the Rockies and she's working hard to protect a big piece of them.

As staff attorney for the Wyoming Outdoor Council, Caroline quite often finds herself battling to save the Yellowstone Ecosystem--a vast chunk of public and private lands surrounding and including Yellowstone National Park--from various environmental threats. Perhaps fittingly, Caroline first came to NOLS as a student on a Yellowstone ski course in the park in 1984, then she returned to take the NOLS instructors course the next year. The school fueled her desire to educate, and in turn, her desire to protect the environment. The latter led her to law school while the former led her to teach many different types of NOLS courses.

Even today, her early experience at NOLS proves invaluable in her job, says Caroline.

"NOLS provides such excellent training for educators because you learn how to make your ideas make sense," says Caroline. "I have an incredible advantage because I've been trained and have learned how to communicate the best possible message in the most effective way. NOLS taught me how to get right to the heart of the matter and that helps in my work today."

Environmental advocacy is nothing new for Caroline. She was a founding member of what became the Alliance for the Wild Rockies in Montana and has been an environmental leader ever since. Even though Caroline is more likely to be filing appeals these days, she still finds time to get in the outdoors. This past spring, Caroline joined the Women's Century Expedition, the first all women's ascent of Cho Oyu, an 8,210M peak on the Nepal/Tibet border. She also finds the time to get out and teach the occasional NOLS course.

"NOLS instructors are the best teachers I've been around," she says. "And the wilderness, of course, is the best classroom in the world."

Grad Profiles in Alphabetical Order

Pete Athans
Janice Bloom
David Breashears
Diane Brinkley
Carlos Buhler
Caroline Byrd
Archie Clemins
Columbia Crew
Mike DiDonna
Chris Gergen
John Grunsfeld
Ryan Hughes
Bruce Jacobsen
Sebastian Junger
Tom Kiernan
Alex Matthiessen
Tori McClure
Kitty Phillips
Guy Santiago
Tom Scott
Kat Taylor
Terri Watson
Louisa Willcox

Skiing - NOLS Instructor Tony Jewell carving some fresh turns in Wyoming's backcountry.
© John Fitzgerald
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