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Gifts at Work

Your Gift Makes a Difference

On behalf of all of us at NOLS, THANK YOU!

"I never dreamed the silence from my email, Facebook, and cell phone could be so refreshing and the enjoyment in sitting and talking with strangers and slowly learning each and every one of their stories could be so pleasurable."

Scholarship Recipient Conor Sullivan
Alaska Backpacking and Sea Kayaking 2011

Every year, individuals, foundations and corporations support NOLS' mission through a tax-deductible donation to the school.

While donations support a number of areas at NOLS—scholarships, staff development, sustainability initiatives, curriculum development and research—our students reap all the benefits.

NOLS' Scholarship Program

Each year, NOLS awards thousands of dollars in scholarships to hundreds of students who demonstrate both a real potential to further the school's mission and an inability to attend a course without financial assistance. Funding for scholarships is made possible through the generosity of donors to the NOLS Endowment and the NOLS Annual Fund. NOLS scholarship recipients fall into three broad categories: individual awards, outdoor educators, and local programs.

Learn more about NOLS' Scholarship Program here.

Sustainability and Wildland Protection

Though we are proud of our work to protect the wild classrooms, NOLS' greatest contribution to the environment is the knowledge our students gain while on course. NOLS grads are skilled positive leaders with an environmental awareness and a strong ethical foundation. Students experience and practice Leave No Trace Wilderness Ethics in the backcountry, in turn taking that knowledge with them into the frontcountry.

In town, NOLS branches lead their local communities in sustainable programs. Some recent projects include:

  • Photovoltaic (solar) arrays at the Noble Hotel in Lander, WY and NOLS Southwest
  • Geothermal heat system at NOLS Rocky Mountain
  • A plan for high energy efficiency at WMI’s future Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus

See what else we're doing towards Environmental Sustainability and Stewardship.


Research and Curriculum Development

Ongoing research and curriculum development ensures that NOLS continues to provide the best education possible to our students.

Among other things, researchers at NOLS:

  • test metabolic output of semester students in order to adjust the standard NOLS ration to fit specific activities
  • survey semester students before and after their courses to measure the level of engagement in their own educations (it’s higher after their NOLS courses)
  • work with instructors on Adventure Courses to determine how best to teach self-regulation and decision making to adolescents
  • collect data from all medical incidents on NOLS field courses for use when teaching wilderness medicine

Your gift does make a difference—to NOLS students and to wilderness areas around the world.


"The simplicity of carrying everything you own in a pack for a month coupled with the patience and knowledge of the instructors, the amazing personalities and contributions of my fellow NOLS students, and the beauty and serenity of the Wind River Range made my experience a life-changing one."

Scholarship Recipient

MIDN Andrea Stooksbury

USNA Leadership Expedition: Backpacking in Wyoming 2011

Chat with a real person.

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