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April 5, 2010

Contact: Jeanne O’Brien (307) 335-2236

NOLS Ranked One of Outside Magazine's Best Places to Work for the Third Year in a Row

Lander, Wyoming – The prestigious National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) was named today as one of Outside magazine’s Best Places to Work, joining the ranks of an elite group of outdoor titans such as Patagonia, Clif Bar, and REI. NOLS keeps good company on this list of 50, but unlike its peers, NOLS is the only non-profit educational institution on the lineup. This is not the first time NOLS has been on the list. Outside has only ranked the Best Places to Work for three years – and NOLS has graced the list each time. The full “Best Places to Work” list and related stories will be published in the May issue of Outside magazine.

NOLS’ “three-peat” comes as no surprise to its Executive Director, John Gans, who was thrilled at the announcement. “NOLS is a great community of students and staff who know how to work hard, yet play hard,” said Gans. “Working for an organization whose mission you are passionate about is only part of the equation. I was drawn to NOLS because of what we do, but I am still here thirty years later because of our exceptional community – that is what has made NOLS one of the best places to work in the country.”

When NOLS employees across the globe were asked why they work for NOLS, they all echoed the same sentiments: “the feeling that you have an impact on students across the globe,” “amazing community,” “the opportunity to travel and meet different people from around the world,” “living in and traveling through wild and beautiful places,” “the flexibility and variety,” “continuously learning,” and “being front and center in a truly transformative experience for students.”

NOLS’ recognition is all the more special because the selection process was far from arbitrary. Over the past year, employees across the country were surveyed anonymously and confidentially about benefits, compensation, policies, job satisfaction, environmental initiatives, and community outreach program. These employees’ input culminated in the selection of NOLS as one of 50 companies that strive to enhance their employees’ enjoyment of active endeavors, and environmental and social involvement.

“They’re all following the same enlightened path,” said Michael Roberts, Executive Editor of Outside. “They're successful businesses in a challenging economy precisely because they support a proper work-life balance.”


Founded in 1965 by legendary mountaineer Paul Petzoldt, the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) is the leader in wilderness education and sets the industry standard for responsible, high-quality educational expeditions. NOLS provides an awe-inspiring, transformative experience that develops active, positive leaders with lifelong environmental ethics and outdoor skills to more than 10,000 students each year. A private nonprofit school, NOLS runs courses from 10 days to a full academic year in length on five continents. NOLS students, ages 14 to over 70, explore the most remote wilderness the Rocky Mountains, Idaho, Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Alaska, Maine, Western Canada, Mexico, Patagonia (Chile), India, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, and Scandinavia have to offer. College credit and scholarships are available. For more information, call NOLS at (800) 710-NOLS (6657) or visit the web site at


Outside is America’s number-one active-lifestyle magazine, with more than two million readers a month. For 30 years, we’ve been dedicated to covering travel, sports, adventure, health and fitness, as well as the personalities, the environment, and the style and culture of the world Outside. Along with many other accolades, Outside is the only magazine ever to receive three consecutive National Magazine Awards for General Excellence. Please visit us at

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The National Outdoor Leadership School International Headquarters in Lander, Wyoming.
Photo: Brad Christensen
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