NOLS Leadership Expeditions for the U.S. Naval Academy are field-based, leadership practicums. These courses are designed to support and complement the classroom leadership curriculum offered through the Academy's Leadership Education and Development Division. These expeditions are also available to cadets at other service academics and ROTC midshipmen. Please contact Anne Magnan at NOLS with questions about participating if you are not a midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Current Expedition Offerings:
Rocky Mountain Backpacking
These are perfect mountains for learning skills from off-trail travel to leadership.
Photo: Juan Queirolo
The Rocky Mountain Backpacking Leadership Expeditions travel through glacier-carved mountains renowned for their sheer granite walls and rugged alpine beauty. For nearly a month you'll backpack and move camp almost daily, stopping at prime locations for a layover day, or ascend a 13,000-foot peak.
Once you have mastered basic wilderness skills, you’ll move into advanced curriculum such as hazard analysis and mitigation, off-trail travel techniques, and individual and team leadership.
This course offers the most in-depth opportunities for student leadership, including extended opportunities for independent student group travel. Read the course description (pdf) for more information.
On your course you'll backpack among the towering peaks and immense glaciers that characterize Alaska’s world-famous mountains.
Photo: Pascal Beauvais
You'll be on snow and ice for most of the course as you travel in Alaska's remote mountain ranges. The route chosen for each course is dependent on many variables (snow conditions, river levels, time of year etc.), and is therefore best selected right before your course goes to the field. All routes are classically Alaskan: long, arduous approaches via large valley glaciers, constant exposure to potentially winter-like conditions, outstanding scenery, and the chance for some challenging climbing.
Because of the terrain encountered on these courses, there may be fewer opportunities for independent student travel days than is common on other Naval Academy courses. Read the course description (pdf) for more information.
The mountains of Alaska a perfect classrom for learning and practicing leadership.
Photo: Chris Bessonette
This course is a self-reliant expedition that hikes in the remote mountains of either south central or interior Alaska.
The first thing you will notice upon your arrival in Alaska is the light. While you won’t see the sun at midnight in the latitudes where you will travel, it will stay light through the night during June and July. This offers unique opportunities for active, long days.
Once you have mastered basic wilderness skills, you'll move into advance curriculum such as hazard analysis and mitigation and individual and team leadership.Read more in the course description
Here, in the headwaters of the Canadian Rockies, you’ll share the wild with caribou, bear, wolf, moose and migrating birds.
Photo: Pascal Beauvais
The majority of the Yukon Territory is accessible only by plane, foot or river. The Yukon Whitewater Canoeing Expedtion is a serious wilderness river expedition during spring runoff on the Frances, Hyland, Hess, or McMillen rivers. Successfully negotiating a river in a tandem canoe demands the highest level of communication and teamwork skills.
This dynamic medium requires you to make in-the-moment decisions that affect your boat and the rest of the team on the river. The river teaches you to assess risk, and execute precise risk mitigation strategies every day. You will learn the skills you need to paddle wilderness rivers on your own. Read more in the course description (pdf).
This expedition will travel through the Olympic mountains in the Pacific Northwest. Once you have mastered basic wilderness skills, you’ll move into advanced curriculum such as hazard analysis and mitigation; off-trail travel techniques; and individual and team leadership. Expeditions in this steep country will learn technical hiking skills. Depending on the route and weather conditions, some expeditions may travel on snow for significant periods of time.
This course offers extensive opportunities for student leadership, including opportunities for independent student expeditions. Read the course description (pdf) for more information.
These challenging and rugged ranges spawned the term “technical hiking” at NOLS.
Wilderness EMT students are trained to respond and take charge of both urban and wilderness emergencies.
Photo: Brad Christensen
The Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS (WMI) Wilderness EMT (WEMT) course is a nationally recognized program that trains participants to respond to emergencies in urban, rural, disaster, and wilderness environments. Our intensive educational program prepares our graduates with the judgment and skills to act with confidence and competence. WMI’s evidence-informed wilderness medicine curriculum emphasizes skills and information that are practical, accurate and relevant. Our program is unique in the field of wilderness medicine in that we incorporate the NOLS leadership and decision-making curriculum into all aspects of our training. We cover leadership and decision-making principles with an emphasis on creating high-functioning teams capable of performing under stressful circumstances. It is our belief that leadership skills are crucial to achieving the mission goal of efficient and effective patient care.
The WEMT curriculum surpasses all requirements for the National Registry of EMTs–EMT Basic level. Successful completion of practical and written exams will provide Wilderness EMT certification and meet the eligibility requirements to take the National Registry EMT Basic certification exam.
Naval Academy midshipman
2015 Dates and Tuition
Block 2, Dates TBD
Students must have a current healthcare provider level CPR certification (most commonly called CPR for the Professional Rescuer or BLS Healthcare Provider CPR) and a TB test completed within 1 year prior to the last day of the course. Please see the course description below for more information.
The Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States, is the classroom for this sea kayaking course. This exploratory expedition will provide unique opportunities for observation and discovery of the Bay's unique natural history and human history.
This expedtion will be the inaugural course and that will allow midshipmen to experience the uncertainty inherent in the exploring a new area, finding the best routes, and seeing how much mileage the group can actually cover.
This dynamic environment demands that teams are not only effective, but also efficient at assessing risk and making decisions.
Explore training options. Contact USNA - NOLS Alumni Representatives or NOLS with questions.
Complete online application - Due January 31, 2015 APPLY NOW
Complete Scholarship Application - Due January 31, 2015 APPLY NOW
Notify of program acceptance - February 9 - 20, 2015
NOLS will notify applicants via email as they are placed on preliminary rosters for their first or second choice expeditions. Applicants whose first or second choices cannot be honored will be contacted and other options will be explored. There are four conditions under which the application fee would be refunded:
1. Financial constraints for scholarship applicants when NOLS is informed of withdrawal within 21 days of award determination
2. Conflict with mandatory training
3. Athletic excellence
4. NOLS is unable to assign you to your first or second choice course type
Submit student paperwork - Due April 6, 2015
Health Form (forthcoming) - must be submitted directly to NOLS
Insurance Form (forthcoming)
Student Agreement (forthcoming)
Fax: (307) 332-8811 | Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Mail: NOLS Professional Training
284 Lincoln Street
Lander, WY 82520
Notify of course assignment - late March - early April, 2015
Character Development and Training will notify midshipmen of specific course assignment through summer training orders. Cadets at other academies or NROTC students will be notified by NOLS or through their chain of command.