Alaska Outdoor Educator: Backpacking and Sea Kayaking

Credit: Tracy Baynes

Alaska Outdoor Educator: Backpacking and Sea Kayaking

If you're a practicing or aspiring outdoor educator, you know that learning to lead groups in two different skill areas is a professional advantage. This course will prepare you to do just that, giving you the chance to learn how to lead on land and sea. Your classroom for the sea kayaking section is Prince William Sound, with its plentiful wildlife and booming tidewater glaciers. Using either Whittier or Valdez as a starting point, you'll learn how to glide along the coast in a sea kayak and have a chance to practice your teaching skills in some of the most beautiful parts of the Sound. For the backpacking portion of the course, you'll be in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, the Talkeetna Mountains, or the Kenai Mountains. In this land of tundra and rocky passes, you'll work with your instructors to learn skills such as risk management, ration planning, and program supervision. By the end of this expedition, you'll be better equipped to teach, lead, and explore, whether in a boat or on foot.



2019 Dates

July 16 – Aug. 14, 2019

Tuition: $4,890


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30 days

Minimum Age

21 yrs.

Academic Credit

6 College Credits
  • 2 Environmental Studies
  • 2 Risk Assessment
  • 2 Outdoor Educator

1.50 High School Credits

  • 1.00 Leadership
  • 0.50 Physical Education
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Leave No Trace - Master Educator


Course Description

Equipment List

Travel and Logistics


Palmer, Alaska

Fly in/out

Anchorage, Alaska

Skills learned


Sea Kayaking

Additional Details

Essential Eligibility Criteria

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What Our Grads Say

“I learned that I can survive and even thrive in conditions far suprassing what I believe to be my limit. There were numerous times when I simply wanted to stop and give up. Stop climbing, stop paddling because I couldn't feel my arms anymore or because my legs burned. I wanted to stop because I was scared, because I thought I'd reached my limit. And yet I continued. I'd take one more step, one more paddle stroke. My legs still hurt and I was still terrified that I'd tumble down the mountain face. My arms were sore and I worried that waves could capsize us. But I was two more steps or strokes closer to the destination. Broken into steps and strokes, the insurmountable became surmountable.” 

— Katrina P., NOLS Alaska Outdoor Educator grad

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