AE141 Telemark class

February 19th, 2015

The low snowpack this year didn’t stop the AE 141 Telemark class from getting out and getting some!  Red Mountain Pass was our final backcountry tour in February, with blue skies and even some untracked snow here and there.  A little bit of time ‘in the pits’ (doing snowpack evaluation), and then some time practicing telemarks and even getting some air time.

Red Mt. pits shovel shear air made it tele

AE241 Winter Expedition Feb. 2015!

February 18th, 2015

San Juans It’s a low-snowpack out there this year in the San Juans.  But not to fear, when you have shovels, some snow, and 9 AE students to build a Quinzhee (Athapaskan for ‘snow shelter’).  After some design time, piling of snow, compaction, and settling time, here are the results after we completed digging one out. And it withstood 6 students jumping on it until it collapsed!!                the pile going up digging the entrance inside b:4 the fall


Second Expedition !

September 29th, 2014

Come rain or shine or hail or mud or …..    Great trip in the Weminuche Wilderness near Rio Grande Reservoir last week.  Seven days to lead, to teach, to discover, to get lost and find ourselves again (oops, guess we were close on the trip coordinates, minus a few miles here or there! :).  Crazy stuff we found out there; some wild geology, changing fall colors, elk antlers (12 points!), and even some re-usable clothing & camping gear – Thanks you non-LNT campers!  Some cold camping come 7am at 11,800′, but after the sun comes out, warms up fast.  Next expedition will be in the Utah desert lands, but how awesome to enjoy the high country and the colors, with few around save the odd hunter and bugling elk.


P1110702 start P1110707 going in P1110732 GPSP1110741flap jacks P1110806day 4  P1110826 morning beautyP1110860 what!?  P1110892conflict?   P1110914 changingP1110928da end!

The Immersion

September 19th, 2014

The “Immersion” of the Immersion Semester is definitely happening.  Finishing our third week of classes and preparing for our second field trip (7 days) which starts tomorrow. We’ve already covered curriculum from AE201 Wilderness Expedition (a mere 50 some learning objectives), and are mostly done with AE210 Adventure Leadership curriculum (28 some learning objectives) and we’re already dabbling with AE220 Teaching Methods before that starts when we’re back from the field.  It ALL intertwines, and we’re hardly “through” learning, or completing our learning objectives.  Oh, and then there’s just all the logistics – the planning, packing, food, gear…. for 12 people for 7 days in the high alpine the San Juan mountains. I just hope the rain gives us a break!  But mostly I’m just looking forward to being out of the office, the classroom, and putting it all together (hopefully) out in the field – where the classroom hits the road as it were.

Start X-1 Cascade Ck. X-1     The wet  The wet     mo wet  the leaks

the sun The Sun  the trail the trail  the end the barn

The Top 5 Job Opportunities for a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Fort Lewis College in Adventure Education

April 3rd, 2013


Frequently we are asked by parents of prospective students “what can you do with an Adventure Education degree?” Here is a list of the top 5 job opportunities for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Adventure Education:

  1. School-based outdoor education and adventure education programs These are typically programs in independent schools. This past year one of our AE students did an internship at Timberline Academy in Durango, and then was immediately hired as a teacher at that school. Other examples of schools that hire staff to run their outdoor programs include Colorado Rocky Mountain School, Sandia Prep and Albuquerque Academy in Albuquerque, NM, Chapman School in California, a large number of prep schools in New England (i.e. Proctor Academy, Holderness School, White Mountain School, etc), Wasatch Academy in Utah currently has one of our AE majors interning there in their Outdoor Program.
  2. College recreation programs Last spring we posted a job for an Outdoor Recreation Director at Harvard University which required a B.A. in Adventure Education. Last year one of our AE graduates interned at a 2 year college in Coeur de Alene, Idaho. Another of our AE graduates did an internship with the University of Las Vegas-Nevada.
  3. Adventure Therapy or Wilderness Therapy programs such as Open Sky Wilderness based in Durango, CO. Last year our AE 450 class “Organization and Administration of Adventure Education” did an extensive accreditation review project with Open Sky. Other therapeutic programs are in almost every state.
  4. Environmental Education programs such as Keystone Environmental Center. Many states have an outdoor/environmental education center that school districts send all their 6th graders to for a week. These programs hire staff. Another of our AE graduates did an internship with Southwest Conservation Corps.
  5. Other Independent programs such as Boojum Institute in California (works with school, community and corporate groups), ropes course programs and of course seasonal work in programs such as Outward Bound and NOLS. Our Adventure Education program sent another of our AE graduates to intern with an environmental canopy tours program in North Carolina.

As you can see from the list above, there are MANY job opportunities for employment with a degree in Adventure Education. The Bureau of Labor statistics also predicts that from 2010-2024 jobs in this category are expected to grow faster than average.

6 Ways Students Can Make the Most of College Career Services

March 12th, 2013

6 Ways Students Can Make the Most of College Career Services

February 26, 2013 RSS Feed Print

iSTOCKPHOTOTake advantage of the career service assistance programs that your college or university provides.


Like many parents, my husband and I are not only concerned that our kids have a rewarding college experience, but also become gainfully employed after college. On our initial college visits, the need for Lindsey to take advantage of the career center at her school seemed far in the future. But the college years go more quickly than parents expect, and that time is now. Here are some things we’ve learned about how to make the best use of a school’s career services.

1. Educate yourself about all available resources: Most students are probably vaguely aware that their college or university offers career assistance, but it pays to research exactly what resources are available. For instance, most—if not all—colleges will have a career resource center, and many individual schools within a university will offer major-specific career resources as well. At Lindsey’s school, the University of Kansas, there is a University Career Center and individual career centers for the schools of engineering, business, music, and journalism.

[Check out which college jobs can boost your résumé.]

2. Keep track of career fairs: Potential employers will be on campus to meet with students who are a good fit for their organizations and the kinds of employees they need. Your college’s career center can provide you with the dates and places so that you can plan to take advantage of job fairs.

3. Learn how to get hired: It’s not enough to simply know which jobs are out there. Students must also learn how to position themselves to get those jobs. That includes creating a résumé, crafting a cover letter, and learning how to interview, all of which a good career center can assist with.

[Follow these job search tips for new grads.]


I feel lucky that I have been able to take advantage of many of the resources at my school’s career center during my time in college. Unfortunately, many of my friends don’t know about all that the career services department has to offer, and if they do, they don’t necessarily take advantage of it. I maintain that the career center is one of the best resources at my school, and I have some tips for how to best use it.

1. Join a career-building organization or honor society: One of the best ways to stay up to date on career center goings-on is to join them! Many career centers sponsor clubs for career development; a weekly meeting can be the best way to stay involved, and you can even apply for leadership positions within that group as a résumé-builder within a résumé-builder. In addition, these groups often get the most in-depth information your career center has to offer on topics like etiquette, interviews, networking, and job applications.

[Find out how to network while still a student.]

2. Apply for on-campus jobs: I say “apply” for campus jobs rather than “get” campus jobs because I found that being hired for a campus job was much more difficult than I had expected. Nevertheless, I gained experience with applications, cover letters, and interviews even before I got my on-campus job, and the career center can help put you in touch with important on-campus employers. My mom and I believe in campus jobs because they work with your class schedule and look great on a résumé.

3. Simply show up: Each year career centers offer dozens of events like career fairs, etiquette dinners, and mock interviews. I hear about these all the time and always have good intentions about going, but don’t always follow through. Even if you feel that it’s too early in your college career or that your résumé isn’t strong enough, or you already have a solid job for after college, attending these events is important to your development as a future employee. No matter the excuse, do your very best to be there and be enthusiastic. You never know who you’ll meet or what you’ll learn

5 Great things about Adventure Education at Fort Lewis College

February 7th, 2013


Some highlights of the Adventure Education program for your consideration! Listed below are some of the reasons our students choose our outdoor education program:

  1. A 15-credit immersion semester where you take only Adventure Education courses, spending 4 to 10 days at a time backpacking and canoeing in the mountains and deserts of the Four Corners region. Courses include Wilderness Expedition (AE 201), Adventure Leadership (AE 210), Teaching Methods for Adventure Educators (AE 220), Wilderness First Responder (230), Challenge Course Fundamentals (AE 251).
  2. Experiential and project-based instruction where you learn by doing, as well as by reading and writing about what you’re doing. You produce projects and programs for real client groups, attend and present workshops at professional conferences, and have opportunities to do actual teaching.
  3. Accrue at least 60 days of leadership and instruction experience, beyond class time, typically through summer jobs you must plan for with camps and outdoor programs. This is a required prerequisite for the internship for AE majors.
  4. A three-course research requirement for AE majors, where you learn statistics, research methodology, and create and present an original piece of research to the campus community. Research skills make you more employable with programs that analyze data to describe their results.
  5. An internship with an adventure-based program lasting 7 to 15 weeks. The internship for AE majors is often a stepping stone to your first job as an adventure educator.
These are the things that make a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fort Lewis College in Adventure Education a valuable investment for life!

Adventure Education Upper Level Course AE450-Organization and Administration

January 8th, 2013

Every year this  class has a different hands-on project, which helps give a student practical experience while still in school.  This year Fort Lewis College’s Adventure Education 450 class will execute a grass roots production of the annual regional Association for Experiential Education’s conference, to be held in Keystone, CO in March of 2013. 


AE 450 primarily consists of three major professional projects to integrate the above topics. The first two involve you in front of a public audience of professionals, with real consequences for good or bad work. The third involves a real accident that resulted in fatalities.

Organization and Administration of Adventure Education is a common capstone senior-level course offered at colleges and universities around the country offering comprehensive adventure education undergraduate degree programs. AE 450 can be your professional opportunity enhancer. The material in this course will help you go beyond your first, entry-level job in adventure education. This course prepares you for that second or third job, where you will be expected to assume critical responsibilities that affect a program’s future and client safety. The assumption is that at some point in your career your job will expand to include developing or managing some part of an adventure education program. However, many students actually find that they use what they learn in this course before they even graduate, during their internship, because many internships will involve you in a project that includes some program or staff development opportunities. A previous O & A student summed up his course experience this way:

In the beginning I didn’t know exactly what I was going to learn in Organization and Administration. I figured I might learn how to run a camp or organization of some sort, but I had no idea I would be learning so much of what really goes into the administrative positions. I feel we went above and beyond our intake of this material considering the time we had together … Whether I end up guiding or creating new programs, everything that I learned will provide more knowledge and experience in the roles of my decision making.

Our goal for your Bachelor of Arts degree in Adventure Education is to give you the best preparation for your Outdoor Leadership career!  Check out more information about Fort Lewis College and the Adventure Education program on Facebook or the Adventure Ed website.

Telemark Skiing AE 141-Backcountry Skiing in the San Juan Mountains around Fort Lewis College

November 26th, 2012


This course, offered by the Adventure Education B.A. degree program at Fort Lewis College in Durango CO, is an introduction to telemark and backcountry skiing for the adventure educator.  It includes turning, body position, selection, use and maintenance of equipment, safety procedures, group management, and winter alpine Leave No Trace practices.  This course is restricted to Adventure Education majors and minors. 


Prerequisites: Adventure Education major. Students who anticipate declaring an Adventure Education minor should speak with the instructor about waiver of prerequisites.  Additional course fee: $150, paid when you registered (which covers gear maintenance and replacement, ski passes, and transportation).

WFR for Your Outdoor Education-Get Your Certification Through Adventure Education at Fort Lewis College

October 31st, 2012


What kind of a course lets you play with great green globs of greasy grimy piggy guts?!  Wilderness First Responder, of course!  But seriously, this course provides the knowledge needed to handle medical emergencies requiring extended care in remote settings. Emphasis is on prevention, decision-making, and treatment. National certification requires this course to meet for approximately 80 hours. Students who successfully complete the course and pass the WFR exam receive a Wilderness First Responder certificate good for three years.


Course Learning Objectives:

  1. Develop a general understanding of human anatomy and physiology that will facilitate a more thorough understanding of medical pathophysiology.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of common trauma, environmental, and medical related problems that are encountered in wilderness expedition settings.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to perform accurate wilderness medicine related patient assessments and provide appropriate treatment.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to perform essential wilderness medicine rescue skills related to the curriculum (basic life support, extremity splinting, wound cleaning, spine exam, dislocation reduction, spine management, epinephrine injection, and litter and improvised carries)
  5. Develop an understanding of wilderness CPR/AED treatments and demonstrate effective CPR and AED skills.