Category Archives: Outdoor Adventure Leadership

Field Experience to take students to remote Alaskan village

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The Chandalar River near Arctic Village, Alaska. Photo by William Troyer of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Students will be camping in the Arctic Village of the Gwich’in Tribe, while learning about the potential impacts of petroleum exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) during a Sustainability field course in August.

Sustainability Instructor Brennan Legasse will lead a group of 5-7 students to Alaska on Aug. 6-15. This field trip intends to immerse students in the Arctic environment to help them better understand the traditional and contemporary lives of Indigenous people living in Arctic Village, those that advocate for ecosystem health in the local bioregion, and how the world’s dependence on a finite, polluting resource compromises the attainment of holistic sustainability.

Besides exploring the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, the students will be meeting with tribal elders about climate change and tribal members about socio-cultural issues born from colonization and proposed resource extraction plans.

The Arctic Village Visitor Center.

The Arctic Village Visitor Center.
Photo by Wazefaire via Wikimedia Commons

The cost of the course is just under $3,000, including airfare, food, a one-night stay in Fairbanks, camping fees, and a tribal donation. The course number is Sustainability 381 for those interested in signing up.

Students will live in Arctic Village, camping during their trip and will have daily interdisciplinary engagements that touch on Outdoor Adventure Leadership, Sustainability, and Environmental Science. This is a special opportunity to live with members of the Gwich’in Tribe, visit the wild landscape of ANWR, and address issues of sustainability through an intimate experience in a unique place.

 

Learn about this semester’s Service Learning projects on Monday, Dec. 9

The editors of the Eagle’s Eye queried a group of students Monday night about what they like to read about in the campus newspaper. One of the top choices that the students mentioned were the interesting and exciting projects students created through Service Learning.

Every semester, Interdisciplinary Studies students develop a personal project which clears a path to their future career, according to an Eagle’s Eye article. SNC offers an innovative interdisciplinary class called Service Learning where students dig deeper and become involved in unique volunteer opportunities. The SNC website, says “Through the required Service Learning course, which challenges students to explore how their actions, their academic interests, and their own initiative can contribute to the community, students learn to make a difference AND maximize their learning. This hands-on, experiential program dares students to get out and do it—and they do.”

If you want to see the inspiring projects completed by this semester’s students, there will be presentations from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9, in TCES 139. Stop by to hear the following students talk about their projects:

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Students lead parents on hike around Spooner Lake

By Rachael Blum
ODAL student

Parent’s Weekend on Oct. 12 was full of activities to better convey what Sierra Nevada College is all about! The men’s team competed in its first lacrosse game, parents could listen in on academic panels, President Gillette hosted a BBQ, and the ODAL program provided a hike around Spooner Lake.

It was a perfect fall afternoon to get parents moving and into the woods. The aspens were showing off their colors and the sky was as blue as ever; morale was high as about 24 parents and students walked the two-mile loop around Spooner Lake.

Screen shot 2013-10-16 at 12.36.48 PMThree students led the hike: Drew Fisher, a Journalism and ODAL major; Ashley Vander Meer, an Environmental Science and ODAL major; and myself, Rachael Blum, a Sustainability and ODAL major. Coming alongside us was Darrel Teittinen, an ODAL instructor at SNC.

The parents were very enthusiastic to learn about the Outdoor Adventure Leadership program and get outside. They were particularly impressed with the beauty of the area. Conversation was easy and continuous, bonds were made, and smiles were everywhere.

ODAL Program Chair Rosie Hackett added, “This was a great opportunity for our ODAL students to show off what they really do….active learning at its best. ODAL students can’t just talk about their education to their parents, they need to show their parents what they are capable of, i.e. LEADING!”

Good turnout for Adventurer Todd Offenbacher’s talk

Skiing-EMBClimber, skier and adventurer Todd Offenbacher spoke at Sierra Nevada College Oct. 8, highlighting his climbing trips in Alaska and his ski mountaineering in Antarctica. What an awesome presentation for ODAL students! There was great attendance as well from the community and SNC students.

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ODAL’s weekend expedition to Star Lake

ODAL 201: Outdoor Leadership
Field Weekend Expedition: Star Lake
Sept. 6-8, 2013

Reflection by Sage Sauerbrey

Camping Trips 066“Outdoor education is the re-education of humanity. When we embark on an expedition, we are learning what we already know, but it has been buried by years of cartoons, comfortable beds, and trips to the grocery store. This subconscious knowledge is closer to the surface for some people. For this Outdoor Leadership class, it preceded and followed our every thought. It is the knowledge of the power of wild places and how to travel through them. It is the love of gnarled juniper or the taste of a wildflower. It is the instinct that points you North in a grove of trees and the reason that leads you South at the whim of a compass. It is the knowledge that brings us together in outdoor places, fully understanding why our team members will silently stare off into the distance with curious and contented smiles in their eyes. The Wilderness is full of us. You can find us in rain-drenched bivvy sacks, sun-baked boats, story fueled campfires, and here at Star Lake, California.”

For more of Sage’s writing on wilderness, visit his blog, thehalfheartedfanatic.

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Have you ever? ODAL students reflect on life lessons in and out of the field

By Eliza Demarest

 “We have been learning to take care of ourselves in places that really matter. Crazy kids on the loose, but on the loose in the wilderness. That makes all the difference.”  -Terry and Renny Russell

By the time an Outdoor Adventure Leadership (ODAL) major at Sierra Nevada College reaches his/her senior year, each one has learned and mastered a variety of leadership skills and experienced amazing outdoor adventures.

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Corey Donohue guides a raft during an ODAL adventure.

Those adventures range from white-water rafting on the American River, to end-of-summer and mid-winter backpacking expeditions in Desolation Wilderness, to sea-kayaking in Tomales Bay, to rock climbing at Dinosaur Rock and an extended backpacking course in Utah’s Canyonlands.

Near the end of their Interdisciplinary Studies experience, all ODAL students are required to take Wilderness Ethics, ODAL’s capstone course. This semester, Rosie Hackett, ODAL program director, chose for her students, a “Have You Ever” prompt by Terry and Renny Russel from their book, “On the Loose.”

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