Not only are Outdoor Adventure Leadership students confident in the wilderness, they are compassionate in the community – due to the Service Learning component of Sierra Nevada College’s Interdisciplinary Studies department.
“Our students are doing innovative and great things through their service learning and senior portfolio projects,” said Assistant Professor Rosie Hackett.
Katie Zanto, left, and Rosie Hackett, right, are presenting at the International Conference for Experiential Education.
And others are taking notice of SNC’s exceptional program. Katie Zanto, chair of the Interdisciplinary Studies department, and Hackett, program director of Outdoor Adventure Leadership, have been invited to speak at the International Conference for Experiential Education, Oct. 31-Nov. 3, in Denver, Colo.
“It has been exciting for us to collaborate on this presentation and in the process, to explore how our unique interdisciplinary studies program is offering outdoor adventure leadership students the chance to bring their ODAL skills back into their communities,” said Zanto.
ODAL 201: Outdoor Leadership
Reflection by Sage Sauerbrey
Field Weekend Expedition: Star Lake
Sept. 6-8, 2013
“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.
By Drew Fisher
Drew Fisher, with co-workers Rachael Blum and Cody Wilkins, organized a hoedown that would raise funds to reopen the Sierra’s first ski resort in Johnsville, Calif.
On March 28, I returned to Rosie’s office to discuss my debacle. Having been a ski coach since 2007, Rosie again encouraged me to try something new. I’ll never forget when I said, “I dunno Rosie, all I really want to do is throw a hoedown.”
Only at Sierra Nevada College would an adviser reply with an enthusiastic green light to pursue organizing a hoedown for a school project. A few days later, the Lost Sierra Hoedown had a venue, a cause and an epic staff.
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.
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.”
Deadline night – when editorial decisions are debated, stories edited, photos cropped, pages designed, coffee consumed, conversations bantered back and forth, and the Eagle’s Eye staff produces its bi-weekly newspaper.
Last Monday, the Eagle’s Eye editors opened their doors and invited other journalism students to view the process of putting a paper together. Reporters from the Journalism Workshop class attended, as well as students in the Introduction to Journalism class and students who are just interested in a journalism major.
After supplying their visitors with pizza and soda purchased by the Eagle’s Eye Club, which was hosting the event, the editors started working on the paper and explaining what they do.