Course title: Advanced Wilderness Leadership – nrm 361 Instructor & Contact Info

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COURSE TITLE: Advanced Wilderness Leadership – NRM 361
Instructor & Contact Info

Mark Oldmixon


Department of Recreation, Adventure, and Wellness

PO Box 756640

W) 474-6709

C) 802-598-7726


Course Requirements

Students must have fulfilled the prerequisite of NRM 161 – Introduction to Wilderness

Leadership or have obtained instructor permission. Students must also have a developed knowledge of the technical skill being used in the class. If the instructor does not know the student’s skill level from previous interactions, an assessment day can be scheduled.
Course Description

The natural environment, concentrating on outdoor leadership, environmental ethics, minimum impact camping, forest and arctic natural history, and adaptable judgment and decision-making. Includes hiking through boreal forest and along tundra ridges, river crossing, glacier ascent, and skills to do these activities safety. Other mediums of travel could include sea kayaks, canoes or rock climbing. Three lecture sessions will preview a demanding educational field program of 5-15 days required travel through rough un-trailed terrain with heavy packs or boats and average strength and stamina. No use of alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs or firearms. (Prerequisites: NRM 101 or equivalent; NRM 161 or equivalent; and/or instructor permission. Recommended: NRM/GEOG 463 and NRM 465.) Offered Summer, As Demand Warrants

Course Goals

By the end of the course students will have a developed skill set and be prepared to teach other students the basics of an activity while maintaining a safe site and effective leadership. The technical lessons will not be focused on how to better climb or paddle, but how to guide others during the specific activity. Managing a group of students in an open ocean or on a steep scree slope is very deliberate and can mean the difference between serious injury or a warm meal.

Instruction Style

Students will be challenged to think outside the box and break old habits since there is such a difference between recreational activities and institutional guiding. The beginning of the course will focus on the theories of site-management and situational leadership. Students will then be tested on their comprehension of these theories through direct application in the form of backpacking or paddling. This course will require full participation from the students and they will receive feedback in many different forms throughout the course. There are only a few right ways to manage a group in a high-risk wilderness environment, but there are many wrong ways.

Course Dates
May 26 from 10AM to 5PM: Pre-trip, discussion, shopping, etc. Class meets at the OA offices (519 Copper Lane).

May 27 Drive to Deitrich River in Brooks Range – Camp

May 28 – June 1 Backpacking

June 2 – June 5 Packrafting

June 6 – Fly to Fairbanks from Bettles

June 10 – De-brief – OA Offices

Course Fee: $950

The assessed lab fee includes all equipment (except clothing and hiking footwear), food (starting with lunch on May 27 and ending breakfast June 6), shuttle North, flight home, packraft rental,

Required texts

Kosseff, A. (2010). AMC Guide to outdoor leadership. Boston: Appalachian Mountain Club Books. 2nd Edition

Grading Policy

NRM 361 is worth 3 credits and each student will be assigned a letter grade.

A = 90+

B = 80 – 89

C = 70 – 79

D = 65 – 69

F = Below 65
Attendance, participation 50

Quiz 50

Post-course paper 150

Journal 100

Assessment scenario 200

Total 550

Assignment Explanations

Attendance, participation, homework (50 points)

Due to the field component of this course, students must have 100% attendance. Not only do they have to be present for all classes, they must actively participate and be engaged in the material. On occasion, there will be homework before or during the field session. Any incomplete homework will result in points lost in this category.

Post-course paper (150 points)

This paper will be a self-evaluation assigned after the course. The details of the assignment depend on what happens during the trip.

Journal (100 points)

Students will keep a continuous reflection about the course, how they feel about any feedback given and notes about the local area being used for the course. The instructor will pose questions to the students to answer throughout the course.

Assessment scenario (200 points)

Towards the end of the course students will be involved in an elaborate scenario in order to assess their progression and scene management. Each scenario will be slightly different and require participation from all students.

Course Timeline

The classroom session will focus on intangible leadership skills such as communication, risk assessment, as well as a detailed pre-trip meeting. Between the classroom sessions and field experience, students will complete the paper outlined above. On the field experience, there will be real participants that students will have to manage throughout the trip. Technical skills will be discussed through the trip along with periodic lecture sessions in the evenings. After the trip students will complete the paper described above and we will have one final meeting to de-brief each trip together and share our experiences, this will be casual and scheduled to meet everyone’s needs.

Plagiarism and Citation

Honesty is a primary responsibility of you and every other UAF student. The following are common guidelines regarding academic integrity:

1. Students will not collaborate on any quizzes, in-class exams, or take-home exams that contribute to their grade in a course, unless the course instructor grants permission. Only those materials permitted by the instructor may be used to assist in quizzes and examinations.

2. Students will not represent the work of others as their own. A student will attribute the source of information not original with himself or herself (direct quotes or paraphrases) in compositions, theses, and other reports.

3. No work submitted for one course may be submitted for credit in another course without the explicit approval of both instructors.
Feedback/De-briefing/Assessment measures

Students will receive many forms of feedback, constructive criticism and assessment. There will be one-on-one meetings with the instructor throughout the course. Never will you receive a grade without an explanation on how to improve. These methods will provide you with a grade, but also another lesson to help you throughout your academic career.

Students with disabilities

The Office of Disability Services implements the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and insures that UAF students have equal access to the campus and course materials. I will work with the Office of Disabilities Services (203 WHIT, 474-7043) to provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities. Please inform me of any disabilities during the first two weeks of class.

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