Adventure Filmmaking as a Wilderness Therapy

Becoming a leader

For two decades I’ve been leading youth, young adults, and adults through wild and remote places. For two decades, I’ve guided the personal journey of aspiring leaders and troubled youth. The single-most common challenge that I’ve seen is in the difficulty for people to see themselves with clarity, as the main “character” in their story, and to grasp the immensity of their personal responsibility for their lives… past, present, and future. Life rarely happens “to” us, unless we let it. We are the hero in our story, and not every story ends well. There are no guarantees for a happy, prosperous life. In order for change to occur, for the story to become reality, we must act.


Telling my story

Since my beginning days in the field of outdoor leadership and wilderness therapy, back in 2000, I’ve always been fascinated by the interplay of group psychology and wilderness leadership. The relationship between great leaders and their group members has far less to do with technical mastery, or rock star status, and far more to do with trust, belief in the potential of one another, and with communication. This, in fact, is what drew me to continue my education and training beyond my undergraduate degree in Recreation Management to graduate and post-graduate studies, ultimately culminating with my doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology and directing the Counseling & Career Center for Alaska Pacific University.

As I began the next phase of my career as an Assistant Professor of Outdoor Leadership for the University of Alaska, I was tasked with redesigning a start-up program, and making it a niche, viable program. Seeing that most of the nationwide programs in the field of outdoor leadership had stagnated into copy/paste programs focused on very generalized skills and theoretical courses, I initiated a new adventure film program for the University and succeeded in getting regional accreditation and course articulation agreements with partnering universities and organizations. It was the first fully articulated adventure film concentration of its kind in any outdoor leadership or recreation program. I continue to teach Psychology and Outdoor Leadership courses for the University of Alaska.


Adventure Film as Wilderness Therapy

What I saw as missing from outdoor leadership programs was a mechanism to “tell the story and share the journey”. It is this intentional storytelling that has been the consistent theme in my own journey, from outdoor leader to psychotherapist. Seeking to understand and to communicate an experience, whether your own or another’s, one must be able to make decisions based on the information available, and to seek the information that is needed to complete the story. This ability to create distance from the story and follow a cognitive structure is quite similar to the process of Cognitive Behavioral therapies. The ability to intuit deeper, often unspoken, narrative follows both psychodynamic and narrative therapeutic modalities, as well as numerous others. The choices that I make in both previsualization and post-production editing often follow my own existential striving to seek and express meaning and purpose, which is hallmark to Existential psychotherapy.


Taking the next step

In order to address the issues and challenges of our post-modern life, we will utilize wilderness expeditions as the stage and adventure film-making as the catalyst for therapeutic discovery and spiritual and personal growth. Having worked for and directed programs across the country and internationally, I know the challenges and limitations of running large programs. I will be part of every course and personally involved with every family. Courses for young adults (18+) will range from 7 to 60 days in duration.

"What I am passionate about is leading custom-tailored treks for individuals and small groups in some of the most epic locations available, in Alaska, the U.S., and abroad." -DB Palmer

How to get involved?

I am working with land managers, allied organizations, and outdoor brands to pave the way for a start date in 2017. The first dates on the calendar will likely be a Men’s course, in January or February (2017), for a winter-based adventure in the cold, dark interior of Alaska. This trip will be based at our basecamp, with wood-heated tents under the northern lights. Our focus will be both the reflective and active nature of our lives. There is no one offering a program of this nature, and the group will be capped at a maximum capacity of 5 young men. Programs are for those that are 18+ only.


Email me for more information and/or to be added to our communications for this, and future, programs. backcountryprof@gmail.com

Summer 2016 Schedule is Online!

ODS 112- Swiftwater Rescue Training, May 31-June 2. This course teaches rescue techniques with regard to limited resources in a wilderness setting. This three day-24hr. Eric Riley -Swiftwater Safety Institutecourse meets the needs of professional river guides as well as USFS and BLM employees. Recreational river runners or anyone finding themselves working on or near moving water will gain valuable techniques in dealing with water hazards and emergencies. This intensive 24 hour class generally has two to three hours of on-land instruction each morning prior to entering the water. Course focus is on wilderness-based rescues with limited rescue resources, personnel and communication. This course is designed to meet varying student skill levels. Self rescue and hazard avoidance and recognition are key components in this swiftwater course. We teach technical rope systems, and then systematically remove hardware to increase the demand on the student to problem solve with limited gear and resources. Designed for people working on or around rivers or running rivers privately. This course will feature Luc Mehl, Tony Perreli, DB Palmer, and Eric Riley (founder of Swiftwater Safety Institute).

ODS 154- Packrafting Alaska, June 3-5 Featuring Luc Mehl (things to Luc at), DB Palmer, and Tony Perelli, this course is situated in, and around, epic Luc MehlValdez AK and focuses on beginning packrafting skills AND swiftwater risk management and techniques. This one of a kind course takes place in one intensive weekend and may include an overnight packraft trek. Students will do some work online to prep before the course. You MUST have your own gear and boat for this course, but it’s acceptable that students share with each other. This is YOUR responsibility to ensure.

ODS 153- Beginning Sea Kayaking, July 8-12

Call us at (907)834-1600 to register!
or register online at: https://uaonline.alaska.edu/

Note: Remember to select the Prince William Sound College campus to find these courses online.

Director Michael Brown on LoBuche

You thought 2015 was a great year?

2016 Spring Semester is the beginning of a whole new world for EFSA & the PWSC Outdoor Leadership program in Valdez AK.

To start, here’s the semester schedule for PWSC Outdoor Leadership:

FLM 298 (3)- Film Research- Michael Brown & DB PalmerDirector Michael Brown on LoBuche

3-time Emmy winning film director, Michael Brown, and EFSA founder/producer, DB Palmer, are offering students the opportunity to join the crew, shooting an community engaged adventure film on location at the Valdez Ice-Climbing Festival! The course has room for participants of all skill levels, as we will be designing a collaborative, team shoot, as well as individual projects.

Field dates: 9am-5pm, February 12-15 (+Optional post-production Feb 16-17)

Student Gear: Students will be required to supply their own appropriate outdoor gear & clothing. ODS Gear list is available online. It is preferable if students use their own camera/film gear, and discounts are available through B&H Photography. External Harddrive for storage of footage, minimum 1 TB, Editing Software (or ability to utilize PWSC’s Valdez Computer lab) such as Adobe Premiere, DSLR Camera or HD Camcorder: lenses, microphone, extra batteries, tripod, and other kit. GoPro or other POV secondary camera system with boom and accessories (highly recommended). Pro Class 10 UHS-I Memory Cards 64GB+ (the more the better, 1 minimum). Housing is available via Student Housing (separate expense) OR students may camp on their own.

Required Text(s):

The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler, ISBN-10: 193290736X\

Blink of an Eye by Walter Murch ISBN-10: 0240812093

Cinematography by Blain Brown ISBN-10: 1879505622

Course Fee- $275


 

ODS 120 (1)- Intro to Cross Country Skiing- Greta Palmer- TWR 12-12:50pm

Greta Palmer, MATake time to learn how to refine your Nordic Skiing technique and stamina, as well as increase your fitness during your lunch hour, three times a week, for a full semester (or as long as conditions exist for skiing)! Note: some sessions may be held in the Health & Fitness Center, based on instructor’s judgment.

Student Gear: Students may be able to check-out skis, boots, & poles (at no cost) from the H&FC. Students will be required to supply their own appropriate winter & workout clothing, water, and any necessary personal gear. ODS Gear list is available online.

Course Fee- $25


ODS 117 (2)- Expedition Fitness Training- Greta Palmer- R- 1-3pmGreta Thompson Pass VDZ 2015- 2

Backcountry skiing season is just around the corner. Want to get ripped and ready for backcountry touring and summer adventures? Are you looking to learn about expedition fitness while getting fit for your own personal and professional adventures? This course will focus on alpine-specific fitness for climbers, skiers, snowboarders, backpackers, & mountaineers; but the training is great for anyone looking to get in great shape.

Student Gear: Students must join the H&FC ($25). Students will be required to supply their own appropriate winter & workout clothing, water, and any necessary personal gear. ODS Gear list is available online.

Course Fee- $50

 


ODS 295 (1-3)- ODS Internship- DB Palmer- TBD

Get locked in to work with one of our local, or state-wide internship opportunities, from adventure tourism, adventure film, to expedition leadership.


ODS 266 (3)- Introduction to Safety & Risk- DB Palmer- T 1:30-2:20pm

DB Bear GuardLearn the basics and theory behind risk and safety in outdoor studies and then get actively involved with community engaged outdoor leadership events as student observers within their logistics and/or safety teams. Hands-on work and study. That’s how ODS should be.

Student Gear: Students will be required to supply their own appropriate outdoor & fitness clothing, water, and any necessary personal gear. ODS Gear list is available online.

Required Text(s): Safety, Risk, & Adventure in Outdoor Activities- 978-1412920780

Risk Management in Outdoor and Adventure Programs- 978-1450404716

Course Fee- $20

 


ODS 275 (3)- Media & Strategic Communications for Outdoor Professionals- T 2:30-4pm.

Developing communication skills, from marketing, film, logistical, and group Iditasportleadership perspectives; this community engaged course examines strategic media communication processes and techniques of creative and persuasive message preparation for outdoor professionals in a hands-on and field environment. The Field experiences for this particular course include participating with ODS Lead Faculty, DB Palmer, on the world-famous Iditasport Race Media team. Emphasis on principles and practices of planning and preparing print and electronic media for advertising, public relations, film products, and marketing with a particular focus on field-based communications for outdoor professionals. Particular emphasis is placed on utilizing the media outlets of Expeditionary Film School of Alaska and the Outdoor Studies department to bring student projects forward.

Student Gear: Students will be required to supply their own appropriate outdoor & fitness clothing, water, and any necessary personal gear. ODS Gear list is available online.

Field Dates: February 4-10

Required Text(s): Recreation, Event, & Tourism Businesses- ISBN-13: 9780736063531

Course Fee- $250


 

ODS 298 (2) – Adventure Research & Creative Activity- DB Palmer

EFSAJoin EFSA founder/producer, DB Palmer, as an assistant/collaborator in the development and preparation of a semester-long community engaged adventure film project, from the adventure leadership side of things, including: location management, location scouting, talent acquisition/relations, safety/risk concerns, project management, and film production. Course to take place at numerous venues, primarily as independent creative projects. Dates: Spring Semester, by arrangement with DB Palmer.

Student Gear: Students will be required to supply their own appropriate outdoor gear & clothing. ODS Gear list is available online. It is preferable if students use their own camera/film gear, and discounts are available through B&H Photography. External Harddrive for storage of footage, minimum 1 TB, Editing Software (or ability to utilize PWSC’s Valdez Computer lab) such as Adobe Premiere, DSLR Camera or HD Camcorder: lenses, microphone, extra batteries, tripod, and other kit. GoPro or other POV secondary camera system with boom and accessories (highly recommended). Pro Class 10 UHS-I Memory Cards 64GB+ (the more the better, 1 minimum).

Course Fee- $250


ODS 218 (2)- Avalanche Certification Level II AIARE- Sarah Carter

Take the next step from your AIARE Avalanche level 1 to Level 2 with this course, EFSA Adamtaught in conjunction with the Alaska Avalanche Information Center and our ace-avalanche educator, Sarah Carter. Course will be on location in, and around, Valdez, Alaska. This course fills fast, so don’t miss it!

Field dates: March 3-6, Valdez, AK.

Student Gear: Students will be required to supply their own appropriate backcountry ski or snowboard gear & clothing. Avalanche packs, shovels, beacons, & probes are available for checkout through the H&FC for this course. ODS Gear list is available online.

Required Text(s):

Course Fee- $75


 

ODS 161 (4)- Wilderness First Responder- DB Palmer & Dorothy Adler

WFRLearn how to respond to emergency medical situations in a remote and wilderness environment, from the backcountry to our remote Alaskan highways. This course is one of the most applicable, hands-on courses that you will ever take. Students that pass the skills tests and exam are awarded a national certification.

Bb Online- asynchronous

Field Dates- January 22-24 & February 26-28

Student Gear: Students will be required to supply their own appropriate outdoor gear & clothing. ODS Gear list is available online.

Course Fee- $225


 

ODS 110 (1)- Wilderness First Aid / WFR Recertification

If you are looking for a slightly less intense course than the WFR, or you need to recertify your WFR; this course might be just what you need.

Bb Online- asynchronous

Field Dates- February 26-28

Student Gear: Students will be required to supply their own appropriate outdoor gear & clothing. ODS Gear list is available online.

Course Fee- $250


 

ODS 250 (3)- Fundamentals of Search & Rescue- TBD

Why not use your spring break to get some solid field training? This course offers SAR Missionstudents the opportunity to train with AK Search & Rescue professionals and to certify as SARTECH II technicians. Presents practical and theoretical overview of search and rescue with a focus on the psychology of lost persons and survivors. Introduces small group search for lost persons and self-rescue. Introduces local and national Search and Rescue (SAR) systems and operational methods.

Field Dates- Spring Break, March 12-20

Student Gear: Students will be required to supply their own appropriate outdoor gear & clothing. ODS Gear list is available online. SAR personal gear list available. Housing is available via Student Housing (separate expense).

Course Fee- TBD


 

FLM 290 (3)- Digital Video Editing- Woodruff Patrick Laputka

Woodruff Patrick LaputkaEver wanted to learn how to take your footage and create a quality film or video? This course will take your footage to new levels as you learn the tips and tricks to navigate Adobe Premiere, and other editing software. Featuring our premiere instructor from Laputka Films. We are thrilled to offer this course on-campus AND via distance learning!

Student Gear: It is preferable if students use their own camera/film gear, and discounts are available through B&H Photography. External Harddrive for storage of footage, minimum 1 TB, Editing Software (or ability to utilize PWSC’s Valdez Computer lab) such as Adobe Premiere, DSLR Camera or HD Camcorder: lenses, microphone, extra batteries, tripod, and other kit. GoPro or other POV secondary camera system with boom and accessories (highly recommended). Pro Class 10 UHS-I Memory Cards 64GB+ (the more the better, 1 minimum).

Off-campus students will be required to have access to video editing software, 2TB harddrive, editing quality PC or Mac, and able to navigate the internet effectively.

Required Text(s):

The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler, ISBN-10: 193290736X\

Blink of an Eye by Walter Murch ISBN-10: 0240812093

Cinematography by Blain Brown ISBN-10: 1879505622

Course Fee- $0

 

For more info, please call: (907)834-1600

or email me at: dbpalmer@pwscc.edu

Fall Semester 2015 is unparalleled.

The fall schedule brings a whirlwind of Outdoor Studies courses, from Emergency Medicine to Adventure Film. If you’re joining us full-time, we encourage you to register for courses early, as we are experiencing a swell in applications and enrollment. Here’s what we have on the books for fall 2015.


ODS 154- Packrafting Alaska

Featuring Luc Mehl (things to Luc at) and DB Palmer as your instructors, this course is situated in epic Luc MehlValdez AK and focuses on beginning packrafting skills AND swiftwater risk management and techniques. This one of a kind course takes place in one intensive weekend. Students will do some work online to prep before the course. You MUST have your own gear and boat for this course, but it’s acceptable that students share with each other. This is YOUR responsibility to ensure.

Field Dates: Sept 11-13

Gulkana Raft Guiding
Alaskan Raft Guiding

ODS 152 – Beginning Rafting

Join ODS for a “Welcome to Alaska Outdoor Studies” raft trek on the Copper River! This course is a shakedown trip for incoming, and continuing, ODS students in some of the most exciting river terrain in Alaska.

Introduces the most commonly used equipment, techniques, challenges and risks found in the sport of river rafting. Includes instruction on equipment selection, trip planning, preparing to paddle/row and minimum impact practices with an emphasis on risk assessment and risk management. Special note: Requires good backcountry camping skills and the ability to function comfortably in inclement weather. An overnight field outing is included in the course. Students may need to rent or purchase additional gear.

This course presents the concepts, skills, and safety elements associated with introductory river rafting. Designed for individuals interested in obtaining a basic introduction to Class I, II, and III rafting.

Field Dates: August 28-30


 

EMT 130 – Emergency Medical Technician I (79904)D.Adler Delta Range April 2014

This course is designed for outdoor leaders, working professionals, and anyone who wants to get into the field of emergency medicine. The course presents skills for proficiency in patient assessment, recognition, and treatment of medical and trauma related emergencies and other associated basic life support procedures. The course meets online twice per week, from 5-7:30pm, and then meets live for three intensive, clinical weekend sessions.

M/W: 5-7:30pm (live online)

Intensive Clinical Sessions: Oct 2-3rd, Nov 13-14, Dec 4-5


 

Mary Kartzke, MFA (NYU), Executive Director- Affinity FilmsFLM 172 – Previsualization & Preproduction (79610)

A core course in the Adventure Film concentration, and key to the understanding of filmmaking, this course presents the collaborative process that generates preliminary versions of shots and sequences that will eventually create a larger story.

Schedule: Blackboard Online with live sessions AND active projects.


 

ODS 101 – Cross Training for Expedition Fitness (79198)Greta Thompson Pass VDZ 2015

Want to get fit during your lunch hour?

This course introduces a wide variety of cross training exercise formats for total fitness with specific focus on the needs of guides, expeditioners, and outdoor leaders. Develops individual fitness through a variety of workouts, such as aerobics, weight training, lateral training, circuit training, and fitness walking.

Course may be offered in any format, and is focused toward outdoor studies students and those involved in rigorous outdoor pursuits.

This course will be primarily conducted in a lab setting with hands-on instruction on the benefits of a regular exercise program, basic nutrition, fitness terminology, exercise goal setting, and health-related physical fitness. Students will be introduced to a wide variety of fitness activities that are designed to improve cardiorespiratory endurance, flexibility, body composition, and muscular endurance.

T/R: 12-1pm


 

AFSA AdamODS 118 – Avalanche 1 (79199)

This course provides an introduction and field practice of the skills and techniques required for certification at AIARE Level 1. Focus is on safe and efficient performance of the activity. Some classes may take place outdoors and/or off campus.

This course will provide introductory outdoor skills on the topic of _AIARE L1_ to interested students. This course is directed towards those seeking the Outdoor Leadership degree. The goals of this course are: to provide a basic understanding of avalanches, describe a framework for decision making and risk management in avalanche terrain, focus on identifying the right questions rather than on providing answers, and to teach concepts that have observable characteristics.

Dates: TBD


ODS 121 – Introduction to Backcountry Skiing / Boarding (79200)DCIM101GOPRO

Introduces skills needed to ski off-trail. Covers techniques for traveling on rolling and inclined terrain, negotiating side hills, and skiing inclines and declines of up to 40 degrees. Also covers selecting personal, group, and safety equipment appropriate for day trips, evaluating avalanche hazards and assessing risk.

Special Note: Requires ability to function comfortably in extremely cold or inclement weather. Good physical fitness required for all day outings. Ability to ski/snowboard at intermediate level to be determined in first field session. Students may need to rent or purchase additional equipment for this course. You need to be able to ski variable snowpack. You need to be able to hike with a daypack on gaining 2000-5000 vertical feet in one day.

Dates: TBD


 

ODS 167 – Introduction to the Study of Adventure Film (79202)AFSA tent

Course entirely online. This course will introduce students to various forms and elements of successful adventure and documentary films, with a special emphasis in identifying and appreciating humanistic and artistic qualities. Students will survey the history of outdoor adventure filmmaking and, after learning introductory skills and perspectives in film study and critical evaluation, explore general techniques, stylistic approaches, best practices, and the function and role of this specialized film genre.

Introduces adventure filmmaking as an academic topic focused toward understanding the history, process, and completion of cohesive storylines and filmmaking. Introduces core aspects of successful filmmaking within the adventure film genre, as well as techniques in critique and evaluation of film within contexts of the outdoor leadership genre. Allows students to explore options and learning opportunities within the AAS degree and Adventure Film emphasis, as well as career applications.


 

DB leading VDZ backpackODS 169 – Four Seasons Backpacking (79203)

Introduces four season backpacking skills in Alaska. Covers selection of personal, group, and safety equipment appropriate for backpacking trip during any season. Presents trip planning, prevention and assessment of cold injuries, front country and backcountry navigation, avalanche hazard evaluation and rescue techniques. Emphasizes risk assessment and risk management. Requires good backcountry camping skills, good physical fitness condition and ability to perform comfortably in extreme cold and/or inclement weather.

Classroom Sessions: Oct 6 & 8th, 5-7pm

Field Dates: Oct 9-11


 

ODS 181 – Introduction to Recreation & Outdoor Leadership (79204)Greta topo

Introduces the history, philosophies, objectives and foundations of recreation and outdoor leadership. Surveys career and professional development opportunities. Introduces core skills necessary for success in a college environment. Intended as a first semester course.

This courses serves as the introductory course to the Outdoor Leadership degree. Students will receive an overview of the fields of recreation and outdoor leadership, to include future career and continuing education opportunities. Students will learn foundational skills necessary for success in all college courses, including a knowledge of degree requirements. Course includes an intensive practical session.

R: 1-3pm

Field Dates: Nov 6-7


 

VDZ out of town winter trailsODS 264 – Recreation Program Planning & Evaluation (79609)

Examines the fundamental conceptual and operational aspects of recreational program planning, delivery, and evaluation. Examines techniques and applications for a variety of leisure and recreational programming experiences to individuals or groups. Introduces assessing needs, budgeting, marketing, implementation, and evaluation of a wide range of leisure and recreational entrepreneurial, and managerial dimensions of providing recreation opportunities.

Introduces and evaluates foundations of programming, program planning concepts and philosophy, evaluation philosophies and concepts, types of plans, and evaluation types. Facilitates discovery of, and skill development within, the program planning process, program implementation, and program evaluation. Develops basic applied research and evaluation skills.

Course includes a practical intensive session.

T: 1-3pm

Field Dates: Oct 23-25


 

ODS 298 – Adventure Research & Creative Activity (79205)EFSA Circular Logo- Axes canoes and Aurora

Hands-on research and/or creative activity with direct engagement with a research and/or creative activity project or process, as directed by the faculty member. Engagement into the process of research and/or creative activity within a specific project related to outdoor studies, adventure film, expedition leadership, or adventure tourism. May be retaken for credit.

Field Dates: Nov 16-22


 

For more information, and to register for classes:

Call (907)834-1600

Email: sfoster@pwscc.edu

Or go online at: https://uaonline.alaska.edu/

 

 

 

EFSA Circular Logo- Axes canoes and Aurora

Summer 2015- Adventure Film & Outdoor Studies in Alaska

As we near our sophomore year of operation, we have gained traction quickly as the *first and only accredited adventure film program within a university system. We have begun some very exciting collaborations with Alaskan organizations, filmmakers, and educators; and, we are ready to offer our students unparalleled access to these opportunities.

Register for classes here! Select Summer 2015, PWSCC Campus, and ODS


Summer 2015 Options:

Dr. Palmer leading a raft trip on the Gulkana River.
Dr. Palmer leading a raft trip on the Gulkana River.

ODS 152- Beginning Rafting: Join us for a multi-day raft/float on the Copper River with the Wrangell St. Elias National Park Service from Chistochina to Chitina, Alaska. We will be shooting a short video for the National Park Service. Students are NOT required to be film students, but can assist as they choose. May 18-21/22


ODS 112- Swiftwater Rescue Technician: co-taught by ODS and Rescue 3 International.

The SRT1 course provides rescuers with the fundamentals of survival in moving water and is recommended for anyone who may be called upon to effect in-water rescues. Students gain knowledge in hydrology and river classifications, size-up, site control and scene management. Practical skills include self-rescue, swiftwater swimming and the fundamentals of shore, boat and in-water rescues. Additionally students are introduced to the basics of boat handling and the fundamentals of rope rescue including mechanical advantage and anchor systems. The SRT1 class also provides the rescuer the foundation to the NFPA Swiftwater Technician level. Swiftwater Technician level is a mandatory training level for inclusion on a Federal Emergency Management Agency Swiftwater/Flood Search and Rescue Team at all Team levels. May 29-31


ODS 295- ODS Internship (by arrangement with Dr. Palmer)


ODS 298- Adventure Research & Creative Activity: Join Dr. Palmer’s summeEFSA Circular Logo- Axes canoes and Aurorar adventure project (film-based). A collaboration with multiple adventure and wilderness-based organizations. As this is a project-based course, students will be selected based on their experience and interests.

Students in ODS 298 do not have to participate in all/any field sections to participate in this course. Participation will be discussed with Dr. Palmer, directly, as this is a creative research project.


ClassesODS 153- Beginning Sea Kayaking: Join ACA Deputy State Director/Level 4 Open Water Coastal Kayaking Instructor, DB Palmer, for two practice evenings and then a day-trip in the Bay of Valdez, Alaska! This course is suited, and designed for, beginning sea kayakers (those with little/no experience). Join us for the chance to paddle your local paradise with small class size. Each student will paddle a solo boat! This course has three sections, and students sign up for just one of them.

 

Register for classes here! Select Summer 2015, PWSCC Campus, and ODS

Summer 2015 Collaborations (partial list):

BLM logoWSE NPS logoCopper River Watershed project logoRescue 3 logo

 

 

*We are the first and only accredited adventure film program housed in an academic degree program, as far as we are aware.

AFSA tent

A first look at Spring Semester at EFSA and Prince William Sound College!

The class texts

Get registered before the rush! Courses to be posted soon!

As the lead faculty for the Outdoor Studies department and producer/director for Expeditionary Film School of Alaska, I am excited to have just finished a day of meetings with the Academic Senate, Academic Planning & Curriculum Committee, and the Institutional Effectiveness Committee. We have the honor of representing the college in its most integral functions, and I am particularly glad to have submitted the academic class schedule for publication. In the meantime, and to give you as much advance notice as possible, I am including the Outdoor Studies department schedule for you!

Full Semester Courses:

ODS 120 (1)- Introduction to Cross Country Skiing- DB Palmer- T/R 12-12:50pm

Take time to learn how to refine your Nordic Skiing technique and stamina, as well as increase your fitness during your lunch hour, two times a week, for a full semester!

ODS 101 (1)- Cross Training for Expedition Fitness- Greta Palmer- T/W/R- 5-5:50pm

Greta Palmer, MA
Greta Palmer, MA

Want to get ripped and ready for summer? Are you looking to learn about expedition fitness while getting fit for your own personal and professional adventures? Punch out at 5pm and join us for the perfect after work, workout!

Blended Courses (online + field)

ODS 295 (2-3)- ODS Internship- DB Palmer- TBD

Get locked in to work with one of our local, or state-wide internship opportunities, from adventure tourism, adventure film, to expedition leadership.

ODS 266 (3)- Introduction to Safety & Risk- DB Palmer- T 8-9:30pm ONLINE

Learn the basics and theory behind risk and safety in outdoor studies, online, and then get actively involved with two outdoor leadership events: Qaniq Nordic Ski Race and the Mountain Man Hill Climb, as student members of their logistics and safety teams. Hands-on work and study. That’s how ODS should be.

Field dates:

  • January 16, 5-9pm; 17-18, 9am-7pm at the Qaniq Nordic Ski Race/ Valdez, AK.
  • April17-19, 8am-8pm at the Mountain Man Hill Climb, Valdez, AK.

ODS 281 (3)- Leadership Activities for Diverse Populations- DB Palmer- 8-9:30pm ONLINE

In collaboration with Challenge Alaska, this course blends online theory sessions with field training and service work in Girdwood Alaska at Alyeska Resort. Students may also earn free ski passes for after-hours skiing. We are working to acquire lodging that will greatly reduce student expenses. Stay tuned!

Field dates:

  • March 10-15, 7am-5pm at Challenge Alaska, in Girdwood, AK.

DB Greta MT Trek with WGField (only) Courses:

ODS 168 (1)- Winter Camping Alaska- DB Palmer- January 30, 5-8pm

Join us for a short-weekend of learning the basic-intermediate skills of winter camping from our own resident winter afficionado, Dr. Palmer. Drawing from many years of professional winter guiding, Dr. Palmer will teach you the tricks and tools of the trade, and students will have plenty of time to practice the skills of successful (warm, as a goal) winter camping.

Field: February 7-8, 9am-5pm (2 days)

ODS 298 (3) – Adventure Research & Creative Activity- DB Palmer

Join AFSA founder/producer, DB Palmer, in the development and preparation of an adventure film project, from the adventure leadership side of things, including: location management, location scouting, talent acquisition/athlete relations, safety/risk concerns, and project management. Course to take place, primarily, at TAILGATE AK!

Field dates: By arrangement with Dr. Palmer, and throughout the semester.

FLM 298 (2)- Film Research- Sky Rondenet & DB Palmer

Sky Rondenet
Sky Rondenet

Join AFSA founder/producer, DB Palmer, and the renowned Sky Rondenet (of Sky Rondenet Media), in shooting an adventure film on location in, and around, Valdez, Alaska! The course has room for participants of all skill levels, as we will be designing a collaborative, team shoot, as well as individual projects. Course to take place, primarily, at TAILGATE AK!

Field dates: April 6-12 (6 days)

ODS 218 (2)- Avalanche Certification Level II AAIRE- Sarah Carter

Take the next step from your AAIRE Avalanche level 1 to Level 2 with this course, taught in conjunction with the Alaska Avalanche Information Center and our ace-avalanche educator, Sarah Carter. Course will be on location in, and around, Valdez, Alaska. This course fills fast, so don’t miss it!

Field dates: March 6-9, Valdez, AK.

Register here!

Adventure Film at Tailgate AK?! Class is in session.

PWSCC offering a condensed Film Course in Preproduction & Previsualization!

Ever wanted to learn how filmmakers decide how to shoot their films? Want hands-on experience AFSA tentplanning your own film ideas?

Preproduction & Previsualization (FLM 172) is where you NEED to be. This course is designed for active, adventurous people who are too busy during the day to take classes, but have an interest in a condensed course. Scheduled in just five evenings and two full weekends, this course is perfect for you!

meg_and_stacyCourse Instructors:

Co-taught by Meg McKinney, MA Documentary Filmmaking (Stanford University) and DB Palmer, Ed.D (Founder/Director of Adventure Film School Alaska and Lead Faculty of Outdoor Studies).

 

 

 

Course Schedule:

Sept 15th              6:30-9:30pm       CLASSROOM

Sept 22nd              6:30-9:30pm       Bb Session

Sept 29th              6:30-9:30pm       Bb Session

Oct 6th                   6:30-9:30pm       Bb Session

Oct 13th                 6:30-9:30pm       CLASSROOM

 

Oct 17th                 4-10pm                 CLASSROOM

Oct 18th                 8am-8pm             CLASSROOM

Oct 19th                 8am-8pm             CLASSROOM

 

Nov 7th                  4-10pm                 CLASSROOM

Nov 8th                  8am-8pm             CLASSROOM

Nov 9th                  8am-8pm             CLASSROOM

 

Register NOW!

Know your topic!
Know your topic!

https://uaonline.alaska.edu/

Course is particularly suited for those attending school and university full-time, working professionals, and those who don’t have the time for “traditional” class hours.

Dr. Palmer selected to present at UAA Faculty Research & Creative Activity Symposium

Grand Opening of the UAA Alaska Airlines Center.
Grand Opening of the UAA Alaska Airlines Center.

While his specific presentation time is still being selected, Dr. Palmer has been selected to travel to Anchorage during the First Annual UAA Faculty Research & Creative Activity Symposium, held in conjunction with the grand opening of the Alaska Airlines Center, from September 5-8th. He will speak and present a video of his current creative activity, namely Expeditionary Film School of Alaska and the Outdoor Studies department at Prince William Sound College in Valdez, Alaska.

Here is the formal abstract that was selected by the panel:

Abstract

Dr. Palmer will present a behind the scenes film showing how the oft misunderstood field of Outdoor Studies can rebrand itself to address current economic and social realities, as well as be a catalyst for global health, environmental conservation, sustainability, social equity, and other critical movements. Since joining the faculty of Prince William Sound Community College, Dr. Palmer’s research activities have focused on Group Leadership and Decision-Making within Outdoor Leadership, Safety and Risk Outcomes, a full rebranding of the Outdoor Leadership program in Valdez, and the development of his newest research platform, “Expeditionary Film School of Alaska”. The adventure filmmaking concentration at PWSCC is the first, and only, degree program of its kind, anywhere. He has worked extensively with UAF Film program to develop a course articulation agreement for students transitioning from his adventure filmmaking concentration into undergraduate degree in Film Studies. He has also developed courses with Outside Magazine’s Outside Adventure Film School, and 3-time Emmy winning director, Michael Brown, of Serac Adventure Films. Michael Brown and Dr. Palmer led a 10 day adventure filmmaking field course during the spring of 2014. Dr. Palmer is leading the next adventure filmmaking field course (ODS 293) in September of 2014 with Sky Rondenet Media of Lake Tahoe, in Cordova, Alaska. Showcasing his work in, and around, Valdez, Alaska; Dr. Palmer utilizes adventure filmmaking as lead faculty of Outdoor Studies to craft student learning experiences that are laser-targeted toward career employment while engaging students within a robust experiential, liberal arts education.

Adventure Film Intensive in Cordova, Alaska!

Orca Adventure Lodge in Cordova, Alaska.
Orca Adventure Lodge in Cordova, Alaska.

ODS 293- Adventure Filmmaking Field Seminar is open for registration!

Ever wanted to learn how to make your own adventure film? The ODS Adventure Film program brings in a well-known adventure filmmaker to co-teach this course, and each student gets the chance to plan, shoot, edit, and distribute their short adventure film. This course focuses on filmmaking, more than elite adventure skills, so it is appropriate for a wider range of students.
Students must be approved by Lead Faculty DB Palmer in order to take this course, as this is a very self-driven, fast paced course. Travel with us from Valdez, Alaska to Cordova on the AK State Ferry, stay in the luxurious Orca Adventure Lodge for 3 days, and then return to Valdez to edit your film; all with the support of our amazing faculty and staff.
Sky Rondenet
Sky Rondenet

This course features Sky Rondenet, filmmaker from Lake Tahoe, whose work can be seen here: www.skyrondenet.com and watch her films, such as the 4th Annual Pain McConkey, “Shorter: Width is the Reward”. A note for locals: This course only requires 3 field days, on location. You can complete the editing portion in the evenings, if necessary, as long as you keep up.

Don’t let this one slip away!
Course specifics:
Field Dates: Sept 22-25
Valdez Dates: from Sept 25-27
Valdez Adventure Film Night 9/27
Register by emailing sfoster@pwscc.edu or online at: https://uaonline.alaska.edu/

EFSA Director, Professor DB Palmer, to present at Balto Film Festival

The Balto Film Festival is now welcoming Red Bull as sponsor of our opening night. The festival opens with our own, Professor DB Palmer, speaking on adventure filmmaking and Expeditionary Film School of Alaska.

From the Seward City News:

Mount St. Elias Film
Mount St. Elias Film

“Filmmakers from around the state will be descending on Seward the last weekend in July to participate in the Balto Film Fest.

Those looking for adventure will find it on Friday, July 25th, first at the Seward Community Library and Museum at 6:00 p.m. with a free public Adventure Filmmaking workshop.  Attendees will get a taste of the University of Alaska’s week-long intensive Adventure Film Research course (FLM 298) course taught by Professor D.B. Palmer.

I am thrilled to be able to spend time with my peers and friends in the Alaskan film industry, and honored to be able to present the opening workshop for the festival. – DB Palmer

Gulkana Raft Guiding
Gulkana Raft Guiding

Here’s a link to the Seward City News article. CLICK HERE.

For more information regarding Expeditionary Film School of Alaska’s latest course offerings, click here!