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/




One thought on “Fall Semester 2015 is unparalleled.

  1. Pingback: Leading the Expedition | Valdez City News

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