Colorado College Outdoor Leadership Institute

Colorado College Outdoor Leadership Institute

April 7, 2014–

We recently caught up with Zion Klos, Visiting Professor, Colorado College to hear more about the upcoming Colorado College Outdoor Leadership Institute, a 3-part semester course that starts May 28. Here’s what Professor Klos had to say:

Come join a one-of-a-kind college course as we embark on an adventure through the Green River from its mountain sources to its confluence with the Colorado River and beyond through Utah’s canyon country. This is an interdisciplinary course, offered through COBS and Colorado College, will emphasize place-based learning, field observations, integrated interpretations, and leadership/outdoor skills development.

We will explore the region through interconnected lessons from the natural sciences, such as hydrology, geology, ecology, and climatology, while also providing students an opportunity to build their skills in group leadership, backcountry living, risk management, river travel, and environmental education. Such crossovers are crucial to the understanding of coupled human-natural systems that we will try to convey by the end of the class and will be useful for students interested in any of the natural sciences and/or environmental studies. All assessments will be field-based and will use maps, writings, oral presentations, and other methods to build effective written and verbal communication skills.

The course will start with several days of mountain-based backcountry travel in the Uintah Range of northeast Utah, exploring alpine headwaters of the Green River. The course will then follow the Green River downstream through the Dinosaur National Monument, floating whitewater through Gates of Lodore, and into southeastern Utah. There we will finish the 24-day backcountry course with two additional river trips, one through the Labyrinth/Stillwater section of the Green River exploring Canyonlands National Park. From the confluence with the Colorado River, we will transition into the final week exploring the rapids and canyons of Cataract Canyon. You will run famous rapids like “Capsize” and “The Big Drops.”

Students should expect a 24/7 course experience for the block; strong ties between students and instructors will be essential to a successful block of learning and fun that will cover all the requirements of an introductory lab/field course in the natural sciences, while also providing students an introduction to the world of river travel, backcountry leadership, and environmental education!

Students can receive up to 10 semester hours for this truly dynamic experience. Click here to learn more and to enroll!