Learn to lead
in the outdoor laboratory of the majestic Sierra Nevada

Outdoor Adventure Leadership

When ODAL students graduate, they have a large skill set. They can navigate through rugged terrain, cook a gourmet backcountry meal, facilitate a discussion on land ethics, climb a vertical wall, guide a raft down a river gorge, relocate a dislocated shoulder . . . all while practicing leave no trace principles.

But the skills that they learn that really matter in the “civilized world” are endurance, persistence, and resourcefulness. It is these three skills that are honed when one ventures out into the wild and it is these three skills that make all the difference in one’s success in life.

The Outdoor Adventure Leadership Program at Sierra Nevada College is not your typical outdoor recreation program.

Like most other outdoor education programs, we spend much of our class time navigating mountainous terrain, climbing granite walls, descending snowy slopes, and maneuvering through river gorges.

However, UNLIKE other outdoor education programs, we move beyond the small group field experience to apply our leadership skills into the wider community through service learning and senior portfolio projects that require integration of disciplines.

It is this fusion of an independent study and an internship that enables a student to bring his or her skills learned in wilderness settings into the real world.

Through these projects, students gain professional experience working with non-profits, building their own business plans, organizing events, developing curriculum, teaching, and exploring innovative ideas.

Climbing at Lover’s Leap

Our Students Say It Best . . .

. . . Follow Their Adventures!

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Corbin Usinger

Major: Interdisciplinary Studies in Outdoor Adventure Leadership and Journalism

Class of 2011

As a kindergartener, I remember choosing to write left-handed. I felt my unordinary name should be distinguished with an unordinary style, thus writing left-handed. Let that style grow for two decades. . . . Read More

Emilie A. Cram

Major: Interdisciplinary Studies in Outdoor Adventure Leadership and Entrepreneurship

Class of 2011

The search of who I really am is underway in this chapter at Sierra Nevada College, trying out a path of Outdoor Adventure Leadership and Entrepreneurship, but the answers only lie in the depths of myself, in no one else, no matter how hard I pry. I thrive for me, and constantly wonder where my boots will take me next. . . . Read More

Ask A Question

Rosie Hackett
Outdoor Adventure Leadership Program Director
775-831-1314 x7499

Katherine Zanto
Interdisciplinary Studies Program Chair

Scout Sorcic
ODAL Student Representative

Request Info   Apply Now!

ODAL Degree Requirements

ODAL is housed in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program and is not a stand-alone degree. A student must integrate ODAL with another discipline, such as Environmental Studies, Entrepreneurship, Psychology, English/Journalism, Ski Business Resort Management, and Art.

See how ODAL pairs with other disciplines
Outdoor Adventure Leadership Requirements

ODAL 101 Introduction to Outdoor Skills 4
ODAL 201 Principles of Outdoor Leadership 3
ODAL 250 Wilderness First Responder 3
PHED Intermediate/Advanced outdoor skills ODAL 302, 380, 450, PHED 229, 253, or instructor approval 3*
ODAL 301 Fundamentals of Environmental Interpretation 3
ODAL 380 Extended Field Expedition: Leadership Practicum 3
ODAL 401 Wilderness Ethics 3
Total Outdoor Adventure Leadership 22

Interdisciplinary Studies Requirements

INTD 250 Principles of Interdisciplinary Studies 3
INTD 300 Service Learning 3
INTD 493 Senior Portfolio 3
Total Interdisciplinary Studies 9
*One unit may be satisfied by General Education PHED Core Requirement.

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