Students will learn leadership skills including competence, self–awareness, self-reliance, tolerance for adversity and uncertainty, communication, judgment, decision-making, respect, vision, and action. This is done through practical experience and timely feedback. Our graduates are theoretically and technically competent outdoor specialists who can apply their skills as leaders to diverse groups and environments in a world with a growing population and finite wilderness resources.Leadership skills are invaluable for everyday life and a great way to learn and practice them is in an outdoor educational environment.
These interdisciplinary majors require a core progression of Outdoor Adventure Leadership courses blended with another discipline (Entrepreneurship, Ski Business and Resort Management, Psychology, English/Journalism, or Environmental Science). In a unique liberal arts experience, students incorporate leadership training and outdoor skills with a specialization in another academic department.
Outdoor Adventure Leadership majors will:
Demonstrate a skills-based knowledge, a working vocabulary, and a conceptual understanding of theoretical foundations in adventure education experiences.
Employ a variety of experiential leadership styles, teaching progressions, and interpersonal communication skills to specific leadership settings.
Assess good judgment and risk management in wilderness settings using wilderness first-aid skills and organizational protocols and policies.
Define and evaluate the current and historical issues involved around wilderness ethics.
Identify the management protocols for land use at the local, state, and national levels.
Demonstrate awareness of interdisciplinary links between outdoor adventure leadership and the particular discipline (Entrepreneurship, Environmental Science, English/Journalism, or Psychology), both conceptually and in practice.
Being in nature brings us to a very basic fundamental way of operation: be optimistic, resourceful, and THRIVE, or, be pessimistic, closed down, and FLOUNDER.
One thing I’ve learned about living well is that adventure, exploration and understanding are just as important as air and food. ODAL reminded me of that. It brought back my childlike curiosity and let me play again. Though I don’t collect worms or pretend to be a dog anymore, I’m having fun while learning outdoors. This is my education. It’s only a couple classes a semester, but one day I’ll be able to escape the classrooms and cubicles forever. The outdoors will be my office; the wilderness will be my home.
A year after I completed my interdisciplinary major of outdoor adventure leadership and journalism, I now call myself a freelance filmmaker. Based mostly in the action sports industry, I have transferred many of the crucial skills learned from the ODAL program into what I do now. While my role as a videographer may be slightly different than what I did as an instructor in the outdoor industry, the tools acquired are invaluable to my current job. Whether it is bringing a film crew into the backcountry or simply facilitating an idea to a specific rider, I owe a great deal of what I know to what I gained from Sierra Nevada College.
Ben Bishop ’10
Choose either ODAL 350, 302 or PHED 229, 235, 240, 253, 345.
Fundamentals of Environmental Interpretation
Extended Field Expedition: Leadership Practicum
Total Outdoor Adventure Leadership
Interdisciplinary Studies Requirements
Principles of Interdisciplinary Studies
Total Interdisciplinary Studies
*One unit may be satisfied by General Education PHED Core Requirement.
Choose one area to integrate with Outdoor Adventure Leadership from the following:
ENGLISH (Leading towards requirements for the MAT/ Teaching Program)
Introduction to Journalism
Introduction to Shakespeare
Intro to Literary Criticism
Early American Literature
Contemporary American Literature
Upper Division World Lit (330, 384, 455)
ENGL 350 or 351
Shakespeare’s Tragedies or Comedies
Language Thought and Culture
ENGL 435 or 436
ENGL 204, 290, 304, 307, 390
Advanced Composition or Advanced Journalism
Communications or other Speech course approved with advisor
Introduction to Creative Writing Workshop
Introduction to Literary Criticism
ENGL 204, 206, 210,288, 295
Lower division creative writing choices: Choose 3
Upper division creative writing choices: Choose 3
ENGL326, 327, 328, 329
Early or Contemporary American Literature or Early or Contemporary British Literature
Upper Division ENGL Literature choice
Consult with advisor
HUMN 493, ENGL 493
Senior Project: Thesis or (depending on choice for INTD 493) professional practices, or upper division writing course, determined with advisor.
Total English/Creative Writing Credits
Introduction to Creative Non-fiction Workshop
Introduction to Journalism
Journalism Workshop: Eagle’s Eye Editors
ENGL 375 or DART 305
Intermediate Multimedia Journalism Workshop or Web Design
Journalism Workshop II
Pick one strand of Beginning to Intermediate courses: Digital Darkroom, Video Practices, Photography or Photojournalism
Upper Division Elective
With advisor, choose 2: ENGL 445 Advanced Editing, ENGL 304 Intermediate Creative Nonfiction or , ENGL 307 Travel and Adventure Writing; BLAW 410 Intellectual Property, UD INTL course ex INTL 420 International Terrorism and the Peace Process or INTL 480 Regional Studies, ENGL 370 or Dart 305
Media Law and Ethics
Total English/Journalism Credits
Principles of Management
Introduction to Marketing
Creating ENT Ventures/ Social Ventures
Global Business Environment
Financing Entrepreneur Ventures
Capstone in Entrepreneurship
BIOL 381/385, BIOL 421/425, BIOL 420, BIOL 386
Ecology & Lab, Aquatic Ecology & Lab, Tropical Field Biology, or Intertidal Ecology of Central Pacific Coast