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

Outdoor Adventure Leadership

B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies in Outdoor Adventure Leadership and second discipline

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 education major.

We spend much of our class time navigating mountainous terrain, climbing granite walls, descending snowy slopes, and maneuvering through river gorges, at one of the best outdoor colleges in the country.

THEN, we move beyond our field experience to apply our leadership skills into the wider community through service learning and senior portfolio projects that require integration of disciplines.

Bring your wilderness skills into the real world through these projects. Gain professional experience working with non-profits, building your own business plans, organizing events, developing curriculum, teaching, and exploring innovative ideas.

Our Students Say It Best . . .

. . . Follow Their Adventures!

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Ben Bishop

Major: Interdisciplinary Studies in Outdoor Adventure Leadership and Journalism

Class of 2012

Ben Bishop, an outdoor and action sports filmmaker and photographer who received SNC’s first degree in Outdoor Adventure Leadership, is a veteran world traveler who frequently clocks six months straight in places like China, Japan, Alaska, Canada, and Utah, but he says, “I don’t think I would be anywhere if it weren’t for SNC. I don’t think I could have gone to any other college and said, I’m really interested in this outdoor realm, and have them formulate a program.” . . . Read More

Matt Fall

Major: Interdisciplinary Studies in Outdoor Adventure Leadership and Entrepreneurship

Class of 2012

I joined a robotics team in high school, which led me to mechanical engineering, but while my enthusiasm for engineering waned after a couple of years my love for the outdoors never did. After developing an interest in running my own business, I transferred to SNC as an Outdoor Adventure Leadership and Entrepreneurship major. . . . Read More

Ask A Question

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

Katherine Zanto
Interdisciplinary Studies Program Chair

Request Info   Apply Now!

ODAL on Tahoe TV

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.

ODAL Majors may also choose an optional 6 credit Skills Development Emphasis.

  • River Skills (Rogue River, Swift Water Rescue, Whitewater Kayaking, Whitewater Rafting, Upper Level River Field Course, etc.)
  • Backcountry Leadership Skills (Wilderness Orientation, Canyoneering, Challenge Course, Mountaineering, etc.)
  • Snow Skills (AIARE, Backcountry Skiing, Upper Level Winter Field Course, etc.)

See how ODAL pairs with other disciplines

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