Academic classes and field safety courses

UAF students photograph the aurora during a workshop held by UAF Outdoor Adventures at Murphy Dome.

Backcountry leadership training program

Offered by School of Management and Nanook Recreation
  • Earn credits toward a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation Business
  • Complete requirements for several professional certifications
  • Get assistance with finding future internships or summer positions in the recreation fields
More program information

 

Spring 2019 academic classes

Earn credits with Outdoor Adventures!

Outdoor Adventures offers academic and recreational courses throughout the year. These courses are a great way to develop your wilderness leadership skills and expand your resume. The REC and NRM classes allow you to learn a new sport, travel into Alaska's backcountry and gain the experience and confidence to do these sports on your own or with friends in the future.

3 Credits

Instructor: Frank Olive

Classroom: Thursdays; 4/25-5/23, 2-3:30pm

Field Session: 5/25-6/2

This course introduces students to many of the hard and soft skills necessary to be an effective outdoor leader and educator.  The foundation of skills are developed through classroom learning, readings and hands-on experience in the field. Students will learn to minimize risk, and impact while maximizing enjoyment and learning.

3 Credits

Instructor: Frank Olive

Prerequisites: NRM 161 or equivalent; permission of instructor.

This course will take the student through the full progression of wilderness leadership skills. We will start in the classroom with a series of concepts and guiding principles of leadership including; group dynamics, risk management, environmental ethics, minimum impact camping, forest and Arctic natural history, and adaptable judgment and decision-making. Next the course will allow the students to plan and implement a 12 day wilderness expedition. The students will focus on the logistical, practical, budget and safety concerns of this expedition. As a part of this course the students will get to practice their leadership and education skills in the field by having NRM 161 students along as participants during the first 8 days of the course. This structure will give the NRM 361 students a chance to truly apply and test the concepts of leadership in the field. The student will also continue to hone their hard skills such as: hiking through boreal forest and along tundra ridges, river crossing, bear safety, snowfield crossings, navigation, leave no trace ethics, group dynamics, route finding and other field skills necessary to have a safe and enjoyable expedition. The means of transportation for this expedition will be hiking and watercraft such as inflatable canoes and kayaks.

1 Credit

Instructor: Andy Sterns

An introduction to the fundamentals of rock climbing. The primary objective of this course is to allow students to safely and competently enjoy the sport of rock climbing in the climbing gym, and prepare them for outdoor rock climbing. Students will learn to recognize risks and hazards associated with rock climbing and how to avoid or minimize them. Topics will include climbing equipment, knots, rope handling, belaying, lead climbing, anchor construction, rappelling, climbing techniques as well as hazard evaluation and risk assessment.

This course is physically demanding and requires a willingness to try new and potentially hazardous activities. It is helpful, be not required, to be at least somewhat comfortable with heights.

1 Credit

Instructor: Christian Mogensen

Prerequisites: RECR F140H or equivalent; permission of instructor.

This class builds upon the fundamentals of rock climbing taught in Beginning Rock Climbing. Topics include more complex anchor building, multi-pitch climbing, rescue systems, trad protection, belaying two followers, lead belaying with a Grigri, and more.

The primary objective of this course is to build on the skills and knowledge acquired in the Beginning Rock Climbing class. Students will learn more advanced climbing systems and techniques to add to their skillset.

This course is physically demanding and requires a willingness to try new and potentially hazardous activities. It is helpful, be not required, to be at least somewhat comfortable with heights.

1 Credit

Instructor: Christian Mogensen

Prerequisites: None

This course introduces students to ice climbing.

The majority of this course is taught outdoors on ice here on campus and down in the Alaska Range on frozen waterfalls. The primary objective of this course is to allow students to safely and competently enjoy the sport of ice climbing. Topics include ice climbing equipment, knots, rope handling, belaying, anchor construction, rappelling, ice climbing techniques as well as hazard evaluation and risk assessment. The course has four scheduled Saturday field trips to the Denali Park Area during the first half of the spring semester.

This course is physically demanding and requires a willingness to try new and potentially hazardous activities. It is helpful, be not required, to be at least somewhat comfortable with heights.

All technical gear is provided for this class. You will need to provide your own clothing. We do have a limited supply of clothing available to borrow if needed, so don't let a lack of appropriate clothing deter you!

2 Credits

Instructor: Frank Olive

This course is designed to take the student who is interested in exploring the mountains of Alaska and introducing them to the sport of mountaineering. Mountaineering is much more than hiking up a steep hill, it requires a set of skills to safely travel and scale to the top of the mountains. Skills to be covered include traveling as a roped team, crevasse rescue, avalanche awareness, crampon and ice ax use, climbing protection, mountain skiing and winter camping. The course operates a majority of time outside and students should be prepared for an Alaska winter.

2019 Field Safety

Working in the field has a unique set of challenges and risks. At Outdoor Adventures we recognize those hazards and have worked with researchers on campus to compile a menu of training's that will give you the tools, tips and tricks to help mitigate some of the risk associated with field work. Thanks to UAF Vice Chancellor for Research we are again offering large number of trainings in the Spring Semester before field season gets into full swing. See our courses listed below, beginning early March and ending in May. Priority given to UAF Researchers, but we will open some of the courses to other staff and students two weeks prior to course start dates. Some times these spots have a fee, while others are free. Researchers, please sign-up in advance. Others, please wait until 2 weeks prior.

Register for a class

Register online or call 907-474-6027 to register.
Register now

Questions?

If you have a question contact Mark Oldmixon by email or calling 907-474-6709.
Contact by email

When: March 5 - 9AM

Where: TBD

Cost: Funded by UAF Research. $50 for non-affiliates

Space: Limited to 6

This awareness level course is important for anyone heading into the mountains during seasons in which snow is likely. Learn to identify avalanche slopes and hazards. Understand red flag situations and scenarios. Learn how to use critical rescue gear in the event of a burial. This course will be both inside and outside, dress appropriately.

Participation: Must be a researcher to participate

Cost: Funding provided by UAF Research

Space: Limited to 6 student

Please contact instructor Craig Lewis ahead of time with questions about firearm suitability.

This course gives the student the necessary training to be authorized to carry a rifle or shotgun in the field for UAF work-related activities (mainly research). Students will learn gun safety and best shooting practices. The morning will be classroom based. The afternoon will be spent at the range on the airport property.

Students are encouraged to bring their own weapons and required to bring their own ammo. Please bring your gun to class in a case, not on your hip or slung on your shoulder. No ammo is provided with the class. Please contact your supervisor if you need funding assistance.

Courses start at 9 a.m. at TBD. Bring a lunch and be prepared to stay until 5:00 p.m. Half the day will be outside too, dress appropriately. No ammo in the classroom. There is a live-fire proficiency test in order to pass the class.

Please read the course document completely for details.

We recommend 60 rounds of ammunition. Reduced recoil is fine for 40 rounds, as long as 20 rounds of full power are available.

Suitable rifle calibers:

  1. .30-06 or larger (.300 Winchester Magnum, .338 Federal Magnum, .375 H&H or similar)
  2. .45-70 Government
  3. .450 Bushmaster; .458 SOCOM.

Rifle ammunition should be of hunting variety or hard-cast lead projectiles.

Suitable shotguns:

  1. Remington or Mossberg manufacture loaded with 12 gauge rifled slugs
  2. Brenneke brand slugs are preferred due to the hardness of the alloy

All shotgun ammo needs to have slugs.

When: March 7

Where: TBD

Cost: Funded by UAF Research, Free to non-affiliates

Space: Limited to 25 seats

Please sign-up in advance to help with planning. Affiliates can sign-up beginning February 22

Instructor: Tim Craig

A crash course in bear safety. Bear awareness, encounter prevention and appropriate response scenarios discussed. Tim is a career wildlife biologist with BLM and Fish and Wildlife.

Participation: Only available to researchers

Cost: Sponsored by UAF VC for Research

Where: TBD

When: March 26 9AM - 4PM

Space: Limited to 10 participants

Learn the basics of riding technique as well as field repair tactics. Getting stuck in the wilderness due to a simple error is costly.

Cost: Funding provided by UAF Research or $100 if you are unaffiliated

Date: March 27

Where: UAF Outdoor Adventures

Space:: Limited to 6 students

This is a seven hour introduction to the concepts and techniques of safely traveling on a glacier. The course will present the general principles of glacier travel including; route choices, anatomy of crevasses, safety and rescue gear, rope work and knots, self rescue, partner rescue, anchor basics, haul systems, camp selection and gear management. The course will be presented as a mixture of lecture and hands-on with most of the class happening indoors. If weather permits some of the hands-on lessons will be outside.

When: March 28, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Where: TBD

Space: Limit 25 seats - sign-up in advance.

UAF Risk Management will be providing instruction to help you better understand UAF policies and procedures. Did you know the Chancellor needs to approve you having a gun in the field? Do you know what to do if you are bringing a minor in the field or hosting a group a school kids? Are you allowed to have alcohol in the field? How do you explain vehicle insurance to another driver or the police if you are in an accident? Free can of Bear Spray provided to participants!

When: March 29th 9AM - 6 hours

Cost: Funded by UAF Research; Free to unaffiliated

Space: Limited to 18 spots - Sign-up in advance

Instructor: Tim Craig

A more in-depth course on bear safety. Bear awareness, encounter prevention and appropriate response scenarios discussed. This course goes more in depth and includes practice bear spray scenarios, multi media presentation. Inert Bear spray provided for practice. Tim is a career wildlife biologist with BLM and Fish and Wildlife.

Cost: Provided by UAF Research $50 if you are unaffiliated

When: April 1 at 10AM

Where: UAF Outdoor Adventures (SRC 106)

This is a seven hour course designed to give students and introduction to the concepts and techniques of being comfortable in the backcountry.  We will cover clothing systems, tents, stoves, water treatment, bear safety, minimizing impact, student rights, communication and other topics for maintaining comfort and safety in the backcountry. The course will be presented as a mixture of lecture and hands-on with the class happening both inside and outside.

Cost: Funded by UAF Research or $200 if you are not affiliated

When: April 2-3: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Where: TBD

Working in the field will expose you to hazards and situations different than in urban areas. Prepare yourself to better handle some of those medical emergencies by taking this 20 hr course. Over those 20 hrs you will cover topics such as, the critical systems, incident management, wound cleaning and much more. Course fees include textbook, certification and instruction. (CPR not included in this training)

Participation: UAF Affiliates only

When: April 4th and pre-class work

Where: EMS classroom 118 in Old UPark

Space: limited to 12

Learn this simple skill that has been proven to save lives when done quickly and correctly. Some online pre-class work will be required. Contact Mark Oldmixon (mtoldmixon@alaska.edu) for coupon code and class link well in advance of class.

Participation: Only for UAF researchers

When: April 8, 9 a.m.

Where: Reichart 165

Cost: Funding provided by UAF Research

Space: Limited to 6 students

Please contact instructor Craig Lewis ahead of time with questions about firearm suitability.

Sign-up by calling Outdoor Adventures at 474-6027.

This course gives the student the necessary training to be authorized to carry a pistol in the field for UAF work-related activities (mainly research). Students will learn gun safety and best shooting practices. The morning will be classroom based. The afternoon will be spent at the range on the airport property.

Students are encouraged to bring their own weapons and required to bring their own ammo. The student bringing their own guns or University guns also need ammo. Please contact your supervisor if you need funding assistance. No ammo is provided with the class.

Bring a lunch and be prepared to stay until 5:00p.m. Half the day will be outside too, dress appropriately. No ammo in classroom.

Please read the course document completely for details.

Suitable handgun calibers:

  1. 10mm Auto (with appropriate ammunition)
  2. .357 Magnum (with appropriate ammunition)
  3. .41 Magnum (with appropriate ammunition)
  4. .44 Magnum or larger (.454 Casull, .460 Smith & Wesson, .480 Ruger)

We recommend 100 rounds of ammunition. 80 rounds can be target load, as long as at least 20 full-power rounds are available too.

Cost: Funded by UAF Research, $400 to unaffiliated after April 15 - All equipment provided.

Participation: Priority given to UAF Researchers

When: May 13-15 - All Day

Where: UAF Outdoor Adventures and Chena River

Space: limited to 9 spots.

If your full-time and/or seasonal personnel use any kind of watercraft (pack rafts, sea kayaks, canoes, rafts, jet, or prop boats) to travel in remote areas and wilderness settings to accomplish their work, you should consider Remote Worker Safety Training provided by Arctic River Guides.

This 3-day course addresses the specific problems encountered when working on, over, or adjacent to water. It is designed to meet and exceed the industrial requirements of OSHA 1926.106. Our program provides the essential knowledge and hands-on skills (recognizing and avoiding hazards, self and companion rescue techniques, injury management, and survival) to allow your employees to travel and perform their work in small groups in remote settings safely and effectively.