March 31, 2021
Students take part in an outdoor orientation with the UW Outdoor Program in the Snowy Range Mountains. UW’s Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources has launched an online course for aspiring outdoor guides or an enrichment for young professionals. (UW photo)
The University of Wyoming’s Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources recently launched an innovative online course for aspiring outdoor guides or an enrichment for young professionals. The self-paced course, which does not require a credit, will be offered this spring over two periods of six weeks.
Faculty at UW and industry leaders have been designing the course for two years.
“We partnered with industry leaders and nationwide land management agencies to develop and test the course,” said Dan McCoy, graduate coordinator of the outdoor leisure and tourism management program and instructor at Haub School. “We wanted this course to be useful for the leadership industry to add to or enhance training opportunities nationwide.”
The certification course consists of high quality videos, quizzes, short assignments, and knowledge reviews. The course follows a competency-based model in which students acquire and apply skills that are necessary and related to outdoor leadership with clients. The course is relative to a wide range of outdoor guided tours such as hunting, fishing, climbing, rafting, wildlife viewing, biking, hiking, snowmobiling, ATV (all-terrain vehicle), horseback riding, skiing, and tour operators in national parks.
According to McCoy, UW was approached by Jason Williams, owner and CEO of Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris, two years ago.
“He deplored the fact that there was no leadership training program and, given the importance of the leadership industry in the state, thought it would be a good idea to develop one,” says McCoy. “We are very grateful that we have great partners across the country for this important project.”
The course will be offered twice this spring and should last approximately 32 hours. The course dates are from April 12th to May 21st or from May 17th to June 25th. Additional courses are offered seasonally to meet the needs of the various lead industries. Enrollment is limited to 30 participants and the first course already has 14 committed students. The course costs $ 325, and employers who enroll 10 or more guides receive a discount.
The certification does not expire at the moment, although the guides are asked to remain active on site and to continue their education.
More information can be found here.