Lander’s NOLS actively monitoring coronavirus impacts

National Outdoor Leadership School release:

NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) has proactively developed a communications and operations plan to help monitor impacts of coronavirus and implement preventative measures as recommended by health authorities. The school operates field-based and classroom courses around the world and its priority is the health and well-being of its students, staff, and local communities.


“NOLS is paying close attention to the coronavirus situation,” said Terri Watson, President of NOLS. “We place a high value on the health of all of our people, from students and staff to the individuals and organizations locally where we operate. The team is gathering information from a variety of credible sources and will stay proactive in response to an evolving situation.”

As NOLS welcomes students to Fremont County, the school has reinforced its standard practices of good hygiene and self-care to prevent the spread of illness. In serving its students, NOLS staff and instructors have been provided with additional guidance and best practices for teaching preventative measures, monitoring flu-like symptoms, and administering responsible self-care practices with students as identified by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

For arriving students and staff at all NOLS campuses, anyone exhibiting signs and symptoms of flu-like illness (fever, cough, sore throat, and shortness of breath) will be monitored, and may be isolated, and/or health care providers may be contacted.

The school operates local courses from both the NOLS Rocky Mountain and Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campuses. Currently, the school is planning to run these courses as scheduled unless travel is restricted by local, federal or government authorities, or other measures such as school closures go into effect.  NOLS will continue to evaluate new information as it comes to light, and is prepared to cancel courses if necessary.

The school is using the following official resources to gather information, as well as remaining in communication with locations hosting courses for any local information:

To assist in its response, the school uses a decision matrix when faced with a pandemic or other major event that can impact the organization, its students and staff, as well as the communities in which it operates.

The matrix is a tool the school has used in the past for natural disasters such as a tsunami, earthquakes, or volcanoes as well as political unrest and other events, and informs our pandemic illness plan, which includes the following steps:

  1. Actively monitoring the situation as it evolves;
  2. Following government guidance on on travel risks when making course cancellation decisions;
  3. Being prepared to respond to students or staff who show symptoms of flu-like illness and reinforcing the preventative measures that we already practice;
  4. Following government guidance on methods to prevent illness;
  5. Planning for the possibility of widespread illness and program disruption.

NOLS values its role and impact on Lander and Fremont County greatly. The school will continue to monitor and proactively communicate with the community if there are changes to travel and health advisories that may have local impact.

Established in 1965, NOLS is the leader in wilderness education. What began in a small cabin in Wyoming’s Wind River mountain range has evolved into a global, multifaceted non-profit school offering a proven leadership curriculum through expedition courses, wilderness medicine certifications, risk management training, and custom education solutions for organizations. To learn more about NOLS or to apply for a course, visit or call 800.710.6657 to speak to an advisor.


Recently, the Wyoming Department of Health weighed in on the Coronavirus. There have been no cases reported in Wyoming as of March 9.


Have a news tip or an awesome photo to share?