Wilderness leadership instruction is based on presenting students with multi-faceted challenges, enabling them to make process-based decisions, allowing them to experience the results of those decisions, and then guiding them through an analysis of the entire experience. Travel on, in, and around the ocean provides a full array of complex, demanding experiences with clear, immediate results and repercussions.
The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), a worldwide leader in wilderness leadership instruction, identifies in its Leadership Educator Notebook the following skills as core to leadership expeditions. Several are directly connected to Tony Wagner's list of 21st Century Survival Skills:
- Expedition Behavior
- Communication Skills
- Judgement and Decision-Making
- Tolerance for Adversity and Uncertainty
- Vision and Action
The Ocean School's commitment to developing young innovators and leaders means that students will have the opportunity several times each year to undertake leadership expeditions in some of the world's most spectacular wild places. In addition, the school's applied educational model naturally dovetails with such expeditions, enabling the integration of field science and service learning throughout.
- Sea kayaking, diving, and ecological surveying of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Channel Islands, CA
- Studying whale migration and estuary ecology while sea kayaking in Bahia Magdalena, Baja California
- Aiding in reef, shark, and turtle conservation efforts in Palau, Micronesia
- Sea kayaking, diving, kelp forest restoration, and native cultural anthropology in Haida Gwaii, British Columbia
- Sailing, sea kayaking, snorkelling, and studying the unique marine and desert ecologies found along the Sea of Cortez, Baja California