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Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of the NIA consists of eight to twelve members serving two year terms. Every fall we hold an election for six of these positions. Having passionate and active Board members is essential to our continued progress.

The primary role of a Board member is to guide the strategy of the NIA. Board members participate in ongoing conversations via a Google Group, as well as quarterly conference calls. We represent the creative ideas and pressing concerns of the NOLS employees to the Board of Trustees and Executive Director Team. We maintain this website as a clearing house for employee information about the school, and moderate a conversation on our Facebook group that includes an ongoing discussion of our curriculum and tracking broader trends in education.

Each member contributes in different ways depending on their teaching schedule and location. Most Board members eventually take on either an individual 
leadership role (treasurer, secretary, webmaster, visibility, etc.). When not in the field, board members typically spend at least six hours per month on NIA related projects. Learn more about Board member roles and expectations here.

Dave Durant 

President Term ending December 2020

Dave took his IC in 2008 and ITC in 2011.  These days he splits his time between the classroom and the field, working Backpacking, Climbing, Canyon, and Winter courses as well as WFAs, WFRs, WFR-Rs, WUMPs, and WEMTs.  From proctoring the first WMR to annual OEWs, much of his field work also has a wilderness medicine focus. 


Summers Eatmon Williams

Vice President, Secretary Term ending December 2020

Summers grew up skiing and hiking in Vermont. She took a Sonoran Desert semester in 2004 which solidified her dreams of working for NOLS. She later returned as a WOE student before taking her IC in 2011. When not in the field serves as a Trustee for a start-up independent school in Ludlow, VT and is expecting her first child in July 2020. 


Julia "Pieps" Pieper

Treasurer Term ending December 2020

Pieps first came to NOLS as a student on a Year in Patagonia in 2007. After a brief hiatus to study engineering, she returned for an IC in 2013. Since then Pieps has worked Backpacking, Canoeing, Canyoneering, and Winter courses. When not working in the field, she resides in the Teton Valley and spends free time aspiring to become a packrafter. 


Ira Slomski-Pritz

Expedition Instructor Membership Coordinator Term ending December 2021

After growing up backpacking in the Winds, Ira took his IC in Alaska in 2014. Since then he has worked mountaineering and hiking courses in Alaska, Wyoming, and Patagonia. He is continually impressed by the experience, resourcefulness, and intelligence of NOLS faculty, and hopes to ensure their perspectives inform school-wide decision-making. 


Drew Seitz

Flamingo Fund Administrator Term ending December 2021

Born in West Virginia, Drew is a Mountaineer by birth and vocation.  Since taking his IC in 2006, he's accumulated 130 weeks Backpacking, Climbing, Mountaineering, and Caving.  Drew has also worked for the Rocky Mountain Facilities Dept. and as a "solar roughneck" from his home base in Lander.  He took the ITC in 2013 and teaches WFRs & WFAs.


Molly Herber

Visibility Coordinator Term ending December 2020

Molly is a transplant from Minnesota to Lander, where she's been working at NOLS as a writer since 2014. A two-time mountaineering student, after seeing how pleasant the Winds look in May she took the Rocky Mountain Instructor Course in 2016. She enjoys exploring the Winds on foot in the summer and teaching kids to cross country ski in the winter.


Clemencia Caporale

Wilderness Medicine Instructor Membership Coordinator Term ending December 2020

Clemencia has been an EMT since age 17, is a NOLS Baja Semester graduate, and took her NOLS Wilderness Medicine ITC in 2012. She has been teaching WFAs, WFRs, and working ski patrol ever since. When not teaching, she is found ultralight thru hiking around the world, including trails like the Continental Divide Trail, the Coast to Coast, and the Camino.  


Marissa Bieger

Mentorship Coordinator Term ending December 2021

Marissa took her IC in 2013 and has spent recent years instructing mountaineering, hiking, climbing, and kayaking. She often splits her time between Alaska and Patagonia and when not in the field enjoys yoga, dance, and whitewater kayaking. She is excited to advocate for the community that has brought depth and vibrancy to her work and life.


Caio Poletti

In-town Membership Coordinator Term ending December 2021

Caio has worked for NOLS for 9 years, and has 150 weeks in the field canoeing, sea kayaking, and hiking. He's a Program Supervisor at NOLS Northeast and has supervised for three seasons at NOLS Mexico.  Last but not least, Caio is a Lifetime Member of the NIA.  


Fabio Raimo de Oliveira

Director Term ending December 2020

A field instructor and proud NIA member since 1998, Fabio has worked more than 200 weeks in hiking, mountaineering, climbing, sea kayaking, and canoeing.  He spends most of his NOLS working life far from Lander, and strives to bring an international perspective to NOLS decisions via the NIA.   


Aaron Divine

Director Emeritus

Aaron began working in-town in Alaska in 1998 and took the AKIC in 2000.  He still works mountaineering courses each summer.  The rest of the year he teaches Parks & Recreation Management at Northern Arizona University, specializing in Program Planning and Outdoor Education and Leadership.  He represents the seasonal staff perspective.  akdivine@gmail.com

Sean Williams

President Emeritus 

Sean took his IC in 2003 and has since worked over 200 weeks hiking, mountaineering, and sea kayaking, primarily in Alaska, New Zealand, and Patagonia. He now lives in Andover, Vermont and runs a freelance translation business, recently giving up his urban life for a farmhouse. Sean hopes to keep the NIA focused, moving fast, and thinking big.  


Nominations and Elections

It is helpful to have some Board members in Lander, but also we want to cultivate a presence at more remote sites. As diverse and representative a group of Instructors as possible is desirable. NOLS has many niches, and we think it's important that the administration hears from all of them. From seasoned AFP veterans to Instructors coming off their first course, from sailors to horse packers to WFA weekend warriors, if you've got energy to devote to the cause, then we'd encourage you to run. Currently there is no one on the board from Asia or Africa, no one who serves as purely in-town staff, no instructor with fewer than 30 weeks, and only one wilderness medicine-only instructor.

Candidates are self-nominated, and must be current NIA members. Post your nomination on the NIA Facebook Group, including a brief description of the issues at NOLS you're passionate about, and how you might like to contribute. Some current issues we're discussing at the NIA Board level include faculty engagement in school wide decision making, improving mentorship, and the travel reimbursement system for field courses. If you're not a Facebook user, you can email Summers Eatmon Williams to nominate yourself. 

Elections run from November 20 until December 20 each year, and are conducted on nolsinstructorassociation.org. All current NIA Members are eligible to vote. New members may join once the election has begun.  

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