Programs completed at APU:
B.A. Outdoor Studies – Concentration in Land Management
My senior project is titled: “Creating an Outdoor Documentary Film: The Elucidation of Adventure.” Essentially, I produced, captured, and edited a short outdoor documentary film that follows three kayakers: Becca, Maryann, and Sam, for a portion of their nearly 2,000-mile river trip down the Yukon River. The film not only follows their adventure story, but explores concepts of adventure theory such as the beneficial outcome of outdoor expeditions and the process variables that make specific experiences an adventure. My senior project in essence is about capturing adventure through mediums such as film, and how that medium can be used to inform, inspire, and allow us to think critically.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Best Classes at APU:
There have been many incredible classes here at APU that vastly exceeded my own educational ambitions. As an Outdoor Studies major I was fortunate enough to spend many classes out in the field exploring Alaska and Beyond. Intro to Wilderness Skills was my first field-based course and got me acquainted with backcountry camping and travel skills that were invaluable. Plus, you can’t beat the scenery of the Yukon River! Expedition Sea Kayaking in the Bahamas was an incredible culminating class in which I built upon those foundational outdoor-living skills and got to experience an entirely different culture and climate. Nothing quite like escaping a cold and dark Alaskan January for the warm and (mostly) sunny Caribbean. Some other notable classes include Wildland Ecosystems/Human Impacts, which fostered for me an interest in environmental sciences that included collecting data out in the field and then reporting those findings through scientific reports and posters. I also greatly enjoyed Recreation Program Design: a class that taught various aspects of recreation programming, including how professionals in the outdoor industry comprehensively plan outdoor trips.
What is your favorite APU memory?
I was Photography Club President for quite a few semesters while at APU. Some of my favorite activities at APU come from the specific extracurricular activities we did as a club. One very specific memory I have was a trip we did up to Fairbanks a couple years ago to view the Northern Lights and bathe in the Chena Hot Springs. It was the last night of the trip, and we were out on a frozen lake close to Delta Junction, overlooking a fantastic display of the northern lights. We were packing our cameras up getting ready to leave as it was getting to be past midnight. As we walked out, a long stream of green northern lights filled the sky directly above us. It seemed so much closer than any other light displays I had seen before! It was even making the unexplainable crackling sound directly above us. Everybody just stood there in awe. Not a word was said. Afterwards, some people on the trip described how that was one of the most incredible moments of their life. I couldn’t help but agree.
What is going to be your next adventure post-APU?
I will be moving to Dana Point California this summer for a job in outdoor education. I will also be trying to pick up freelance video and photography work on the side. Long term I’m also looking to potentially attend graduate school internationally in the U.K. for an M.A. in Wildlife Filmmaking.
Any words of wisdom for students working on completing their degrees?
Don’t make pursuing a college degree your only goal. While here it’s important to appreciate the education that you are chasing. Be open to new possibilities by taking classes you may not normally take. Get involved in clubs, organizations, and student activities. Most importantly, develop a love and alacrity for learning that will persist far beyond graduation.