Meet the Instructors
Dorothy has been teaching SOLO’s Wilderness Medicine courses for the past eleven years throughout Alaska. She has worked extensively as a mountain climbing guide, outdoor instructor, and as a volunteer on mountain search and rescue teams. She operates her own business teaching wilderness medical courses. Dorothy teaches PWSC’s Wilderness First Responder course.
Having guided for a number of organizations, including Kennicott Wilderness Guides and International Wilderness Leadership School, Taylor brings fifteen years of mountain guiding and climbing experience to the PWSC Outdoor Leadership Program. He currently teaches the rock climbing, crevasse rescue, and mountaineering courses at PWSC. Taylor’s passion is teaching people how to be safe and make good decisions in the mountains. This stems from his extensive experience working as a certified EMT and ski patroller. His experiences working for the National Park Search and Rescue Emergency Response Team and working in Level 1 and Level 5 hospitals as a Critical Care Technician have also helped shape Taylor’s dedication to safety in the outdoors. In his spare time Taylor loves climbing and skiing in Wrangell St. Elias National Park.
Sarah is currently the Education Coordinator for the Alaska Avalanche Information Center and a forecaster for the Valdez Avalanche Center. Sharing her passion for the Alaskan outdoors keeps Sarah instructing and guiding winter and summer. Over the years she has worked on ski patrols, snow safety/mountain rescue teams, and as a glacier, heli, sea kayak, and raft guide. Watching people enjoy themselves in the wind, rain, snow and water is Sarah’s goal. She believes that the trip is a success when you have a story to tell when you get home.
Assistant Professor of Outdoor Leadership
Benjamin Rush emphasizes 2 points in the world of outdoor leadership. Learning is through doing and best practices. His teaching style is more often than not to address a student’s question with a form of his own: ‘I’m more interested in what you think.’ According to Rush, in our business when outdoors and surrounded by nature, the variables abound, and those variables aren’t limited to the whims of weather and its effect on your environment, but also include the most complex and unpredictable variable of all…people. For that reason says Rush, “My goal is not only to ensure students master the requisite outdoor skill set, but also to challenge them into becoming independent thinkers. Best practices are introduced from day 1. From their first trip until their last, it’s what students learn. Never settle for “almost”. We want our students to know that when they are guiding in the field, you do it 100% or you don’t do it. We teach best practices to students so when they leave, its imbedded in their style of leadership.
Ben’s experience is vast and varied. Most recently he served as an assistant professor of the Outdoor Education Leadership and Tourism Department at Northern Vermont University. Prior to that, he taught in Taiwan for more than 20 years. He has a deep connection to Asia and the outdoor program he helped build over his 20 year tenure there. Rush has recently returned to Alaska and to what he considers his dream job…and he definitely lives what he teaches. From skiing and winter camping to hiking, climbing, and sea kayaking, Ben is constantly on the move. His lifetime travels, associated outdoor experiences, and teaching credentials are many. They include but are not limited to:
- O.L.O. Wilderness Medicine Instructor
- Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician
- American Canoe/Kayak Association Instructor Trainer
- National Outdoor Leadership School Instructor
- Leave No Trace Master Educator Instructor
- Wilderness Education Association Instructor
- D. from the National Taiwan Sport University (2014)