Meet the Instructors



Kaden Addler

Adjunct Faculty

Kaden Addler is passionate about playing outside and empowering others to do the same. You'll find him out doing something on any given day; Whether it's working as a naturalist sea kayak and glacier guide, packrafting, canoeing, SUPing, hunting, or fishing in summer; or backcountry skiing, snowboarding, ice climbing, snowkiting, paddling, and camping in winter. 
A year spent down south in Patagonia with NOLS, inspired a move up to Valdez in 2015 to kayak guide; where he found the greatest natural playground and environment for intrapersonal growth. He has guided sea kayaking throughout Alaska and worked with Alaskan teens, as a Behavioral Theraputic Wilderness Guide. He is also a Leave No Trace Master Educator, Wilderness First Responder, and an ACA Level 2 Kayaking Instructor. Kaden belives the wilderness is the greatest teacher and classroom setting, full of opportunities to test both our hard and soft skills and build resilience. 
Paul Nyluand

Paul Nylund

Adjunct Faculty

Paul was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI and earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Education and Natural Resource Management from the University of WI, Stevens Point. Since moving to Alaska in 1999 he has operated a campground on the Kenai Peninsula, managed a sea kayaking company in Valdez, taught downhill ski lessons at Alyeska Resort, and currently works for the City of Valdez Planning Department. He is an avid recreationalist with skiing, kayaking, rafting, camping and kiting as his favorite outdoor pursuits. He especially enjoys doing these activities with his wife and 2 kids!


August Franzen climbing in Alaska 

August Franzen

Adjunct Faculty

August Franzen is a passionate climber, kayaker and outdoor educator. He has several years of personal and professional experience in the outdoor industry, ranging from being a climbing guide in Rocky Mountain National Park and AMGA courses, to structured education through NOLS as well as a bachelors degree in outdoor studies from Alaska Pacific University. August is a strong advocate for experiential education- learning through doing. His teaching and learning style embodies a hands-on approach and promotes applying skills learned through experience to make educated and informed decisions in the backcountry.

August's personal experience in the outdoors ranges from extended mountaineering expeditions in the Alaska Range and Patagonia, big wall climbing on Yosemite, alpine and desert walls, sea kayaking Prince William Sound and ice climbing throughout the state of Alaska. August came to Valdez with winter climbing in mind. He spends his time working for the City of Valdez Parks and Recreation Department as well as chasing ice and alpine routes.  

Sarah Carter, PWSC Adjunct Instructor for the Outdoor Leadership college program in Alaska

Sarah Carter

Adjunct Faculty

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.

Erin Cutts, Assistant Professor of Outdoor Leadership in Valdez, Alaska

Benjamin Rush

Assistant Professor of Outdoor Leadership

Dr. Rush moved to Alaska from Vermont where 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. 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.