The University of Wyoming’s Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources is offering an online guide certification course this fall for both aspiring and veteran guides.
The noncredit, self-paced course — offered over two six-week periods — consists of videos, quizzes, short assignments and knowledge checks. Students will learn and apply core competencies that are necessary and relative to outdoor guiding with clients.
The course is related to a broad range of outdoor guiding, such as hunting, fishing, rock climbing, rafting, wildlife viewing, cycling, hiking, snowmobiling, ATVing (all-terrain vehicle), horseback riding, skiing, tour operating in national parks and other outdoor recreation pursuits.
Whitney Caskey, the course developer and instructor from Jackson, says the content covers how to provide an immersive experience for clients, but “the real magic is what takes place within group discussions among participants.”
“Since everyone comes from different corners of the guiding world, there is a cooperative learning experience, and the diverse perspectives and insights gained from one another have proven to be invaluable,” she says. “It turns out that wildlife guides have a lot to learn from climbing guides and hunting guides, and vice versa.”
As director of Wildlife Expeditions, a Jackson Hole guiding company, Tanya Anderson required all of her guides to take the course.
“I feel good going into training, knowing that everyone on the team has received training in interpretive skills, naturalist skills, leave no trace and sustainable tourism; has an understanding of the land management agencies we work with; and understands the need for diversity, equity and inclusion in the industry, as well as definitions for the vocabulary used,” Anderson says. “I can start our training at a higher level, build on what guides have learned in this course, and focus on content knowledge, policies and practices specific to our business.”
Each session of the course is expected to take approximately 30-45 hours to complete and includes optional content. The first session is currently underway. To register for the second session, which will take place Oct. 8-Nov. 19, click here.
Additional courses will be offered seasonally in alignment with guiding industry needs. Enrollment is limited to 30 participants per session and costs $325 to enroll. Employers who enroll 10 or more guides qualify for a discount.
The certification does not currently have an expiration, though guides are encouraged to remain active in the field and to take continuing education.
For more information, visit www.uwyo.edu/haub/.