About Us

Welcome to the Jackson Hole Outdoor Leadership Institute.

Through the Biology of Spirit, our proprietary curriculum, we provide a biological understanding of the nervous system’s intuitive and emotional workings and the importance of living a heart centered approach to life.

Through these baseline understandings our intention is to help individuals better understand their responsibility to serve one’s own mental and physical health first.  Resulting in a higher responsibility to serve one’s community, while limiting existing environmental impacts and promoting sustainability through a personal holistic health practice.

We offer this through Holistic Health Retreats, Heart Health Seminars and the curriculums of CPR, 1st Aid, Wilderness Medicine and Avalanche Education.

Check out our courses!

Jacob Urban


30+ years ago I started walking a path. Countless miles spent in the mountains, climbing, guiding, teaching, rescuing and learning from nature, led me to myself.

Through a holistic health approach (The Biology of Spirit) I deliver mountain-based, emotional self-discovery experiences that create a responsibility to the self while developing community. I provide this through the mediums of avalanche education and emergency medicine as well as knowledge about how one fits into the surrounding Universe. Check out my blog (Tetonsnowgeek.com) for a deeper dive into what that process looks like for me…enjoy!

Andrew Newman

Avalanche Ed and Rescue Course Leader

Growing up in New England, I found a love for skiing at a young age. At 18 I left the disciplined world of competitive skiing in search of a deeper meaning in the mountains. I found that in the Greater Yellowstone region which I have called home since 2002. Dedicating half my life now to skiing, climbing and running my way through these rugged mountain ranges I have forged a strong sense of self and purpose which has become the blueprint for my life.

Through avalanche education I hope to help people foster a lifelong relationship with themselves, their community and the public lands we all love so dearly. Slow down and listen, the world will tell you what to do.

Anthony Stevens

Senior Medical Instructor

I was born and raised in the great state of Wyoming and am a life-long resident of Jackson Hole. Growing up having the Tetons and the Absaroka’s as a playground gave me a huge passion for remote wilderness locations. At a young age I knew that whatever I decided to do in life it had be based in the wilderness.

I grew up climbing, backcountry skiing, backpacking, fly-fishing and working on the family ranch. After attending college in Arizona I decided to return to Wyoming to work in the outdoors. Realizing I had a passion for outdoor and experiential education I became a field instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in 2010 and have had the opportunity to work in remote areas around the world.

I am currently an instructor for Jackson Hole Outdoor Leadership Institute (JHOLI), a Field Instructor for NOLS (teaching backpacking, winter backcountry, and lightweight backpacking courses), a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT), and a Team member on Teton County Search and Rescue (TCSAR). Passions include drinking large amounts of coffee, trail running, mountain biking, backcountry skiing or anything else that keeps me in motion. When not in the mountains, you can find me with my wife passing on our passion for all things Wyoming on to our children.

Carol Viau

Senior Medical Instructor

I was born in Japan to a military family, and by the time I entered school I was already living in my third country. This may have planted the seed for my love of travel.

I initially moved to Jackson the day after graduating high school to work in Grand Teton National Park. I then began splitting my time between Alaska and Jackson for the summers and winter, while going to university during the spring and fall seasons. My friends finally convinced me to try Jackson year round. Other than the temporary relocating to the French Alps twice and Canada once, Jackson has truly been my home for my adult life.

I have worked as a commercial fisherman in Alaska, a volunteer climbing ranger on Denali, as an Urban and Wilderness EMT, a ski patroller, ski instructor, and as a backpacking, wildlife tour and ski guide. I am also a long time volunteer on Teton County Search and Rescue. In the summer you can find me climbing, hiking, biking, and backpacking.

Garion Wascher

Avalanche Ed & Rescue Instructor

Originally from the Carolinas, I discovered my love for the outdoors after graduating from Clemson University and moving to Jackson the following winter. Each summer held something new in store. Guiding in Haines for Alaska Mountain Guides one summer, skiing in New Zealand the next, then climbing in Smith Rock. With every new season, my passion and knowledge of the outdoors strengthened.

After several years of introducing my friends to backcountry skiing, I decided to pursue a professional career as an outdoor educator. Currently I’m an instructor for Jackson Hole Outdoor Leadership Institute (JHOLI) teaching Avalanche Education and Rescue.

Natalie Connell

Creative Director

Having lived in numerous places in the US and abroad as a military kid, I have happily called Jackson,WY home since 2009. I’ve worked as a graphic designer in the outdoor industry since 2017, and formally joined the JHOLI team in early 2020. As a creative, I thoroughly enjoy getting to combine my passion for the outdoors and design.

I was exposed to outdoor recreation in high school, and followed my intrigue for it to college in California, where I became an avid snowboarder. In the years since moving to Wyoming, I’ve fallen in love with splitboarding, rock climbing and moving through the mountains. I am also a passionate landscape painter and am endlessly inspired by my time in the natural world. My work can be seen and purchased at www.nataliegconnell.com.

Meaghan Wheeler

Senior Medical Instructor

I am a native of coastal Massachusetts who grew up adventuring in the lakes, streams and forests of the White Mountains in New Hampshire. I thrived on every opportunity to explore, to learn and to dream in the outdoors. Attending the University of Vermont for a BS in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology was a natural fit for me as I transitioned my wilderness experiences to the Green Mountains. After graduating I went in pursuit of larger mountains and a deeper snowpack, heading to Squaw Valley CA for several years and then transitioning to Jackson Hole.

Some of my most valuable learning experiences have come from sharing the outdoors with others and I feel fortunate to have gained wonderful insight from travel in areas such as Nepal, Antarctica, Tanzania, Patagonia, and the Alps.

In 2014 I returned to Conway, NH to obtain my WEMT certification with SOLO which led to my current position with Jackson Hole Fire/EMS as a Firefighter/EMT. The multidimensional nature of all hazards response in a wildland/urban environment and the positive impact we can have on our community has been a life changing experience. I have also worked as an ACA certified Kayak & SUP instructor, Alpine Ski Coach, and Ski Guide for Alaska Rendezvous Heli Ski Guides. I consider myself a lifelong learner and have found joy adding Swiftwater Rescue Tech, Rigging for Rescue, Avalanche Pro 1, and Red Cross BLS CPR Instructor to my “bag of tricks.”

When not working I can be found trail running with my husband and our fur friend Asher, reading a book, daydreaming about future adventures or out in my garden. I love instructing, sharing my knowledge with others and learning something new from each and every student!

Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO)

logo-solo-schoolsSOLO wilderness medicine is the oldest continuously operating school of wilderness medicine in the world.

The Central Wyoming College- Jackson Campus offers site-bound students in Teton County and surrounding regions access to degree programs, workforce development, continuing education, and community service classes.