SOLE is fortunate to have a team of individuals who possess significant professional experience in the fields of experiential education, outdoor education, traditional academia, special education, and counseling. Our innovative approach to these fields doesn’t only include program design, it also involves how we facilitate each SOLE Experience SM. We believe in providing a first rate experience for our stakeholders. To do so, in addition to having the necessary formal education and training, we need to have to have an accurate assessment of the needs of our organization to include our personnel and those we serve. Therefore, those that drive and support SOLE’s mission volunteer countless hours and serve as consultants, board members, administrators, and Field Instructors to obtain an accurate pulse and support all the SOLE Experiences SM we offer.
Dennison Webb, MA | Founder | Executive Director
Dennison is the Founder and Executive Director of Selkirk Outdoor Leadership & Education (SOLE). As a practitioner and researcher in the fields of experiential and outdoor education for the past 25 years, he brings significant program development, administration, and instruction experience to SOLE. Allowing those under his guidance to meet the needs of the diverse populations that SOLE serves.
To accomplish challenges and opportunities such as these, Dennison integrates professional education and real world experience grounded on evidence-based practices to design and facilitate intentional experiential programming, while assisting others to do the same. His administrative and teaching experience has included both secondary and post secondary educational institutions, as well as, corporate agencies. The institutions have included Texas A&M University, Challenge Works, University of Northern Colorado, National Outdoor Leadership School, Second Nature Wilderness Program, as well as, private and residential boarding schools. Being employed at each program has served to strengthen Dennison’s facilitation abilities through direct application of field-related methodologies, while supporting continued expansion of methods which SOLE utilizes today.
Specific strengths include his ability to create dynamic experiential programming which transitions well beyond the classroom walls by integrating multiple disciplines, theories and philosophies. Students consistently comment how his teaching is dynamic, passionate and creative. Additionally, Dennison is well versed in program assessment and development, including addressing risk management, curriculum, faculty and student related needs.
SOLE benefits from his expertise in these previously mentioned areas, as has Dennison, because he believes his glass is always half full! Dennison’s personal pursuits mesh well with his chosen field, so when he is not driving the SOLE vision you can find him pursuing academic research, in the backcountry of North Idaho or floating down a desert river corridor.
Joy Jansen, PhD | Education Advisor
Dr. Jansen comes to SOLE with an extensive background in working with adolescents and adults with neuropsychological dysfunctions. As SOLE’s Education Advisor, Dr. Jansen provides professional consultation regarding program development, facilitation, and assessment to ensure that SOLE meets the individualized education needs of each participant. In addition to actual program consultation and development this also includes providing Special Education professional development opportunities for our team to ensure that we continue to provide our participants with exceptional programming opportunities supported by evidence-based best practices and methodologies. Dr. Jansen continues to be instrumental in the development and execution of our licensed adventure therapy program – Journey Experience SM program, and our Experiential Learning Center – SOLE Academy SM. In both instances Dr. Jansen has helped to develop curriculum and supporting programming which addresses and develops executive functioning and other life skills in our participants.
Dr. Jansen obtained her PhD in Education with a cognate in neuropsychological deficiencies from the University of Idaho and holds a M.Ed. in Special Education with an emphasis in learning disabilities and transition from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In addition to volunteering her time at SOLE, Dr. Jansen serves at the Director of Special Education for Lake Pend Oreille School District and serves on several boards and committees, including Kaniksu Health Services. Prior to these positions, Dr. Jansen created and directed a Learning Center for two therapeutic boarding schools – Boulder Creek and Northwest Academy. There she cooridnated and facilitated Special Services for the students and provided professional development opportunities for their faculty and staff. Dr. Jansen also previously served as the Director of Special Education for the Paradigm Charter High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. There she developed, managed and coordinated Special Education and transition services for students; was the primary contact for parents and outside professionals relating to the academic, emotional and behavioral needs of students receiving special education services; provided training and consultation to school staff, teachers and parents; assisted students in creating, as well as, implementing structured strategies to promote and attain both academic and personal success. In addition, Dr. Jansen was appointed as Charter School Representative for the Utah State Special Education Advisory Panel.
Dr. Jansen began her professional career as a Special Educator in the North Carolina public school system. Following this tenure she was employed as an educational researcher for the Center of Prevention of School Violence. Dr. Jansen has also worked on the postsecondary level. She held the position of learning specialist in the office of Learning Disability Services at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and University of Idaho continuing to serve those in need. Dr. Jansen also served as a Special Education Instructor at the University of Idaho where she instructed pre-service teachers on various Special Education issues.
Understanding the importance of collaboration across fields, Dr. Jansen spent two years under the mentorship and guidance of Dr. Sam Goldstein conducting neuropsychological assessments and providing counsel for individuals of all ages. Through this experience she was able to provide guidance to both academic professionals and parents in understanding a child’s academic and behavioral struggles, as well as, create and implement individualized plans which met the need of each student.
To support her professional development, Dr. Jansen has spoken at local, state, and national conferences, as well as, has published works on various educational topics including ADHD and learning disabilities. Currently, Dr. Jansen is the managing editor for the Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development to be published in 2012.
During her time off Dr. Jansen can be found enjoying the backcountry of North Idaho or traveling to a novel setting with her immediate and extended family.
Jamie Esler, BS | Program Coordinator | Field Instructor
Over the course of the last nine years Jamie has strived to become an effective and inspirational educator. Jamie received his Bachelor’s of Science in Geology and Earth/Space Science Education and is a licensed educator in the State of Idaho. He continues to serve as an educator at Lake City High School in North Idaho, and was recently recognized as the 2014 Idaho State Teacher of the Year. In recognition of his diligence and professionalism, Jamie has served as a Teacher Fellow with the University of Idaho Intermountain Climate Education Network (ICE-Net), and currently serves as an Extension Lecturer for the University of Washington Program on Climate Change and “UW in the High School” program. SOLE provides educators like Jamie an excellent opportunity to connect students from all across the Inland Northwest with the most powerful place for learning – our natural world. As a board member and advisor Jamie will be assisting in the development and implementation of our Fieldwork Experience programming. When Jamie’s not developing curriculum or grading papers, Jamie can be found in his kayak, knee-deep in a telemark turn, or hiking with his family. SOLE is fortunate to have an educator like Jamie – one who is innovative, dynamic, and driven. When participants experience Jamie during a SOLE Experience they are challenged and equally rewarded.
Kirk Bachman | Field Instructor
Kirk’s passion for snow started with skiing as a young boy growing up in the mountains of Idaho and Wyoming. He worked for the Idaho State University Outdoor Program in the late 70’s. Upon graduating he moved to the Stanley, ID where he has lived and worked in the Tetons and Sawtooths as a climbing and ski guide since that time.
Kirk founded Sawtooth Mountain Guides in 1985 and constructed the first “Yurt Hut System” in North America. As an active mountain guide he has established numerous first ascents/descents on skis and snowboard in the Sawtooths and Tetons, as well as doing exploratory ski descents in the Andes of Ecuador over a ten year period. His guiding has taken him to Canada, Alaska, New Zealand and throughout South America.
Kirk has been an Avalanche Education advisor to AIARE while serving as the Chair of the Education Committee for the American Avalanche Association (AAA) for the last ten years. He is certified as an Alpine and Ski Guide for the American Mtn. Guides Association, Level 2 Course Leader for AIARE, and a certified instructor by the AAA.
In 2013, Kirk sold his interest in Sawtooth Mountain Guides but continues to guide there on a part-time basis and teaches Avalanche courses for the guide service in winter and serves as an advisor for the company. He continues to reside in Stanley, Idaho and works as an adventure consultant with his wife, Kelley, two dogs and a cat.
AMGA Ski Guide
AAA Certified Instructor
Level 3 Avalanche
AIARE Level 1 Course Leader
AIARE Level 2 Course Leader
Wilderness First Responder
Sue Purvis | Field Instructor
Susan Purvis comes to SOLE with extensive experience teaching emergency response and leading outdoor expeditions world wide. Where ever her travels take her, Susan has one main purpose – to inspire and empower curious minds. This personal educational philosophy parallels SOLE’s making her a great fit for our Seasonal Experience program.
As evidenced in her own outdoor education company, Crested Butte Outdoors International, based in Whitefish, Montana (www.cboutdoors.com), Susan’s formal education and professional experience is noteworthy. Whether at SOLE or other endeavors Sue strives to teach students of any age and in any part of the world how to think critically in unconventional settings.
Over the past 25 years, Susan had made a living blending several careers: exploration geology, wilderness medicine and avalanche education, expedition and urgent care medic, and a decade as an avalanche dog handler in the high country of Colorado. Susan is an American Institute for Avalanche and Research Education (AIARE) Course Leader. She holds a degree in geology from the University of Montana.
Susan recently finished her memoir, Hang Fire: Adventures with an Avalanche Dog Hander, which is being shopped for publication by literary agents. As an avalanche deployment team with her dog in Colorado, she received Congressional Recognition by the US Congress for her avalanche search and rescue efforts in 2003.
Susan has appeared on television, in film, and dozens of magazine and newspaper articles. She has been a presenter at the Wilderness Medical Society (WMS), the International Snow and Science Workshop (ISSW) and National Association of Search and Rescue Conferences (NASAR). When she is not teaching you can find her boating on the cold, clear rivers in northern Montana or in search of the last great powder stash. SOLE is fortunate to have Susan as part of our team of dynamic and innovative educators, and look forward to SOLE participants gaining valuable education from here wealth of knowledge and experience.
George D’ Angelo | Field Instructor
Starting on skinny skis and leather boots, George soon discovered a passion for backcountry skiing in western Montana, and has skied throughout the Rockies and Cascade Ranges. He has completed both the National Avalanche School, AAA’s Professional Avalanche Worker School, and AIARE Level 3 course, as well as accompanying AIARE ITC courses. George is a professional member of the AAA and has worked for the West Central Montana Avalanche Center, Payette Powder Guides, Sawtooth Mountain Guides, Wallowa Alpine Huts and patrolled at Montana Snowbowl prior to pursuing backcountry powder stashes, and educating others how to do so responsibly. When not coordinating or instructing AIARE courses for SOLE George calls Challis, Idaho home.
Amber Brunner | Field Instructor
Amber was home grown in Sandpoint. After years of traveling and a variety of jobs, she knew a career in the outdoors was her calling. After a semester long course with NOLS studying Outdoor Education, she jumped on the opportunity to bring something to her community. Being able to share her wonderment of the natural world has given her a love of teaching. In addition to her outdoor hobbies, she is passionate about art. She is pursuing further education and experiences to become a stronger leader.
WMI | Wilderness First Responder
WMI | Adult & Child CPR
NOLS | Recreational Level 1 Avalanche
NOLS | Leave No Trace Master Educator
Cody Jahns | Field Instructor
A prodigy student of a winter SOLE GAP Experience SM at Chewela Peak in 2013, Cody has been interested in working in the outdoors ever since. Cody was born and raised in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho where he attended Lake City High School. Currently, Cody is enrolled at North Idaho College for Environmental Science and plans to attend University of Idaho where he will continue his studies to complete his Bachelors’ of Science in this field. When Cody is not in the field with SOLE changing lives he is riding in the North Idaho mountains on a snowboard or motorcycle, or fly-fishing the pristine waters that Idaho to pursue the bounty of native fish which exist. SOLE is fortunate to have Cody as a member of our Field Instructor team. His balance of humor, knowledge of native lore including the infamous Sasquatch, coupled with his calm and confident approach to working with youth is noteworthy and is why he is a favorite of program participants.
Wilderness First Aid Module
Adult & Child CPR
Kip Rand, BS | Program Cooridnator | Field Instructor (1986 -2016)
Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Kip Rand spent his formative years in Boise, Idaho. He attended college at the University of Montana in Missoula, where he received a first-rate education in backcountry skiing, rock climbing, and whitewater kayaking. Sometime while honing his backcountry craft, Kip actually found the time to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Resource Conservation. Kip spent many of his post-college years pursuing the hydrologic cycle, guiding whitewater rafting in the summer and backcountry ski trips in the winter. He lived in Joseph, Oregon, where he was the Director of the Wallowa Avalanche Center. Kip completed his Level 3 Avalanche certificate, was a qualified AIARE Level 1 and Level 2 avalanche course instructor, and was WFR-CPR certified. Kip assisted SOLE in all facets of our avalanche education programs to include the development, coordination, and facilitation of those specific course-types. We were fortunate to have his depth of knowledge and experience on course during the winter months. Tragegically, Kip was killed in an avalanche when exploring the very winter wildlands that he loved – the Wallowas. We are deeply saddened by the loss and are sincerely grateful to all that heart and that Kip put into getting our AIARE avalanche education program off the ground, as well as, the inspiration, passion, and knowledge he passed on to our students. Rest in Peace Kip.