Field Instructor — WFR
Matt Seats, our course director and lead instructor, joined NCOAE in February 2015 – bringing with him years of experience, a passion for outdoor education, and what he calls a love of the natural world.
If you were to glance at his resume you’d see that, following a career as an entrepreneur – and audio engineer – Matt switched professional gears. With a strong desire to teach experientially and an equal drive to sharpen his outdoor skills, he immersed himself in outdoor and adventure education.
He went back to college, receiving an Associate of Arts degree in outdoor education and leadership from Central Wyoming College, and then a Bachelor of Arts degree in Adventure Education and Wilderness Leadership from Prescott College, with a minor in environmental studies and public land management policy.
Born in Orlando, Florida and raised in Williamsburg, Virginia, Matt enjoys writing, rock climbing, backpacking, kayaking, cooking, woodworking and playing guitar — which he says he does poorly (the guitar, not the cooking). He also designs affordable, sustainable, off-the-grid housing and living solutions as a hobby.
A testament to his persistence, Matt has held positions at a number of notable outdoor organizations, including the Nature Conservancy, the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), and Prescott College.
He has been a LEAF Program youth mentor, a wilderness orientation instructor, a kayak instructor, youth and adult development facilitator, and editor of Alligator Juniper. Matt is a published writer, having had articles appear in the Review Review, Lonely Planet Travel Guides, and a bioregional natural resources guide for Prescott College.
Matt holds memberships in a number of organizations, including Mountaineering Club of Alaska (MCA), Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), and Youth Opportunities Program (YOP), and is the founding member of Hampton Roads Outdoor Adventures (HROA) and Prescott Outdoor Adventures (POA).
He is a Wilderness-EMT-B, a Wilderness First Responder, an American Heart Association CPR/AED Instructor, Leave No Trace Master Educator, an ACCT-F1 challenge course facilitator, and he is AIARE Avalanche I certified. In addition, he is certified as a FEMA disaster-housing inspector and a National Home Inspector.
Matt notes that, “Nature offers real-life risks and hazards. The rewards realized from overcoming those obstacles, challenges and consequences can be life changing and immensely positive. I love sharing that process with students.” By blending his newly sharpened skills and life’s experiences, Matt has become invested in the concept of utilizing nature as a vehicle to help others improve their lives.
Says Matt, “Facing and overcoming natural challenges helps us discover what we are truly capable of achieving when we step out of our comfort zones. The lessons we learn outdoors are directly transferrable to our daily lives. I am glad to be a part of helping others discover that.”
Associate of Arts in Outdoor Education and Leadership
Central Wyoming College
Bachelor of Arts in Adventure Education and Wilderness Leadership
Minor in Environmental Studies and Public Land Management Policy
- Wilderness EMT-B
- Wilderness First Responder (WFR)
- CPR/AED Instructor, American Heart Association
- Leave No Trace Master Educator
- ACCT-F1 Challenge Course Facilitator
- AIARE Avalanche I Certified
- FEMA Disaster Housing Inspector
- National Home Inspector
- Mountaineering Club of Alaska (MCA)
- Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC)
- Youth Opportunities Program (YOP)
- Hampton Roads Outdoor Adventures (HROA)
- Prescott Outdoor Adventures (POA)