NAOI Directors


About Us

The North America Outdoor Institute (NAOI,) is a non-profit corporation founded in June 2004 by a group of concerned parents, outdoor enthusiasts and professional outdoor safety educators.

Our mission is to reduce the incidents of unintentional injury and deaths by providing exciting, captivating programs on outdoor safety and environmental awareness as a public service for students in 4th through 12th grades and public outdoor recreation enthusiasts of all ages.

Collaborating with professionals from AAA, AIARE, ASAP, H2O Guides, Utah Avalanche Center, UAA, APU and the Anchorage School District, we have developed Be Snow and Summer Smart. Our interactive awareness presentations are geared toward the general public and targeted to provide practical knowledge everyone can use delivered in an engaging format.

Our interactive wilderness and avalanche awareness safety programs are loaded with helpful tips and hands-on practice outdoor enthusiasts that live, work and recreate in the outdoors want and need to know.

Our instructors can provide custom outdoor training for seasoned veterans or first timers.

NAOI Reports & Updates

Providing custom outdoor safety education programs that are practical and useful
  • Winter Survival
  • Avalanche Awareness
  • Glacier Travel
  • Wilderness Travel Skills
  • Youth and Adult Programs
  • Search and Rescue
    Ask about custom training for your company employees or organization members.
We Have Instructors Certified In
  • Avalanche Awareness
  • I, II, III
  • Wilderness First Aid
  • Outdoor Emergency Care
  • High Angle Rescue
  • Glacier Travel
  • Cold Water Dive & Rescue
  • American Mechanized Ski Guide I & II
  • (Endorsed by Heli Ski US)
  • More than 100 years combined experience
Richard Desautel - President -Alaska Marine Pilot. Program and business management support.
Alex Eaton
Andrew Romano – Vice President – US Military, Alaska Dept. of Defense employee
Joe Rucker
Joe Rucker – Secretary – Mat-Su Borough teacher. Program support, advisor & supporter.
Nigel Guest
Nigel Guest - Treasurer - Chief Financial Officer for Wendy's Alaska. Program supporter and advisor.
Skylar Stewart
Skylar Stewart - Director - Wells Fargo Bank, Palmer, Alaska Branch Manager.
Sean Wisner
Sean Wisner - Director - Alyeska Pipeline Service Company - Valdez Fire Department
Greg Shepard
Greg Shepard - Director - Real Estate Broker - Prudential Jack White Real Estate, Mat-Su Valley
Debra McGhan - Executive Director/CEO - Business manager, writer, logistics support, program choreographer, program advisor

Instruction Team

Dorothy Adler – NAOI Education Director, SOLO Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician Instructor, Professional mountain guide and trainer.
Shelley Plumb - Alaska Wild Plant Specialist and instructor for Wilderness Medical, Wilderness Safety and Be Snow Smart training programs
Jacob Shultz
Jacob Shultz - Paramedic, WEMT, Avalanche II and general program instructor
Sarah Carter – AIARE Avalanche Instructor III, Education Director AAIC
Tom Mattice - Juneau Emergency Manager, Avalanche III Trainer, SEAIC Director



Dean Cummings – Professional mountain guide and former world champion skier. Owner of H2O Heli Guides, avalanche professional eductor
DP Palmer, PhD – Alaska Pacific University.
Daniel Dryden – Professional instructor, NOLS Instructor, avalanche level I, II