Cornell Tree Climbing Institute



There are now nearly two hundred Cornell Outdoor Education PE instructors. We are a highly committed group of talented men and women interested in sharing our love of the outdoors with you. We wear many different faces. We are students in everything from natural resources to Asian studies. We are undergraduate and graduate students. We work in the COE instructor staff at 2008 FAST (Fall All Staff Training), Credit: T. Minercommunity as teachers, physicians and farmers. We range in age from 18 to 53. About half of us are women.

Many of us started as students on a COE course. We became impassioned about what we had learned and wanted to share that knowledge with others. We went out on our own and gained confidence in our skills. We took more courses. Eventually we applied to teach for Cornell Outdoor Education PE programs and after a long hard interview we were accepted as assistants. As our teaching and leadership skills improved we began to instruct more courses and were able to touch more people. We grew as individuals and as leaders and found that the skills we learned as instructors had profound positive effects on our lives.

All of us have dedicated many hours to developing the competence, confidence and judgment to lead groups safely in the outdoors. We are strong leaders who have a solid foundation in technical skills, group dynamics and minimum impact techniques. We teach everything from whitewater kayaking to natural history. Many of us have trained at or led trips for other organizations such as Outward Bound, the National Outdoor Leadership School, SOLO, the American Canoe Association, and the Cornell Outing Club. Throughout the year we continue to attend staff trainings to refine our skills. We maintain current first aid and CPR certifications.

Above all, we are committed to making your experiences the best ever. Make a COE course part of your Cornell experience. You won't regret it!


Working for COE
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Instructor Profile - Dan Somrack '12
Dan Somrack was born and raised in Newbury Ohio, a small town near Cleveland. He got started in the outdoors with the Boy Scouts. He is the third Eagle Scout in his family. He is studying Electrical and Computer Engineering and will graduate in 2012. He is a Resident Advisor in Clara Dickson Hall and the Microsoft Student Partner for Cornell. Dan is on the Land Staff and teaches Hiking and Camping courses. He enjoys backpacking in New Mexico when he get the chance and raising pigs, cows, and alpacas on his family farm. He plans to drag all of his hall students out to one of his classes by the end of the year. 
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