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.

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 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.

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.

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!

Zina Horman

Senior Medical Instructor

I have been fortunate enough to have grown up spending a lot of my time in the outdoors. Primarily recreating in the Wasatch range I split my time between Utah and Sweden with summers in the latter. During my attendance at the University of Utah I began guiding for the university’s outdoor programs, trips, and classes which brought that interest to center stage in my life. My main activities have always skiing and rafting which lent well to my initial careers in jackson ski patrolling in the winter and raft guiding in the summer. After some time guiding I decided to sharpen my medical skills with a Wilderness EMT class. This is where I truly found my passion for medicine; specifically, teaching medicine. I decided to pursue a career in teaching wilderness medicine and currently instruct for Jackson Hole Outdoor Leadership Institute teaching CPR, Wilderness first aid and first responder classes. When I’m not in the classroom, I can be found in another one: pursuing my path to becoming a PA. It is an honor to share the knowledge and experiences I have gained from my time in the outdoors and studying medicine. I’m excited to see you in class!

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.