Eli Shostak

Eli Shostak
Lecturer of Adventure Education


  • M.S., Experiential Education, Minnesota State University, Mankato, 1999
  • B.A., Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1995


  • Mindful leadership: Designer and facilitator of numerous mindful leadership workshops and retreats for diverse populations
  • Expedition planning and leadership: Hundreds of weeks in the field leading courses for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and numerous other programs in areas including Baffin Island, the western USA and Mexico 
  • Place Based Education: Research in the application of experiential education to facilitating place-based education and awareness.
  • Adventure and travel writing: Essays and articles included in numerous adventure-based publications
  • Sea-kayaking: Lead expedition guide for multiple seasons in Baja California and paddling instructor for a variety of sea kayaking programs 
  • Backpacking: Developed new backpacking course areas for the National Outdoor Leadership School and Fort Lewis College
  • Colorado Plataeau Cultural and Natural History: Work with programs on the Colorado Plateau to provide cultural and natural history education


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About Eli Shostak

Highlighting the importance of experience in personal development and belief is integral to Eli’s work. From boardrooms and classrooms to mountains, canyons, deserts and beaches, Eli Shostak has spent over 25 years facilitating experientially based educational programs for a variety of audiences. Eli’s belief that adventures takes many forms has motivated him to continually craft courses in which students are encouraged to practice and develop their skills, explore and expand their self-awareness and train their bodies and brains to support who they want to be in this life. 

Before joining the Adventure Education Department at Fort Lewis College, Eli worked with some of the top adventure education schools, guide services and retreat providers in North America where he developed a deep conviction that having a thorough knowledge of each thread we weave into the tapestry of our lives results in the most vibrant fabric. Eli consistently uses his background in experiential education, mindfulness and leadership to deliver innovative curriculums that inspire his students to unplug, refocus and practice leading from the calm, centered place that they discover when given the tools and encouragement to go there.

Selected Publications and Presentations 

“Developing Environmental Ethics Through Place-Based Awareness,” PYXERA Global Strategy Week Workshop, Washington DC, 2018.

“Blood or Damage: How to Protect Yourself from Constant Interruption in a 24/7 World,” Aspen BusinessLuncheon Series. Aspen, CO, 2016.

“Framework for Focus: Maintaining Clarity in the Digital Age,” Sales Force Dot Com (SFDC) Sales RenewalTeam Retreat. Mendocino, CA, 2016.

“Keeping Your Seat in a Sea of Distraction,” Association for Talent Development, Colorado Springs Chapter Meeting. Colorado Springs, CO, 2016.

“Clear, Focus Apply: How to Manage Digital Distraction in the Data Hurricane,” Vistage Executive Summit,San Francisco Chapter. San Francisco, CA, 2016.

“Have Better Sex, Live Longer and Make More Money,” Gathering of the Titans Conference, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Boston, MA, 2015. (Designer)

“Each Step and Offering,” Chicken Soup for the Runner’s Soul, Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing LLC.2010.

“A Field Guide to Sensing Places,” Newsletter of the National Outdoor Leadership School, NOLS Press, 2007.

“Baffin to Baja: Seasonal Migration and the Guiding Life,” Da Kine Packs Adventure Series at SchweitzerMountain Resort. Sand Point, ID, 2007.

“Gentes del Viento,” Matter Journal #9, Wolverine Farm Publishing, 2006.

Professional Connections

  • National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)
  • Leave No Trace (LNT)
  • Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI)
  • Deer Hill Expeditions
  • Crow Canyon Archaeological Center 
  • Canyon Country Discovery Center