Jonas Cole

Hometown: Thetford, Vermont
College: University of Puget Sound

I lead outdoor experiential education trips for schools and organizations from California to New England and abroad.

A native of Thetford, Vermont, I graduated in 2013 from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, where I majored in science, technology and society and minored in environmental policy. Before enrolling at Puget Sound, I completed a gap year, which included a semester with the National Outdoor Leadership School in New Zealand and three months of conservation work in Argentina and Ecuador. While in college, I balanced my time between playing competitive ultimate Frisbee, leading trips for Puget Sound Outdoors and the new student orientation program, and giving campus tours to prospective students and their families through the Campus Visit Program. I worked as a volunteer backcountry ranger in Olympic National Park during the summer of 2012 and am a certified Wilderness First Responder. Since graduation, I have adopted a seasonal approach to life, working as an outdoor educator around the US and exploring other parts of the globe when winter returns.

In 2013, I led Rocky Mountain Explorer; in 2014, I led Alaska Explorer; in 2015, I led Yellowstone Teton Leadership; in 2016, I led Field Studies Southeast Asia; and in 2017, I led European Explorer. One of my favorite aspects of leading for Overland is experiencing a shared sense of accomplishment when the group overcomes an obstacle. I’ve witnessed that triumphant moment over and over again, from the collaborative creation of an amazing stir-fry to the teamwork needed to rope together and summit the Grand Teton. It’s gratifying and inspiring.