About Ben

Benjamin Lester is the Curriculum Publications Managing Editor at the National Outdoor Leadership School. From NOLS headquarters in Lander, Wyoming, he helps guide publication of the school’s lines of educator notebooks and student textbooks. He enjoys writing about himself in the third person, and going on runs with his giant chocolate labradoodle, Kobe.

Before moving to Lander, Ben spent time at NOLS Pacific Northwest, in Conway, Washington, where he maintained the facility, the NOLS sailboats, and generally did battle with the forces of entropy. Before joining the NOLS family, he worked a ship’s carpenter aboard Tole Mour, a 156-ft schooner operated by Guided Discoveries, Inc, and as 3rd mate, engineer, and bosun aboard Spirit of Massachusetts, an educational vessel operated by the Ocean Classroom Foundation. He also served as bosun aboard the Amistad, and wrote about science for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, in Chevy Chase, Maryland, Science magazine, in Washington, DC, and Cosmos magazine, in Sydney, Australia. He has also worked aboard the schooner Virginia, and the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater.

Benjamin graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2006 with a BS in Ecology and Evolution. Between high school and enrolling at UCSC, he spent 18 months building and sailing on the twin 110-foot brigantines Irving Johnson and Exy Johnson. The Johnsons are operated as sail training vessels for at-risk youth by the Los Angeles Maritime Institute.

He is a native of South Pasadena, CA, and attended the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, where he focused on photography. His photographs have appeared in Science, COSMOS, the NOLS catalog and Leader, and at His writing has appeared in COSMOS, Cosmos Online, G: The Green Lifestyle Magazine, Science, ScienceNOW,, and the website and Bulletin of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Resume (June 2011)

Outdoor Resume (February 2010)


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