Jason Knight, founder of the Wilderness Awareness School Residential Program (now called the Anake Outdoor School), became involved with Wilderness Awareness in 1997. He created the Residential Program in 1999 and served as its director and primary instructor until the spring of 2007. Through the Residential Program and many other contributions, he had played a major role in growing Wilderness Awareness from a small group of outdoor skills enthusiasts into a well-established organization fulfilling its mission of bringing wilderness skills to children. After eight years of running the Residential Program and working towards expanding college and adult courses, a new organization emerged.
In 2007, Jason Knight co-founded Alderleaf Wilderness College, an organization fully dedicated to providing college and professional level wilderness courses for adults. Through Alderleaf Wilderness College, Jason and his colleagues were able to expand and improve upon their vision of providing comprehensive college-level training programs in wilderness survival, animal tracking, medicinal plants, outdoor education, and other aspects of Traditional Ecological Knowledge.
Alderleaf Wilderness College offers the Wilderness Certification Program, a ten-month course on the applications and teaching of wilderness skills. Participants benefit from a highly experienced instructional staff and become professionally certified to teach and work in the environmental fields.