About José

Dr. José H. González is a Boricua, born and raised in Puerto Rico. He started his outdoor education professional career in the 90's working for major organizations, including Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, Thompson Island Outward Bound Center, Sail Caribbean, Dartmouth College Outdoor Programs, Plymouth State University, SDSU Mission Bay Aquatic Center, and NOLS. In addition, he was an assistant professor at California State University Northridge and an associate faculty at Prescott College. Below is a timeline of José's trajectory in the industry.


During the summers of 1989-92, I worked for Guajataka Scout Reservation doing canoeing, backpacking, and rock climbing five days expeditions. All the expeditions were self-supported. Most took place in the rainforest and Guajataka Lake of Puerto Rico. Challenging In addition, I became a facilitator of COPE. Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience (COPE) is the name the Boy Scouts gave to the experience that consisted of cables hanging from trees with wooden ladders and other obstacles. Rudimentary beginnings…. But inspiring. After my last summer in 1992, I worked there until 1997, mainly facilitating during the weekends.


During the summers of 1993-95 I worked for Mead Wilderness Base located in Center Sandwich, New Hampshire. At MWB I delivered backpacking expeditions in the Presidential Range of NH and rockclimbing experiences in Pawtuckaway, NH among other expedition elements.


I went to the University of New Hampshire as part of the National Exchange Program. Live in the residence hall outdoor theme (Mini Dorm), took classes in outdoor education, and participated in the outing club events.


During the summer of 1997, I conducted scientific research on Mona Island. I was studying the population of the endemic Mona island iguana.

During the spring of 1997; I joined Encantos Ecotour in which I taught marine science and led adventure-based tours. In addition, I was in charge of running the southwest branch located in Copamarina Resort, Puerto Rico.

1999 and 2001

In 1999, I started working for the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School located in Maine. I worked for the Maine Sea program as well as the Florida Sea program as assistant instructor and instructor. In 2001, I taught for HIOBS during the spring and summer seasons as an instructor for the Florida and Maine sea program.

They had a challenge course with both dynamic and static elements next to the climbing site, an old quarry. In every sailing expedition we will spend time at Hurricane Island, doing a half day in the challenge course and half day of rock-climbing among other activities.


Work at the Hoover Outdoor Educational Center in Yorkville, Illinois as part of my Graduate Assistantship at Aurora University. In addition, I developed and implemented a Leave No Trace workshop for Oak Brook Park District in Illinois as part of their Earth Day celebration. Also as part of the graduate student population in Aurora University, I taught orienteering skills to undergraduate students as part of a 3-credit class during the fall semester of 2000.

Aurora University in Illinois, were I received a Master’s Degree in Recreation Administration with an emphasis in Outdoor Pursuits.


Work for UNH as a Residence Hall director. I took 2 courses in the PhD program in Outdoor Education.

2000 and 2002

The summers of 2000 and 2002 I worked for Sail Caribbean (http://www.sailcaribbean.com) in the BVI and the Leeward Islands. I worked as a captain and assistant program director (see resume). Also, I delivered their advanced leadership program in the Windward Islands, sailing a 50-foot boat unsupported for 18 days and then double-handed the delivery of the boat from Grenada to Antigua.


I instructed for Thompson Island Outward Bound in their sea program and I was invited to do the watch officer training in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010. I did sailing expeditions and the staff training. In addition, I was an OBP staff facilitating teambuilding programs. During the summer I also worked as a CD and part of my duties I was a site manager in the high ropes course.


In 2003, I came back to my native land Puerto Rico and started an adventure based experiential education company. Aire Libre (www.airelibrepr.com) is the name of the company and we have delivered more than 400 programs so far, ranging from corporate teambuilding’s to week long leadership programs for youth in the Spanish Virgin Islands.

In addition, as the founder of Aire Libre I conducted team building for corporate groups with more than 70 clients including Citibank,

Outward Bound Caribbean Semester course established in 2004 from a Grad School Project to a fully enrolled semester course

We are committed to introducing Leave No Trace practices to the community of Puerto Rico as well as a new understanding and set of skills for the greater appreciation of the island. Also in 2003, I started lecturing at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. One of the courses I enjoyed the most was HPER 2220 Outdoor Recreation because of the balance between theory and practice that course presents and an opportunity to shape & build a thorough curriculum in a developing field for Puerto Rico.


Hanover High 2006

Dartmouth College Outdoor Programs delivering experiential education programs to the undergraduate and graduate student population in their newly built challenge course.

Plymouth State University Director and Lecturer (Face-to-Face and Online)

I was invited to be part of the AEE National Standards review team. This volunteer position allows me to serve AEE and to use my expertise in risk management in assessing other programs across the country Conducted a review for Brown University

I conducted the Thompson Island Outward Bound Annual Safety Review for their environmental program and Sea Kayaking Expeditions following the Outward Bound USA Safety Standards.


Joined NOLS Wilderness Medicine faculty

Started teaching ACA Stand Up Paddle Boarding Instructor courses across the country.


Met the other Jose Gonzalez from Latino Outdoors and supported his efforts by training the leaders in Wilderness Medicine.


Started teaching at California State University Northridge


Became a BIC Sport Ambassador

Taught Wilderness Advance First Aid in Costa Rica at the New Summit Academy

Work at SDSU Mission Bay Aquatic Center

Delivered presentations at Adventure 16

Taught Wilderness First Aid and CPR in Chile

Backpacking Trip Torre del Paine, Patagonia


Outbound Collective Pursuit Event

Ambasador for Crokies


Started teaching at CSUN as a tenure track professor in RTM


Taught in Alaska NOLS WFA for Denali NP

Taught in Puerto Rico WFA

Taught NOLS Risk Management for Administrators

Ambassador for SIC Maui

Ambassador for Oboz

Outbound Collective Pursuit Series Safety Manager


Joined the AEE Accreditation Council

Created a virtual module for the NOLS Risk Management for Administrator Training

Created videos for SIC in stand up paddleboarding safety

Leatherman Product tester


Joined Together Outdoors Advisory Council

Taught at Prescott College on Urban Adventure Programming

Conducted a DEI Review at Prescott College Adventure Education Program

Joined Brimstone


Colorado Outward Bound Lead Reviewer for Program Safety

Outward Bound Vietnam Program Review

Paddling Trip in Halong Bay, Vietnam