Faculty Profile: Miles Nolte explores the world in writing

Miles Nolte grew up in Hawaii, lived in Botswana, published a book in Alaska, runs a fly fishing guiding business in Bozeman and is also a part of MSU’s English department. The author of “The Alaska Chronicles,” Nolte also writes a column for Gray’s Sporting Journal and other freelance work which takes him to fishing destinations around the world. He works as the tutor development coordinator for the MSU Writing Center.

Nolte received a bachelor’s degree in English and world literature from Pitzer College in Claremont, California in 2001. A college professor told Nolte to stop trying so hard to be a writer and to go explore, and find something to write about along the way. Nolte did just this and instead of writing he traveled and focused on other life adventures.

Upon graduating Nolte was hired as the program coordinator for a cultural immersion program in Botswana, which he participated in as a student the previous year. Nolte spent a year and a half in Botswana and then traveled sub-Saharan Africa for four months before moving back to the U.S.

Planning to move to Venezuela to teach at a language school his acquaintances were starting, he bought a plane ticket to Venezuela and moved back to Hawaii for nine months to save money. During his time there, he worked as a carpenter, janitor and waiter. Two weeks before his plane left for Venezuela, political turmoil shut down Venezuela, forcing Nolte’s friends to evacuate. Still wanting to leave Hawaii, he decided to move temporarily to Bozeman to fish, ski, wait tables and work on graduate school applications. That was 12 years ago, today Nolte calls Bozeman home.

In 2005 Nolte began publishing articles in fly fishing magazines. He also traveled to Alaska to be a fishing guide in Bristol Bay, Alaska. Living in a tent, Nolte decided that the experiences he was having should be written down. Using satellite internet, he began publishing a semi-daily account of his adventures. After returning from Alaska, Departure Publishing contacted Nolte wanting to turn the stories into a book and “The Alaska Chronicles” was published in 2010.

Nolte began at MSU as an advisor for the First Year Initiative, which focuses on at-risk first year students. He also began co-teaching a CLS 100 class and saw a number of bright students who needed help communicating ideas. Previously, Nolte planned to stay away from teaching but the work he was doing changed his mind. “This is work I think I want to do even though I swore I was never going to be a teacher, this feels really important to me,” Nolte said.

Nolte completed his master’s degree in English at MSU in 2012 with a focus in rhetoric and composition. He now teaches writing and literature. He designed an outdoor Lit 110 class for non-majors as a way to attract students who are not interested in literature, but are interested in outdoor pursuit, to get something out of the course.

Nolte brings a student-centered approach into all of his classes. “I want students to be able to come out of those classes feeling like they learned something that is going to be useful to them, more than they just fulfilled a credit.”