Nicole Apelian

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Nicole Apelian
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CitizenshipUnited States of America
  • Biology
  • Ecology
Alma mater
  • McGill University
  • University of Oregon
  • Herbalist
  • Survival skills instructor
  • Anthropologist
  • Biologist

Nicole Apelian is a Herbal medicine, a survival skills instructor, an anthropologist, and a biologist.[1] Nicole grew up in Massachusetts and she currently lives in Menlo, Washington.


Apelian graduated with a degree in biology from McGill University before obtaining her Master’s degree in Ecology from the University of Oregon.[2] She completed her Doctorate in Cultural Anthropology in Sustainable Education through Prescott College while working with the Naro Bushmen. Her thesis focused on how sustainable community based tourism may be beneficial to Indigenous peoples.[3]


Apelian joined the US Peace Corps in 1995 and worked as a game warden and field biologist in Botswana.[4] She was also an associate of a Lion research project in the country’s Okavango Delta. The Okavango Lion Research Project was a 10-year study that examined the lives of the Big cat in the region.[3]

Nicole Apelian also works as an adjunct professor at Prescott College, with a focus on ecotourism and Traditional knowledge. She founded the company Eco Tours International in 2006.[3] One of the group’s primary guides, Apelian specialises in tracking wild animals and leading safaris in Southern Africa. This also includes The Origins Project, a non- profit organization that she co-founded with Jon Young. This involves working with San people in Western Botswana to preserve traditions and maintain culture.[5]

Holistic wellness and herbalism

Apelian was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2000, and since then, she has been dedicated to holistic wellness, herbalism, and wild foods. She credits this as being responsible for managing her symptoms.[4] In 2012, Nicole Apelian began making herbal salves and infusions,[6] which led to her opening Nicole’s Apothecary. She has also written three books, including The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies, which focuses on the use and function of medicinal plants in North America and A Forager's Guide to Wild Foods; Edible Plants, Mushrooms, Lichens, and Seaweeds.


Apelian appeared on season 2 of the History (American TV network) TV program Alone (TV series) She was one of the first women to be included in the show, and she survived for 57 days in a remote area of Vancouver Island.[7] She later returned to the show in season 5, but her appearance was cut short after experiencing a multiple sclerosis attack.[8]

In 2018, Apelian worked as a consultant on Debra Granik's Leave No Trace (film).[9] The movie is based on a true story of a man and his 13 year old daughter who were homeless and lived in the Oregon forest.[4] Apelian trained actors Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie in survival skills and worked on script authenticity; providing notes on how they would have lived in the wilderness.[1]

In 2020 Apelian appeared in the documentary miniseries Surviving the Stone Age on UK Channel 4.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Nicole Apelian". IMBd. Retrieved 2021-09-22.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. "Survive and Thrive Pacific Country Woman's Philosphy". Chinook Observer. Retrieved 2021-09-22.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Linkedin Profile". Linkedin. Retrieved 2021-09-22.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Bowen, Peter. "Dr. Nicole Apelian". Bleecker Street (company). Retrieved 2021-09-22.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. Jacobson, Rebecca (2018-10-17). "This Banana Slug–Eating Survivalist Will School You on Wilderness Skills". Portland Monthly. Retrieved 2021-09-22.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. "A Message From Sturgis". Prescott College. Retrieved 2021-09-22.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. O'Keefe, Meghan (2016-04-21). "Going 'Alone': Survivalist Nicole Apelian On Being A Woman On History's Harrowing Hit". New_York_Post. Retrieved 2021-09-22. {{cite web}}: Text "Decider" ignored (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. Maple, Taylor (2018-06-07). "These TV Stars Were Once Trapped Alone In The Wild — Now They're Doing It Again". Bustle. Retrieved 2021-09-22.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. Granik, Debra (2018-12-12). "Step 1: Scout the setting; Step 2: Interview the locals; Step 3: Write 'Leave No Trace'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2021-09-22.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

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