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Tilton Receives Prestigious Wilderness Education Award

11 March, 2002

The Wilderness Education Association (WEA) recently awarded Buck Tilton, co-founder of the Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS, with the Paul K. Petzoldt Award for Excellence in Wilderness Education. Established in 1988, the award goes out each year in honor of Paul K. Petzoldt, who founded the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and had a pioneering role in wilderness education. Recipients must be furthering Petzoldt's work by promoting wilderness education and enhancing the public's awareness of the wilderness and the importance of outdoor ethics, skills and leadership.

Tilton has dedicated more than twenty years to the field of wilderness education, working for many years alongside Petzoldt and finally co-founding the Wilderness Medicine Institute in 1990. He has extensive experience with pre-hospital medicine and search and rescue and has reached thousands in the field of wilderness education through WMI, which became an institute of NOLS in 1999. Today WMI runs more than 180 courses annually, from Wilderness First Responder to the Wilderness EMT certification, and has trained thousands of outdoor professionals to handle medical emergencies in the backcountry. Tilton is also a regular contributor to Backpacker Magazine, where he educates the public on how to stay healthy in the outdoors, and is the author of a shelf of wilderness medicine books, including The Wilderness First Responder, and Medicine for the Backcountry.

"For more than a decade, Buck has been the critical influence on wilderness first aid training," says Molly Hampton, NOLS administration director. "NOLS is honored that Buck is now a regular part of our community. He leads the direction for us on the latest wilderness medical curriculum, has a strong vision for wilderness medicine beyond U.S. borders, and inspires us to be better educators."

With the award, Tilton joins the ranks of previous recipients like Ernest "Tap" Tapley, a renowned outdoorsman and mountaineer who, along with Petzoldt, was one of the fathers of modern wilderness education. The Paul K. Petzoldt Award for Excellence in Wilderness Education is, for Buck, a unique honor because Petzoldt had so much influence on his career promoting outdoor education. "The award is really meaningful for me because Paul was my mentor," says Tilton. "He convinced me that wilderness education could be a career and to really believe in something enough to spend most of your life doing it."

Kerry Brophy
Publications Manager
Phone: (307) 335-2271
Fax: (307) 332-8811
National Outdoor Leadership School
284 Lincoln Street
Lander, WY 82520-3140

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