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October 12, 2010

Contact: Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin
(307) 335-2328

Dr. N. Stuart Harris Receives National Outdoor Leadership School Alumni Service Award

Lander, WY. Massachusetts General Hospital faculty member, Dr. N. Stuart Harris, has been awarded the prestigious National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) Alumni Service Award. The NOLS Alumni Service Award is given to a devoted alumnus who has served the school in exemplary ways as NOLS pursues its mission to teach leadership, conservation, and outdoor skills.

This year’s award recognizes Dr. Harris for forging a unique partnership between the Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency (HAEMR) and NOLS’ Wilderness Medicine Institute, coined Medicine in the Wild. Medicine in the Wild is the ultimate combination of wilderness medicine, leadership and medical education in a remote environment. It is ideal for the 3rd or 4th year medical student looking for a uniquely challenging opportunity to practice medical decision-making in a backcountry setting. This is an unparalleled opportunity to gain proficiency in wilderness medicine; peer leadership, communication and teamwork skills; wilderness travel and living skills; and medical education techniques. No other medical school elective offers this breadth of curriculum or a true extended wilderness expedition.

Over the past six years, 75 students have participated in NOLS’ Medicine in the Wild courses, which have taught them not only to be competent clinicians, but more effective leaders. HAEMR has actively supported Dr. Harris in his efforts to join NOLS on several of these courses, lending a hand, teaching, and mentoring the students as they learn medicine from an entirely new perspective.

“Stuart has shown how creative and enthusiastic NOLS grads can contribute to the school’s success,” said Tori Murden McClure, Chair of NOLS’ Board of Trustees and presenter of the award. “Stuart brought more than just an excellent idea to the table, he also made it all possible. Without Stuart’s contribution of vision, skills and tenacity, this unique and important facet of the NOLS program would not exist.”

About NOLS:

Founded in 1965 by legendary mountaineer Paul Petzoldt, NOLS is the leader in wilderness education, providing awe-inspiring, transformative experiences to nearly 14,000 students each year. These students, ages 14 to 70, learn in the wildest and most remote classrooms worldwide—from the Amazon rain forest to rugged peaks in the Himalaya to Alaskan glaciers and Arctic tundra. Graduates are active leaders with lifelong environmental ethics and outdoor skills. NOLS also offers customized courses through NOLS Professional Training, and the Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS is the leading teacher of wilderness medicine worldwide. For more information, call (800) 710-NOLS (6657) or visit

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Dr. N. Stuart Harris Receives National Outdoor Leadership School Alumni Service Award. (Left to right: Tod Schimelpfenig, Gates Richards, Dr. Stuart Harris, Shana Tarter)
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