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Risk Management Services Overview:

Manage uncertainty and improve practices.

Whether you are working to build a thorough risk management plan or test established strategies, our four specialized services empower you to manage risks within the context of your time, budget, and organizational priorities.


Administrative Risk Management Training
$ | 2 days (16 hours) | Building Stage
Objective: To build or improve a comprehensive risk management plan. An open-enrollment seminar offered at predetermined locations.
Outcome: Improve your curriculum, administrative process, staff hiring, field support services, and crisis planning.

Customized Staff Training
$-$$$ | 2-3 days | Established Stage
Objective: To identify and refine staff training priorities using case studies and protocols from your organization. Outcome: Enhance staff performance through customized training.

Risk Management Consulting
$$$ | 3-10 days | Building or Established Stage
Objective: To provide a professional assessment of risk management strengths and deficiencies. Outcome: Identify specific opportunities for improvement in your risk management strategies with a targeted list of recommendations.

Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC)
$ | 3 days | Building or Established Stage
Objective: To provide practical solutions for challenging risk management issues through an annual three-day event.

Outcome: Connect and learn with other risk managers while sharing risk management practices.

Risk Managment Consultants
Katie Baum Mettenbrink has worked for NOLS since 2003. She is a senior field instructor with over 135 weeks of experience on extended wilderness expeditions in the Western US, Alaska and Chilean Patagonia. She supervised faculty, risk management, curriculum and student outcomes as the program manager at NOLS Alaska and, most recently, oversaw hiring and strategic growth of the professional training instructor pool as the NOLS Pro staffing coordinator. She currently leads NOLS Risk Management Services, which provides consulting and training to organizations around the world. She serves on the steering committee for the Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC) and the NOLS Faculty Summit, and has a B.A. in American history from Princeton University. She grew up in Portland, Oregon and now lives in Lander, Wyoming with her husband, Pat.

Liz Tuohy, director of education for NOLS, is a senior consultant for NOLS Risk Managment Services. She has worked at the school since 1994, serving as field instructor, admissions officer, and program manager for NOLS Rocky Mountain, overseeing risk management, student outcomes, curriculum, and staff performance for 250 staff annually. Her perspective is based on direct oversight of field staff and countless conversations with outdoor, adventure, and international program administrators. Liz is former chair of the Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC) Steering Committee and has a B.A. in biology from Colorado College.

Drew Leemon, director of risk management at NOLS, began his career in outdoor education in 1979 and has held his current position since 1996. He is a past chairman of the Wilderness Risk Managers Committee and is on the steering committee for the Wilderness Risk Management Conference. He has published papers on wilderness injury and incident data and is co-editor of the Manual of Accreditation Standards for Adventure Programming and co-authored Risk Management for Outdoor Leaders.

John Abel has been a NOLS employee since 1991. He has extensive field experience instructing rock climbing courses and instructor course programs. John has also been involved in many sides of internal risk management at NOLS; he has worked as an admission officer, staffing coordinator, and program supervisor. John teaches leadership seminars for NOLS staff and instructs widely for NOLS Professional Training. In addition to teaching Risk Management Trainings, John has created and instructed courses for the United States Air Force, the United States Navy, Google, and the Building Goodness Foundation. He holds an M.A. in leadership and organizational development from the Leadership Institute of Seattle. 

Dave Yacubian has been with NOLS since 2000. In addition to working as a field instructor, he has program supervised in New Zealand, and worked extensively for the wilderness medicine institute with well over 100 courses taught. Dave teaches risk management trainings for NOLS Risk Management Services and has instructed courses for the United States Air Force, Google, and Bowdoin College. Dave is the owner of Ready SF, a San Francisco based company specializing in risk management and emergency preparedness services. He sits on the risk management committees of The Crossroads School and Environmental Traveling Companions and is on the safety committee of Outward Bound California. Dave has two daughters who bring him endless joy and risk management opportunities.

As you progress through the risk management offerings your program becomes more prepared.

Photo: Brian Fabel

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"After working in the outdoor industry for the past 15 years, I am amazed to be able to return to NOLS and still have so much to learn from you folks."

Steve Smith M.A., P.H.R.
Owner and Consultant
Experiential Consulting , LLC

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