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Syllabus
PRT-5960-70 Wilderness Risk Management Course

Instructor
Kirk L. Nichols, M.S.

Coordinator of Natural Resource Recreation Planning and Management

Liaison, National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) (Outdoor Recreation)

Contact Information
Office: ANNEX 1107

Phone: (801) 581-7519

Email: kirk.nichols@health.utah.edu

In order to receive optional college credit for Wilderness Risk Management Conference, registration and payment for credit is due to NOLS before the conference begins.

Complete the following steps at least ten days prior to the conference start date:

Complete and return the University of Utah College Credit Registration form to NOLS: Click here (pdf)

  • Address:
    284 Lincoln Street
    Lander, WY 82520-2848
    USA
  • or Fax: 307.332.1220
  • Submit payment of $67.50 per credit hour payable to NOLS. (NOTE: The cost per credit is subject to change approximately every two years.)

Grade Scale: Credit/No Credit
All paperwork (documentation of attendance and Action Plan) is due on the second Friday after the end of the conference. E-mail delivery preferred. (e-mail to kirk.nichols@health.utah.edu ).

Transcripts

To receive an official transcritpt, you must make a request directly to the University of Utah. You’ll find the instructions online here: http://www.sa.utah.edu/regist/transcripts/transcripts.htm.

Transcripts are not available until February 10.

Credit Requirements

  • Attendance Option 1, 2 hrs. PRT 5960-70 credit: attendance of all session periods and evening presentations of the Wilderness Risk Management Conference (documentation required) (19 hrs of attendance) plus a 7-10 page, typed (word processed) Action Plan (described below) which will be accepted only during the two weeks following the close of conference (e-mail to kirk.nichols@health.utah.edu ). In addition to the attendance requirements, a score of 70% (compared to expectations of an entering graduate student) on the written Action Plan, or higher, is required for credit.
  • Attendance Option 2, 2 hrs. PRT 5960-70 credit: attendance of all session periods and evening presentations of the Wilderness Risk Management Conference (documentation required) (19 hrs of attendance) plus full attendance at the All Day Pre-Conference Workshop (8 hrs of attendance) plus a 3-5 page, typed (word processed) Action Plan (described below) which will be accepted only during the two weeks following the close of conference (e-mail to kirk.nichols@health.utah.edu ). In addition to the attendance requirements, a score of 70% (compared to expectations of an entering graduate student) on the written Action Plan, or higher, is required for credit.
  • Attendance Option 3, 2 hrs. PRT 5960-70 credit: attendance of all session periods and evening presentations of the Wilderness Risk Management Conference (documentation required) (19 hrs of attendance) plus full attendance at the Half Day Pre-Conference Workshop (4 hrs of attendance) plus a 6-8 page, typed (word processed) Action Plan (described below) which will be accepted only during the two weeks following the close of conference (e-mail to kirk.nichols@health.utah.edu ). In addition to the attendance requirements, a score of 70% (compared to expectations of an entering graduate student) on the written Action Plan, or higher, is required for credit.

Course description
The Wilderness Risk Management Course will educate wilderness practitioners on risk management and practical safety skills, share field and administrative techniques and raise the overall standards in the wilderness adventure industry. The conference is sponsored by the Wilderness Risk Manger’s Committee, a national consortium of outdoor schools, guide services, organizations and land managers, who are working towards better clarification, understanding and management of risks in the wilderness.

Students will design their own learning experience by selecting from a broad variety of class sessions. The complete pre-conference and conference sessions total 27 hours of instruction. Student will design the number of hours attended and written paper details to fit their needs as described above in the three attendance options. Past class session titles have included: Crisis Management, Legal Issues, Working with the Media, The Psychology and Sociology of Judgment for Outdoor Leaders, Critical Incident Stress Management for Outdoor Programs, Topic for University and Outdoor Programs, Assessing Risk When Developing New Programs, Analyzing Accidents, Staffing Issues, Safeguarding Your Insurance, Search and Rescue for Outdoor Leaders, Volunteer Leaders, plus much more.

Action Plan Goals
The completed plan will provide a foundation, motivation, and timeline for integrating information from the Wilderness Risk Management Conference into a program of your interest.

Action Plan Requirements
Depending upon the attendance option chosen, this plan will require between 3 and 10 pages of word-processed, one inch margins, 11 or 12 font, double-spaced typing. Tables may or may not be appropriate for some portions of the Action Plan. You must write in full sentences using proper English grammar.

For all options chosen, each of the numbered steps below must be addressed. Papers using the longer paper requirements will require more detailed planning per step, or the paper will be applied to several risk management targets. If you are working for or volunteering for an organization, please work with your administrators on this project. If you are a student and your school has an outdoor program of some type, see if they will work with you on this paper. Questions involving the appropriateness of this assignment and your work or school situation must be resolved before this course begins so an alternative written assignment can be designed in advance.

Written Action Plan Steps

  • Organization Information:
    1. Describe your organization (public school, non-profit education, therapeutic, commercial guiding, etc.), your outdoor settings, and course or activity type, duration, difficulties, etc.
    2. Describe your organizational hierarchy.
    3. Describe your organization’s strengths and weaknesses in the areas of wilderness risk management.
  • Target a Risk Management Weakness: (longer papers may have more than one objective, however, take each target objective sequentially through the following steps and then write through the steps for the next objective and so on)

Choose an area of risk management that you can affect within your organization (e.g. instructor training, field activity protocols, behavior management protocols, venue choices, hazard assessment, hiring practices, legal paperwork, advertising brochure descriptions, evacuation plans, etc.)

  1. State a specific objective that you will accomplish.
  2. Write out the steps you think will be needed to accomplish each objective (e.g. who to meet with, what to discuss, information gathering and sources, etc. leading to final objective.)
  3. Estimate a time table (set specific calendar dates) for each of the steps and set an estimated date for the final implementation of the objective.
  4. Estimate a budget for implementation.

 

  • Adversities
    1. Describe the main blocks to developing and implementing your improvements in your organization’s wilderness risk management plan. Thinking about these in advance will allow you to plan and find allies for your implementation.
    2. For each block-to-progress, write a solution or approach to overcoming the potential difficulty.
    3. Estimate a time table for each of the solutions for overcoming the potential difficulty.
    4. Write out an on-going evaluation plan which includes dates and “landmarks” for accomplishing segments of your plan. Passing “landmarks” is great for your morale.
 
 
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