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Jim Ratz Memorial Scholarship

Jim's commitment to sharing of knowledge and practices in the field of outdoor education is a legacy to us all.

Jim Ratz (1952-2005) was a passionate mountaineer, father, and husband dedicated to outdoor education and the preservation of wilderness. As NOLS Executive Director (1984-1995), Jim was instrumental in the creation and vision of the inaugural Wilderness Risk Management Conference.


Call for Proposals Application

Application deadline June 24, 2016

Past Awardees:

The Wilderness Risk Managers Committee was formed while Jim was the Executive Director of NOLS. Jim, along with Tod Schimelpfenig, then Safety Director at NOLS, convened the first meeting of the committee in June of 1992. The original motivation for starting the committee was to increase communication within the profession of outdoor education about common risk management issues. The meeting marked the first time that professionals in this field gathered specifically to share resources and establish a communication network. The committee met again in 1993 and convened the first annual national risk management conference in 1994. The WRMC has gone on to educate thousands and has left a mark on outdoor and wilderness education.

In recognition of this Outward Bound, the Student Conservation Association, and NOLS sponsor an annual scholarship for a WRMC participant in Jim's name. The scholarship will go to either current instructor/practitioner of adventure education, or to adventure program administrator or director.

If you would like to support the WRMC Jim Ratz Memorial scholarship fund, please contact Gabi Kilko-Jackson at or at 307-335-2222.

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