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    2013 WRMC Speaker Biographies


A Deb Ajongo photoDeb Ajango has presented nationally and internationally on the topic of risk management, emergency action planning, and wilderness medicine for nearly 20 years. In addition to presenting at the WRMC, she has presented at a variety of conferences on the topics of risk management, emergency action planning, medical screening, and med-legal. Deb currently serves on the risk management committee for SCA, is on the board of Alaska State Parks, and is on the steering committee for travel abroad. Deb has a Master of Science degree in Clinical Psychology and has been an instructor for Wilderness Medical Associates for more than 20 years.
B Jarrod Ball is the Northwest and Alaska regional program director for the SCA’s young adult programs. He has led youth and adult trails teams, instructed trails maintenance and construction, and spent winters working as a professional ski patroller. Prior to his move to the outdoor industry, Jarrod evaluated and mitigated risk as a small business owner, manager, and officer of a title insurance agency. An Idaho native, he can now be found skiing, climbing and generally recreating with his family outside of Seattle, Wash.
  Stacy Bare photoStacy Bare is a climber, mountaineer, and skier. He deployed to Iraq 2006-2007 as an Army captain and received a Bronze Star for Merit. Outdoor activity helped him overcome challenges associated with post-traumatic stress and reintegration anxiety. He is a proud graduate of the University of Mississippi and received a graduate degree in city planning from the University of Pennsylvania. He co-founded Veterans Expeditions in 2010 and now serves as the director of Sierra Club’s Mission Outdoors.
  katie baumKatie Baum Mettenbrink brings 10 years of experience as a program administrator and field instructor at NOLS. She is the staffing coordinator at NOLS Professional Training, a senior NOLS field instructor, and also works as a consultant and administrator at NOLS Risk Management Services. Before coming to NOLS Professional Training, she supervised faculty and risk management as the program manager at NOLS Alaska and accumulated over 120 weeks of field experience on extended wilderness expeditions.
  Rebecca Bear currently works as REI Outdoor Programs and Outreach manager overseeing REI’s education programs both in-store and in the field. She directs the instructor training program and supports REI’s risk management committee. Prior to working at REI, Rebecca served as the chair of risk management committee for Passages Northwest and worked with Outward Bound International. Rebecca has an Ed.M. from Harvard University and a certificate in Sustainable Business from Bainbridge Graduate Institute.

KC Bess has been having a great time on rivers for the past 12 years. From rafting in the U.S., Canada, and New Zealand, he has gained a great appreciation for the power and risks involved in spending time around moving water. As an instructor for Rescue 3 International, KC has worked with professional river guides, firefighters, para rescuers, Coast Guard rescue swimmers, and Navy SEALs.


Eric Bonin has been working to create amazing outdoor adventures for people of all ability levels for over 15 years. Currently, he is managing a year-round program for Splore, a nonprofit which provides whitewater rafting, rock climbing, canoeing, and winter sports for people with disabilities and disadvantages. Eric has had the privilege of sharing the Wasatch, Adirondacks, Green, and other parts of the Appalachian Mountains with people who have visual, physical, emotional, developmental, and hearing impairments.


Tony Clapp was born and raised in Colorado and has practiced law there since 1996. Prior to practicing law, he was a fly fishing and whitewater rafting guide. Tony also taught skiing at the National Sports Center for the Disabled. He is a current member of the Winter Park Ski and Ride School and the executive director of CatSki U.S., a not for profit trade association serving backcountry snowcat tour operators in the United States.

Janine Donald is the executive director of Splore, a Utah-based nonprofit that provides outdoor adventures to people with disabilities and disadvantages. Janine’s career in the outdoors started with a life-changing semester with SCA in Canyonlands National Park. From there, she worked for a wilderness therapy company for a few years, spent a season as an outdoor education instructor in California, and then joined Splore in 2007.

  Sylvia DresserSylvia Dresser has worked in experiential education for over 20 years, as a school librarian, trainer for Project Adventure, and executive director of the Association for Challenge Course Technology. In all of these and other roles, she has provided informal coaching to others. In 2010, she started her business, Third Season Consulting, providing coaching and consulting services. Sylvia is certified as a Leadership Coach.

Todd Duncan has managed and directed adventure, research, and education programs on five continents. He specializes in developing new programs and has been creating and running programs in Hawaii and Belize for 10 years, where he also served with the Wildlife Conservation Society as manager for Glover's Reef Marine Research Station. After two years as the director of Safety and Student Life for the School for Field Studies (SFS), Todd now helps administer operations as program safety manager for the Sierra Club.


F John Fair has 15 years experience as a course instructor, instructor trainer, and program administrator. He has a master’s in education with an outdoor education emphasis and is the director of EPIC Adventures at Eastern Washington University. John is an independent risk management consultant, an instructor with Wilderness Medicine Training Center, and a course provider for the Professional Climbing Instructors Association.
  Bill Frederick is the founder of Lodestone Safety International, a training and consulting company specializing in health, safety, and security for educational organizations operating abroad. Prior to that, he served at the School for Field Studies for eight years and Outward Bound for 16 years. He is a faculty committee member for Wilderness Medical Associates. He holds an master’s in education from Harvard University and a CTH from the International Society of Travel Medicine.
John Gans graduated magna cum laude from St. John’s University in Collegeville, where he received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a minor in physics. He began his career with NOLS as an instructor in 1981, was named director of NOLS Alaska in 1984, and director of operations in 1990. In 1995 he was selected executive director of NOLS where he is responsible for overall strategic planning, mission leadership, and building an institutional community and commitment with 1,200 faculty and staff members. Prior to coming to NOLS, John worked with colleagues to found an experiential secondary school in New Hampshire where he developed the math and science curriculum and created their outdoor program.
  Laurence Gonzales was born in St. Louis, Mo. and grew up in Houston and San Antonio, Texas. He is the author of the bestseller Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why and the sequel, Surviving Survival: The Art and Science of Resilience. Laurence has won many awards, including two National Magazine Awards and the Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. He has appeared as a speaker before groups ranging from the Santa Fe Institute to Legg Mason Capital Management, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is now at work on a nonfiction book about the crash of United Flight 232 at Sioux City, Iowa, July 19, 1989. It will be published by W.W. Norton in the spring of 2014.
  John Gookin, Ph.D. has worked in search and rescue for over 40 years. He has been on hundreds of missions as a deputy coroner, special deputy sheriff, and SAR Commander in Fremont County, Wyo. He wrote the National Weather Service brochure Backcountry Lightning Risk Management and the book NOLS Bear Essentials. John is the NOLS Curriculum and Research manager.
  Wilma GrayWilma Gray, born in Ontario, Canada, received her bachelor’s degree from Queen’s University in 1984 and J.D. from New College of California in 1996. Wilma has been practicing law since being admitted to the California Bar in 1997, joined McNamara Law Firm in California 1998, and became a partner in 2005. Wilma is a member of the State Bar of California, the American Board of Trial Advocates, the American Bar Association, the Contra Costa County Bar Association, and the Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California. When not working in trial or deposition, she loves to get outdoors to enjoy hiking, canoeing, biking, skiing (cross-country and downhill), and snowshoeing. She spends her winter recreation time volunteering at the Disabled Sports USA Ski School at Alpine Meadows at Lake Tahoe.

Reb GreggReb Gregg is a Houston, Texas attorney specializing in outdoor adventure and education law. He is a member of the WRMC Steering Committee, the Accreditation Council of the Association for Experiential Education, the Board of the Independent Schools Experiential Education Network, and the Risk Management Committee of Outward Bound International. Reb serves as legal counsel to the Association for Challenge Course Technology and to a number of adventure programs including summer camps, college and secondary school outdoor programs, challenge course, and zip line operators and builders. He is a frequent lecturer and writer and honoree of the Charles (Reb) Gregg Award, established by the Wilderness Risk Management Conference in 2009.


Catherine Hansen-StampCatherine Hansen-Stamp is an attorney in Golden, Colo. She advises recreation and adventure providers on law, liability, and risk management issues. She speaks and writes on these issues both regionally and nationally, and has presented at the WRMC since its inception in 1994. Cathy provides legal counsel to a variety of organizations, including recreation, adventure and sport program providers, camps, schools, outfitters, and guides. She is a member of the Wyoming and Colorado Bar Associations and co-authors for ACA Campline and the Outdoor and Recreation Adventure Law Center with Reb Gregg.
  Gennifre Hartman photoGennifre Hartman is a visionary who has spent the past decade redefining experiential education and what can be accomplished academically by making the world a classroom. As principal and founder of The Traveling School, she began leading student expeditions to exotic and unpredictable destinations in 1996. She has traveled extensively with teenagers through the Himalayas, along the Indian Ocean, and within the Amazon rainforest – devoting her life to teaching students about outdoor adventures and foreign travel.
  Kevin Heiner is an avid adventurer, conservationist and outdoor leader. He believes in providing opportunities to people from all walks of life to become connected to the outdoors and to create future stewards of those touched by the outdoors. Kevin is currently the program director for the Southwest Conservation Corps where he directs youth, young adult, and veterans programs in Durango, Colo. He also served as a firefighter in the U.S. Air Force and has bachelor’s degrees from Western State College in business and recreation.

Jerry Isaak profile pictureJerry Isaak is the outdoor program coordinator and an adjunct instructor of physical education and sport at Eastern Oregon University. He received an MSc in outdoor education while studying as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar at the University of Edinburgh and has worked as an expedition leader and guide in Canada, the U.S., Morocco, Scotland, Austria, and the Arctic.


Jeff JacksonJeff Jackson is an award-winning educator who brings a business management perspective that spans adventure tourism, economic development, health care, and education. Jeff is a professor and coordinator of Algonquin College in the Ottawa Valley's Outdoor Adventure professional guide training diploma, where he oversees 18,000 student field days per year and teaches courses in leadership, ethics, marketing, risk management, and business planning. He is co-author of the widely adopted textbook Managing Risk: Systems Planning for Outdoor Adventure Programs.
  Renny Jackson has been climbing for 40 years, 34 of which served as National Park Service climbing ranger and mountain rescue and helicopter short-haul rescue specialist in Grand Teton and Denali National Parks. He is a recipient of three Department of the Interior Valor Awards and co-authored A Climbers’ Guide to the Teton Range. Renny's extensive climbing and alpine experience includes six Himalayan expeditions including two to Mt. Everest, the first ascent of the North Face of Cholatse, and an ascent of the southwest ridge of Ama Dablam. He was an instructor at the Khumbu climbing Center in Nepal in 2009 and 2012 and a ski patrolman at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort for 10 years.
  Stephen Javorski is a Ph.D. candidate in the Outdoor Experiential Education program at University of New Hampshire and holds a master’s in Wilderness Therapy from Naropa University. He has over 15 years of experience as a field instructor, program director, facilitator, and wilderness therapist. He currently studies incident and clinical outcome trends in NATSAP and OBHIC programs, teaches in the Outdoor Education and Social Work departments at UNH, and is on the TAPG leadership council.

David Johnson, MD is a practicing emergency physician with nearly 35 years of clinical practice. He has been a medical consultant, educator, and lecturer for a variety of outdoor educational and service organizations throughout North America and abroad.



Tracey KnutsonTracey Knutson is a licensed attorney whose primary practice involves working with recreation and adventure sports commercial operators, public land administrators and recreation oriented educational groups. An experienced trial lawyer, Tracey defends recreation companies and sports groups from liability claims, often negotiating pretrial conclusions that minimize time and expense. In addition, she provides risk management and training services. Tracey's belief, when it comes to recreational endeavors, is that risk and opportunity exist simultaneously. Learning how to maximize the opportunities in your recreational endeavors by minimizing or mitigating the risks is a key component of operating a quality adventure sport or recreational endeavor or business.
  Alex KosseffAlex Kosseff is the director of the Outdoor Safety Institute and author of the AMC Guide to Outdoor Leadership. He has assisted over 50 outdoor education, recreation, and conservation programs in improving their risk management practices. In his former role with the Appalachian Mountain Club, Alex developed risk management systems covering 9,000 annual volunteer and professionally led outdoor programs. He lives in Bozeman, Mont. and enjoys climbing, skiing, paddling, and exploring the Yellowstone ecosystem and beyond.

Drew LeemonDrew 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.


Erica Linnell is a senior instructor and lead WEMT educator for the NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute. Erica worked as a guide, outdoor educator, and NOLS field Instructor for 10 years in mountaineering, backcountry skiing, and backpacking throughout the western US and Alaska. In 2003 an injury sidelined her from big expeditions and she became a NOLS program supervisor and the Women's Initiative coordinator where she mentored faculty and supervised field risk management. At the same time she began her work as an urban EMT and ski patroller. While she loved working as an emergency care provider she missed teaching and thus came to WMI to combine her background in mountain travel, education, and medicine. She currently lives in the Teton Valley with her husband AJ and their dog Rue where she leads WMI classes and trains telemark ski instructors.


Melanie MacInnisMelanie Mac Innis is the Sierra Club Outdoors assistant director for volunteer engagement. Melanie supports and trains volunteers to lead in the outdoors for the Sierra Club. She leads day hikes, backpacking, and river rafting trips as a volunteer and as a commercial guide. She's an open water swimmer, a whitewater guide instructor, and a first aid and CPR instructor. Melanie's undergraduate and master's degrees are in the humanities from San Francisco State University.
  Brendan MaddenBrendan Madden is the Rocky Mountain program director and national safety chair for Outward Bound Canada, previously director of Hulbert Outdoor Center in Vermont. He has spent most of the last two decades as a senior instructor and program director at both NOLS and Outward Bound.
  Will MarlingWill Marling earned his undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate degrees in a variety of disciplines. In 2000 he was trained by the National Organization for Victim Assistance© (NOVA) and added to his skill set and experience base in responding to people in crisis. His praxis has been informed as a responder to a variety of national and international events from violent crimes to natural disasters. Will was appointed to executive director for NOVA in July 2007.

Frances MockFrances Mock is an attorney specializing in advising outdoor education and recreation programs. She is counsel to NOLS, Outward Bound, and other clients providing advice about responding to serious incidents, claims, and lawsuits, as well as other matters such as ADA compliance, liability release forms, contracts, and general risk management. Frances worked as a Class V whitewater rafting guide, cross country skiing instructor for special needs populations, and in other adventure-based industries for 10 years before becoming an attorney.

  Angie Moline, Ph.D., teaches environmental science courses on the Colorado Plateau, often hours from definitive care. She directs the Summer Conservation Experience and Grand Canyon semester at Northern Arizona University. She is an aquatic ecologist whose research focuses on the conservation and management of desert streams and springs. Angie has taught field-based courses across the western U.S. and Mexico for NAU, the Wild Rockies Field Institute, the Audubon Expedition Institute, Prescott College, and Outward Bound.

Timothy J. Moore serves as the director of Recreational Sports at Boston University. Previously, Timothy served as the director of recreational sports and director of the Outdoor Pursuit Center at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Miami University (Ohio), assistant director of the outdoor program at Illinois State University, and as a consultant for projects involving collegiate and community recreation facility and program design, leadership, and organizational development. Timothy completed his bachelor’s degree in leisure studies and master’s in education at Iowa State University. He has served as an adjunct instructor in the Miami University Teacher Education Department and as an instructor of outdoor recreation and leadership development for the physical education program and Sloan School of Business at MIT. Timothy has also authored several articles and is currently working on a textbook chapter in the area of outdoor recreation and education program administration. He is a past president and founder of the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE) and is a professional member of the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA). Tim is active in environmental projects in his community and enjoys sailing, hiking, and fitness activities.


Jaime Musnicki has been working in outdoor education since 2000, spending the last 10 years in various positions with NOLS. She has accumulated over 225 field weeks for NOLS teaching mountaineering, backcountry skiing, hiking, and rock climbing courses. Additionally, Jaime has spent the past four winter seasons helping to run the NOLS winter program out of Teton Valley, Idaho. She has also filled various other NOLS program-related roles in Alaska, Wyoming, the Pacific Northwest, and India. Jaime recently accepted a half-time position as the executive director of the American Avalanche Association and plans to continue her NOLS field work in conjunction with this new professional role. She lives in Victor, Idaho and enjoys exploring the surrounding mountains during all seasons, especially winter.


Steve Neal, risk management officer for Outward Bound USA since 2007, has been a risk management and safety professional for 37 years. After an early career as a paramedic, he developed a keen understanding of the importance of proactive loss prevention. His career spans his current position with Outward Bound; nine years as risk manager for the City of Portland, Maine; 20 years in the ski industry focusing on insurance, safety, and risk management; and six years as a licensed insurance professional providing loss control and claim services to the outdoor recreation industry. A native Mainer or "Maniac", Steve enjoys sailing, biking, skiing, and all the outdoor activities New England has to offer.

Paul NicolazzoPaul Nicolazzo is a professional in the outdoor field with over 35 years experience leading trips, training staff, and designing and managing outdoor programs. His professional writing includes the Art & Technique of Wilderness Medicine, Case Studies in Wilderness Medicine, the Wilderness Medicine Handbook, Effective Outdoor Program Design & Management, the Site Management Handbook and numerous articles. He has extensive technical and field expertise in general mountaineering, ski mountaineering, rock climbing, canyoneering, and all inland whitewater and expedition paddle and rowing sports. He is the director and president of the Wilderness Medicine Training Center Inc. and lives in Mazama, Wash. with his wife and son.



Jeremy Oyen has worked in the outdoor education industry for 25+ years at the local, regional, and national level. He is the current Curriculum and Training coordinator for REI Outdoor Programs and Outreach and is responsible for alignment and development of the REI Outdoor School National Program curriculum including classroom and field programs. He joined the REI team in April 2011 after working for the American Canoe Association and Cleveland Metroparks Institute of the Great Outdoors.


Donald Pachner worked at a respected international brokerage firm for 25 years before turning his outdoors and environmental volunteer work into a business 10 years ago. His growing insurance brokerage firm Pachner & Associates specializes in insurance for outdoor recreation, outdoor and nature education, environmental conservation and research organizations, trail associations, and outdoor clubs around the U.S. He has authored articles for the American Mountain Guides Association Mountain Bulletin and American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education Instructor Newsletter and teaches AMGA professional development courses for mountaineering guides and guide services. Outside of work, he volunteers with Sierra Club, Audubon, and other outdoor and conservation organizations.
  Bruce PalmerBruce Palmer is NOLS’ admission and marketing director, a position he has held since 1990. During his tenure NOLS enrollment has grown from 2,500 to more than 17,000 students annually. As NOLS’ primary media coordinator and spokesperson, Bruce has handled communications with written, radio ,and television press on positive stories and in times of crisis. Web, blog, and social media are all employed by NOLS as part of its crisis communications arsenal.
  James Pearson has 30 years' experience in business law, business management, and consulting. He has received a Martindale-Hubbell top AV rating for attorneys and is president of Pearson & Paris, P.C., a prestigious Denver, Colo. law firm which emphasizes commercial transactions and litigation, real estate, insurance, and recreation law. James has an extensive background in business transactions and litigation and he routinely advises on matters related to both. He founded the RiverReach Youth Initiative (now known as cityWILD), an organization that helps young people gain a sense of responsibility to their community and environment, rewarding participating youth with recreational outings. He holds bachelor’s and Juris Doctorate degrees and lectures frequently in the areas of business and related liability issues including recreational liability. He is also a past contributing editor for Adventure Travel Business Magazine and American Bicyclist.

Thom Pollard is an award-winning director of photography, producer, editor, and still photographer who has worked extensively both domestically and around the globe. He has filmed in the most extreme situations, from the death zone on Mount Everest to the re-creation of an ancient reed ship voyage from Chile to Easter Island. Thom is also a successful public speaker, translating his adventure and filmmaking experiences into inspiring visual presentations for audiences across the United States. He is a member of The Explorers Club and the American Alpine Club.


Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin is a field instructor, blogger, and diversity and inclusion (D&I) manager at NOLS, where she has facilitated numerous workshops aimed at helping field instructors and staff members foster a more inclusive environment.
  Gates RichardsGates Richards is a senior instructor for the NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute. Gates has been involved in outdoor education and EMS since the early ‘90s. Over the years, he's worked outdoor programming throughout the Rocky Mountains, Pacific Northwest, and Alaska. He's worked urban EMS in Washington, D.C.; Seattle, Wash.; Gunnison County, Colo.; and is an Intermediate EMT in Lander, Wyo. Gates began teaching for WMI in 1998 and now bears the title of NOLS WMI special programs manager. He oversees WMI's Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT) and Instructor Training programs and is a Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine.
  Billy Roos has been actively involved in outdoor education since 1973 as an instructor, course director, medical screener, and facilities manager. He has worked with the Outward Bound safety department since 2004 and currently serves as director of safety for Outward Bound USA. Billy is also a member of the WRMC Steering Committee.

Pam Rosal is assistant manager of the NOLS Rocky Mountain River Program. Her personal mission inspires her to use relationship and conversation to build space for people to grow. Tools for the journey include resilience principles, vulnerability, building relationship skills into coachable progressions, emotional courage, and a willingness to experiment.


Jennifer Royall is a nationally certified educator who spent over 15 years in the classroom. With a master’s in education from Lesley College and a bachelor’s from Duke University, Jennifer first learned the importance of incorporating outdoor education, community service, and a rigorous academic curriculum at the Chadwick School in Palos Verdes, Calif. Today, as The Traveling School’s program and curriculum director, Jennifer directly oversees semester programs in both Latin America and southern Africa.



S Jay SatzJay Satz is the Northwest Regional vice president at SCA, where he serves as a senior risk management advisor. He joined SCA 25 years ago leading a conservation crew of teens and recent immigrants to the Seattle area. He has served as program manager, traditional skills instructor, and vice president of program and safety for SCA. As a member of the WRMC steering committee since 1995, Jay is committed to building a community of dedicated professionals to support each other in our important work.
  Todd SchimelpfenigTod Schimelpfenig has been a NOLS instructor since 1973. He is a volunteer Search and Rescue Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT) and is currently the curriculum director of NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute. Tod was the NOLS risk management director for eight years and the NOLS Rocky Mountain School director for six years. He served on the board of the Wilderness Medical Society for three years and founded the Wilderness Risk Manager’s Committee. Tod authored NOLS Wilderness Medicine and co-authored Risk Management for Outdoor Leaders. He was the recipient of the 2010 Charles (Reb) Gregg Wilderness Risk Management Award.
  Aaron Slosberg’s love for travel and adventure has brought him to over 25 countries around the globe. His passion for Latin America has repeatedly called him back to the region as a teacher, volunteer, guide, and traveler. After spending half a year working and volunteering in Guatemala in 2007, Aaron found the perfect vehicle for sharing his eclectic global interests through Where There Be Dragons; he has been fueled by the inspiring people and places encountered along the Dragons' path ever since. Aaron was awarded a foreign language and area studies fellowship to support his study of Indonesian language and history. Aaron is a Wilderness First Responder, avid surfer, and strong believer in the transformational power of travel.
  Steve Smith of SCASteve Smith, WRMC Steering Committee member, has greatly enjoyed (and grown from) his association with all three of the WRMC’s sponsoring organizations. He is the national director of risk management for the SCA, providing risk management tools and resources for students and staff in all 50 states. A two-time NOLS alumnus, he has also served over 15 years at Outward Bound as a mountaineering instructor, staff trainer, staffing manager, and board member. While at Outward Bound, Steve hired and trained hundreds of staff and wrote sections of Outward Bound’s Trainer’s Manual and Instructor Manual. As a consultant and employee, he helps outdoor programs identify the relationship between their mission and their organizational risk tolerance—and uses trainings, policies, and systems to align operations to that risk tolerance. Based out of Seattle, he routinely finds humility climbing in the North Cascades.
  Will Smith, MD, Paramedic, FAWM, is an emergency medicine physician currently practicing in Jackson, WY and is clinical faculty for the University of Washington School of Medicine. Locally, he serves as the medical director for Grand Teton National Park, Teton County Search & Rescue, Jackson Hole Fire/EMS, and on a national level serves on the National Park Service EMS Advisory Council and recently also on the American Heart Association First Aid Subcommittee for the 2010 guidelines. Dr. Smith is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve and has completed numerous overseas deployments to both combat zones (Iraq twice) as well as other remote areas to practice austere medicine (Egypt, Panama, El Salvador, and most recently Croatia). His combat experience, prehospital EMS experience as a Paramedic, as well as his technical Search and Rescue skills have lead to numerous speaking engagements and consulting in Wilderness and Emergency Medicine around the world.
  Jeannette Stawski serves as executive director for the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE). She has worked as an LNT Master Educator, a NOLS instructor, a wilderness medicine instructor for the Wilderness Medical Training Center, and an EMT. Jeannette has a bachelor’s in resource policy and behavior from the University of Michigan and is a Certified Association Executive [CAE]. Jeannette completed 11 years as the director of Outdoor Adventures at the University of Michigan. Prior to working for U of M, Jeannette worked for five summers as a professional outdoor guide. Jeannette has two children Gretel, 8 and Thor, 5. She enjoys open water swimming and is currently learning the sport of skate skiing.
  Cynthia B. Stevens, MD is a Board certified psychiatrist and certified psychoanalyst. She is a cum laude graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine. She completed her postgraduate medical training at Georgetown University and George Washington University Medical Centers and is a clinical professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the George Washington University Medical Center. Cynthia has been nationally recognized for her outstanding contributions to medical student and resident education and has been awarded the Golden Apple Award for Outstanding Contributions to Residency Teaching and Education four times. She is a fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine and a Wilderness First Responder as well as a NOLS graduate. She has a long standing love of the outdoors and has hiked and climbed in the Wind River Mountains and in many of the major mountain ranges of the world.

Paul Stonehouse, PhD, is associate professor of outdoor leadership at Simpson University in Redding, Calif. His interests lie in moral philosophy, theology, and wilderness travel by foot and canoe.



Justin Talbot is the director of wilderness programs and risk management at the High Mountain Institute in Leadville, Colo. HMI's defining program is the Rocky Mountain Semester, a semester-long academic and wilderness program for high school juniors. HMI also offers a Summer Term, wilderness medicine, avalanche, and other custom courses.
  Shana TarterShana Tarter is the assistant director for NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute. In addition to two decades of experience in wilderness medicine and outdoor education, she chaired the Wilderness Risk Management Conference Steering Committee for five years.

Liz TuohyLiz Tuohy has worked at NOLS for 19 years, serving as field instructor, admissions officer, and program director for NOLS Rocky Mountain overseeing risk management, staff performance, student outcomes and curriculum. She currently leads NOLS Risk Management Services, which offers consulting and training to organizations internationally. Liz is chair of the WRMC Steering Committee.


V Becky van Horsen has been working to create amazing outdoor adventures for people of all ability levels for over 10 years. Currently, she is managing a whitewater rafting program for Splore, a nonprofit that provides whitewater rafting, rock climbing, canoeing, and winter sports for people with disabilities and disadvantages. She has had the privilege of sharing the American, Klamath, Rogue, Colorado, and Green rivers with people who have visual, physical, emotional, developmental, and hearing impairments.

Mark Vermeal is vice president of safety for Outward Bound, USA. He is responsible for developing and implementing strategies that enhance a culture and climate for risk management for thousands of participants and staff nationwide. Mark has over 15 years experience at the director level and managing staff at organizations like the SCA and White Mountain School. Mark has been a WEMT, wilderness medicine instructor, classroom teacher, and is a certified AMGA Rock Instructor. He has presented at the WRMC since 2007.


Dr. Will White, LCSW, is the co-founder and clinical supervisor of Summit Achievement. Summit Achievement is a licensed adolescent residential treatment program with a wilderness component located in Stow, Maine. Will has worked with challenging adolescents for over 27 years. His doctoral dissertation traced the evolution of wilderness therapy through critical leaders and incidents. Will is a frequent speaker and writer on the topic of wilderness/adventure therapy.

Jed WilliamsonJed Williamson, M.Ed. is the past president of Sterling College in Va. He is co-author of the AEE Accreditation Standards for Adventure Programs, editor of Accidents in North American Mountaineering, and co-designer of the "Live, Learn, and Teach" graduate program in experiential education at UNH. He has conducted over 70 risk management reviews and accident investigations for schools, colleges, and adventure programs.



Y Dave Yacubian is co-owner and lead consultant for Ready SF, a San Francisco based company specializing in risk management and emergency preparedness. He also works as a consultant and trainer for NOLS Professional Training and instructs for NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute. From 2005-2010, he was the risk management director for NatureBridge. Since 2006, Dave has volunteered and served on the board of directors of ETC, an organization that provides outdoor adventures for disabled participants. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and two daughters.

Lester Zook directs the Outdoor Ministry program at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg Va. In addition, he owns WILD GUYde Adventures—a guide service for taking families, camp groups, scout troops, and individuals climbing, caving, and paddling in the Shenandoah Valley, along Virginia's Blue Ridge, and in the caves and mountains of West Virginia's Allegheny Front. His doctorate is from the University of Virginia, and he is a member of AMGA, PCIA, and NSS. He and his wife have four children and one grandson.





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