2018 Workshop descriptions


Pre-conference Workshops

Pre-conference workshops range from half day to 2 days. Space is limited and pre-registration is required.

2 days | Tuesday-Wednesday, Oct. 2-3 | 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Building a Foundation for Understanding Inclusion ($50)

Greta Mills
This workshop will provide participants with the foundation upon which we can build socially responsible and conscientious inclusion policies and initiatives. By critically examining history, psychology, and sociology, we will shift our focus away from what we need to do, and toward what we need to understand. In this non-threatening, interactive workshop, we will unflinchingly examine our identities and hidden biases, and how they inform our responsibilities as agents of change in our respective institutions.

Effective Outdoor Program Design and Management ($500)
Joel Reid
Aaron Ball
The workshop will examine the complex relationships surrounding outdoor program design and management from the field instructor, staff trainer, and program administration perspectives. Our goal is to introduce a comprehensive outdoor program design and management system using clear operational language and concepts. You will leave with a personal development plan for your organization. The workshop is particularly useful to new programs, new program administrators and program directors, and to those reevaluating an existing outdoor program. Tuition includes a conceptual text and small group exercise manual. 

NOLS Risk Management Training for Administrators ($650)

David Yacubian
Nate Ostis

Emily Ledingham

Using lecture, discussion, exercises, and hands-on scenarios, this two-day training will provide a structured approach and the necessary tools to build a risk management plan appropriate for your organization. You will walk away with a detailed action plan designed to improve your curriculum, administrative process, staff hiring, field support services, and crisis planning.

Wilderness First Responder Recertification ($325)

Gates Richards
David Janney

Hands-on, meet online. Enjoy our newly formatted WFR Recertification, which includes an online component in addition to the traditional scenarios and skills. Pre-work allows you to review the curriculum at your own pace, and focus on the hands-on element during your two days on course. You'll just need to complete all online components, including a written exam, prior to the course. Once on course, the scenario-based approach to recertification provides you the opportunity to test your skills against realistic situations. You'll practice and relearn wilderness medicine protocols, review evacuation and decision making guidelines, and receive the latest updates in wilderness medicine over the course of two days. Upon successful course completion you will earn the following NOLS Wilderness Medicine certifications: Wilderness Advanced First Aid/Wilderness First Responder/Wilderness EMT (dependent on your current certification), Adult and Child CPR & Airway Management, and Epinephrine Auto-injector. The WFR Recertification course is pre-approved for 18 hours of EMT Continuing Education Units by CAPCE.

1 day | Tuesday, Oct. 2 | 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

NEW Kanakuk Child Protection Plan Seminar ($75)
Rick Braschler
Child sexual abuse is one of the most litigated events in youth serving organizations across America. This seminar will identify current tactical pitfalls, introduce you to a new, innovative strategy, and equip you with easy-to-implement resources to immediately elevate your child protection efforts.  

1/2 day | Tuesday, Oct. 2 | 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

NEW Simplifying the Roll ($25)

Helen Wilson
This multi-level kayak rolling class will be formatted around the wants and needs of its participants. The class can cover first rolls, other-side rolls, layback or forward finish paddle rolls, hand rolls and/or any of the 35 rolls on the Greenland rolling list. The techniques examined can be used with any type of paddle and any type of kayak. Kayaks and other necessary gear will be provided by Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe. Classes will start and finish at Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe, 200 NE Tomahawk Island Dr., Portland, OR 97217. Please note that this location is about a mile from the WRMC venue.

1 day | Wednesday, Oct. 3 | 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

NEW Psychological First Aid: Train the Trainers Seminar ($145)
Laura McGladrey
Psychological First Aid (PFA) is a crucial first and ongoing intervention to mitigate stress injury (PTSD) formation following near miss and critical incidents in remote settings. This workshop is designed to equip program educators with responsibility in staff training to incorporate psychological first aid into staff education. Participants will leave equipped to integrate PFA modules into staff training, and to act as a local resource for support of near miss and traumatic stress in outdoor and international settings. 

Steering the Ship: Risk Management Training for Senior Leadership ($275)

Steve Smith
Josh Cole
This one-day, interactive workshop will start with an overview of risk management theory, principles, and models; review case studies; and engage participants to apply these concepts to their own programs. Topics will include organizational structure, roles of senior leadership, organizational culture, collecting and responding to safety data, pitfalls to avoid, and being prepared for responding to critical incidents. The benefit of the workshop format is that participants will have an opportunity to apply risk management principles to their own programs while collaborating with peers from other organizations, in order to formulate an action plan to take home. 

1/2 day | Wednesday, Oct. 3 | 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

NEW The Art (and Science) of Giving Bad News: Critical Incident and Death Notifications ($45)
Will Marling
Jay Satz
When a person in responsibility is tasked with conveying bad news in some official capacity, that event changes the life of the hearer. How that task is handled, most likely in the briefest of moments, cannot only become a lifelong memory, it can frame how family members, participants and staff forever view the organization. Learn the key values and cross-cut skills to be an effective communicator of information that will change a person’s life.

Root Cause and Systems Analysis: A Technique for Incident Investigation ($200)
Mark Vermeal
Mike Pigg

Incidents are caused by multiple, interacting, contributing factors, not just a single bad decision or action” (Rasmussen’s, 1997). In this workshop you will learn a variation of root cause analysis to help prioritize factors contributing to an incident after a system wide analysis of your organizations safety management program. This process enables investigations to identify and address the origins of a problem,  as opposed to just symptoms. Only when investigators are able to accurately determine why an incident occurred will they be able to specify corrective measures that prevent similar future incidents.

1/2 day | Wednesday, Oct. 3 | 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

And the winner is...(?) Hot Issues, Hot Cases ($150)
Catherine Hansen-Stamp
Reb Gregg

In this interactive session, Cathy and Reb will ask attendees to consider several 2017-18 court opinions addressing significant industry legal issues. Participants will consider - and attack or defend - conflicting arguments pertaining to, for example: negligence and the duty of care owed to participants, including minors; inherent risks and assumption of risks; contracts, including releases; the impact of words and conduct; the relevance of standards, practices or laws, and other issues.

Parent Phone Call Practice Lab (Free)
Paul Dreyer
Test your conflict communication skills in this interactive parent phone call lab. Spend three hours preparing for and practicing challenging phone call scenarios and hone your skills by serving as both caller and coach. After each call, the "parent," an experienced program administrator, will offer feedback to help you develop your skills. We will review successes and persistent challenges, and you will leave with strategies for applying lessons learned in your own program.

Orientation | Wednesday, Oct. 3 | 3:30 p.m.-5:00 PM

First Time Attendee Orientation (Free)
WRMC Steering Committee
New to the WRMC? Feeling overwhelmed, or unsure how to interpret workshop descriptions? Or maybe just curious about how to make the most of your time at the conference? You're not alone! Join members of the WRMC Steering Committee for an orientation. We'll break into small groups and go over the schedule and event options, offer tips, help you identify workshops that will help you meet your goals, and answer whatever other questions you have. You'll also have the chance to meet other attendees and make connections before the opening reception. We hope to see you there!

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A poster session will take place on Wednesday night during the opening reception in the exhibitor hall.

Wednesday, 5:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
NEW EEG Analysis of Competition Rock Climbers 
Andrew Bailey
Rock climbing is a "mental" sport, where the ability to function through stress is imperative. This study explored the mental processes of climbing competitors in action, determining predictors of success. Electroencephalography, or EEG, is a method of recording electrical activity in the brain using electrodes attached to the scalp. Thirty-five climbers at a bouldering competition wore EEG headsets during a route attempt. Findings indicate that a “relaxed excitement” during the crux of a climb predicts one-third of the variance in successful completion of the climb. Practical implications are given for personal and professional contexts.

NEW Emotional Safety Leads to Better Conservation Work: What an Exemplar Study of SCA Field Leaders Tells Our Industry About the Role of Emotional Safety in Programs 
Josiah Downey
Since 2012, Student Conservation Association (SCA) has partnered with the Search Institute, a recognized leader in youth development research and practice, to evaluate and improve SCA programs. This poster will share the results of an exemplar study of outstanding SCA field leaders, which found that leaders who focus on the emotional safety of their participants see better quality conservation work as a result. Learn more about the findings and their implications for the wilderness industry.

NEW Federal Mandate Compliance and How it Applies to Outdoor Recreation and Education 
Daniela Cross
Christine Upton
As outdoor recreation and education professionals, risk management is paramount. We want our programs to be able to mitigate as many risks as possible so that our employees and participants can enjoy the natural world in a positive and supportive manner. This poster will address several federal mandates as they apply directly to outdoor recreation and education programs, including the Cleary Act, Title IX, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. We will also be available to discuss the risks or implications of being non-compliant, as well as what steps you can take as a professional to better protect your participants, your employees, your organization, and yourself as an individual.

NEW Managing Risk By Understanding Trauma 
Jenna Westendorf
The prevalence of childhood trauma has been receiving increasing national attention. Without an understanding of trauma, instructors not only risk re-traumatizing students, they also place other students and instructors at risk. This poster will describe evidence-based methods to both reduce the risk of re-traumatizing students as well as to manage trauma responses that occur in the field.  

NEW Recognition and Care of Drowning Incidents 
Anna Johnson
Drowning victims can present unique challenges for emergency response in remote environments. This poster includes terminology use and case studies from different types of drowning incidents, as well as tips for prevention, recognition, and providing care in the field.

NEW Resilience Engineering Meets Outdoor Risk Management 
Morgan Reynolds
Outdoor recreationalists have survived many unforeseen challenges and some, like Yvon Chouinard, claim “...when everything goes wrong, that’s when the adventure starts.” However, in high risk environments, everything going wrong can have serious consequences. This poster examines recreationalists extending beyond their capabilities by identifying some general resilience engineering concepts as they relate to outdoor risk management practices.

NEW The Human Behind the Factor: A Brief Look at How Context Informs Practice in Backcountry Users
Laura Maguire
This poster describes a pilot study using ethnographic research methods in the context behind how successful recreational backcountry users approach a day in the backcountry. The method was beneficial in eliciting novel insights from study participants that allow for rich qualitative descriptions to accompany quantitative and survey research in developing injury prevention programs for avalanche terrain.

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Presentation Descriptions

Keynote Address 

Friday, 7:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
On Top of the World 
Luanne Freer
High-altitude medical emergencies, logistically difficult helicopter evacuations, sudden violent storms, language disparities, and personal discomfort are but a few of the challenges encountered in running an emergency room on the world’s highest mountain. Dr. Luanne Freer started out an ordinary ER doctor, but her passion for the mountains pulled her to Yellowstone and then Nepal. Everest ER is now in its 16th year. Dr. Freer tells the story of combining profession, passion, and philanthropy on her unlikely journey of exploration and improvisation in wild places.

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Emergency Planning & Crisis Response

Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
CORE Crisis Management: A Preplan in Action
Drew Leemon
Katie Baum Mettenbrink

Responding to a crisis, such as a participant fatality, presents a complex situation that demands a thoughtful and reasoned response. This workshop will provide attendees with an overview of the five elements of successful crisis management, begin to delve into the complexities of responding to crisis situations through the presenters' personal and professional experience while providing a forum for exchanging ideas and sharing experiences of the audience. Additionally this workshop will provide a starting point for creating a crisis management plan.

Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Expecting the Unexpected 
Todd Duncan
Catherine Hansen-Stamp
Tony Rango

Is your organization ready to manage a serious incident?  Do you have a plan in place and are you prepared to respond?  When you get that call in the middle of the night informing you a participant needs a medical evacuation, who do you call first? Through an interactive format, attendee groups will review case studies  of actual incidents and identify and discuss operational, administrative, and legal considerations for managing incidents. We will review how cases were handled, who did what, and why. This session will help you develop your risk management system, identify elements you need to address, and consider potential issues that arise when dealing with emergencies. The exercise will assist you in gaining a better understanding of how to build a plan to respond to incidents with purpose and intention.

Thursday, 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. 
CORE Media Training: Preparing for the Hot Seat 
Heidi White

Wilderness crises, such as a fatality or serious injury, can quickly spiral out of control and badly damage your organization’s good name. Unfortunately, responders are often left unprepared for the intense glare of the media spotlight. This workshop will provide you with expert insight and proven techniques to respond to media demands and rush to assess accountability. You will learn how and why your outdoors expertise and experience must be reinforced by a heads-up approach. 

Thursday, 3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Small Organization Emergency Response Plans: Where Do I Start? 
John Kelley 

Through the lens of a small independent school, this presentation will reflect upon the creation of an in-house risk management plan. This presentation will provide others with the tools and resources needed to begin the process of creating a current and user-friendly emergency response plan for their institution.

Friday, 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
Near Miss and Expedition Trauma Response: The How of It  
Laura McGladrey
Brendan Madden

There is a growing recognition and support for traumatic exposure that does not result in physical injuries but may result in ongoing or career altering stress responses. This workshop will present a tool-based approach to raise program awareness of near miss trauma, and identify and support stress injuries that may occur in the course of program events.

Friday, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
NEW Walking Towards the Storm: Lessons from a Crisis 
Jonathan Igoe

In 2013, six students and one leader were struck by a car while biking across country on an Overland trip. One of the injured students died the next day as a result of her injuries. This seminar will focus on Overland’s response to the crisis, drawing lessons from our experience responding to the media, engaging with the victim’s families, and continuing operations for over a thousand other students and leaders in the field.

Friday, 1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
CORE Risk Management: The Traumatic Aftermath  
Will Marling

Responding to a crisis, such as a participant fatality, presents a complex situation that demands a thoughtful and reasoned response. This workshop will provide attendees with an overview of the five elements of successful crisis management, begin to delve into the complexities of responding to crisis situations through the presenter's personal and professional experience while providing a forum for exchanging ideas and sharing experiences of the audience. Additionally, this workshop will provide a starting point for creating a crisis management plan.

Friday, 3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
The Foreign and the Familiar: International Emergency Response 
Tim Hare

As many programs move into international settings, both in wilderness education and otherwise, increased attention should be given to the complex variables present when operating abroad. While many lessons from wilderness risk management transfer, many others must be learned. This session will use case studies from an international program to highlight lessons related to unreliable communication, variable medical infrastructure, local hazards, diseases, mental health concerns, and competing stakeholder demands. 

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Field Practices

Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
NEW Cultivating Outdoor Leadership through Storytelling: An Introduction to Relational Public Narrative Practice
Darren Gruetze
Cultural, organizational, and personal narratives that invisibly erode our capacities for connection with nature, interdependence, and inclusion of diverse voices pose a complex threat to successful wilderness risk management. This workshop teaches participants to identify and interrupt harmful narratives and replace them with values-driven, strength-based personal leadership stories that link to broader organizational values. The material targets professionals seeking to develop healthy group cultures and/or working across boundaries of racial, economic, gender/sexuality, and power disparities.

Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Managing a Behavioral Crisis in the Remote Setting 
Laura McGladrey
Will Marling

Outdoor programs nationwide are faced with extreme behaviors that, at best, are disruptive and, at worst, present significant risk for program, participants, and staff. This workshop is designed to help programs identify and prepare for common yet troublesome behaviors that can be managed in the field, and distinguish them from those that represent increased risk and must be managed acutely and evacuated. This workshop will explore and demonstrate meaningful and evidence-based interventions as well as learning techniques for participants and staff in the increasingly likely case of encountering behaviors such as acting out, anxiety states, depression, aggression, and self-harm during programs. This workshop also targets the 'how' of evacuation with out-of-control participants.

Thursday, 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. 
NEW Coming to the Rescue: What Happens During an Emergency Response to a Serious Incident in a National Park
Jay Shields

A serious incident occurs while your group is adventuring in a national park.  You use your Personal Locator Beacon or find cell service to call 911 to call for help. What happens next? Who is going to respond? How long will take? What role does your organization play in the response?  This session will provide an overview of NPS Search and Rescue program, the response process for a lost/injured person versus a fatality, and where your organization fits into the incident command structure during the response.

Thursday, 3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
CORE Case Studies in Wilderness Medicine 
Shana Tarter 

This workshop will explore the real life application of wilderness medicine skills by WFR trained faculty on remote wilderness expeditions. In addition to assessing the usability of the practice and decision-making curriculum taught in wilderness medicine courses, we will discuss the unexpected challenges and realities of long term care. These cases are drawn from actual incidents and include perspectives from the involved faculty. 

Friday, 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
CORE Supporting Struggling Participants: Managing Behavior and Mental Health Issues 
Katie Baum Mettenbrink
Emily Ledingham

Managing behavior and mental health issues, and deciding who should stay or leave the field, can be intimidating and draining for field staff and administrators alike. This workshop aims to help you more effectively support struggling participants who can stay on your program, and identify those who should leave. We will explore continuums of behavior through scenarios, and provide a framework to define thresholds of acceptable behavior and corresponding management tools that fit your program. This workshop is targeted towards administrators and field staff in non-therapeutic programs.

Friday, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
NEW Preventing Lyme Disease and Tick-Borne Infections: What You Need to Know
Jo Ellis

Lyme and tick-borne infections are on the rise throughout the US. The CDC estimates that there are over 300,000 NEW cases of Lyme annually in the US, and Lyme is the fastest-growing vector-borne disease in the nation. Getting bitten by a tiny tick can have serious negative long-term health implications, so it's vital to understand how to prevent tick bites, what to do if you or a colleague/client gets bitten, and what key steps to take to ensure appropriate treatment from health professionals who may not understand the extremely deleterious nature of tick-borne pathogens. Lack of early action following a tick bite can lead to systemic cardiac, neurological, nervous system, and mobility issues - even causing paralysis and death. This session will offer tips, tools, and materials to help keep you and your clients/colleagues safe in the face of this growing epidemic. It's relevant to anyone who wants to protect themselves from potentially debilitating illness. 

Friday, 1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
NEW Is Automation and Technology Derailing Our Ability to Think Critically?
Dave Yacubian

Digital devices have provided many benefits and advancements over the past 10 to 15 years that have assisted outdoor programs in myriad ways. Newly hired staff have grown up in the digital age and technology is their default tool. This workshop will examine a number of incidents where automation and technology contributed to the eventual human error. We will examine where technology usage has impacted decision making in our organizations and discuss alternatives.

Friday, 3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
Building Homemade Shotguns with Pulleys 
Nate Ostis

Building mechanical advantage with pulleys to extricate a fully loaded raft out of a pinned situation on the river can generate incredible amounts force. If these systems fail equipment can propel through the air and cause considerable harm to everyone on scene. When building these systems we must appreciate that what we're really doing is building a homemade shotgun and, if we're not doing it right, we could be pointing it at our whole team. This session will focus on the key principles for building mechanical advantage with sound risk management strategies while looking at a case study where things went wrong. We will walk through creating 3-5-9 (Simple 3:1, Simple 5:1, and Compound 9:1) while practicing the haul sequence itself. Be prepared for a hands-on session and a new lens through which to view the river.

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Legal & Insurance

Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
Top 10 Current Risk Management Issues for Recreation Providers
Tracey Knutson

There are very specific areas of law, specific types of claims, and specific instructor/operator practices that are 'hot' right now in terms of generating claims or making claims harder to defend. In this session we want to look at a literal 'top 10' and examine what these areas of law, practices, and claims are to develop our growing awareness of how we avoid creating liabilities and therefore lawsuits. We'll be looking at: 1) social media issues 2) marketing claims 3) release and waiver conflicts with promotional materials, with respect to minors, inherent risks, etc. 4) incident/emergency response allegations not only as they relate to clients but also staff and the increased presence of OSHA into recreational arenas 5) participant duties of care, how clients bear responsibilities and duties and how duties can be defined between parties 6) third party vendors involved in recreational courses or products and how liabilities are split between multiple vendors producing a recreational course/experience/product 7) use of emerging equipment and how gear/equipment changes can alter standards of care 8) operator DUTY to communicate (experience and risk) 9) regional and local standards and the operators awareness of same 10) poor paperwork/poor business practices.   

Thursday, 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
CORE Legal Issues 101: The Basics You Need to Know 
Frances Mock

You know a lot about operating your program. How much do you know about the legal issues? This presentation provides an overview of the basics: what you shouldn't say in your marketing materials, what you need to tell participants when collecting medical information, what to do with releases after you collect them, the primary legal issues to address immediately after a serious incident, what indemnity is and why you should care, what discoverability is, and other topics. 

Thursday, 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
NEW Employer Liability, The New Frontier of Risk Management: The Accidental and Tragic Death of a Staff Member 
Lach Zemp

Based on a real case, what begins as a purely accidental and tragic death of a staff member balloons into 3 years of litigation involving OSHA, workers compensation, and a multi-million dollar wrongful death lawsuit. What to know and what we learned.

Thursday, 3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Incident Management From a Litigator’s Perspective: Facts, Honesty, and Compassion as Lawsuit Avoidance Techniques 
Leah Corrigan

What drives a person’s decision to file a lawsuit? Often, the decision is driven largely by emotional factors. Using case studies, this presentation will focus on how to use facts, honesty, and compassion as bedrock techniques both on the “front end” of educating clients and students, and the “back end” of an incident related to how you interact with the injured person and their family. Organizations can decrease the likelihood of a lawsuit in the event of an incident by utilizing these techniques.  

Friday, 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
CORE Do You Understand your Participant Agreement? Does Anyone? 
Reb Gregg
Catherine Hansen-Stamp

In this interactive session, we will discuss the role of the participant agreement in your liability and risk management strategies, and controlling its tone and substance by a proper choice of words ("You didn't say that did you?"). We will identify key agreement components and highlight recent developments in case law, including: who can sign for whom; what level of conduct can be released, e-signatures, translations, choice of law and venue, and the binding nature of these agreements on non-signing parents and other family members. 

Friday, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
CORE Have You Got it Covered? Insurance 101 with Exposure Scenarios that Could Lead to Catastrophic Organizational and Financial Loss
Steve Neal
Sam Daume

Sexual misconduct, vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, crisis response: What do these exposures have in common? If not managed properly, an occurrence involving any of these can quickly lead an organization into a deep financial and legal quagmire. Are you covered? Is having an insurance policy enough? Having an understanding of when an incident (occurrence) may necessitate pulling the policy off the shelf to put it to work is critical. Also critical is understanding what is required of you, the insured. Participants in this session will learn the basic structure of a good insurance program, and through a series of scenarios and guided discussions will explore the complexities of managing exposures and incident response through the lens of an insurance policy.

Friday, 1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
Big Decisions in the Field (and Their Legal Implications) – Part III
Leslie Arutunian
Reb Gregg

An inebriated student walks across hot coals; an instructor checks himself into a Zambian psychiatric hospital as participants are flying to his course; young adult students have sex on a program and are warned (improperly, the male complained) to have “safe” sex; and a team headed into the Amazon lose their Sat phone. Not a typical day at the office, granted, but important learning opportunities nevertheless. Join our discussion of industry challenges faced in recent years by Wildlands Studies, a program instructing undergraduate field study courses worldwide. Leslie Arutunian, Director, and Reb Gregg, legal counsel, will discuss operations and legal issues around these incidents–including preparation, management and their outcomes. Wildlands Studies’ learning can become yours.

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Program Administration

Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
NEW Tying the Strongest Knots:  Building an Organizational Culture of Risk Management 
Steve Smith

The goal of this workshop are to (1) Explore how the concept of "Safety Culture" has evolved throughout the ages; (2) Identify organizational steps that can help foster a culture of risk management; (3) Apply these steps and theories to participants' own programs in small-group exercises and scenarios. This presentation outlines a brief history of safety theory through the ages, identifies major events that signaled changes in how we think about safety management in various industries, shows how theories have evolved over time and looks at current thinking regarding ways to build a culture of risk management. We will use videos, scenarios, stories, and small group discussions to explore the concepts, and end with a "cheat sheet" of steps to foster a culture of risk management in your program.   

Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
NEW Beginning the Climb Toward Equity: Tools for Assessing and Managing Social and Emotional Risk 
Elyse Rylander
Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin

The development of any competency requires practice, self-awareness, critical analysis, more practice, and resources for further education. Through relevant context, engaging activities and resources for continuing the process, "Beginning The Climb" will engage participants in all of these steps as we guide participants, and the industry, even further towards more equitable and culturally competent learning environments and outdoor experiences. 

Thursday, 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
NEW #TimesUp: Go Beyond Policy in Managing Harassment 
Victoria Kerr
AJ Wojtalik

Nearly every day, news unfolds of workplace sexual harassment and it's sparking important nationwide discussion. While the majority of U.S. organizations have a sexual harassment policy, it's clear that the presence of policy is only the first step. As leaders, we have to do more. This presentation will prepare you to answer key questions within your organization to develop policies, train and build a supportive culture, and respond in the case of an incident.

Thursday, 3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
NEW A Strategic Approach to Managing Risks at Your Organization
Mark Vermeal
Steve Pace

During this interactive workshop participants will be introduced to Enterprise Risk Management (ERM). Participants will learn how ERM can be used in concert with accreditation, and external risk management reviews, to build comprehensive organizational risk identification, assessment, and mitigation plans. Participants will practice the same ERM process that is used with an organization’s staff and board, and work through an abbreviated ERM and Heat Mapping exercise to gain familiarity with these tools.

Friday, 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
Current Issues in Pre-Course Screening 
Colby Smith

A panel discussion of current issues in pre-course screening with head medical screeners and medical consultants. Focused on current topics such as gender, food allergies, psychological medications, and student experience. We anticipate a lively discussion of how different organizations approach pre-course screening and how that impacts the student experience.  

Friday, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Dechı̨ta Nezǫ Gots’udı́ (Living on the Land in a Good Way): Decolonization, Indigenous Knowledges, and Risk Management Planning 
Jess Dunkin
Walter Bezha

This presentation explores the creation and ongoing evolution of a community-based risk management plan for the land-based activities of the Ɂehdzo Got’ı̨nę Gots’ę́ Nákedı (Sahtú Renewable Resources Board) in the Sahtú region of the Northwest Territories in Canada. Reflecting on the lessons learned through the entwined processes of developing, implementing, and revising the plan, titled Dechı̨ta Nezǫ Gots’udı́ (which roughly translates as Living on the Land in a Good Way), we consider the possibilities of decolonizing methodologies and cross-cultural approaches for risk management planning.  

Friday, 1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
NEW What Did I Learn and Create After Catching a Child Molester?
Rick Braschler

Fifteen years of teaching and equipping youth serving organizations with nationally recommended tactics for child abuse prevention was found lacking in 2009. What I discovered in the aftermath was staggering, and has changed what I've taught and implemented ever since. Surprisingly, most of what I discovered never came from a conference. This session will clearly identify the child abuse threat and historical problems, and introduce you to a new, innovative approach to preventing child sexual abuse in your youth serving organization.

Friday, 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
CORE Now What? Bringing the WRMC Back to Your Organization 
Alex Kosseff
Andy Leider

Don’t leave the WRMC with a long list of ideas that sit on your desk! This workshop will help you build a framework for transferring your ideas, learning, and connections back to your organization in a structured, meaningful way. Identify short and long term actions, internal and external resources, and share opportunities with others focusing on similar topics.

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Staff Training & Decision Making

Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
NEW Developing Good Judgement and Decision Making 
Loel Collins

This presentation will draw on research over the last eight years that has examined the judgement and decision making processes of high level outdoor leaders and instructors in the UK. The work highlights the synergistic relationship between classic and naturalistic decision making processes and considers ways in which these essential judgement and decision making skills could be developed and assessed in neophyte instructors.  

Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
NEW An Effective Model for Training Program Staff
Aaron Ball
Joel Reid

The potential harm created or averted by the actions of our field staff makes their training one of the most important elements of an outdoor program. This workshop will introduce a training model for designing and managing staff trainings with the intent of increasing their effectiveness. Additionally, training concepts such as testing to skill failure, scenario-based training, trainer and instructor positioning, structured feedback, and appropriate progression building will also be covered.

Thursday, 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
NEW Help Your Staff Address a Mental Health Concern 
Kathleen Floberg
Claire Dzierzak

Staff who work with adolescents in outdoor programs are frequently faced with the need to address a mental health concern. This presentation will walk through a staff training session you can take and implement into your program focused on: how to recognize concerning behaviors, how to support a young person who is struggling, and indicators of behaviors that warrant additional support. A great intro for programs looking for staff training tools related to mental health.

Thursday, 3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
CORE Training to Failure and Other Unlikely and Highly Effective Training Strategies
Jeff Jackson
The realities of accelerated timelines and compressed training require turning traditional staff training on its head. A focus on non-normal, training to failure, testing and sensemaking are uncommon, unlikely, and proven effective in building competency fast. This session provides an alternative training model that builds boundaries around desirable safety behaviors. This session is based on the presenter’s Ph.D. research and application of industrial safety theory and findings. It has warranted top reviews at past conferences.

Friday, 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
NEW 5 Strategies for Growing an Organizational Culture of Equity and Inclusion 
Nettie Pardue
BJ Allen

In this session we will focus on Outward Bound California’s efforts to grow a culture of equity and inclusion with a special focus on staff training and development. We will discuss specific practices that we have integrated into our organization over the last 4 years and offer space for participants to explore how to engage in or expand this work at their own organizations.  

Friday, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Training Simulations: Principles for Effective Learning 
Katie Nelson
Kim Glodek

Need to go beyond your traditional staff training methods and strategies? This workshop will focus on the critical knowledge, tools, and strategies for effectively delivering simulations to train and prepare field staff to manage risk in the field. Through the exploration and modeling of simulation best practices and principles, participants will leave with clarity for running effective simulations, determining when simulations are the best option for training, and how simulations support real field situations.   

Friday, 1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
NEW The Most Dangerous Thing We Do 
Paul Dreyer

Do you use vehicles as part of your program? Then, you already know this and say this to your staff, "Driving is the most dangerous thing we do." At Avid4 Adventure, every summer we train hundreds of instructors to be drivers, and we use over 100 vans and trailers to support our programming. This session will primarily focus on three aspects of vehicle use - (1) Some history about vehicle use within outdoor programs, (2) An overview of how we train our staff on driving at Avid4 Adventure, and (3) The facts (and myths) about driving.  Although it is within a 90-minute block, this session will last 60 minutes, leaving 30 minutes of choice time for participants to network, visit the end of another session, or just rest.

Friday, 3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
NEW Volunteer Training Strategies for Effective Risk Management 
Claire Nelson
Holly Barrass

Many outdoor programs and organizations that travel in the wilderness rely on volunteers for program administration and facilitation. In this workshop we’ll address how universal standards can inform your volunteer training, the fundamentals of training, considerations when working with youth, and how to proactively work with the assets of your volunteers for better risk management. We’ll share real organizational experience and volunteer risk management wisdom and strategies through facilitated discussion, speaker presentation, and interactive technology.

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Short Talks

Friday, 3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
The following will be presented as 18-minute short talks during this 90-minute timeslot:

NEW Embracing Culture Competence
Awareness of our own and others' backgrounds, identities, and roots can help to shape not only the experience, but how your members view the outdoors and their place in it.

NEW Quick and Effective Risk Management Training for Your Staff
If you only had one hour to train your staff in wilderness risk management, how would you do it? Based on our experience following a risk management review and our first WRMC in 2015, this workshop will provide a few quick and practical methods of integrating ideas and topics from the WRMC into an already packed staff training program. Designed for those new to the conference, but also good for those looking for fresh ideas!

NEW Risk Management Lessons from Airplane Safety Cards
A near death experience prompts critical reflection on a quintessentially mundane material - the airplane safety card. The search for meaning reveals risk management lessons that encourage us to stay vigilant and creative in the quest to run zero-incident courses by training risk managers.

NEW SWAY, a Decision-Making Training for Your Team
Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior by Ori Braufman and Rom Braufman explores decision making with examples and case study summaries that highlight ways in which humans choose to behave irrationally. Based on the text, this training is effective in coaching participants to recognize these irrational(SWAY) moments. In doing so, participants are better able to lead with intent toward their goals.

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