Melissa got her start in wilderness medicine in 1985 by teaching with SOLO in Conway, NH, where she also volunteered for various urban and mountain rescue teams. She co-founded the Wilderness Medicine Institute in 1990 largely because she only wanted to work half of the year so she could save the other half of the year for playing in wild places. Additionally, she was really intimidated by applying for jobs. Her business plan at that time was to hire only the best people, who had the most passion about people, education, medicine, and the wilderness. Melissa has been working full-time as NOLS Wilderness Medicine’s Director since 1990 and in her spare time has been instructing wilderness medicine courses, working in the outdoors as an outdoor educator, and often using her wilderness medicine skills in a variety of venues. Actually, through the years her business plan hasn’t changed much and she is honored still to work with all the talented staff at NOLS Wilderness Medicine. Recently, she has taken up surfing (in warm, non-shark infested waters only) and hopes to achieve a true nose ride before she is too old to paddle out through the break. She continues to try to find a way to work only half the year so she can play the other half the year with her family and friends.