Jim Ratz Memorial Scholarship

for the WRMC

Jim Ratz Memorial Scholarship

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.

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.

Provide Support

In recognition of this, NOLS, Outward Bound, and the SCA sponsor an annual scholarship for a WRMC participant in Jim's name. But, there are many more folks in our industry who need financial support. Consider donating to the scholarship fund today. Here's how:

A scholarship for one attendee is $635. As thanks for donating at least one scholarship, we will recognize you as a supporter on opening night and in the printed conference program. But any donation amount is appreciated!

Apply for a Scholarship

Scholarships are awarded to current instructors or practitioners of adventure education or adventure program administrators or directors.

Deadline: August 1, 2019

Thank you

"One of my favorite sessions from the conference was “Walking Towards the Storm: Lessons from a Crisis” with Jonathan Igoe. 

During this session, I started to feel connected to the WRMC community; it was clear to me that this community is one that supports each other, collaborates with one another, and is always pushing to grow and be better, together.

I am so grateful to be part of the WRMC community, the lessons I learned from this conference will help me grow my knowledge and skills, and will help me to make more informed decisions down the road."

–Elizabeth Gerrits, Wilderness Programs Manager, NatureBridge - Yosemite


Additional thanks from the 2018 Jim Ratz Memorial Scholarship Recipients:

Anne Izard, Green River Preserve

Jennifer Mueller,  Aerie Backcountry Medicine

Sarah Clement,  Inspiring Girls Expeditions

Taylor Feldman, Mount St. Helens Institute

Elizabeth Gerrits, NatureBridge - Yosemite

Walter Bezha and Jess Dunkin, NWT Recreation and Parks Association 

Ian Brown,  Venture Outdoors

Credit: Lindsay Nohl

WRMC Legacy Partners

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