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.
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 $620. 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!
Scholarships are awarded to current instructors or practitioners of adventure education or adventure program administrators or directors.
Deadline: June 15, 2018
"Attending this conference has already been of immeasurable benefit both personally and professionally.
Personally, I made many new connections within the risk management community; people that I can rely on for
questions, advice, and sharing ideas and lessons with. I learned so much from my peers and made some great new friends along the way.
Professionally, the talks and workshops I attended at the 2017 WRMC will go a long ways toward improving TRTA programs and informing our future directions."