Highlights from the 2016 NOLS Wilderness Medicine Staff Meeting

By Sarah Buer

Sep 22, 2016

Attendees stand outside the Wyss Campus buildings
Group photo! Photo by Kirk Rasmussen

September 12th kicked off the 2016 NOLS Wilderness Medicine Staff Meeting, our annual gathering at the Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus in Lander, Wyoming. Read on for some of the week’s highlights!

The Numbers

  • 2016 celebrates 10 years with our partner, Landmark Learning!
  • There are 21,137 more graduates around the globe who are ready to step up in emergency situations, thanks to our 911 courses run in FY 2016!
  • In 2016, our wilderness medicine courses were taught in five different languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, and ASL) and 20 countries. Caminho a Percorrer! (That’s Portuguese for “Way to go!”)
Tod Schimelpfenig holds the book Medicina en zonas silvestres
Photo by Sarah Buer.

P.S. 2016 marked the launch of the Spanish edition of Wilderness Medicine by Tod Schimelpfenig!

The Speakers

Melissa Gray: NOLS Wilderness Medicine Update

You can thank Melissa Gray for the fun facts we listed above. Melissa is the Director of NOLS Wilderness Medicine, and addressed 2016 Staff Meeting attendees with department updates, fun milestones in Wilderness Medicine, and NOLS’ schoolwide news.

Ray Cramer: Mindsets and Meta-Analysis

Ray joined us as a presenter at our 2016 Staff Meeting and discussed with us several high-impact, low resource ways to increase students' success. He reviewed several meta-analyses and made links to our approach to teaching.

Jo Rolls, PAC: Diabetes

A long time NOLS Wilderness Medicine Instructor, Jo travelled in from Salt Lake City, UT to educate faculty on good practices and considerations when it comes to treating and managing diabetes in the backcountry.

Participants stand and sit in a classroom during a workshop
Learning about wilderness medicine can be fun! Photo by Sarah Buer

Tony Islas, MD: Concussions, Sports Medicine

Tony travelled to Lander from Nevada where he works in family medicine and with the University of Nevada Sports Medicine team. Dr. Islas educated Staff Meeting attendees in two separate presentations, one on the diagnosis and management of concussions and the other on medicine protocols in wilderness sports.

Scott McIntosh: Medical Aspects of Avalanche Burial and Rescue

Dr. McIntosh presented on the medical considerations of avalanche response, from explaining how the density of snow contributes to physical trauma of an avalanche victim to the actual causes of death and injury in avalanches (asphyxiation, blunt trauma, etc.) McIntosh also discussed measures that can be taken to improve survival rates, and priorities to focus on when assessing avalanche injuries.

Tod Schimelpfenig: New Blister Care Curriculum

Tod Schimelpfenig, NOLS Wilderness Medicine’s Curriculum Director, revealed new practices and refined curriculum for backcountry blister care in this half hour workshop.

Liz Tuohy: NOLS Education Department

Liz is the Director of Education at our International Headquarters in Lander, Wyoming. She took advantage of the gathering of instructors to collect thoughts on the training systems and opportunities currently available to instructors throughout their careers.

Paul Dreyer: Interwoven Curriculum Themes

Paul explored the curricular topics woven into our courses but not addressed as stand alone presentations. He led us through reflections on our handling of diversity and inclusion as well as psychological first aid.

The Location

We revisited our Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus this year for our annual get together, with the gorgeous Red Canyon surrounding us as we listened, learned, laughed and chatted together. The weather was nice, the people were great, and the food from our awesome catering staff was delicious as usual! Thank you to Brian Hensien for the great aerial video from the week—check it out

The People

We couldn’t do what we do without the support and hard work of each of our instructors, in-town staff, and faculty around the world! Thank you to all of you who were able to attend, and to all of those we held in our thoughts during the week’s festivities.

Check out our wilderness medicine course offerings here.

Written By

Sarah Buer

Sarah is a Wyoming native, Wilderness First Responder graduate, and former marketing coordinator for NOLS Wilderness Medicine. When she’s offline she enjoys running, singing and playing guitar, and playing in the mountains

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