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NOLS and the Wilderness Risk Management Conference: 25 Years of Facing Challenges Together

By Molly Herber on 7/25/18 8:28 AM


Crossing a river. Photo by Eric Page.

While taking my instructor course to teach for NOLS, we spent a lot of time talking about decision making. For example, would we cross this river using the snow bridge or a wading technique—the bridge looking like the more comfortable option compared to the guarantee of wet boots, but which might collapse and dump us into the chilly water anyway.

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Topics: Behind the Scenes, WRMC, Wilderness Risk Management Conference

Creating a Diverse Community of Risk Managers

By Lexi Golestani on 1/1/18 6:43 PM

The NOLS Risk Management Training (RMT) is designed to educate and empower administrators to develop or adapt their risk management practices to best suit their organization’s needs. View the upcoming schedule here.

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Topics: Educators Notebook, WRMC, Wilderness Risk Management Conference, risk management training

Leaving a Legacy: Learning and Leading Risk Management Collaboration and Dialogue in Seoul

By Lexi Golestani on 12/14/17 12:05 PM

Editor's Note: Tara Verenna, the Director of Teaching and Learning at the Korea International School (KIS), runs an Experiential Education program focused on outdoor learning for students grades 4-12. Tara sought out NOLS for a Risk Management Training course (RMT), which ran in mid-September 2017. We caught up with Tara afterward to learn about her experience, and how the concepts and guidance provided by the RMT are helping to shape KIS’ risk management policies and procedures.

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Topics: Educators Notebook, WRMC, Wilderness Risk Management Conference, risk management, risk management training

Enhancing Student Experience and Inclusion through Risk Management

By Lexi Golestani on 12/1/17 8:31 AM

It’s mid-November, and a crew of excited Cal Poly Pomona (CPP) undergraduates loads into a few vans bound for the Pacific Ocean, anxiously anticipating their first open water dive. There is an air of hearty excitement mixed with a small dose of nerves; this is the feel of an adventure beginning.

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Topics: Wilderness Risk Management Conference, WRMC, Educators Notebook

Embracing Acceptable Risk in the Non-Traditional Classroom: Marin Academy & the WRMC

By Lexi Golestani on 11/21/17 2:40 PM

NOLS Risk Services caught up with Julie Barnes to find out why she values risk taking, risk management, and wilderness-based experiential education. Julie is the Director of Outings at Marin Academy (MA), an independent high school in San Rafael, CA, with a big focus on immersive experiential education & engaged learning. Many of these experiences take place in wilderness areas, which invite challenge, exploration, and the opportunity, for students and faculty alike, to be fully present.

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Topics: Wilderness Risk Management Conference, WRMC, Behind the Scenes

Reflecting on the 2016 Wilderness Risk Management Conference

By Sarah Buer on 10/19/16 1:21 PM

Working at NOLS, and in the wilderness medicine department for that matter, my colleagues and I are not unfamiliar with what can go wrong in the backcountry—that is what we teach our students to respond to, after all. Walking through the Exhibitor Reception the first evening of the Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC) in Salt Lake City, I met and mingled with a lot of folks who were dedicated to that same goal of being a leader in crisis situations, in one way or another.

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Topics: WRMC, Educators Notebook

No Barriers for the WRMC

By Andrea Delorey on 10/6/16 3:58 PM

WRMC participants from No Barriers reflect on the value of risk in learning.

What barriers do you face? This question lies at the heart of our organization. Whether it be in our personal lives or at work or in our communities, we all face challenges. And we believe that what defines us is not what these are, but how we choose to respond. No Barriers empowers people of all walks of life and abilities to overcome obstacles, live a life of purpose, and give back to the world. We do this all through our unique educational framework, the No Barriers Life.

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Topics: WRMC

Why Wildlands Studies Attends the Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC)

By Cassi Smith on 8/18/16 9:44 AM

For over 36 years, Wildlands Studies has provided environmental field courses to undergraduates in the U.S. and around the world. Leslie Arutunian, director at Wildlands Studies, reflects on the organization and her involvement with the Wilderness Risk Management Conference since 2008.

Learn how risk management relates to student groups at Wildlands Studies and why Arutunian returns to the WRMC year after year.

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Topics: Educators Notebook, WRMC

Why Inclusive Conservation Crews Attend the WRMC

By Cassi Smith on 8/3/16 8:22 AM

We recently caught up with Jay Satz, Senior Director of Partnerships and Innovation at Northwest Youth Corps (NYC). The NYC is a job training, educational, and conservation experience for youth and young adults, operating since 1984. They run conservation service programs in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and northern California. Perhaps you will see similarities to your own program and discover how the Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC) can help you.

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Topics: Educators Notebook, WRMC

The Woods Project and the WRMC

By Cassi Smith on 7/26/16 9:02 AM

Steve Rosencranz, founder of The Woods Project, recently spoke with us about his organization, risk management, and the Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC.) The Woods Project was founded in 2001 and provides opportunities for low-income youth to experience the outdoors.

Read on to discover how the WRMC has benefited The Woods Project and how it can benefit you.

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Topics: Educators Notebook, WRMC

Why Yellowstone and Other Parks Come to the WRMC

By Cassi Smith on 7/21/16 10:47 AM

We recently caught up with the operations manager for Yellowstone Association Institute, John Harmer. Yellowstone Association explains, “Since 1976, its programs have introduced thousands of students to the park’s natural wonders. Programs range from one day to three weeks in length.”

Perhaps you will see similarities to your own program and discover how the Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC) can help you.

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Topics: Educators Notebook, WRMC

Why Conservation Crews Benefit from the WRMC

By Cassi Smith on 7/18/16 10:27 AM

We recently caught up with Sean Damitz, Department Director of the Utah Conservation Corps. The UCC is nationally recognized for creating sustainable communities and conserving the natural heritage of the Intermountain West. Perhaps you will see similarities to your own program and discover how the Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC) can help you.

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Topics: Educators Notebook, WRMC

Risk Management in the Outdoors: Beyond the NOLS Course

By Logan Claytor on 3/16/16 9:23 AM
 
Photo by Cass Colman. 

At NOLS, we believe in the value of spending time in wild places. We also know there is risk involved in what we do. We strive to practice and teach thoughtful risk management that emphasizes the health and well-being of our students and staff, and have for over 50 years.

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Topics: Educators Notebook, leadership, risk management, Wilderness Risk Management Conference, WRMC

What Organizations Should Know about Risk Management

By Molly Herber on 3/16/16 9:06 AM
Photo by Pascal Beauvais.

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Topics: Educators Notebook, leadership, risk management, Wilderness Risk Management Conference, WRMC

Preparing for the Unexpected: Wilderness Risk Management Conference 2015

By Alyssa Rainbolt on 10/22/15 8:00 AM
Discussing risk at the 2015 WRMC. Photo by Kirk Rasmussen.


I sat down to breakfast at a table of folks including Outward Bound Vice President of Safety Mark Vermeal. Vermeal was sharing the story of his friend, who had neglected to tie a knot at the end of his rope while rock climbing. We at the table agreed that it was not an unfamiliar story: climber is comfortable at their home crag and doesn’t think to take the precaution of tying a knot at the end of the rope. Climber is injured; in this case, a broken arm. In other cases, outcomes may be far worse. It’s a common mistake that is highly avoidable, and one that should drive the need to shift the climber mentality.

“So, how do we do that?” Vermeal posed to the table.

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Topics: Educators Notebook, leadership, NOLS Professional Training, risk management, wilderness medicine, WRMC