NOLS: National Outdoor Leadership School Home Request a CatalogContact Us

Wilderness Medicine Institute

Montañismo en Español y Primeros Auxilios al Aire Libre

Hace solo un par de semanas regresaron los alumnos del curso de Montañismo en Español (CMT) quienes estuvieron por 2 semanas aprendiendo habilidades de liderazgo, técnicas de montañismo y mínimo impacto (No Deje Rastro); en el área del Cordón de Melikina.

Fue un gusto contar con representantes de la ciudad de Punta Arenas, Coyhaique y Santiago entre otras. Y como es característico en estas latitudes en nuestros cursos hubo representantes de 3 países diferentes.

Todos se fueron muy contentos pero deseaban que el curso durará más días, y ademas que se realizara en otras zonas el pais.

Por otro lado, finalizaron 2 cursos dirigidos a la Corporación Nacional Forestal (CONAF) en el área de primeros auxilios con WMI. Las personas que participaron se capacitaron fuertemente. 30 fueron los profesionales del área forestal que se capacitaron y aprobaron el Wilderness Advance First Aid (WAFA). A ellos se sumaron 5 particulares provenientes de otras regiones y organizaciones.

Gracias a todos quiénes hicieron de estos cursos una realidad. Esperamos seguir aportando como NOLS Patagonia en la región.

Especial gracias a los alumnos e Instructores por las buenas vibras y estar atento a los detalles.

Búscanos en Facebook!


Foto: Patricia Soto
Foto: Patricia Soto
Foto: Patricia Soto
Foto: Patricia Soto

Recently, students from the Chilean Mountaineering Course (CMT) returned from the field after two weeks learning skills of leadership, mountain techniques, and minimum impact through Leave No Trace; in the area of Cordón Melikina.

It was a pleasure to have representatives from the Chilean cities of Punta Arenas, Coyhaique, and Santiago among others. We also had representation from three different countries!

All left the course very content but wishing the course was longer and could visit other regions of the country, the sign of a good course!

In other news, we have competed two WMI courses for the Corporación Nacional Forestal (CONAF) in the subject of First Aid. The people who participated in the program trained hard to achieve their Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) certification. 30 professional forest rangers from CONAF passed the course, along with five others from different regions and organizations.

Thank you to everyone who made these courses a reality. We hope to continue contributing to the Aysen region with NOLS Patagonia.

A special thanks to the students and instructors for their attention to details and their good energy throughout the programs.

Like us on Facebook!

Spanish and English translation contribution from Patricia Soto, Mercedes Lagos, and Taylor Feldman

Permalink | Posted by Taylor Feldman on Mar 14, 2013 in the following categories: Patagonia, Wilderness Medicine Institute

Welcoming the Wilderness Medicine and Rescue Semester

February 2nd marked the beginning of the Wilderness Medicine and Rescue Semester. Students spent the first two days of this 90-day adventure in an orientation at the new Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus outside of Lander, Wyoming. During this time, students laid the groundwork for the community that will be the bedrock of their course.

Learning the NOLS leadership model

The weekend’s activities included team building exercises and an introduction to the NOLS leadership model, during which students and instructors discussed how to create a positive learning environment. Students then had the first of many opportunities to put theory into practice with a GPS navigation field exercise. They also had their first environmental studies class, a theme that will continue throughout their course.

Students practice GPS navigation skills during their orientation.

After the fun-filled weekend, students are hitting the books for their Wilderness EMT course that will go until the beginning of March. From there, they will be off for a month of canyoneering and two weeks each of canoeing and rock climbing in southern Utah. At each turn, students will learn and practice proper expedition and leadership behavior, along with wilderness evacuation, swiftwater rescue, and rock rescue skills. They will walk away with Wilderness and Urban Emergency Medical Technician, CPR Instructor, Leave No Trace Master, Basic Swiftwater and Rock Rescue certifications. Most importantly, however, they will leave with a tight-knit group of friends and a signature NOLS experience.

Does the Wilderness Medicine and Rescue Semester seem right up your alley? There is always next year! Find more information at

Permalink | Posted by Megan Budge on Feb 6, 2013 in the following categories: Rocky Mountain, Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus

NOLS Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus project wins award!

Every year the Concrete Association of Wyoming accepts nominations from current CAW members for recognition of concrete projects completed and performed in the state of Wyoming. The Project “NOLS Wyss Wilderness Medical Campus” in Lander Wyoming has received the award in the Special Projects category/ School Facilities, for its innovative uses of concrete. The award was nominated by Rocky Mountain Pre-Mix Concrete, Lander Wyoming.

© John Stoddard

This photo shows the polished cement floor in the student commons area of the educational facility.

Permalink | Posted by Leslie van Barselaar on Jan 25, 2013 in the following categories: Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus

5th Edition of Wilderness Medicine to Hit Shelves

5th Edition

Lander, Wyo.—The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) will debut the fifth edition of NOLS Wilderness Medicine, a comprehensive first-aid book, at the Winter Outdoor Retailer (OR) Market Jan. 24 and 25 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

NOLS Wilderness Medicine encapsulates fundamental topics in first aid and wilderness response to medical emergencies. NOLS’ leadership curriculum is interwoven throughout as an important element in preventing, recognizing and treating common medical scenarios in the backcountry. First-aid topics like patient assessment, soft tissue injury and dislocations and environmental challenges such as heat, altitude and poisonous plants are all covered in this 300-page resource for outdoorspeople.

The fifth edition of NOLS Wilderness Medicine features new chapters on mental health and judgment and decision-making—a leadership skill NOLS teaches on all courses, as well as updated practices. It cannot, however, replace a hands-on wilderness medicine education.

NOLS is home to the Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI), the leader in wilderness medicine education. Author Tod Schimelpfenig has been a NOLS field instructor and practicing emergency medical technician since 1974. He has served as the WMI curriculum director for the past 10 years.

NOLS also recently released a new edition of Wilderness Wisdom, a collection of over 1,000 quotes collected from a variety of authors, environmentalists, great thinkers and famous leaders. NOLS Curriculum Director John Gookin, who edited Wilderness Wisdom, will be giving a book signing at the January OR. Both books are now available on the NOLS online store.

Permalink | Posted by Brent Wallen on Jan 23, 2013 in the following categories: Wilderness Medicine Institute

Polish and Shine on the Wyss Campus
















Permalink | Posted by jstoddard on Dec 18, 2012 in the following categories: Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus

Complete: Wyss Campus fundraising

We are delighted to announce that we have met our lead donor’s challenge to raise $1.5 million toward the Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus. In the spring of 2011, Mr. Hansjörg Wyss contributed the first $1.5 million to kick off the successful campaign, challenging NOLS to raise $1.5 million from alumni, staff, and friends, with the promise of a matching gift upon completion. NOLS not only met his challenge of $1.5 million, but exceeded it by $35,600.

Combined with the many donations sent by alumni, staff, and family, the NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI) has much to be grateful for, as do the students who are already taking advantage of the custom-built residential facility in the Red Canyon.

The campus was dedicated during the annual October board meetings in Lander, Wyo., and the first Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician course hosted on the new ground graduated Nov. 30.

Brad Christensen photo

We cannot express our gratitude enough for all of the support we received as we developed this new classroom and opened new doors for WMI and NOLS.

Permalink | Posted by Casey Adams on Dec 6, 2012 in the following categories: Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus

NOLS Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus Hosts First Wilderness EMT Course

The new National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLSWyss Wilderness Medicine Campus has seen its first Wilderness Emergency Technician (WEMT) course reach completion. On Nov. 30, 30 newly minted WEMTs became the first graduating class to utilize the cutting-edge facility in Wyoming.


Wyss campus blog
© John Stoddard

Funding for the campus was driven by the generous donations of Hansjörg Wyss and former landowners Dr. Charles and Mary Ann McMahon. The $6.5 million campus is the first-ever facility designed from the ground up to host wilderness medicine courses. It is comprised of seven structures—five student cabins, the main educational facility, and a caretaker residence—totaling almost 20,000 square feet. The multi-functional campus includes residential capacity for 32 students, and the main building holds an additional 30 day-users in the classroom and main dining area. The buildings were designed to be maximally efficient and they utilize photovoltaic and geothermal technologies to work toward the goal of being a net-zero energy consumption campus.

One of the two classrooms will be the home for 10 of the Wilderness Medicine Institute’s (WMI) 15 annual Wilderness EMT courses. These intensive 30-day programs combine the national EMT curriculum with WMI’s wilderness medicine curriculum. The courses attract a wide range of students including outdoor professionals, members of the military, search and rescue specialists and pre-hospital care providers.  he second classroom will provide space for other NOLS programs.

The Wyss Campus only occupies a small portion of the 243-acre property. NOLS’ decision to leave most of the property undeveloped assists in the conservation of valuable wildlife habitat in Red Canyon, 12 miles southeast of Lander, Wyo. WMI course scenarios will take place in red rock hoodoos, sagebrush covered hillsides and along—and in—the Little Popo Agie River.

Permalink | Posted by Leslie van Barselaar on Dec 5, 2012 in the following categories: Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus

Wyss Campus to open its doors

Located along the Little Popo Agie River that flows through the largely federally protected Red Canyon near Lander, Wyo. is the new NOLS Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus, dedicated Oct. 12. This week, the campus will welcome its first Wilderness EMT students.

Lindsay D'Addato photo

Of the 243 acres NOLS acquired for NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute courses, the Wyss Campus only impacts a small portion. NOLS’ decision to leave most of the property undeveloped assists in the conservation of valuable wildlife habitat within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

The campus itself is comprised of seven structures—five student cabins, the main educational facility, and a caretaker residence—totaling almost 20,000 square feet. The multi-functional facility includes residential capacity for 32 students, and the main building holds an additional 30 day-users in the classroom and main dining area.


Lindsay D'Addato photo

The campus boasts highly efficient building and energy-usage technologies that will be used to educate all users on their viability.

NOLS parent Hansjörg Wyss, the lead donor for the campus, addressed the crowd of about 130 that attended the Oct. 12 dedication, declaring his appreciation of NOLS and the Wyoming landscape.

Lindsay D'Addato photo

As of this week, Wilderness EMT students will be afforded the chance to appreciate the same landscape, coupled with an unrivaled WMI education.

Permalink | Posted by Casey Adams on Oct 31, 2012 in the following categories: Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus

WMI: Fun with numbers

Last week, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI) hosted its annual staff meeting, complete with lectures, workshops, and a departmental update from WMI Director Melissa Gray.

Each year, Gray reviews the year in a “fun with numbers” format, which we thought would be the most entertaining way for us to relay those details:

645 courses taught in fiscal year 2012, a 2.7-percent increase over fiscal year 2011.

8 percent: The increase of students who took WMI courses this year over last year.

57 students were taught in Portuguese.

107 students were taught in Swedish.

182 students took courses in Spanish.

NOLS awarded 39 individual students $29,835 in scholarship funds to attend Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician courses. An additional 113 students used AmeriCorps funds for their courses. Fifteen students fluent in American Sign Language received Moving Hands scholarships, and five Veterans’ Administration students were supported through enrollment and certification.

41 states hosted WMI courses, and only two states have never hosted a course.

19 countries hosted WMI courses.

The Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus is nearing completion. WMI will start welcoming students into this new facility Nov. 4.

As NOLS steps into a new fiscal year, Gray and leadership throughout the school are excited to support students and staff around the globe.

Permalink | Posted by Casey Adams on Sep 28, 2012 in the following categories: Wilderness Medicine Institute, Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus

Wilderness Medicine Expedition - Mountaineering Style

The Wilderness Medicine Institute's most recent Wilderness Medicine Expedition (WME) just returned from the Cascade Mountains.  The WME is a continuing education course designed for EMTs, Medics, RNs, and MDs that focuses on the curriculum areas of wilderness medicine, leadership, and outdoor skills.  This particular course was run in conjunction with NOLS Pacific Northwest and had a mountaineering skills focus.  

The five WME students began their course with a day of medical work, gear issue, and food preparation at NOLS Pacific Northwest in Conway, Washington.  An early departure on day two saw the group dropped off at the Shannon Ridge road head for their backcountry expedition on Mt. Shuksan.  One week later the group emerged having learned and shared many new skills and with sore abdominal muscles from a great deal of laughter!



Expedition members practicing patient assessment at NOLS Pacific Northwest.


On the hike into North Cascades National Park.


An improvised splint for an unusable knee injury.


Students glissading on a rope team on the Sulphide Glacier.


Enroute to the summit of Mt. Shuksan.


Members of the expedition on the summit of Mt. Shuksan!



Permalink | Posted by Marco Johnson on Sep 21, 2012 in the following categories: Pacific Northwest, Wilderness Medicine Institute

Home | Courses | WMI | Apply | Resources | Alumni | Giving | Store | About Us | Contact Us
NOLS Professional Training | Books | Research | Jobs | Request A Catalog | WRMC | Leave No Trace
Información de NOLS en Español | Privacy Statement | Site Map | Donate Online
Request a Catalog or call 1-800-710-NOLS
NOLS, 284 Lincoln Street, Lander, WY 82520-2848, USA

Copyright © 2014 National Outdoor Leadership School. All rights reserved.
Top of Page
NOLS Home About Us Courses Apply Wilderness Medicine Institute NOLS Professional Training Alumni Store Donate NOLS Home Parents Press Room School Resources Photos NOLS.TV Events WRMC The NOLS Blog