Watch the Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus video
Completed in the fall of 2012, the Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus provides classrooms, practice fields, residences and dining facilities for WMI students and instructors. With over twenty years of experience, we know what attributes a state of the art wilderness medicine facility should have, and ours is specifically crafted to aid in the delivery of the very best wilderness medicine training.
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.
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.
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 www.nols.edu/courses/locations/rockymtn/wmr_semester.shtml.
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.
This photo shows the polished cement floor in the student commons area of the educational facility.
Polish and Shine on the Wyss 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.
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.
NOLS Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus Hosts First Wilderness EMT Course
The new National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) Wyss 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.
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.
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.
As of this week, Wilderness EMT students will be afforded the chance to appreciate the same landscape, coupled with an unrivaled WMI education.
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.
Wyss Finishes Moving Forward
Radiant Heat with a Durable Finish on Wyss Floors
Orange pex tubing by the spool is required to create a network of plumbng in the Wyss Wilderness Medicine Campus main building. Manifolds and valves controlled by thermostats allow heated or cooled liquid to run through various zones of the building to gently fine-tune ambient interior temperatures. In some cases, the tubing sits over layers of wired rebar, bedding sand, and foam insulation, as seen in these photos from months ago:
Elsewhere, it is stapled to conventional OSB subfloor. In either case, concrete is floated over the top, encasing the tube. The concrete is finished busing a power screed, a bull float, hand trowles, and a power trowel.
The concrete rests for a day or two, then is then scored with shallow cuts to create a pattern and control any cracking ("control joints"). This is how it will sit for at little before being ground and stained, revealing special aggrogate in the concrete mix. Filling the the plumbing in the floor is one of the last steps- air is pumped in and held at 100psi for a day, then the same is performed with water, then finally charged with the mix of liquids that remain stable for their long life of being pumped through the floor of our building. In the photo below, wood "sleepers" are cast into portions of the floor- these will be topped with FSC Maple from eastern Canada.