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Chief Executive Officer, MS, RN, WEMT
Born and raised in Montreal, Canada, Nadia was drawn to the Rockies of Colorado as a young adult. She began leading students on month long backpacking trips around the West for various outdoor education companies. Much to her surprise the only medical training that was required of her was basic first aid and CPR certifications.
After completing her first Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course in 1992 she recognized the broader need for a more robust, field-based, wilderness medicine curricula designed specifically for outdoor professionals. Nadia pursued this newfound passion with her usual infectious intensity, and began teaching WFR courses soon thereafter. Her fascination with medicine lead to her receiving an EMT certification in 1994 and subsequently volunteering on SAR and working in various emergency departments around Colorado.
Before founding Desert Mountain Medicine (DMM), Nadia worked for the Wilderness Education Association as an outdoor educator. She also attended Colorado State University and earned a B.S. in Natural Resource Management. Later she was asked to join Colorado Mountain College to help jump start their Outdoor Recreation Leadership program (ORL) in Leadville, CO after which she earned an M.S. in Forestry with an emphasis in Outdoor Recreation from Northern Arizona University. Her combined education and experience as a guide, outdoor educator, medical professional, and wilderness medicine instructor provided her with a solid foundation of knowledge, skills, and perspective to develop and run DMM under her own unique vision in 1998.
After founding DMM Nadia became the EMS coordinator and EMT instructor for Colorado Mountain College, which inspired her to pursue a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) from Regis University. Nadia continued to work as an ER nurse while cultivating DMM and its community from a fledgling, one-woman operation to the expanding business that it is today.
Over two decade later, Nadia continues to contribute to the field of wilderness medicine as part of the Wilderness Medicine Education Collaborative (WEMC) and as DMM’s Executive Director, focusing on curriculum development.
Chief Operating Officer, M.Ed, WFR
As a kid, Jacob devotedly roamed the creeks, woods and field borders of North Carolina, staying out past dark whenever possible. He frequently had mosquito bites or poison ivy.
He took his first WFR training as a sophomore at North Carolina State University, and it changed his world. He realized he had learned more in that nine-day course than the entire previous year of college; and he knew what his future would be.
After earning a degree in outdoor recreation he worked an interesting series of outdoor jobs in the rivers, canyons and peaks of North Carolina, Maine, Colorado, New Zealand and Idaho. He landed at North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where he ultimately ran the outdoor program. Those were formative years of introducing new people to his beloved wild places and mentoring future leaders.
As fate would have it, he met Nadia and Desert Mountain Medicine while doing a WFR recertification course. He was quickly impressed with the company’s culture, camaraderie and industry leading content. He also appreciates the importance of a solid team.
Jacob is known for climbing steep places with a heavy pack for fun. He has a master’s degree in education leadership and administration, and enjoys learning and teaching new skills. He is based in North Idaho, where he wanders the hills and streams with his wife Korrine and their daughter Siler, still trying to wring every bit of daylight out of each day. Together, they keep a robust backyard garden, forage for wild foods and play with their furry pal, Chella.
Operations Manager, WFR
Meagan was born in Brooklyn, NY but spent most of her childhood in the Pocono Mountains of PA. She eventually moved back to NYC for college, and quickly subscribed to the daily grind of the 9-5 career. In January of 2020 she quit everything she knew and moved to Leadville, CO where she immediately adapted to the mountain town life.
In June of 2020, she became a full status member of Lake County Search and Rescue, where she is currently serving on command staff and the elected position of Treasurer. Summer of 2020 was one of LCSAR’s busiest seasons and she quickly learned the in’s and out’s of mountain rescues. It was through LCSAR that Meagan was inspired to pursue her EMT-Basic certification with the intention of serving her local community as well as channeling it further into wilderness medicine. DMM was a natural fit for her skills, training, and passions.
When not working or volunteering, Meagan indulges in most Colorado sports, including hiking and mountain biking. Her greatest passion is climbing – whether it’s rock, ice or alpine. She has directed this love into becoming a Rope Rescue Technician which is how she spends most of her weekends.
Program and Partnership Development Coordinator, Writer/Editor, WFR
Becky has been a WFR for 10 years and has been teaching for DMM for the past 3 years. As her students know, she is on a quest to become the Best WFR in the World, and encourages all her students and fellow alumni to join her on this quest. She is a Senior-level Command Staff member and Mission Coordinator for Lake County Search and Rescue, in Leadville, CO. Being on a SAR team provides her access to monthly medical training, an advantage she wishes more WFA’s and WFR’s had access to, and which led her to working on the DMM Alumni Project and serving as DMM’s Program and Partnership Development Coordinator.
Over the years Becky has worked as an English teacher, a private tutor, a youth outdoor educator, a lifty and snow bike instructor, a high ropes course guide, a zipline guide (though she prefers the title “Sky Ranger”), a grant writer, and a freelance writer and editor. Through her curious procession of job titles, she remained focused on developing her creative writing skills, and she’s proud to report her work has appeared in Alpinist Magazine, American Alpine Journal, and many literary magazines and journals around the nation. She often writes about her outdoor experiences and her slow crawl towards technical outdoor competence.
In the winter she shreds 30 degree backcountry slopes and gets her snowmobile stuck in beautiful places. In the summer she loves climbing mountains with no trails to the top and flailing on 5.10 climbing routes. During the shoulder seasons she and her husband, Chris (also a DMM instructor), go canyoneering, where her tiny frame feels like an honest-to-God superpower in Mae West slot canyons.
Program Director, Director of Women's Wild Medicine, RN, WEMT
Julia took her first WFR over 10 years ago & spent most of her 20’s guiding & teaching in the Western U.S and abroad. She enjoyed the Wilderness Medicine aspect of guiding so much, she continued on to obtain her WEMT and eventually became a Registered Nurse. Julia currently works as an ER nurse in Salida & Leadville, CO, provides Advanced Life Support (ALS) for Monarch Ski Patrol, teaches EMT skills at Colorado Mountain College, and Wilderness Medicine for DMM. When not working, Julia spends her free time climbing, biking, skiing, and running around the Arkansas River Valley, often equipped with glitter, a tutu, and her puppy, Lefty.