Board of Advisors
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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.
Physician Advisor, MD, EMT, WFR
Dr. Jessica Evans-Wall
Jessica was a commercial river guide on multi-day trips for 15 years, so she knows how essential wilderness medicine skills are for guides and recreational backcountry users alike. Today, Jessica works as an Emergency Resident at University of New Mexico, the only trauma center in the state. It’s a fast-paced environment, and some days its all she can do just to stay afloat, but she has the privilege of working with the best people around, and she learns so much on every shift, so its definitely worth the stress! When the burnout starts getting real, she turns to wilderness medicine. Teaching wilderness medicine stokes her stoke on medicine again! She firmly believes everyone who spends any time in the backcountry needs to know how to care for themselves and their partners. On DMM’s board Jessica serves as physician advisor and supports curriculum development. Within the realm of medicine, Jessica is hoping to specialize in rural emergency medicine, and within the realm of life, Jessica currently specializes in quoting romantic poetry and Shakespeare in any tradition. If you ever have a course with Jessica, definitely ask her about medieval history. On precious days off from the ED, Jessica loves kayaking, climbing, skiing, sleeping on the ground, and learning new constellations, all with the best life partner ever who lets her perform sutures on him in the kitchen after he’s smashed his face in the backcountry. She’s especially loves hiking until her feet her and making plans at her kitchen table for unrealistically long backcountry days
Must-have med kit item: IV catheter for flushing out wounds
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.
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.
RN, BSN, WFR, CEN, CPEN, TCRN
Ticia took her first WFR almost 20 years ago, and knew at that moment that this was exactly what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. Inspired by her WFR instructor, she gave up van life and guiding rivers to go to nursing school and become an ER nurse. Today, she works in the Emergency Department in Gunnison, CO. She loves working in a field where she has to think of her feet and face new challenges everyday. She is constantly awed that she has a job where she get to reset someone’s heart, transfuse blood, and help a sick kid feel better all in the same day! Plus, she adores her amazing, intelligent colleagues who have dedicated their lives to helping people in crisis. The fun and challenge of teaching wilderness medicine is all about taking complex concepts and making them simple and easy to understand. A WFR course changed Ticia’s life, so she takes seriously the privilege and responsibility of teaching wilderness medicine, and wants each of her students to leave her courses feeling empowered confident to care for people on their worst days. Ticia lives with her husband and 6 year-old son in a treehouse at 9,600ft in the middle of nowhere, Colorado. They keep the beer cold in the creek and get to ride a zipline to the outhouse. In the backcountry, Ticia loves sports where she can succumb to gravity: mountain biking down endless, flowing single track, white water rafting, and skiing.
Must-Have med kit item: two ace wraps, two triangle bandages, one SAM splint, and some gauze – you can stabilize just about anything.