Board of Advisors
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- Nadia KimmelExecutive Director, MS, RN, WEMTWilson, WyomingNadia KimmelExecutive Director, 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.
- Tyler HarrisDirector of Operations, WFRLeadville, ColoradoTyler HarrisDirector of Operations, WFR
Tyler is officially DMM’s Director of Operations, unofficially he is the Secretary of Stoke. He’s in charge of creating the special effects behind the scenes that make the magic happen on-course. His administrative scope-of-practice is too vast to catalogue here, but if you’ve taken a DMM course in recent years, you probably heard from him at some point. He first joined the DMM family in 2009 as an instructor, but worked full-time on the administrative side of the outdoor industry, which didn’t leave him much time for instructing. He kept in contact with Nadia, DMM’s Executive Director, and when his current position opened up in fall of 2017, he jumped at the chance to apply. On New Year’s Day, 2018, Tyler began his role as the Director of Operations.
Tyler’s past experience within the outdoor industry was mainly in Paddlesports, where he racked up over 20 years of experience on and off the water, river guiding in Colorado, California, and Washington, and serving in administrative roles for NRS, AIRE, Outdoorplay.com, CKS Online, and Shred Ready USA.
Today, he loves that he gets to facilitate students’ education and improve access to medical knowledge within the outdoor industry. The sense of purpose he gets knowing his job helps people learn how to save lives is irreplaceable. As for why he chose to work for DMM, specifically, it’s really a no-brainer: they’re the best school in the industry, in his opinion. Not only that, but DMM’s mission is also their culture and passion, and he considers it a privilege to be a part of creating that culture.
- Morgan MatthewsProgram Director, Director of the Women's Wild Med Program, RN, CEN, WFRTaos, New MexicoMorgan MatthewsProgram Director, Director of the Women's Wild Med Program, RN, CEN, WFR
Morgan grew up in the funky, midwestern town of Lawrence, Kansas. At age 17 her dream of playing college soccer was realized when she moved to the heart of San Juan mountains to play at Fort Lewis College. There, she obtained a bachelors degree in Exercise Science while simultaneously developing a love for outdoor recreation. Eventually, the soccer cleats were retired and she found herself swan diving, head first, into anything involving mountain adventures.
Landing her first “real” job in a small Emergency Room in Durango, CO as an ER Technician, she discovered her passion for medicine and followed her dream of becoming and ER Nurse. In 2010 she graduated as an RN and soon thereafter began roving the country as a traveling nurse experiencing many different hospital settings anywhere from large level I trauma centers to small mountain town critical access hospitals.
In 2014, Morgan was the first on scene to tragic accident in a remote Utah Canyon that resulted in six fatalities. The aftermath of the accident left her feeling un-prepared as a solo rescuer in a wilderness setting and subsequently she obtained her WFR and began teaching for DMM in 2015.
Morgan is currently the Program Director for DMM where she has taken on the responsibility of teaching wilderness medicine courses, curriculum writing, and instructor progression. In 2019, she started the Women’s Wild Med Program. Wilderness Medicine courses for women, taught by women. The goal is to highlight and celebrate the women who are shaping outdoor recreation and wilderness medicine, and empower the many millions more who are a vital part of these industries.
In her personal life, Morgan is a connoisseur of mountaintop dance parties and a chaser of sunsets with her dog Pinto Bean. Recreationally, she believes in a balance of relaxing and adventurous outdoor experiences. Some days, she needs a leisurely hike capped off by a summit boogie sesh. On other days she needs to push herself until she questions and reaffirms what her limits really are.
Morgan now calls Taos, New Mexico home where she is able to combine her two passions which are wilderness and emergency medicine as a a ski clinic nurse.
- Dr. Jessica Evans-WallPhysician Advisor, MD, EMT, WFRAlbuquerque, New MexicoDr. Jessica Evans-WallPhysician Advisor, MD, EMT, WFR
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
- Trevor FultonWFRMoscow, IdahoTrevor FultonWFR
Trevor has been going on long drifts and getting lost in Idaho his entire life. He currently serves as the University of Idaho Outdoor Program Director, surrounded by an amazing group of students he gets to screw with on a daily basis. In addition to teaching for Desert Mountain Medicine, Trevor instructs swiftwater rescue and avalanche education courses. He is a board member and forecaster for the Wallowa Avalanche Center, a founding member of the Idaho River Rendezvous and involved with outdoor land access issues for national non-profit organizations. When he isn’t in the office, you’ll find him chasing fish, his bird dogs or water in all phases, in and around the great state of Idaho.
- Chris MoonCritical Care Paramedic, WFRBig Sky, MontanaChris MoonCritical Care Paramedic, WFR
Chris Moon lives and loves DMM’s core instructional philosophy: learning through experience. He’s a Firefighter/Paramedic for the City of Billings Fire Department, where he routinely employs a combination of hands-on work and experiential problem-solving to get the job done, whatever it may be. Chris likes fighting fire, he likes being a medic, but he loves cutting cars apart. It’s the ultimate hands-on problem to be solved! Chris also patrols part-time for Big Sky Resort, and volunteers with Big Sky Search and Rescue. Chris has been teaching for DMM for 6 years, and has been serving on the Board of Directors for 4 years. As an instructor, he loves DMM’s experiential approach to learning, and the flexibility to share his experiences with his students. He’s passionate about empowering his students to learn and use street level skills such as improvisation, care prioritization and professionalism in the backcountry. On the board, Chris runs the CEU (continuing education credits) program for instructors. Chris lives with his lovely wife and their three beautiful cats, and they are proud to be the crazy-cat neighbors of their neighborhood. They like to ride bikes, ski deep blissful powder, raft long rivers, and sail Bluewater sailboats. The cats enjoy sunbathing and singing love songs to the moon.
Must-have med kit item: My mind OR triangle bandages + sharpies. Definitely the trifecta of mind + triangle bandages + a sharpie.
- John TottenWFRWisconsinJohn TottenWFR
Jon is an academic water rat if there ever was such a mythical person. He worked for North Idaho College in their Outdoor Pursuits program for 12 years teaching kayaking, rafting, swiftwater rescue, Avi 1, sailing, and SUP, before guiding for LTD sailing out of the Caribbean and Hughes River Expeditions on the Salmon River. His wilderness medicine career started 20 years ago when he took his first WFR with DMM owner and director Nadia Kimmel. He began instructing WFA and WFR courses for DMM in 2008, and joined DMM’s board soon after. He’s intensely proud to be a part of DMM’s culture of humble leadership and for the role he plays as board member and instructor in inspiring people to do things they’ve never done or didn’t believe they could do. With his 22 years of combined outdoor education and wild. med. experience, Jon identifies first and foremost as a teacher, with the outdoors being his primary classroom. He’s also a storyteller and musician, skills he’s eager to share around a campfire or on the back of a boat.
Must-have met kit item: Dental cement. I've glued several people's teeth back in their mouths, including my own.
- Matt ParkerWEMT-IVBreckenridge, ColoradoMatt ParkerWEMT-IV
Matt Parker serves as a Field Training Officer, EMT, and Wildland Firefighter for Summit County Fire and EMS. He also works for Colorado Mountain College in the EMT program and the Outdoor Studies Program. Despite his full work life, he finds time to serve as a climbing guide for Colorado Adventure Guides, and work shifts at the Breckenridge Medical Clinic. He’s been a lead instructor for DMM since 2011, and serves the board of directors by providing essential updates on EMS and Mountain Rescue and supporting curriculum development. He loves serving DMM as a board member and instructor because it feels like a family, not a company, and he loves working and teaching with other passionate folks who live what they teach. He enjoys rock, ice, and snow, all the mountain biking, and the advanced art of hammocking.
Must-have met kit item: a Tourniquet cause when you need it….you really need it.