Justin Brewster, WEMT, AWLS - Instructor
Justin grew up close to Lake Superior and currently calls Duluth, Minnesota home. He takes advantage of the abundant opportunities for adventure here. Justin has a degree in Outdoor Education and is a Wilderness EMT. He's worked in the field since 2006, including many years instructing and training staff at Outward Bound, a few stints as a college instructor, and ten years teaching wilderness medicine. Justin has some serious expedition 'chops,' including a 1300 mile sea-kayak circumnavigation, a kayak descent of the Grand Canyon, and several dogsled expeditions on Hudson Bay. Justin loves teaching wilderness medicine because it combines his expedition and leadership experiences with a passion for helping others understand human physiology. When not working, Justin enjoys mountain biking, skiing, paddling whitewater, and chasing big waves on Lake Superior. Justin has started his next big adventure: Physician Assistant school. He's looking forward to continuing practicing medicine in remote environments, whether that's serving rural communities or on an expedition.
Mariah Christensen, WEMT - Instructor
Mariah was exposed to wilderness travel at the young age of six weeks when she took her first trip into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Since then she has embraced many adventures including bike touring with her family, dogsledding on Hudson Bay and most recently circumnavigating Lake Superior by sea kayak. Mariah graduated from Northland College with a degree in Art and Environmental Science. She currently works at the Voyageur Outward Bound School in Ely, Minnesota, where she leads wilderness expeditions by canoe, kayak, dogsled and skis. Mariah is a wilderness EMT and teaches wilderness medicine because she believes that everyone should have basic medical training so they can be of service to others. When she isn't working Mariah enjoys running, mountain biking, hanging out with her dog Bandit and sleeping in a heated building.
Caitlin Gaylord, WEMT - Instructor
Caitlin grew up hiking, camping, and skiing in the North Cascade mountains outside of Seattle. While at Scripps College, she led student backpacking and climbing trips for students in Utah, Arizona, and California and taught wilderness skills workshops. During college, Caitlin also spent one summer working with Search and Rescue in Yosemite National Park, and another summer assisting with high altitude and exercise science research in British Columbia. After graduating with a degree in biochemistry, Caitlin moved to Denver, CO and currently works as an ER medical scribe and is planning to apply to medical school. Caitlin teaches wilderness medicine because she believes in empowering others to be prepared in the backcountry. Outside of work, Caitlin spends time rock climbing, running, writing, and trying new bread recipes.
Ben Hoffman, WEMT - Instructor
Ben Hoffman grew up in Massachusetts and moved around the world until he found his most recent home in the Midwest. He received a degree in Wildlife Biology with minors in Fisheries and Rangeland Ecology from Colorado State University, which led to his discovery of the environment through recreation and stewardship. He has been an active outdoor professional for the last 11 years. Ben currently resides in Omaha, Nebraska where he is the Program Director for an Outward Bound program designed to focus on the critical, unmet needs of Omaha youth. The program works primarily with young men beginning in fifth grade, with the goal of helping them grow into healthy, educated, employed contributors to the community. Ben is a Wilderness EMT and also holds an Outdoor Emergency Care certification. Ben teaches wilderness medicine because he believes in the positive impact that it can have on a person's life by empowering people to respond in both front and backcountry settings.
Nate Lawton, MS, EMT - Instructor
Nate grew up fly fishing, hunting, and climbing near Spokane Washington. With Bachelor’s degrees in Exercise Science and Health promotion and Wellness, and a master’s degree in Physical Education/Exercise Science, Nate has spent most of his career teaching others how to live healthy active lives. Nate teaches wilderness medicine because he believes that the more prepared people are for backcountry emergencies, the more likely they are to have adventures in the outdoors. This is crucial to true health & wellness. He is a Senior Lecturer in the Wellness and Movement Sciences department at Eastern Washington University, where he teaches Wilderness First Aid, BLS/First Aid, Medical Terminology, Exercise Physiology, and Kinesiology courses. He enjoys playing outside with his wife and 3 kiddos.
Jason Luthy, MS, WEMT, FAWM - Owner/Instructor
Jason grew up in the midwest where he developed a passion for the outdoors. He became interested in medicine early in life though regular ER visits as a competitive BMX bicyclist. After college, Jason became an instructor for Outward Bound and facilitated wilderness expeditions throughout the U.S. gaining comfort in a wide variety of environments from the Florida Everglades to high in the Cascade Mountain Range. Jason earned a Master Degree in Experiential Education from Minnesota State - Mankato focusing his study on designing productive learning environments. In addition to being an EMT, Jason if a Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine. Since 2009 Jason has worked as a content developer and instructor for Longleaf Wilderness Medicine. In his current role, Jason uses his educational expertise to design curriculum, train LWM instructors, and teach LWM courses. Jason volunteers as a team leader for Bonner County Sheriff's Office Volunteer Search and Rescue in North Idaho and finds time to enjoy the outdoors through rock climbing, running, and exploring the Selkirk Mountains.
Katie Cartier Luthy, WFR - Program Manager/Instructor
Originally from Massachusetts, Katie has spent most of her professional career working to facilitate expeditions, outdoor programming, and other learning opportunities for youth and adults through roles at organizations including the YMCA and Outward Bound. After studying business in college, she spent two years serving with AmeriCorps NCCC providing community service to non-profits in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions. She enjoys supporting the learning experiences for groups of all types, including teens, leadership groups, parents and professionals. When she isn't working, she can be found reading a book, eating ice cream, doing yoga, baking, and adventuring in the mountains.
Nathan Page, WEMT - Instructor
Nathan grew up in the mossy Pacific Northwest and has lived in the shadow of Mount Rainier for most of his life. After graduating with bachelor’s degrees in Geosciences and Environmental Studies he fled south trying to find that the ever-elusive, “endless summer.” After a year in Central America working on an organic farm, he returned to the US finding a happy medium in sunny California. Nathan taught outdoor and environmental education programs for various elementary schools the spring and fall seasons. When California grew a bit too hot, he returned to Seattle and instructed outdoor leadership expeditions with youth for BOLD & GOLD. Nathan is currently a WEMT and works as an EMT aboard an ambulance in south Seattle. He has been an avid trail runner and rock climber for the past 7 years and enjoys teaching and guiding others in high places. Nathan believes that wilderness medicine can empower individuals to enjoy wild places with a healthy balance of confidence and humility.
Russell Nyberg, RN, NREMT-Paramedic, WFR - Instructor
Russell grew up cultivating a passion for the outdoors in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. After high school he flew away to Alaska for college. What followed was a whirlwind of adventure working in the outdoor industry. Soon enough, on the job training introduced him to wilderness medicine for which he quickly developed a passion and furthered his medical knowledge by becoming a Paramedic and working in remote parts of the Arctic. Flash forward and now Russell is found traveling the lower 48 in his van as a critical care travel nurse, spending his free time skiing, climbing, and boating as much as possible.
Neal Shaffer, WEMT - Instructor
Neal was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, where he developed a great appreciation for the outdoors. He received a degree in Molecular Biology from Western Washington University where he conducted research in ecological genetics. He is a wilderness EMT and holds a US Coast Guard civilian maritime medical certification. Neal has experience in wildland firefighting and maritime healthcare. He draws on clinical experience from volunteer work at a hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He is an avid fly angler and enjoys hunting, snowshoeing, woodworking, and backpacking with his dog Maui.
Robb Talbott, WFR, OEC - Instructor
Robb’s passion for the outdoors was fostered in the Appalachian Mountains around his hometown in southwest Virginia. From an early age he was introduced to hiking on the AT, canoeing on the James, climbing up Stone Mountain NC, and skiing in Wild and Wonderful West Virginia. An educator by training and trade, Robb has taught public high school as well as in private schools for at risk youth. Teaching wilderness medicine is a blend of three things he cares deeply about; teaching, the outdoors, and assisting someone in a time of need. As a member of the National Ski patrol since 2006, Robb now patrols at Schweitzer. In his free time Robb can be found hunting fresh powder in winter, then biking and hiking with his dogs Seneca and Selle or working on home improvement projects the rest of the year.
Want to join the team?
We welcome applications from people who are passionate about wilderness medicine and providing the highest quality medical education and invite you to learn more about the LWM Instructor Training Program and application process.