WMS Recognition Awards

Congratulations to the below WMS award recipients who have made significant contributions to our industry, our association, their place of work, and in their communities. Learn more about the award winners in recent years here:

Paul S. Auerbach Award

Given to a physician or PhD in recognition of sustained significant clinical or service contribution to Wilderness Medicine and/or scientific achievement in Wilderness Medicine in combination with service to the Society.

2021 Brad Bennett, PhD
2020 Michael Caudell, MD
2019 Ian Wedmore, MD
2018 Linda Keyes MD
2017 Elisabeth Edelstein, MD
2016 Hermann Brugger, MD
2015 Kenneth Iserson, MD
2014 Thomas M. Kessler, MD
2013 Lynn Yonge, MD
2012 David Shlim, MD
2011 Eric L. Johnson, MD
2010 Frank K. Butler, Jr, Capt., MC/USN
2009 Edward (Mel) Otten, MD
2008 Howard Backer, MD
2007 Luanne Freer, MD
2006 Robert B. Schoene, MD
2005 Gordon G. Giesbrecht, PhD
2004 Colin Grissom, MD
2003 Bruce Paton, MD
2002 Peter Hackett, MD
2001 Warren D. Bowman, MD
2000 James Wilkerson III, MD

Warren D. Bowman Award

Given to an Associate Member or an allied health professional for outstanding contributions in support services for Wilderness Medicine.

2021 Kerryn Wratt, FAWM
2020 Corey Winstead, W/AEMT
2019 Linda Lee, RN
2018 Debbie Simon, RN
2017 J. Pearce Beissinger, FAWM, MS, PA-C
2016 Gates Richards, WEMT-I
2015 Linda Laskowski-Jones, RN
2014 R. Bryan Simon, RN
2013 Dave Weber, NREMT-P
2012 Todd Miner, PhD
2011 Gordon H. Worley, RN
2010 C. Denise Edwards, Lt. Col.USAF
2009 Charles Shimanski
2008 Tod D. Schimelpfenig, EMT
2007 Sara Squyres, PA-C
2005 Sheryl Olsen, RN
2004 Peter Kummerfeldt
2003 George Rodway, PhD
2002 Linda B. Lindsey, RN
2001 Tod D. Schimelpfenig, EMT
2000 Buck Tilton

Education Award

Given in recognition of outstanding contributions in education to students, members, or the public in the field of Wilderness Medicine.

2021 Christanne Coffey, MD
2020 Stephanie Lareau, MD
2019 Seth Hawkins, MD
2018 Frank Hubbell, DO
2017 Laura McGladrey, RN
2016 Erin Meyer, MD
2015 Daniel DeKay, RN
2014 Kenneth Iserson, MD
2013 James Shuler, DO
2012 Linda Keyes, MD
2011 Elisabeth Edelstein, MD
2010 Debra Stoner, MD
2009 Brad L. Bennett, MD
2008 Thomas Kessler, MD
2007 Peter Kummerfeldt
2005 Robert L. Norris, MD
2004 Rob Hilvers, MD
2003 Ken Zafren, MD
2002 James Liffrig, MD
2001 James A. Litch, MD
2000 Edward Otten, MD
1999 Karl Neumann, MD
1998 Phillip Bertram, MD and Steve Donelan
1997 William Forgey, MD
1996 Paul S. Auerbach, MD
1995 Howard Donner, MD
1994 Doug Gentile, MD

Founders Award

Given in recognition of outstanding contributions to the principles and objectives of Wilderness Medicine as envisioned by the Society's founders.

2021 Arthur (Tony) Islas, MD
2020 Robert Quinn, MD
2019 Michael Caudell, MD
2018 Andrew Luks, MD
2017 Jay Lemery, MD
2016 Linda Keyes, MD
2015 Peter Kummerfeldt
2014 Michael E. Jacobs, MD
2013 Tom Deloughery, MD
2012 Ken Zafren, MD
2011 Robert L. Norris, MD
2010 Thomas M. Kessler MD
2009 Eric L. Johnson, MD
2008 Bruce Paton, MD
2007 Luanne Freer, MD
2006 James R. Liffrig, MD
2005 Howard D. Backer, MD
2004 William W. Forgey, MD
2003 Blair D. Erb, MD
2002 William Robinson, MD
2001 Paul S. Auerbach, MD and Murray P. Hamlet, DVM
2000 Edward Geehr, MD and Charles S. Houston, MD
1999 Joseph Serra, MD
1998 Kenneth Kizer, MD
1997 Peter Hackett, MD
1996 Robert Schoene, MD
1995 Herbert Hultgren, MD
1994 Warren Bowman, MD

Research Award

Given in recognition of outstanding research pertinent to the field of Wilderness Medicine.

2021 Tamara Hew-Butler DPM
2020 Beth Beidleman, Sc.D.
2019 Marc Berger, MD
2018 Peter Bartsch, MD
2017 Emmanuel Cauchy
2016 Michael Yaron, MD
2015 Leslie Boyer, MD
2014 Jeffrey H. Gertsch, MD
2013 Grant Lipman, MD
2012 Hermann Brugger, MD
2011 Scott McIntosh, MD, MPH
2010 Thomas Deloughery, MD
2009 Buddha Basnyat, MD
2008 Mary Ann Cooper, MD
2007 Robert L. Norris, MD and Ian Simpson, MD
2005 Sean P. Bush, MD
2004 Robert B. Schoene, MD
2003 Erik Swenson, MD
2002 Colin Grissom, MD
2001 Ellen L. Glickman, PhD
2000 Robert Roach, PhD
1999 Gordon G. Giesbrecht, PhD
1998 Benjamin Levine, MD
1997 Wayne Askew, PhD
1996 David Shlim, MD
1995 Murray P. Hamlet, DVM
1994 Peter Hackett, MD

Dian Simpkins Service Award

Given in recognition of outstanding service to the function and operation of the Society.

2021 Graham Brant-Zawadzki, MD
2020 Andy Rich, FAWM
2019 Lawrence LeBlond, MD
2018 Terri Monturano
2017 Stephanie Lareau, MD
2016 Alicia Byrne
2015 Todd Miner, Ed.D
2014 Debra Stoner, MD
2013 Emily Sagalyn, MD, MPH
2012 Michael Caudell, MD
2011 Reuben (Hill) McBrayer, MD
2010 Teri Howell
2009 Jim Ingwersen, MS
2008 James Wilkerson III, MD
2007 Christopher Van Tilburg, MD
2006 Jonna Barry
2005 Tom Kessler, MD
2004 Ken Zafren, MD
2003 Oswald Oelz, MD
2002 Matthew Russell, MD
2001 Benjamin I. Rosner, PhD
2000 James Bagian, MD and Eric Johnson, MD
1999 William A. Robinson, MD
1998 Howard D. Backer, MD
1997 Dian Simpkins
1996 Edward Geehr, MD
1995 Blair Erb, MD
1994 Bruce Paton, MD


Given in recognition of outstanding contributions to the Wilderness Medical Society or the field of wilderness medicine to an individual with no greater than five years’ membership in the WMS.

2021 Justin Gardner, DO

Blair Erb World Congress International Award

2016 Peter Bartsch, MD
2012 Buddha Basnyat, MD; Gordon Giesbrecht, PhD; David Warrell, DM
2007 Jim Milledge, MD and Robert B. Schoene, MD
2003 Urs Wiget, MD and Peter Hackett, MD
1999 Bruno Durrer, MD
1995 Franz Berghold, MD

WMS Ice Axe Award (formerly Ball Watch USA Award)

The Wilderness Medical Society Ice Axe Award honors an individual with a distinguished record of public service in wilderness medicine who is also a strong advocate of the Wilderness Medical Society and outdoor health and safety. His or her accomplishments may be in clinical practice, teaching, exploration, the arts or research.

2021 Sarah M. Schlein, MD
2020 Neal Pollock, PhD
2019 Hill McBrayer, MD
2018 Darryl Macias, MD
2017 Will R. Smith, MD
2016 Geoffrey Tabin, MD
2015 Rachel Tullet, MD
Megan Walmsley, MD
2014 Christopher Van Tilburg, MD
2013 Elizabeth Edelstein, MD
2012 Andrew Luks, MD
2010 Jay Lemery, MD
2009 Seth C. Hawkins, MD
2008 Luanne Freer, MD

Wilderness & Environmental Medicine Recognition Awards

Given in recognition of important contributions to the journal.

2021 Excellence in Peer Reviews: Al M Best, PhD; Kirsten Coffman, PhD; Susan (Sue) Hopkins, MD; Roy M. Salgado, PhD
2020 Excellence in Peer Reviews: LTC David DeGroot, PhD, Stephanie Lareau, MD, Lara Phillips, MD
2019 Excellence in Peer Reviews: Aaron Brillhart, MD; Bryan Jarrett, MD; David Rust, MD; Susanne J Spano, MD
2018 Excellence in Peer Reviews: Robert Norris, MD; Steven Roy MD; Bryan Wilson MD
2017 Excellence in Peer Reviews: Christopher Tedeschi, MD; Will R. Smith, MD; James H. Diaz, MD; James Lieberman, MD
2016 Excellence in Peer Reviews: Cedric Yoshimoto, MD; Lori Weichenthal, MD; John Anderson, MD


Excellence in Peer Reviews: Kurt Eifling, MD; Jeremy Joslin, MD; Susanne J Spano, MD; Nicholas Kanaan, MD; Wayne Askew, PhD; John Saucier, MD
2014 Outstanding Contributor: Luanne Freer, MD
Excellence in Peer Reviews: Tod Schimelpfenig, WEMT; Albert R. “AJ” Wheeler, MD; Aaron D. Campbell, MD; David Hillebrandt, MBBS
2013 Excellence in Peer Reviews: Ola Dunin-Bell, MD; Joseph Forrester, MD; Matthew Muller, PhD; Matiram Pun, MBBS
2012 Excellence in Peer Reviews: Edward J. “Mel” Otten, MD; Vidal Haddad, Jr., MD; Michael Cardwell, BS; Thomas Welch, MD
2011 Outstanding Contributor: James A. Wilkerson, MD
Excellence in Peer Reviews: Howard Backer, MD; Colin K. Grissom, MD; Scott A. Weinstein, MD
2010 Excellence in Peer Reviews: Linda Keyes, MD; Neal Pollock, PhD; George Rodway, PhD; Jeremy Windsor, MB ChB; Ken Zafren, MD

Outstanding Research Presentations

Given in recognition of the best research abstracts in the field of Wilderness Medicine.


Outstanding Research Presentation (Oral): Amy Briggs – A novel application of a computer vision model to measure social distancing practices among visitors to Yosemite National Park
Outstanding Research Presentation (Oral) by a Researcher-in-Training: Chance Sullivan – Injury and Illness in Youth Wilderness Expeditions
Outstanding Research Poster: Abby Ritter – Expanding the Utility of Wilderness Solar Water Disinfection: Evaluating Temperate Climates and Colored Water Containers


Outstanding Research Presentation (Oral): Larissa Schäfer -  Acetazolamide cannot be recommended for HAPE prevention after rapid and active ascent to 4,559 m
Outstanding Research Presentation (Oral) by a Researcher-in-Training: Taylor Docter  - Comparison of Radiographic, Ultrasound and Magnetic Resonance Imaging for the Detection of Retained Stingray Foreign Body
Outstanding Research Poster: Jake McRae – Utilizing Drones in Search and Rescue Operations to Deliver Water to Dehydrated Victims Stranded in Remote Areas

Outstanding Research Presentation (Oral): Anne Walker - Novel Day of Ascent Dosing of Acetazolamide for Prevention of Acute Mountain Sickness
Outstanding Research Presentation (Oral) by a Researcher-in-Training: Brendan Milliner - Effect of Calcium-Channel Blockade on the Cold-Induced Vasodilation Response
Outstanding Research Poster: Yevgeniy Maksimenko - Drowning Injuries in the United States: Patient Characteristics and Complications in Hospitalized Patients Nationwide

Outstanding Research Presentation (Oral): Ross Hofmeyr - Influence of Altitude on Performance of the Methoxyflurane Inhalational Analgesic Device: A Hypobaric Laboratory Assessment
Outstanding Research Presentation (Oral) by a Researcher-in-Training: Patrick Burns - Acute Mountain Sickness Prevention With Ibuprofen Relative to Acetazolamide
Outstanding Research Poster: Gordon Paterson - Hypoxia Modulates Platelet Purinergic Signaling Pathways
Outstanding Research Poster: Alana Hawley - Rock Climber Rescue Skills

Outstanding Research Presentation (Oral): James Lang - Oral L-Tyrosine Supplementation Improved Core Temperature Maintenance to Whole-Body Cold Exposure in Older Adults.
Outstanding Research Poster: Juan Campodonico Rios - Voluntary Ventilatory Response v/s Acetazolamide in Acute Mountain Sickness. Preliminary findings of RCT;


Outstanding Research Presentation (Oral): Justin Lawley - Direct Measurement of Intracranial Pressure in Hypobaric Hypoxia: Implications for Acute Mountain Sickness