Sierra Nevada Wilderness Conference 2020

Date: 05-Jun-2020




June 5-7, 2020
Quincy, California


We are excited to welcome you to the third annual Sierra Nevada Conservation & Wilderness Medicine conference, which will once again be held at the West End Theater in Quincy, California. While continuing to cover a broad array of traditional wilderness medicine topics, this year we will focus on the interconnectedness of migration, climate, and health. Through focused lectures and panel discussions, we look forward to engaging in conversation about the changing patterns of migration in the context of climate change, its impacts on clinical practice and on population health.

As always, our schedule features world-class presenters, recreational opportunities, and workshops to build your wilderness, travel, and improvisational medical skills. We are also honored to welcome Dr. Marc Schenker as this year’s keynote speaker. Dr. Schenker is a Distinguished Professor of Public Health Sciences and Medicine at UC Davis. He is the founding director of the Migration and Health Research Center and the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health. His clinical and academic work has focused on rural and agricultural populations with a specific emphasis on the occupational health outcomes and health disparities amongst immigrant workers.

We look forward to welcoming you to Quincy! From our central location you can enjoy the charming “Gem of the Sierras”, with great restaurants, local breweries, unique shops and galleries, and easy access to camping, hiking, and kayaking. Register today and join other passionate healthcare professionals in engaging conversations, focused learning, outdoor adventures, camping, nightly fire pit, and more!

This high-quality educational event is brought to you at an affordable price through the combined efforts of Plumas District Hospital, Plumas Health Care Foundation, Feather River College and many other sponsors. The conference is open to both healthcare and non-healthcare professionals, including students and residents, and CMEs and CEs will be available.



Outdoor Activities
The Program
The Presenters




Schedule subject to change without notice. Click here to download the Preliminary Conference Schedule.


Workshop Class Limit Description
Basic First Aid Skills and Travel Kit 30 This workshop will consist of a starting point for assembling a personal travel kit along with practicing fire starting, basic first aid, and splinting skills.
SAR Skills: Search Tactics and Subject Tracking 30

Team member proficiency in search tactics and subject tracking are essential to search and rescue operations. This workshop will cover the basics in these areas by leading participants through exercises in small groups. At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to define track or print, sign, sign cutting, and step by step tracking; as well as the search tactics of containment, hasty search, loose grid, tight grid, and evidence search. Participants will be able to utilize a tracking stick, properly label a track, and delegate the responsibilities of point and flankers on a tracking crew. Searchers will also take notes on and practice a verbal command post report on their probability of detection (POD), estimated forward search speed, how long they searched, and a qualitative description of the search conditions on a simulated search.

Participants must bring a notepad, pen/pencil, hiking stick/walking stick, and several rubberbands in order to participate.

Basic Wound Care/ Suturing


Learn from Dr. Ben Hunt's experience as a surgeon in rural Africa and California! This workshop will cover principles of wound care in the backcountry, including infection prevention, inprovised closure and suturing techniques. (CLASS FULL)
Wild Women: Personal Accounts from Women in the Field 30 Panel Discussion of passionate women who have been a part of the wilderness medicine field. We will explore their paths to the specialty and how they have made wilderness medicine a meaningful part of their personal or professional lives. We will also discuss any pitfalls they have encountered along the way as well as the great encouragers and inspirations that have helped them along. The goal is to explore the challenges, the successes and the future needs and directions for 'women in the wild.'
Foot Care in the Wilderness 30 This workshop will focus on management of the most common foot issues and injuries related to those undertaking extreme outdoor adventures. Extra focus will be placed on the research around blister care and methods to prevent and treat them. We will also discuss nail injuries and austere management of other common musculoskeletal foot and ankle injuries. (CLASS FULL) 

Case Studies in Travel Medicine (formerly Evaluation of Fever in the Returning Traveler)

30 Participants will cover three main topics for education purposes:
1. Key vaccines that need be administered prior to travel for under-developed countries,with special emphasis of Yellow Fever, supply and acquisition.

2. Pre-travel advice for older travelers with multiple co-morbidities and issues of concern / caution in regards to drug therapy and use of medicines for drug prophylaxis against traveler’s diarrhea and malaria.

3. Evaluation of the traveler returning with fever from an under-developed country.
Lifts and Carries


Skills regarding lifts and carries are not only useful as part of an organized search and rescue team search, but can be useful in unexpected delivery of care while recreating in wilderness areas, or even in an emergency in your own home. Participants will build improvised litters and practice 1-2 person lifts of both cooperative and incompacitated victims.
Advanced Ultrasound in the Wilderness 30 This is a hands on workshop for experts and beginners. We will demo various hand-held devices and will practice performing thoracic, abdominal, ocular and musculoskeletal ultrasound.


Outdoor Activities subject to change without notice. Each guided activity has a limited capacity. Please RSVP at the time of registration or email These activities are brought to you by the Feather River College Outdoor Recreation Leadership Program.

Activity Description Limited Number of Participants Transportation Equipment Cost
Hiking Breathtaking views on a mild-moderate hike. Location TBD (CLASS FULL) 20 Carpool Please bring your own equipment N/A
Mountain Biking, Advanced Level The famous Mt Hough shuttle and single track descent. 12 Shuttle provided for extra fee Please bring your own equipment and make shuttle arrangements in advance. $20 for shuttle, payable in advance.  Use link above
Stand-Up Paddleboard Paddle on the slow moving waters of Spanish Creek, near Oakland Camp  10 Carpool Equipment provided N/A
Swimming Enjoy swimming or floating in the gentle flowing waters of Spanish Creek, near Oakland Camp No Limit Carpool Please bring your own equipment N/A
Birding Plumas County is known for extraordinary Birding. Location to be determined by local Birding expert pending weather, bird patterns, best opportunities. 10 Carpool Equipment provided N/A
Climbing Wall Scale Feather River College's indoor climbing wall. 10 Carpool Please bring your own equipment N/A
Fly Fishing, Advanced Level On the Wild and Scenic Middle Fork of the Feather River 4 Carpool Please bring your own equipment. Outing geared towards experienced fly-fishers. N/A


Plumas County is the true rural experience you’ve dreamed about: crystal clear lakes, trout-filled streams, fresh pine forests, star filled skies, and a natural friendliness that comes from small-town life. Located in northeastern California where the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountains meet, Plumas County boasts more than 100 lakes, 1,000 miles of rivers and streams, and over a million acres of national forest. With only eight people per square mile, this rural, four-season mountain retreat offers beauty, solitude, and clean air, making it the perfect location for the first annual Sierra Nevada Conservation & Wilderness Medicine Conference.



Traveling to Quincy

From Central California: Head North on I-5, merge onto State Hwy 99 N, then merge onto CA-70 N and follow signs to Quincy.

From Reno: Head North on I-395, use the exit for Hallelujah Junction and turn left at the stop sign onto CA-70 W, then follow signs to Quincy.

From the Tahoe area: Take CA-267 N to CA-89 N in Truckee. Follow CA-89 N until you must turn left to stay on CA-89 N/CA-70 W. Follow signs to Quincy.

Drive times vary to Quincy depending on weather conditions. On a clear day, it takes about 1.5 hours from Reno, 1.5 hour from Oroville/Chico and 2.5 hours from Sacramento.


NOTE: We recommend reserving your lodging as soon as possible. Local hotels are limited and tend to fill up quick!

Camping will be available at Feather River College for $30 for the weekend; Includes restrooms and showers. Limited number of RV dry camp spaces available. No RV hook-ups or power.

Click here to view local/on-your-own lodging options.

When reserving your lodging, be aware the majority of didactic sessions and activities will take place at the West End Theatre, 541 Main Street in Quincy, CA 95971, and Feather River College, 570 Golden Eagle Ave in Quincy, CA 95971.


Marc B.Schenker MD, MPH
Dr. Schenker is a Distinguished Professor of Public Health Sciences and Medicine at University of California Davis. He is Founding Director of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety, and the Migration and Health Research Center. His work has focused on agricultural populations, including farmworkers and their families, farm owners, and managers, and the diverse causes of illness and injury, including agricultural dusts, pesticides, and heat. He has engaged occupational health researchers and epidemiologists on the global health disparities affecting immigrants, with particular attention to the occupational health outcomes among immigrant workers.

Anne Walker MD
Dr. Walker trained in emergency medicine at University of Maryland Medical Center and completed a wilderness medicine fellowship at Stanford last year. She has served as a member of Maryland Search and Rescue and has volunteered as a staff physician for remote self-supported ultra-marathons in multiple countries. She has obtained a Diploma in Mountain Medicine and participated in research in the fields of altitude medicine and in the pathophysiology of ultramarathon runners.

She enjoys hiking with her pup Lucky, backpacking, learning to climb, mountain biking and snowboarding.


Steven Zell MD
Dr. Zell is a Professor of Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine full time for the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. He is current Program Director for the Primary Care Internal Medicine Track.  Dry Zell maintains board certification via the ABIM along with subspecialty certificates in HIV / AIDS as offered by the American Academy of HIV Medicine and CTH designation by the International Society of Travel Medicine. Dr. Zell has a long time interest in that of wilderness medicine with publications of original research relating from that of giardia lamblia acquisition raters in travelers to backcountry areas and the use of combined Diamox and dexamethasone for prevention of acute mountain sickness. Dr. Zell runs a weekly pre-travel medicine consultation service and takes interest in the analysis of itinerary and subsequent risk for those adults whom have complicated morbidities due to co-existing internal medicine problems.

Zina Semenovskaya MD
Dr. Semenovskaya completed her residency in Emergency Medicine at SUNY Downstate/ King’s County Hospital in NYC and fellowship in wilderness medicine at Stanford University Medical Center. She is a passionate advocate for animal rights and the environment and her professional interests combine austere and disaster medicine with global health. Most recently, she deployed to the 2015 earthquake in Nepal through the Delaware Medical Relief Team and taught emergency medicine in Bhutan through Health Volunteers Overseas. She has also worked extensively in aeromedical retrieval throughout East and Sub-Saharan Africa with the AMREF Flying Doctors, provided medical support in Jordan with Racing The Planet, and volunteered with surgical missions in Sierra Leone and Ghana with the International Surgical Health Initiative. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM), an Advanced Wilderness Life Support (AWLS) instructor, and a member of the International Society of Travel Medicine. She is currently the medical director at Remote Emergency Medicine Consulting, LLC and splits her time working clinically as an emergency medicine attending in California and Alaska.

Ben Hunt MD
Dr. Hunt completed his residency in General Surgery and a fellowship in Minimally Invasive Surgery at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, Washington.  He is Board Certified in General Surgery, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a member of American Society of Breast Surgeons.  Additionally, Dr. Hunt is trained as a wilderness EMT, enjoys backcountry skiing, whitewater kayaking, backpacking, and biking with his family.

Susanne Spano MD
Dr. Spano is from Fresno, CA where she is the Director of the Wilderness Medicine Fellowship program at the University of California San Francisco Fresno Medical Education Program. She received her MD at Temple University in Philadelphia before Emergency Medicine residency training and Wilderness Medicine Fellowship Training at UCSF Fresno. She is an active member of the Search and rescue team that serves Fresno County and the adjacent National Parks. For over three decades, UCSF Fresno Parkmedic Program for the National Park Service has provided Medical Direction, and the affiliated teaching hospital is closest Level 1 Trauma Center to Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, and Pinnacles National Parks.

Tatiana Havryliuk MD
Dr. Havryliuk is an emergency physician in New York City. She completed her wilderness medicine fellowship at the University of Colorado and spent two seasons working with Himalayan Rescue Association in Nepal. Tatiana currently is a fellow in emergency ultrasound at  Mt. Sinai St. Luke’s and looks to bridge the two fields together.  She enjoys biking, hiking, mountaineering and always looking for a new adventure in the mountains.

Jeffrey Kepple MD
Dr. Kepple received his MD from UC San Diego Medical School, and completed his residency through UC Davis Health in broad spectrum Family Medicine including surgical obstetrics.

He was Chief Executive Officer of Plumas District Hospital from 2014 through 2018, helping the hospital to achieve the prestigious designation of a UC Davis Rural Center of Excellence. He served as the hospitals Rural Health Clinic Medical Director for over 20 years.

In addition to cofounding/codirecting the annual Sierra Nevada Conservation and Wilderness Medicine Conference, he is currently Medical Director of NorCal EMS, consultant to Plumas District Hospital, and Medical Director of Frontline Medical Wildland Fire Team. He enjoys mountain biking, backcountry snowboarding, backpacking, gardening and songwriting.

Michael Lindsey MD
Dr. Lindsey is a current Wilderness Fellow at the University of California San Diego.  He grew up in Texas where he also stayed to finish a residency in Emergency Medicine. His interest in international medicine began during medical school where he completed a 4 year Global Health Scholar program.  Most recently he worked with Stanford University teaching an emergency medicine course in Myanmar.  His interest in toxicology began during residency where he was awarded the John F. Haynes Scholarship for Toxicology.  Recently he was a presenter for the regional toxicology conference Pills and Thrills that Kill where he spoke on snakebites.  When not working he spends his time rock climbing, mountain biking, dirt biking, canyoneering, and hiking.

Mary Bing MD, MPH
Dr. Bing is an Assistant Professor for the Department of Emergency Medicine at University of California: Davis, where she runs the Wilderness Medical course for medical students. She graduated from medical school at UC San Diego and completed residency at NewYork-Presbyterian where she developed her interest in Wilderness Medicine.

Avinash Patil MD
Dr. Patil is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Stanford University. His academic interests include Wilderness Medicine, Global Health, and medical education. He serves as the Medical Director for Outward Bound California, Sierra Rescue, and Racing The Planet’s ultramarathon racing series. He has supported wilderness activities medically on various expeditions and events on all 7 continents. He has worked as a whitewater rafting guide for over 20 years.

In his spare time, he enjoys racing sailboats, snowboarding, surfing and travelling the world. He also loves his Subaru.

Christine N. McBeth DO, MSPH
Dr. McBeth is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of California, Davis Medical Center. She did fellowship training in Ultrasound and Global Health. She focuses on teaching ultrasound in low-resource countries and has done training and work in emergency medicine in Uganda, Laos, Vietnam, Nepal, Uruguay, Belize and Honduras. She also is an avid hiker and backpacker in the Eastern Sierras and completed the John Muir Trail in summer 2019. 
James Marvel MD
Dr. Marvel is the current wilderness medicine fellow at Stanford University. Originally from Florida, he ended up through a meandering route in Los Angeles where he completed his emergency medicine residency at LAC+USC Medical Center. He is excited by all topics wilderness medicine, but his research focuses on high altitude medicine and climate science. He is currently exploring how climate variables have influenced the distribution of Lyme Disease in the northeastern United States. James enjoys hiking, rock climbing, biking, and trying to take his cat outdoors.
Will Chiang MD
Dr. Chiang is from NYC where received his Medical Degree at the SUNY Downstate College of Medicine through the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. He went on to complete his residency in Emergency Medicine at Jacobi and Montefiore Medical Centers in the Bronx. He is currently completing his fellowship year at UCSF Fresno where he is involved with the Parkmedic program for the National Parks Service and is an active member of the Fresno County Search and Rescue team.

Dan Gragert MD, MSc
Dr. Gragert, most recently a transplant from Boise, ID, is finishing his medical residency at the University of Oklahoma. He is a medical graduate of Pacific Northwest University, with additional graduate training at Boise State University where he received his MSc in Biomechanics, and Creighton University where he received his MPH and was an OBGYN resident, before transitioning to family medicine. Dan, and his family, have a strong passion for global health, he is the founder and former Chief Medical Officer for an 501c designated NGO in East Africa focused on delivering emergency obstetrical care. Additionally, he serves on the board for multiple NGOs in Tanzania, Ecuador and for the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma. He has served on the Treasure Valley, Lewis and Clark County, and Yakima County Search and Rescue.

Kamilla Gazieva MPH, MBA
Kamilla Gazieva is a public health professional with a passion for women's health and health promotion. She attended Boise State University in Boise, ID where she received both her MBA and MPH. Her professional experience includes healthcare marketing, public health research, and communications. Kamilla works at the Nebraska Perinatal Quality Improvement Collaborative where she creates educational content about healthy pregnancy and newborn care. Kamilla is a long-distance runner and an adventurous mom who together with her husband took their son when he was ten-days old to camp in the mountains, climb Kilimanjaro and ski in the wilderness.

Brenden Tu MD
Dr. Tu grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He completed a BS degree in natural resource science from UC Davis. He then completed a Master’s degree in Wildland Fire Management, with an emphasis in fire behavior and safety, from Colorado State University. After 6 years with the USDA Forest Service, he changed careers and attended medical school at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He completed his residency training in Family Practice at UC Davis. After residency he worked for three years as the Lead Physician at Salud clinic, a Federally Qualified Healthcare Center in West Sacramento. He is currently working as a staff physician at the UC Davis Student Health and Wellness Center.

Brenden is currently the medical director for two student run clinics- Clĺnica Tepati since 2008 and the Knights Landing One Health Clinic since 2012. Clĺnica Tepati was founded in 1974 to fill the need for culturally competent primary health care to the uninsured Latinx community in Sacramento. The Knight Landing One Health Clinic was established in 2012 as part of a larger community engagement project based on the One Health concept, providing health care to the small farming community of Knights Landing.

In addition to general primary care, his specific interests include LGBTQ health, international health (mostly practiced in downtown Sacramento), teaching health professional students, and mentoring undergraduate students. His patients often refer to him as either “the Mexican doctor” or “the doctor with the toe shoes” and he has a reputation among his students for teaching the first first rule of medicine as “do no harm” and the second first rule of medicine as “take care of the patient in spite of the rules”.


Farah Shaheen MD
Dr. Shaheen is an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at University of California Davis. She is passionate about providing for the medically underserved as a primary care doctor, as well as teaching and mentoring medical students and residents. Advocating for the health and well-being of undocumented immigrants and refugees resonates deeply with her. She is working to starting an Asylum Clinic at University of California Davis as a joint venture between medical and legal providers. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, photography, hiking, and baking.



Tuition Fee includes all lectures, printed materials, breakout sessions, continuing education credit, and light breakfasts.


Registration Pricing

  • Physician or Doctoral Level $375.00
  • Physician or Doctoral level with Camping $405.00
  • Non-Doctoral (RN, other licensed healthcare technicians) $225.00
  • Non-Doctoral with Camping $255.00
  • Resident Physician, Paramedic, EMT $175.00
  • Resident Physician, Paramedic, EMT with Camping $205.00
  • Student (Full-Time Current) $125.00 USD
  • Student (Full-Time Current) with Camping $155.00 USD
  • Speaker Waiver with Camping $30.00 USD





Press the button below to register today.

Thank you in advance for joining us for the Sierra Nevada Conservation & Wilderness Medicine Conference!

If you have already registered but need to pay, click here.


Questions? Contact us at


Please check back for updates! You can also follow us on Facebook at