Summer & Fall Conferences and COVID-19

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Sunday, May 17, 2020 - 19:00
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With the impact of COVID-19 on both travel and gatherings, organizations are still determining plans for summer and fall conferences. Here is the current information about the status of upcoming conferences.

Wilderness Medical Society (WMS)

WMS 2020 Summer Conference - July 19-23

The WMS 2020 Summer Conference is going virtual, July 19-23! As our largest in-person event of the year, this wasn't an easy decision, but with so much uncertainty about the coming months due to COVID-19, we are confident it's the right decision.

As you know, improvisation is one of the key tenets of wilderness medicine, and we saw this as an opportunity for the WMS to adapt and grow based on the unexpected challenges of our current times. Although many things are currently shut down or scaled back, education, creativity, and building community can continue, and that’s exactly what we plan to offer with our first-ever virtual conference.

The WMS virtual conference will be an interactive format with a live chat feature, instant polls and live Q&A sessions.  You’ll therefore get the exceptional education that you’ve come to expect from the WMS to enhance your wilderness medicine knowledge and skills, but now get the added benefit of accessing this education from the comfort of your home or office. And if convenience was not enough of a reason to participate, then affordability is a great reason to register.  We have discounted the registration fee by 50%, making this the most affordable option for FAWM and CME credit that we have ever offered, and so you’ll save money as a result of this change as well!   

Highlights of the conference include 16 morning lectures, 4 afternoon group discussions, a Keynote Address by Stephen K. Robinson, “A True Wilderness – Working at an Altitude of 400,000 Meters” plus research and poster session and online workout class and a virtual exhibit hall.  See the Schedule tab for more details.

Thank you for your interest in our virtual conference, and for your support and understanding of the changes we have had to make to the format of our conference in this time of unexpected challenges and uncertainty.  We look forward to seeing you online in July!


Association for Outdoor Recreation & Education (AORE)

National Conference: October 26 - 30

Join us October 26-30th, in the comfort of your own home, workplace, or internet-connected outdoor space, as we virtually gather around the campfire together to make connections among colleagues, partners, industries and the outdoors.

AORE's Annual Conference strives to:

  • broaden collaboration between the outdoor industry and outdoor recreation and education;

  • offer higher-quality educational opportunities;

  • build and strengthen professional skills and knowledge;

  • broaden networking opportunities;

  • educate our attendees in advocacy and public policy efforts;

  • raise awareness of the value and impact of outdoor recreation;

  • and empower attendees to connect people to the outdoors through recreation and education experiences.


Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC)

National Conference: October 28 - 30, Burlington, VT USA

While uncertainty surrounding the global pandemic persists, we continue to hold some optimism for an in-person gathering in late October. We are seeking input from the WRMC community to inform our planning, and would appreciate you taking a few minutes to share your thoughts via this survey.

We are working closely with our venue (Hilton DoubleTree in Burlington, VT) and the WRMC Steering Committee to plan and adjust expectations, listening to public health experts, monitoring restrictions on travel and gatherings, and exploring virtual event options. Most importantly, we’re thinking hard about how to best serve the WRMC community in this unprecedented time.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions, but here’s what we do know:

  • Registration will open later than usual this year. The extended timeline will give us more time to plan and adjust to changing circumstances, and adjust pricing structure if needed to account for any changes to the event.
  • The deadline for “early bird” (a.k.a. discounted) registration will be extended into mid-September.
  • Cancellation policies will allow for additional flexibility and last-minute plan changes
  • We’ll make the decision about an in-person or virtual event before opening registration.
  • The WRMC community is resilient and adaptable, and will come together this fall one way or another! 

Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts. Be well, and take care of each other out there.

More Information

Association for Experiential Education (AEE)

International Conference: November 12 - 14, Pittsburg, PA USA

we'd like to provide an update on AEE International Conference planning. We know that you all are anxiously awaiting a decision from us regarding our November conference plans. We have been working hard over the past few weeks to assess the impacts of the pandemic, connect with organizations and individuals to understand how the pandemic may effect future plans, and think about alternative ways to engage you all in a meaningful way should we be unable to host an in-person conference.

At this time, we have not made any final decisions. Our goal is to make an informed decision that meets the needs of our members and communityYour feedback has been invaluable as we navigate forward. 

We continue to monitor decisions made across the nation and the world regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate your patience as we keep the timing of our decision more fluid to accommodate the ever-changing pandemic situation.

While we still hold on to the hope of hosting an in-person gathering in November, we are also balancing issues of safety, government/state regulations and guidelines, possible travel restrictions, and personal/organizational financial and safety concerns. Please help us to understand how to best support you all. After all, AEE is a membership organization, and we are fully dedicated to supporting you, our community.

As we continue to gather information, please note the following:

  • We are in close contact with our venue, the Omni William Penn Hotel, as well as Visit Pittsburgh Tourism to monitor city regulations and think about possible adjustments.
  • Registration is opening later than usual this year. We still hope to have a final decision by the end of May and open registration in June. At this point, we do not have an exact date for our final decision or the opening of registration.
  • Regardless of a virtual, in person conference or hybrid conference, we are taking into consideration financial and economic situations and will be offering discounts for our members as well as reasonable pricing options.
  • Workshop proposals, SEER presentations and posters are currently being evaluated. Our amazing team of volunteers is hard at work making sure AEE brings you a​n exceptional slate of learning opportunities.
  • We will be requesting nominations for awards as well as ActivatEE speakers very soon and look forward to hearing about all the amazing things everyone has been doing.

This community is resilient, and we challenge you to tap into your roots of Experiential Education to imagine new and exciting ways to connect. We will see you in November - virtually or in-person - and look forward to seeing what this community can create even in the face of such ever-changing challenges.

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Posting Dates: 
Sunday, May 17, 2020 to Sunday, November 15, 2020