UM Home | UM A-Z | UM Search


Aerie provides wilderness and rural medical training, risk management consulting and first aid supplies to over 2,000 students a year throughout the United States, Mexico, Central America and Africa.

College of Forestry and Conservation

aerieAerie Backcountry Medicine Courses

In 1994, WI assisted the Aerie School for Backcountry Medicine in starting up its first courses to help prepare outdoor educators and students for safe backcountry leadership and travel. Today, Aerie offers a complete set of Wilderness Medicine courses including Wilderness First Aid (WFA), Wilderness First Responder (WFR), Wilderness EMT (WEMT) and a Semester in Wilderness Medicine (SWM). Aerie courses prepare course participants for safe outdoor travel by teaching injury and illness prevention, patient assessment, improvised care, long-term patient management and the thought processes that are unique when caring for patients in remote settings. WI and Aerie maintain a partnership to offer courses at the University of Montana. Aerie also offers courses throughout the US, in Mexico, Central America, Africa and India.

In 2013, Aerie is expanding its highly-regarded Semester in Wilderness Medicine, offering a new Summer Semester in addition to our Spring program. Both Semesters are academically challenging, rigorous experiences, with our Wilderness EMT course at their core. Designed to give students the skills necessary to find, access, treat and evacuate patients from remote, challenging environments, both Aerie Semesters offer 15 upper-division university credits as well as numerous professional-level wilderness medicine and technical rescue certifications.

The spring Semester begins in Costa Rica where students learn travel medicine and use their WEMT training to organize and run a free health clinic in an indigenous village. We finish our time in the tropics with Swiftwater Rescue training. Students then travel to Montana (where it’s still winter!)  to complete their Level 1 Avalanche rescue certification and practice winter survival and navigation.

Flanked by the Mission Mountain and Bob Marshall Wildernesses, the stunning Swan Valley of western Montana is home for our new summer Semester. Alternating time at a base camp with week-long backcountry trips, students will augment the skills gained in the WEMT curriculum to acquire technical certifications and experience in Rope Rescue, Search and Rescue, and Swiftwater Rescue. For more information, contact Semester Director, Andrea Stephens at

For a quarterly update on Aerie courses and events, please check out the Aerie Newsletter.
For more information about the Aerie School for Backcountry Medicine contact them at:

Aerie School for Backcountry Medicine
315 South 4th Street East, Suite 205
Missoula, MT 59801
(406) 542-9972


Aerie Courses in 2012-2013

Wilderness First Aid
This 16-hour course provides an excellent introduction to wilderness medicine. It is hands-on, practical, informative and fun. 1 credit - Health and Human Performance (HHP).

Wilderness First Responder
The 72-hour Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course is the standard wilderness medicine class for many outdoor organization's supervisors. The course focuses on injury and illness prevention, patient assessment, long-term injury management, improvised splint and litter construction and environmental emergencies. 2 credits (HHP).

This 200-hour course follows the Department of Transportation's National Registry EMT curriculum, but goes into significantly more detail concerning care for patients in remote settings.  3 credits (HHP)

Semester in Wilderness Medicine
This program is offered for 15 upper-division credits. The Spring Semester takes place in Costa Rica and Montana, while the new Summer Semester is taught entirely in Montana's backcountry. Both Semesters offer certifications and/ or training in Wilderness EMT, Swiftwater Rescue Technician, Level 1 Avalanche (Spring), Search and Rescue Technician (Summer), and Rope Rescue Technician (Summer).  In addition, students are trained in wilderness navigation and wilderness survival.   5 credits (HHP); 10 credits - Parks, Tourism and Recreation Management (PTRM)


For more information on any of these courses or to register,contact:
Aerie at: or 406-542-9972