Meet our Team

We are a small team of talented professionals with a wide range of skills and experience. We love what we do, and we do it with passion.


Jim Fike, MD, FACP

Faculty

Dr. Jim Fike is a consultant in global health, working in travel and tropical medicine, and healthcare technologies in the humanitarian assistance and disaster response environments. He is a retired USAF Colonel and has planned or led medical missions in 85 countries on 5 continents. Dr. Fike is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Uniformed Services University.

Amanda Folson, MS

Development Consultant

Amanda Folson is a consultant in all things technical. She is known as the “developer whisperer” at Kinetic Adventure Medical Education. She provides outstanding customer service by listening then translating users needs to developers. She has worked internationally for technology companies. She is the lynchpin in our live webcasts. She holds a Master of Science in Forensic Studies, and a Bachelor’s in Software Design.

Chuck Hawley

Faculty

Chuck is a lifelong sailor, with over 40,000 sea miles on a variety of boats.  He is an internationally-recognized marine safety speaker with extensive experience in crew overboard recovery and life raft design.  He served as the Vice President of Product Information for West Marine for nearly 40 years.  Chuck has been instrumental in advancing US Sailing’s Safety at Sea curriculum. Chuck has taught maritime safety topics at the Wilderness Medical Association’s MedSail program for many years as well.  

Michael Jackson, MS, NREMT-P, FAWM, DiMM

Faculty

Mr. Mike Jackson is a retired Special Forces Medical Sergeant with 27 years of military service. During his several years serving as an infantryman, he deployed to numerous countries to include Somalia during Operation Restore Hope.  After completing training as a Special Forces Medical Sergeant, he was assigned to 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where his duties as a Special Forces Medical Sergeant included Senior Medical Sergeant, Intelligence Sergeant, and Operations Sergeant.  He participated in numerous operations and pre-mission training events throughout Southwest Asia.  He holds a Master of Science in Environmental Policy and Management and a Diploma in Mountain Medicine. He is a Fellow of the Wilderness Medical Society. He is featured as the medic on The Weather Channel series – SOS: How to Survive.

Valerie Lou, MD, MPH, DiMM

Faculty

Dr. Valerie Lou Valerie Lou is a board certified Emergency Medicine (EM) physician and clinical faculty at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC).  She completed her medical degree at UC San Diego, and her residency, Masters in Public Health, and International EM Fellowship at URMC.  She completed a Diploma of Mountain Medicine in 2019 with the Wilderness Medical Society​.  She is a former Denali park ranger, certified yoga instructor, and mother of two.  She can usually be found in and around the water, canoeing, swimming or surfing.   She has a special interest in climate change and human health and is committed to helping the healthcare sector develop climate resilience and environmental responsibility.  Currently she holds the position of assistant program director for the URMC EM residency and is a regional leader in the field of wilderness medicine.

Heather Porst, MMSc, MBA, PA-C

Faculty

Heather Porst is a Physician Assistant with significant experience in remote and wilderness medicine, emergency medicine and point-of-care ultrasound.  She has spent two seasons providing healthcare in Antarctica, and four months sailing around the world as faculty and providing healthcare with Semester at Sea.  Heather also spent three years as a volunteer PA for Colorado’s Disaster Management Assistance Team.  She is a NAUI scuba diving instructor, whitewater rafting guide, and currently serves as Assistant Professor for the PA program at Pacific University in Oregon.  

Cheryl Lowry, MD, MPH

FAsMA,FAWM, DiMM, DiDDM

Faculty

Dr. Cheryl Lowry has planned, led, and/or provided medical care for operations on all seven continents. She has served as an Associate Program Director for the Aerospace Medicine Residency at the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine and as the Aerospace Medicine Residency Program Director at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). She currently serves as the Deputy Director at the Center for Polar Medicine at UTMB. She holds a Diploma in Mountain Medicine and a Diploma in Diving and Marine Medicine from the Wilderness Medical Society. She is a PADI Scuba Instructor, an ASA Sailing Instructor, and a USCG Captain.

Brian Pinkston, MD, MPH

FAsMA,FAWM, DiMM, DiDDM

Faculty

Dr. Brian Pinkston has provided medical care on all seven continents. He is retired from the US Air Force and has served as a full-time Associate Professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch. He holds a Diploma in Mountain Medicine and a Diploma in Diving and Marine Medicine from the Wilderness Medical Society. He is a PADI Scuba Instructor, an ASA Sailing Instructor, and a USCG Captain.


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