The Science of Safety: What the Research Says About Risk Management Outdoors


The Science of Safety: What the Research Says About Risk Management Outdoors - Online Classroom

Online webinar on the research behind risk management with Jeff Baierlein

  • Casual

6:30pm - 8:00pm PST via Zoom Meeting
Meeting link will be sent to registered attendees the day of the session.

Every Mountaineers leader is a risk manager. In this workshop, you’ll learn what the academic research on incident causation has discovered about why accidents occur—and how they can be prevented.

We’ll trace the last 100 years of safety thinking, from the domino model to complex systems theory. We’ll explore how heuristics and cognitive biases affect outdoor leader judgment. And we’ll discuss research-driven approaches—like resilience engineering—you can use on your next Mountaineers trip to help keep your participants safe.

You’ll learn about safety models including AcciMap and the Risk Domains model, specifically designed for outdoor safety. You’ll have the opportunity to assess your own safety plans against best practices, and discuss your questions and findings with others.

Participants will leave the workshop with practical ideas they can use right away to improve safety outcomes on their next Mountaineers trip.


Jeff Baierlein (he/him) is a consultant and trainer on outdoor recreation and education, risk management, and nonprofit leadership. Jeff directs the consultancy Viristar, providing safety, curriculum design, and strategy services to adventure, travel, wilderness and experiential programs world-wide.

Jeff is a former member of the Mountaineers, and has over 1000 field days leading mountaineering, sailing, paddling, backpacking, canyoneering and caving expeditions up to three months in length. He served as Executive Director of Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School and Director of Education Services of NatureBridge-Olympic.

Jeff is the author of Risk Management for Outdoor Programs: A Guide to Safety in Outdoor Education, Recreation and Adventure. He is an outdoor safety expert witness and has provided consulting and training to organizations in over 45 countries on six continents. Jeff lives on the traditional lands of the Coast Salish people in Seattle.

LEad Image: Ice Climbing on Coleman Glacier, 2016. By Emma Agosta


Required Equipment

Required Equipment

Computer or device (preferably with a speaker and camera), as well as high-speed internet.

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