Andrew Brash - Decision Making while Summiting Mount Everest
Andrew Brash is a Calgary climber and teacher who has been following his passion for climbing and adventure for over twenty years. He’s traveled and climbed in some of the most impressive mountain environments the world has to offer, including mountains in Tibet, China, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Alaska, Chile and Nepal.
In May of 2006, Andrew took the final step towards his life-long goal of climbing Mount Everest. Just two hundred meters from the Everest summit, Andrew’s dream was cut short for a noble cause. Andrew and his team called off their final ascent to assist an Australian climber, Lincoln Hall. After reaching the summit of Everest, Lincoln began to suffer from altitude sickness, and began a desperate struggle down the mountain. He was eventually declared dead, and his teammates were forced to leave his body to the mountain. Lincoln spent the night alone above 8,600m, 600m into the Death Zone, and only 200m below the summit. His wife and teenage sons were informed of his death by satellite phone that same evening. However, Lincoln was still clinging to life when Andrew and his team discovered him some twelve hours later. They spent many hours helping Lincoln to recover and organizing his rescue. With a dwindling oxygen supply and due to the late hour, Andrew and his team were forced to end their expedition.
The story made headlines around the world and was contrasted with the well-publicized death of another Everest climber that same season, David Sharp of England. It was reported that more than forty fellow mountaineers opted to not assist him despite his situation of extreme exhaustion. As a result of these two very different stories, Everest 2006 became one of the most controversial and highly discussed seasons in the mountain’s history.
Michael Runge - Colorado River, Glenn Canyon Dam Decision
Michael C. Runge is a research ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, where he was worked since 1999. His research focuses on the use of decision theory and population modeling to inform wildlife management, with particular emphasis on the formal application of adaptive management. Most of his research involves collaboration with Federal management agencies (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, and others). He has worked on projects with migratory birds, National Wildlife Refuges, endangered species, and marine mammals (including manatees and polar bears). He co-designed the "Introduction to Structured Decision Making” and "Adaptive Management” courses for the National Conservation Training Center, and co-leads the joint USGS/FWS Structured Decision Making Workshops. Mike received a B.A. in biology and philosophy from the Johns Hopkins University, an M.A.T. (Master of Arts in Teaching) in biology from Spalding University, and a Ph.D. in wildlife science from Cornell University. With his wife and daughters, he has climbed all 46 of the high peaks in the Adirondacks.