Our Team

Richard Williams

Dr. Williams is the current family medicine residency director at UNR and has been an educator for UNR for over 15 years.

Areas of Expertise - Human biological process elimination in austere environments, Dutch-oven cooking, families in the wilderness, high-impact camping.

David Fiore

Dr. Fiore is our winter and whitewater expert. His true passion is backcountry skiing. He is an avid student of snow science and sits on the Sierra Avalanche Center Board of Directors. However, he does also enjoy the wilderness in the non-snow-filled months. He has gone on multi-day raft and kayak trips all over the western United States (and occasionally abroad) including a trip on the Green River in Utah where he had to coordinate a helicopter evacuation of a young man with acute appendicitis - in a blizzard!  Dr. Fiore also enjoys and has presented on, mountain biking.

Areas of Expertise - Backcountry skiing - Cold illness/hypothermia, altitude illness, avalanche science, decision-making processes in the wilderness. White water rafting and kayaking, mountain biking injuries. He enjoys "dawn patrols" and other ways to play outside during the workweek.

Gary Johnson

The "dean" of wilderness medicine... Dr. Johnson began the student elective in wilderness medicine at UNR in the spring of 1996. As far as we can tell, it is the oldest program in the country! He is still the director of the UNR student elective in Wilderness medicine and brings a wealth of meditative wisdom.

Areas of Expertise - Wilderness Medicine student education, Dutch-oven cooking, Meditation, Musicology (he is the master) and drumming.

Dan Spogen

Dr. Spogen, the current chair of the Department of Family Medicine at UNR, is a "cowboy" physician. He ran a herd of 200 head of cattle for years here in the Reno area and is an avid outdoorsman. He has parleyed his cowboy and medical background into an incredible Wilderness Medicine fund of knowledge.

Areas of Expertise - Large animal maintenance and trail management, Fly Fishing, trekking

Arthur A. (Tony) Islas  

- el Jefe- Dr. Islas is the wilderness medicine fellowship program director and is also the sports medicine fellowship director at UNR. He is an Ex-president of the Wilderness Medical Society and has been a National Park Medical Director for Guadalupe Mountains National Park previously and now for Great Basin National Park.

Areas of Expertise - Musculoskeletal evaluation and care in austere environments - Heat Illnesses, Lightning, wound care in austere environments, altitude illness, and the wilderness.

Wilderness Fellows

Michael Chavez – Wilderness Fellow

Dr Chavez comes to Reno from the great state of Texas. While earning his B.S. in Economics and B.A. in Psychology from Southern Methodist University, he realized his calling to medicine. He then completed his pre-medical studies at University of Texas at Dallas then attended Texas A&M University for Medical School. Choosing Family Medicine as a specialty for its breadth of general medical education and direct patient care, he attended University of Texas Medical Branch for Residency, then moved to West Texas to complete a Sports Medicine Fellowship at Texas Tech University in El Paso. During his training, Dr Chavez realized his love for taking care of athletes both amateur and professional, practicing medicine in austere environments, and utilizing resourcefulness and adaptability to optimize patient care in non-traditional medical settings. To complete his training, he comes to Reno to complete a fellowship in Wilderness and Austere Medicine where he works as a physician at Great Basin National Park, Faculty to the Residency Program, educator to Search and Rescue personnel, and as a physician to expeditions in Nepal, including to Mount Everest Basecamp. In his free time, Dr Chavez enjoys exercise, hiking, the cultural arts and he is a licensed pilot.