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Seth Hawkins, a local medical director and physician, was given a prestigious award by The Adventurers and Explorers Guild.

In November, the international Adventurers and Explorers Guild designated physician, anthropologist, writer, and adventurer Seth Collings Hawkins as a Master Fellow.

Master Fellowship is the highest recognition bestowed by the Guild, and Dr. Hawkins is the first physician to receive this designation.

The AEG is a prestigious guild and a third-party certifier of an international multidisciplinary professional community of explorers, adventurers, and expeditioners. Fellowship is awarded to persons who demonstrate extensive professional experience in, and a commitment to discovering, leading, and inspiring people into the wilderness and to explore.

Hawkins’ work has taken him far afield from his home in the United States, as well as engaged him in rescue, wilderness and adventure work within his own home American state of North Carolina. As a founding co-owner of Vertical Medicine Resources, he has trained climbing guides below Vietnam’s karst limestone towers on Hạ Long Bay; opened Australia to the Advanced Wilderness Life Support curriculum as the lead instructor of the first course in that country; and provided medical support for expeditions in the Canadian Rockies, Finland, and the Himalaya.

Hawkins has also served as a visiting professor at Plymouth University on the southern coast of England exploring questions of international sustainability and worked as an emergency and EMS physician in the Himalayan country of Bhutan. In 2019, he will serve as a keynote speaker at an Asian wilderness risk management conference in the Himalayan Indian state of Uttarakhand, coupled with further EMS work in Bhutan to follow.

In the United States, Hawkins is a leader, medical director, and medical advisor of multiple innovative wilderness, medical education, and emergency rescue programs, as well as an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Wake Forest University and a prolific writer.

He received a degree in Anthropology at Yale University, where he also served as president of that school’s Outing Club. He graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s School of Medicine, where he founded one of the first wilderness medicine student interest groups in the country as well as one of the first student wilderness medicine conferences in the American southeast. His work since then has increasingly merged cultural analysis, clinical medical care, and wilderness exploration, rescue, and medical support.

“I’m very excited to continue my adventuring and expeditionary work in conjunction with AEG,” Hawkins said. “Wilderness and outdoor adventure can be found at the furthest edges of the world as well as in your own neighborhood, and both AEG and I are committed to pioneering and innovating in these environments.”

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