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Our Founder and Director

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The Center's director, Moulton Avery, is an avid sea kayaker, an expert on heat and cold stress, and an internationally recognized authority on cold water safety. He served as Executive Director of the Center for Environmental Physiology in Washington, DC for ten years, where he developed the first national public health campaigns to safeguard vulnerable populations during extremes of hot and cold weather.

Before moving to Washington, DC, he was Director of Carolina Wilderness Institute, a non-profit skills-based wilderness school he founded in North Carolina, where he developed and taught dozens of semester-length courses, classes, and workshops on a wide range of wilderness travel and outdoor safety subjects.


In the late 1980's, as a member of the American Canoe Association's National Coastal Kayak Committee, Moulton worked with Brian Price, Chuck Sutherland and other members of the committee to create the ACA's coastal kayaking program. This included developing the curriculum, evaluation standards and requirements for the certification of instructors & instructor trainers, conducting classes and instructor development clinics, and certifying the first instructors in the program.


Moulton has been a key figure in promoting cold water safety for over forty years, and his work on heat and cold stress prevention has been nationally featured in hundreds of newspaper articles, radio programs, and television shows, including The Washington Post, All Things Considered, and Oprah.


He is the author of numerous articles on the subject of heat and cold stress and his writing has appeared in publications such as Emergency Medical Services, Encyclopaedia Britannica, American Pharmacy, Aging, Rowing USA, Sea Kayaker, Ocean Paddler, and The Paddler. His pioneering article, Cold Shock, appeared in Sea Kayaker Magazine Vol.7, No. 4, 1991. He gave his first public lecture on Accidental Hypothermia in 1976.

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