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SARCon Speaker/Instructor Biographies

Jeff Beckman

Jeff Beckman has been on the San Diego Mountain Rescue Team for 9 years.  He is qualified as a Type I Alpine rescuer and Technical Rescue Specialist.  Jeff has been closely involved with the deployment of technology in the command post, including the use of computer aided search planning tools and remotely piloted vehicles.  Professionally, Jeff is a mechanical engineer working in the aerospace industry.

Tim Chase

Tim Chase began working for Linn County in 1997 and has been involved in SAR since 2005.  During that time he has served in capacities ranging from search team member, to team leader, to Incident Commander of multi-day searches.  Tim has a passion for search theory and the analytical aspects of search planning.

Tim graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s of Science from OSU in 2008 where his studies focused on human behavior and psychology.  Tim is the past chairperson of the Ground Search Management curriculum committee with the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association.  He is currently the SAR Coordinator for Lane County.

Sean Collinson

Sergeant Sean Collinson has been a member of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office for the last 21 years and on the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office SAR team for the past 16 years and the Sergeant on team for the past 11 years.  Sergeant Collinson is also a member of the Child Abduction Response Team (CART) and the Peer Support Team for the Sheriff’s Office.  Sgt. Collinson has received extensive training in search management and ICS and is currently a Ground Search Management instructor and Managing Land Search Operations instructor for the State of Oregon and is the President of Oregon State Sheriff’s Association Search and Rescue.  Sergeant Collinson has also been involved in several hundred search and rescue missions across the state of Oregon to include the helicopter crash on Mt. Hood (2002), the search for Fred Frauens (2003) and assisted Hood River County with the Nikko Cooke, Kelly James and Brian Hall search in December of 2006.  Sgt. Collinson has received meritorious service awards in 2002, 2012 and 2016 for his service in SAR; and he and his team received the SAR Program of the Year in 2010.  In 2013 he was part of the Ground Search Management Team that received the SAR Program of the Year.

Justin Dersham

Deputy Justin Dersham has been a Deputy with Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office for eight years. During that time he has filled positions as a patrol Deputy, resident Deputy, and firearms instructor. Deputy Dersham currently holds the special assignment of the Forest Patrol Deputy. His current duties include providing ATV Instruction to youths and adults through 4H along with the ATV Safety Institute. Deputy Dersham is also a Ground Team Coordinator for Clatsop County Search and Rescue and he patrols Clatsop State Forest Lands.

John Gibson

Deputy John Gibson has been with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office since 1995.  Deputy Gibson has been involved with search and rescue starting as an Explorer with Multnomah County SAR in 1986 holding the positions of Squad Leader, Post President, and Advisor.  In 1997 Deputy Gibson became Search and Rescue Coordinator with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.  He held the position of President with the Mt. Hood SAR Council for four years.  He also held the position of President/Chair of the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association for seven years, and is currently the Vice Chair of the SAR Council.  He is also a member of the Oregon Governor’s Commission on Search and Rescue.  Deputy Gibson also instructs Managing Land Search Operations classes as well as Incident Command courses.  Deputy Gibson has been involved with searching for three high profile missing children cases: Ashley Pond, Miranda Gaddis, and Matal Sanchez.

Ian Gilbert-Ghormley

Ian Gilbert-Ghormley has been active in search and rescue in Northwest Oregon for 11 years. He is  a member of North Oregon Regional Search and Rescue (NORSAR) and has been training search and rescue dogs for the last 6 years. He has assisted training new members and new dogs coming into search and rescue and helped solve training challenges with others. As the K9 Training Coordinator of NORSAR, he is responsible for helping and supporting the handlers with what they need to succeed, providing exercise ideas and guide new dog handlers. He also coordinates and proctors K9 testing based on the O.S.S.A. K9 standards to help prepare NORSAR’s dogs for the state certification tests.  Ian is also an instructor for land navigation, searcher safety and survival and taught air scent K9 during SARCON 2015.

His 7-year old chocolate lab, Cora, has been state certified through the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association for Wilderness Air Scent for 3-years. Together they have responded to countless wilderness and urban searches for a variety of missing subjects all over the region. Cora and Ian have 3 finds, 2 were in 2016.  Ian is proud to be a K9 handler with NORSAR and enjoy our SAR community and proud to respond to searches for the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.  As the K9 Training Coordinator for NORSAR, he enjoys training dogs and helping train K9s of all levels.  He looks forward to helping new handlers learn how to work with their dogs and enjoy search and rescue as much as he does.

Edwin Grant

Edwin Grant has over 28 years law enforcement and K9 experience. He was assigned to the largest manhunt in the US for 3 years working with all federal, state, and local agencies on the Eric Rudolph Olympic and serial bomber case. Edwin also worked K9 search and recovery for 9/11 and major hurricanes. He has worked all disciplines of scent detection dogs, Narcotics dog training for 12 years, ATF Arson and Accelerant dogs for 8 years, Trailing and Cadaver dogs for 27 years.

He is an expert witness in grave detection and analysis as well as water search and recovery. Edwin has been credited with over 100 water finds and recoveries. He has been involved in many high profile cases for the FBI, SBI, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He was awarded the NC Governor Award for Officer of the Year, The Southeast Officer of the Year Award, The Shikar Safari Award, The Sophia Silva Award for the saving of human lives and the FBI award for Exceptional Service in the Public Interest. Edwin has been involved in over a thousand searches and has instructed, coordinated, and trained K9’s all over the United States and around the world.

Matt Jacobs

Matt Jacobs is a W-EMT with the Bay Area Mountain Rescue Unit and Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue.  He has developed a series of high resolution nationwide map that are used by several popular smartphone applications, as well as the recreational trip planning site caltopo and its SAR-specific variant

Brian Jensen

Sergeant Brian Jensen began his career in Law Enforcement as a Police Officer in the City of North Bend in 1994.  He came to Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office in 1998.  Sergeant Jensen has held a variety of positions that include K9 Handler, Motor Deputy, Drug Recognition Expert, SWAT, Patrol Sergeant, Detective Sergeant, and now holds the position of Public Information Officer for the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.

Bill Loud

Bill Loud has been a Garmin Regional Trainer for nine years. In addition to handheld GPS units, Bill also trains on Garmin dog, running, cycling, marine and automotive products.

Jeff Salzer

Jeff Salzer became involved with ATVs while living in Alaska, during this time he used them for many trips into to the backcountry with river crossings, glacier riding, beaches, mud flats and even plowing snow. In 2005 he moved to Washington State where he joined an ATV/Snow machine unit located in Pierce County Washington, while with this unit he received extensive training and experience from the unit and working directly with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputies. Jeff eventually became a unit trainer and the ATV coordinator for that unit.

In 2012 Jeff’s unit was disbanded and he switched over to the Pierce County SAR 4x4 Unit with the intention of re-activating ATV’s in Pierce County. After working with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department they were able to have nine members certified field ready and able to respond in June of 2012. Jeff is currently the ATV Trainer for Pierce County SAR 4x4 Unit and recently became to Training Coordinator for all the unit’s training.

Jeff firmly believes that ATVs have a place in the SAR environment and can be used in a safe, efficient, and professional manner in a variety of ways to support many different types of SAR needs.

Craig McClure

Craig McClure has been active in Search and Rescue in the Pacific Northwest for 10 years as a searcher, manager, and instructor.  Craig is trained/certified as an EMT and  an MRA Rescue Leader .  Residing in Central Oregon he is Reserve Deputy working seasonally for Deschutes County Sheriff, former team leader of the DCSSAR Incident Management Team, and a SAR Manager.  He remains active as a responder specializing in medical callouts and winter response as a skilled backcountry skier and snowmobiler.  He is the principle partner in Crackerjack Response Specialists LLC.  CFRS LLC is a training and service team providing contract event and remote medical services as well as training for first responders working in the wilderness environment.  CFRS LLC is a licensed EMS agency and contracts nationally for both medical and training services.

Craig is a member of the OSSA SARAC Curriculum and Standards Committee and co-author and instructor for the Oregon Ground Search Management class.  He is also a certified instructor for Lost Person Behavior and Managing Land Search Operations.  He has instructed for SARCON, WASAR, OSSA, OSP, NPS, USFS, NC Emergency Management, and other agencies throughout the US.

He has proudly attended or instructed at every NW SARCON.


Formed in 2000, the Oregon Humane Society Technical Animal Rescue (OHSTAR) team is a skilled group of volunteers dedicated to animal rescue.  The team has been featured internationally in news and magazines, and is best known for its high angle technical rope rescues of dogs off cliffs.  The team also uses technical rope systems to rescue cats in trees and has helped the Audubon Society of Portland with placement and rescue of birds in trees.  The OHSTAR team provides public outreach and education with regards to pet emergency preparedness as well as safety and general preparedness for hiking/camping with your dog.  OHSTAR assists the Oregon Humane Society’s Investigations department with hoarding cases, puppy mills, cruelty cases, and emergency animal shelter care.  The OHSTAR team gets deployed nationally, in partnership with the ASPCA, to large-scale cruelty cases and also natural disaster events such as Hurricane Katrina, Joplin Tornado, and Superstorm Sandy.

Michelle Renault

Michelle Renault is a 911 Supervisor with Hood River County, and has been employed with them for 18 years.  Michelle lives in the Gorge with her husband Mike where they enjoy volunteering for the local fire department and teaching CPR and First Aid to the local responders.

Marcel Rodriguez

Marcel Rodriguez is a volunteer Search & Rescue Team Member and Rope Team Leader with Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue in Portland, Oregon. Marcel currently holds qualifications as an EMT/WEMT, Advanced Swiftwater Rescue Technician and Technical Rope Rescue-Technician Level Instructor for Rescue3. When not engaged in teaching and SAR activities, Marcel works in mergers & acquisitions for an international software company.

Corey Stone

Corey Stone is a SAR Coordinator with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon.  Stone has been a SAR field team member for twenty-three years and a SAR Coordinator for the last nineteen years.  He has been instructing various SAR related skills for two decades with a specialization in land navigation; high and low angle rope access and rope rescue, and managing land search operations.   Stone has taught land navigation classed to SAR organizations, narcotics enforcement, SWAT teams, fire command, wild land fire personnel and the public.  He has been an instructor at several MLSO courses in Oregon and presented at SARCON since 2010.

Luke Tessner

Luke Tessner has over 15 years of law-enforcement and K9-handling experience with the Clare County Sheriff’s Department in Michigan, and over 20 years of experience training K9s.  In 2012, he became an assistant instructor with the International Bloodhound Training Institute and Sleuth Hounds, LLC, becoming a full instructor in 2013. Luke has attended and taught many seminars all over the United States. He has also been featured in the book, "How to Train a Police Bloodhound and Scent Discriminating Patrol Dog, 2nd Edition" by Kevin Kocher.

Colin Thielen

Colin Thielen is a Partner with Sleuth Hounds, LLC. She has trained numerous dogs for herself and others. She is a K9 trainer and Handler instructor for Sleuth Hounds. She specializes in training Mantrailing and scent detection k9's.  Colin has attended numerous schools and seminars focusing on dog behavior and drive. She served as Chief and Deputy Chief of HEMSI Search Dog Unit in Huntsville, Alabama and was also a Canine Specialist with Alabama Heavy Rescue-1. She has relocated to Northern Virginia where she runs the Sleuth Hound training facility and works cases for law enforcement in Northern Virginia and The District of Columbia. She is currently working her Human Remains K9 Izzy and is in the process of training her new trailing dog Wheezie.

Johnnie Walter

Johnnie Walter has been a Law Enforcement Officer for 26 years and a supervisor for 17 years.  He has held many positions within the department and has had the opportunity to work many high profile cases in the Nation’s Capital.    He is currently assigned as Canine Supervisor/Handler of a Patrol/Narcotics Detection Canine and a Bloodhound that is used for mantrailing.  He was previously assigned as the Canine Training Sergeant, which over see’s the daily operation of the unit which consists of approximately forty K-9 teams.

When Walter became interested in learning scent discrimination trailing he reached out to Kevin Kocher who began teaching me the “Kocher Method” of training.  Walter worked teaching his Patrol K-9 trailing before his agency had a Bloodhound program, and eventually convinced his agency to start a Bloodhound program and became the first Bloodhound handler in the 50 plus years of their K-9 Unit.   Through his continued efforts in learning he became an Assistant Instructor for Sleuth Hounds, LLC and worked his way up to Instructor.  Today he continues to work as a Law Enforcement Officer with his two canine partners and trains with numerous Law Enforcement Agencies in the Metropolitan Region.  He has also evaluated and certified canines for other agencies in detector, patrol and trailing.

Ron Wright

Ron Wright has 25 years of experience in the communications and electronics industry which has provided a unique background to discuss the application of GPS, two-way radios, satellite communications and electronic safety equipment.  Ron lives on the Oregon coast with his wife and three beautiful children when he isn’t travelling throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska to work with businesses and government agencies to prepare for the unexpected or extended communications.

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Northwest SARCon

Sheriff Craig Roberts

Sheriff Craig Roberts

2016 Northwest SARCon
Sept. 23-25, 2016

Camp Kuratli at Trestle Glen
24751 SE Hwy 224
Boring, OR 97009

Julie Collinson, Conference Coordinator
Phone: 503-557-5827
Fax: 503-794-8068

Register online