Fowlkes, chair of the American Canoe Association’s safety and rescue committee, was a primary organizer for its landmark Swiftwater Rescue Conference held in October along the Tuckseigee River. The event featured seminars from the leading water rescue educators in the nation, including people who developed techniques and wrote the first instructional materials in the field. Participants included more than 100 recreational paddlers, certified paddlesport instructors and emergency responders from 22 states and three foreign countries.
The water rescue division of the National Association of Search and Rescue honored Fowlkes with a special commendation for the initiative in June. Fowlkes has served as an adjunct parks and recreation management instructor at WCU for 16 years.