Rob Speiden is an active member of the Search and Rescue (SAR) community, and has been since 1993. He holds a NASAR SARTech I certification, is a Virginia Search and Rescue Tracking Specialist, Search Team Leader, and Search Mission Coordinator. Rob, with Tracking Instructor Greg Fuller, authored Foundations for Awareness, Signcutting and Tracking (F.A.S.T.). F.A.S.T. is used as the reference and textbook for the Commonwealth of Virignia Department of Emergency Management Search and Rescue Tracking program and it has sold well over 1500 copies worldwide.
After completing basic search and rescue training he went on to study human tracking from instructors in a variety of tracking-related disciplines including the following:
- Greg Fuller, Field Team Signcutter Virginia Department of Emergency Services 1996
- Kent Hicks, Track and Sign Aging
- Universal Tracking Services, Track Aware
- Joel Hardin Professional Tracking Services Tracking Classes
- William Bodziak, Footwear Impression Evidence: Detection and Recovery
- David Scott-Donelan, Scott Donelan Tracking School
- Tactical Tracking Operations Level I and Level II
- Charles Worsham, Nature and Vision School
- Basic Human Tracking
- Basic Animal Tracking
- Advanced Human Tracking
- Advanced Animal Tracking
- Awareness, Intuition and Aesthetics
- Shadow Wolves Native Tracker Training
- Inaugural Tracker Training event 7/05
Please feel free to contact any of these instructors for references.
Rob has taught well over 5000 people in various outdoor skills. He continues to receive the most valuable lessons from countless hours of dedicated tracking “dirt time” (and leaf time and snow time and…) on his own as well as in search and rescue training. He is an active member of the following groups:
- Southwest Virginia Mountain Rescue Group (SWVaMRG)
- Commonwealth Search and Rescue (CSAR)
- Black Diamond Search and Rescue Council (BDSAR)
- Angel Search and Rescue (ASAR)
- Appalachian Search & Rescue Conference (ASRC)
- Maryland Search and Rescue (MSAR)
- Backcountry Unit Search & Rescue (BUSAR)
- International Society of Professional Trackers (ISPT)
Rob is also an active member of the Search and Rescue Tracking Institute (SARTI), and currently holds positions as Tracking Specialist and Treasurer in SARTI. As the Lead Instructor for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management Foundations for Awareness, Signcutting and Tracking (F.A.S.T.) course, and through the tracking school, he currently instructs search and rescue volunteers, law enforcement officers and military servicepeople in tracking and awareness skills that enhance search efforts for lost or missing persons. He has logged over 450 tasks on more than 230 documented search missions to date.
Recognitions have included being presented the Lisa J Hannon Award by the Virginia Search and Rescue Council in 2007 and being cast as a tracking team member in the Red Brick Entertainment TV show, “The Chase: Trackdown” aired on Court TV in 2005.
Rob Speiden began his tracking experiences while growing up on a farm in Orange County, Virginia. He completed college with a bachelors degree in Biological Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech. Tracking humans was a start for Rob to get interested in tracking all animals, and he has attended many animal tracking classes around the country taught by Paul Rezendes' Nature Programs, Charles Worsham's Nature and Vision School, Wilderness Awareness School (W.A.S.), Jim Bruchac, James Halfpenny and others.
Rob has been tested on animal tracks/sign in California, New Jersey, Wisconsin, and New England and trailing in California, Washington and New England by the cybertracker evaluation process and is certified according to Cybertracker standards as a Level III Tracker as a combination of demonstrating skills and knowledge at a Level III Track and Sign Interpreter and Trailing Specialist.
Rob has been sharing and facilitating animal tracking experiences from local classes held in Christiansburg, Virginia and other venues throughout, and outside of, the United States. Decades of outdoor familiarity, professional seminars and a strong desire to share with others are just a few of the qualities that come together to give you a worthwhile educational experience.