UTS Corporate Instructors




Al Pratt

Al retired in 2001 as a millwright from Georgia Pacific in Bellingham Washington where he was employed for over 33 years. He has more than 25 years experience with Whatcom County Search and Rescue Council and has held several officer positions. Al was president of the Whatcom County 4x4 unit for 30 years and  was one of the co-founders of the 4x4 SAR unit. As a special deputy for Whatcom County he works directly with the Sheriff’s office in emergency SAR situations and has participated in several homicide and criminal investigations. He also recently retired from owning and operating his own trucking excavating company which along with the numerous SAR management classes he has attended, gives him experience in managing and handling personnel in the field on SAR missions. Al has been involved in tracking since 1974, a UTS tracking instructor since 1984, and he is one of the co-founders of the UTS program.




Marvin Martin

Marvin retired in 1997 from his long time position as head herdsman and experimental biological technician at Oregon State University at Corvallis, Oregon.  He was employed initially at the University due to his extensive knowledge of horses, cattle and open range mountainous country.  Marvin has been an active participant and in the UTS tracking program since 1974 and a tracking instructor for more than 20 years.  He has gained considerable experience in missing person searching as an expert tracking resource and in crime scene investigations.  He has testified in court as a tracking expert. Since his retirement in June of 1997 he has devoted full time to the UTS tracking program.



Mark Balzer

Mark is a self employed sheet metal fabricator with his wife Linda in Corvallis, OR.  In 1991 Mark joined the Benton County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse as a Special Deputy and began his Search and Rescue and Man Tracking training.  Mark became a UTS Sign Cutter in 2005.  He is a Hasty Team member for Benton County Search and Rescue.  Mark is a founding member of the Benton County Sheriff’s Tracking unit since 1998 which holds in house tracking classes and in house classes for other counties, along with being an Instructor for Benton County Search and Rescue.  Mark has experience not only in missing persons but with major crime scenes including homicides, suicides and burglaries. Mark and his wife Linda reside in Corvallis, OR with their horses and two golden retrievers.