Research Symposium

The AORE Research Symposium strives to connect academics and practitioners of the outdoor and recreation field. The symposium provides an international forum for scholarly exchange and discussion about outdoor recreation and education research, theoretical and applied and creates an amazing opportunity to bridge research and practice.

  The Social Benefits of Urban Whitewater Parks
Karl Schmidt, Bruce Martin, Andrew Szolosi, Geoffrey Buckley
Thursday, Nov. 2 | 8:45 a.m. - 9:05 a.m. | Crystal Ballroom AB

The purpose of this research presentation is present results of a study examining the social benefits of urban whitewater parks.

“Shred Time Bro”: Investigating the Benefits of Mountain-Biking on Levels of Place Attachment
Andrew Szolosi, Danny Twilley, Nina Adanin, Alex Hileman, Vicky Kent, Janie Welsh, Bruce Martin

Thursday, Nov. 2 | 9:10 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. | Crystal Ballroom AB

Public land agencies have vested interest in understanding how to promote environmentally responsible behaviors among their users. Previous research has shown that place attachment is a strong predictor of such behaviors. The benefits a person derives from interacting with a natural could play a role in the formation of these kinds of attachments. The following study investigates the extent to which benefits derived from mountain-biking predict levels of place attachment among mountain-bikers who have utilized specific trail systems.  

A systematic review of the psychological, sociological, and educational outcomes associated with participation in wildland recreational activities 
W. Hunter Holland, Robert B. Powell, Jennifer M. Thomsen, Christopher A. Monz
Thursday, Nov. 2 | 9:35 a.m. - 9:55 a.m. | Crystal Ballroom AB

Participation in outdoor and wildland recreational activities is often associated with individual benefits including environmental stewardship, personal development, and strong attachment to place. Although the outcomes associated with outdoor and wildland recreation has been extensively studied, few have systematically examined the empirical evidence to support these claims. We systematically reviewed peer-reviewed research published between 2000 and 2016 that empirically evaluated the psychological, sociological, and educational outcomes associated with participation in wildland recreational activities. The three primary objectives of this study were to provide a summary of peer-reviewed literature to 1) identify the breadth of individual outcomes associated with outdoor/wildland recreation; 2) examine whether these outcomes are actually supported through scientific inquiry; and 3) identify gaps in the peer-reviewed literature regarding the outcomes associated with wildland recreation.

Brainwave Analysis in Outdoor Recreation: Toward a Validation of the Learning Process
Andrew Bailey
Thursday, Nov. 2 | 10:15 a.m. - 10:35 a.m. | Crystal Ballroom AB

This presentation will include descriptive results of an ongoing project to document brainwave response during outdoor activities. Real-time video analysis of outdoor activities is synchronized with brainwave data from those participating in outdoor activities (climbing, biking, running, etc.). Assessment of the second-by-second context of each activity helps to explain the peaks and valleys of multiple mental states during the event. A brief explanation of the process, descriptive results, and potential future applications will be presented.

Promoting Resiliency and Flourishing through Outdoor Orientation Programming
Eddie Hill, Cienna Gabriele, Mike Willett, Abby Evans, Amy DiRenzo, Mike McFall, and Peter Ahl
Thursday, Nov. 2 | 10:40 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. | Crystal Ballroom AB

The current study seeks to examine the impact of an outdoor orientation program on participants' level of resilience and flourishing. These are all areas of interest in young adults successful transition to college and retention. By understanding these impacts outdoor orientation program facilitators can better position themselves with university administrators. A mixed method approach will be used to assess the impact of a first-year orientation program.

Personality Type as a Predictor of Emotional Labor among Active Travel Employees
Liz Gauthier, Andrew Szolosi
Thursday, Nov. 2 | 11:05 a.m. - 11:25 a.m. | Crystal Ballroom AB

Background information on the HEXACO personality traits, emotional labor strategies, and guest satisfaction will be explored. Results, analysis and discussion of relationships between each factor will be presented. Additionally, discussions of the applicability to the active industry will be included. This session will be presented, via projector, with a question and answer period at the end. This style provides a research based presentation that stays on the topic of contact employee influences while providing concrete examples and take-homes to implement in the active travel industry.

Discussion of the Fall 2016 AORE Diversity & Inclusion Survey Results
Liz Rogers
Thursday, Nov. 2 | 2:30 p.m. - 2:50 p.m. | Crystal Ballroom AB

This presentation is a discussion of the results of the diversity and inclusion survey sent out to the AORE membership in the fall of 2016. This purpose of the study was to discover the current perceptions and experiences regarding D&I of the AORE membership. Additionally, it looked at what D&I programming currently exists in outdoor programs, what has been most and least successful, and what barriers may be in place to creating an inclusive environment for diverse populations. The presentation will consist of an overview of survey results including prominent themes that emerged from participant responses, followed by discussion, implications, for the outdoor education field, and ideas for applied practice.

Understanding the Factors Driving Adventure Educators’ Use of Inclusive Practices
Robert P. Warner, Andrew Szolosi, Bruce Martin
Thursday, Nov. 2 | 2:55 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. | Crystal Ballroom AB

The following presentation will examine the extent to which attitudes, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control predict adventure education instructors’ intention to use inclusive practices. This presentation will review data collected from a questionnaire administered to Outward Bound field instructors during the summer of 2017. In addition to determining the extent to which theory of planned behavior (TPB) factors predict intention, the study will also examine relationships between demographic variables and strength of TPB factors.

Representations of Race, Gender, and Ability in Popular Outdoor Magazines: A Content Analysis of Images
Lee Frazer, Kelsey Eans
Thursday, Nov. 2 | 3:20 p.m. - 3:40 p.m. | Crystal Ballroom AB

In this presentation, we'll discuss the findings of research analyzing images in three popular outdoor magazines - Backpacker, Rock and Ice, and Climbing - over a three year period (2011-2014). The goal of this research was to explore what identities - in terms of gender, race, and ability - seemed to be represented.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Recreation: How Leisure Choice Influences Happiness in College Students
Danny Twilley
Thursday, Nov. 2 | 4:00 p.m. - 4:20 p.m. | Crystal Ballroom AB

Those working in higher education have a vested interest in knowing how outdoor recreation activities facilitate happiness in college students, especially with student well-being at an all time low. The following study compares indoor recreation activities versus outdoor recreation activities within the context DRAMMA model of leisure engagement and subjective well-being, which includes the five psychological mechanisms of detachment-recovery, autonomy, mastery, meaning, and affiliation. In addition, the role of leisure satisfaction is considered as part of the model.

Improving Ecological Behavior through Mindfulness
Stephen A. Deringer Ed.D., Jan Hodges Ph.D., Adam Hanley Ph.D.
Thursday, Nov. 2 | 4:25 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. | Crystal Ballroom AB

Research in psychology indicates that nature connectedness may be connected to ecological decision making. Through this research we intend to provide context to these constructs by placing them in the outdoor recreation setting and providing rich data to describe them. This paper will provide the necessary context that will allow outdoor recreation professionals to apply the complex constructs of mindfulness and nature connectedness to their work with the intent of positively influencing ecological decision making.

AORE Members Lightning Safety Knowledge
Tammie L. Stenger-Ramsey, Craig Elder, Amanda Elder, Grace Sims
Thursday, Nov. 2 | 4:50 p.m. - 5:10 p.m. | Crystal Ballroom AB

This presentation describes the results of a research study that examined AORE members lightning safety knowledge through use of a 33-item online questionnaire. Previous research examining AORE members' trip leader training materials found that just over half of respondents included lightning information and that 25% of those included misinformation or misconceptions. Results from this study could have implications for outdoor trip leader training

The following Research Posters are displayed throughout the conference and presented on from 5:15 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Benchmarking Standards of Incident Reporting in College Outdoor Programs
Christopher Bartram, Erik Rabinowitz
Thursday, Nov. 2 | 5:15 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. | North Entry Hokie Wall

Through our study we are striving to understand how University outdoor programs are currently reporting incidents that occur within their programming. Anecdotal data suggests that the majority of college outdoor programs are using paper forms to report incidents and are not completing any data collection or tracking. With this being said we are striving to understand the preferences of administrators in college outdoor programs as well as desired changes of the industry standard.

Barriers to Participation in Campus Outdoor Recreation Programs
Robyn L. Ceurvorst, Madline Dubois
Thursday, Nov. 2 | 5:15 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. | North Entry Hokie Wall

The overall goal of this project was to examine factors that constrain and facilitate student participation in campus outdoor recreation programs The objectives of this research were to: 1) develop an accessible, experiential demonstrative tutorial to promote for outdoor recreation programs to diverse audiences, 2) develop a questionnaire to examine student anti-participation factors, behaviors and values toward outdoor recreation, 3) collect data electronically utilizing the tutorial, questionnaires and a Qualtrics survey, 4) analyze student data for comparison of anti-participation factors, behaviors and values toward outdoor recreation among students not currently participating in outdoor recreation programs.

African American Females: An Exploration of Constraints in Outdoor Recreation
Sandra Smith Cornelous
Thursday, Nov. 2 | 5:15 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. | North Entry Hokie Wall

This workshop is designed to broaden the audience's understanding of African American females outdoor recreation constraints and participation.

Outcomes of a University Outdoor Orientation Program: Wilderness with Honors Case Study
Nate Furman, Nate Bricker, Nick Rushford, Elizabeth Rogers
Thursday, Nov. 2 | 5:15 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. | North Entry Hokie Wall

This study examines student learning outcomes from participation in an outdoor orientation program for first-year students enrolled in the Honors College at the University of Utah. Quantitative and qualitative data was gathered via an online survey that program alumni completed. Results will suggest which aspects of the orientation program were effective and why those components were effective. These results will add to the body of literature on outdoor orientation programs and college student development.

Using organizational culture to defend outdoor recreation programs' value in higher education
Dr. Kellie Gerbers, Assistant Professor of Outdoor Education and Leadership, Westminster College
Thursday, Nov. 2 | 5:15 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. | North Entry Hokie Wall

This qualitative study explored how successful college outdoor recreation programs leverage the outcomes of effective organizational culture-building to maintain organizational legitimacy using data from three nationally-recognized college outdoor programs. The primary research questions were: 1) how does a college outdoor recreation program create a “cultural fit” within the mission and strategic plan of its institution, and 2) how does the program articulate goal congruence with institutional stakeholders?

The Role of Wilderness Orientation Programs: What purpose do they serve?
Reid Hensen
Thursday, Nov. 2 | 5:15 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. | North Entry Hokie Wall

The present study looked specifically at resilience and self-efficacy. Students were asked to participate in a survey before and after FWE and again at the end of their first semester. A comparison group of students who only attended the standard fall orientation was also sampled at the beginning and end of the semester. Two main constructs were used in the survey; the CD-RISC Resilience Measure and a college self-efficacy measure (Gore et. al, 2005).

Assessing the Benefits of College Climbing Programs: Applying the Perceived Health Outcomes of Recreation Scale
Eddie Hill, Cienna Gabriele, Peter Ahl, Amy DiRenzo, Ed Gomez
Thursday, Nov. 2 | 5:15 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. | North Entry Hokie Wall

College climbing programs have become increasingly popular. Yet, we have very little evidence of the benefits of rock climbing of “indoor settings” especially on college campuses.. The current study seeks to examine the health benefits among college rock climbers. In the spring of 2017, approximately 300 college student rock climbers will complete the Perceived Heath Outcomes of Recreation Scale (PHORS) using the online survey software Qualtrics.

Hosting Triathlons on a College Campus: Participant Satisfaction and Training Habits of Participants
Eddie Hill, Tamara Morgan, Brittany Hooper
Thursday, Nov. 2 | 5:15 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. | North Entry Hokie Wall

During the past thirty years, the sport of triathlon has grown by leaps and bounds. On any given weekend, triathlon events are being held in communities throughout the United States. The current study seeks to examine the health benefits and satisfaction among participants in a college campus triathlon. In the spring of 2017, approximately 115 community and campus members will take part in a entry-level triathlon on a mid-Atlantic college campus. The Perceived Heath Outcomes of Recreation Scale (PHORS) will be used after the event using the online survey software Qualtrics.

Bringing Science to ALL Participants in Urban Outdoor Recreation Programs
Elizabeth Pierson, Marion Goldstein, Jamie Kynn
Thursday, Nov. 2 | 5:15 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. | North Entry Hokie Wall

This session will discuss an NSF-funded research-design project to develop PLUM LANDING Explore Outdoors, a Toolkit with hands-on and digital resources to promote science learning among urban youth via fun and physically active nature-based activities. The presentation will highlight best practices for 1) integrating science into urban outdoor recreational activities and programs, 2) engaging diverse youth and families in outdoor science learning and recreation, and 3) using technology in innovative ways to enhance outdoor experiences.

Career Development of Outdoor Students: Comparing Experiential Education and Traditional Classroom Instruction
Anja Whittington
Thursday, Nov. 2 | 5:15 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. | North Entry Hokie Wall

The presentation will examine the impact of student learning and career development comparing two teaching methodologies used in higher education: traditional classroom instruction and an intensive field-based experiential learning course. Forty-two students participated in this study and data was collected during two time points. Initial findings suggest the two different styles of classroom instruction differed in outcomes with student learning greater in the field-based course.