Research Symposium

The 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.

Access and Download the 2018 Digital Proceedings.

Thursday, October 25th, 2018 

Session I | 8:45 AM - 10:00 AM | Primrose A
The Impact of Natural Landscapes on Inspiration: A Topophilic Study
Dr. Brad Daniel Executive Director, 2nd Nature TREC (Training, Research, Education, Consulting)
Dr. Brad Faircloth
Dr. Jim Shores Associate Professor of Communication, Asbury University

This presentation will share findings from an exploratory, qualitative study on the impact of various natural landscapes on inspiration. The theoretical framework of topophilia - the affinity people have for certain places or landscape features (Tuan, 1974) – informed the study design. The study was conducted in the summers of 2015 and 2017. Participants were students on an extended field course that studied ecosystems in many western national parks and monuments.

Nature Versus Non-Nature-based Adventure Activities on Military Stress, Cohesion, and Communication
Camilla Hodge Assistant Professor, University of Utah
John O'Sullivan 
Program Manager, Army Outdoor Recreation Warrior Adventure Quest, U.S. Army
B. Derrick Taff Assistant Professor, Penn State University

The results of this study of n=22,917 Army Warrior Adventure Quest participants provide practitioners with a better understanding of the potential outcomes adventure-based recreation participants may receive as a result of nature-based and non-nature-based activities. Ultimately, nature-based activities led to significantly higher positive outcomes, and participants can apply this understanding to improve the activities and associated outcomes they strive for in their respective programs.

Participation in the Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge, Place Attachment and Well-Being
Genevieve Marchand Assistant Professor, Humboldt State University

Nathaniel Millard Interim Director, First Year Experience, Chico State University

Research shows that participation in outdoor recreation activities has physical, social and mental benefits. For college students, retention and an advantage to academic performance is also slowly starting to emerge. This study examined the role of participation in the Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge and the development of place attachment as well as overall emotional well-being of college students. Priliminary results are showing that participating in the ONCC may be a factor in increasing place attachment and increasing connection to the local outdoor recreation opportunities of college campuses.

Session II | 10:15 AM - 11:30 AM | Primrose A
Mechanisms in Outdoor Adventure Education that Facilitate Transformational Learning
Lisa Meerts-Brandsma PhD Candidate, University of Utah
Shannon Rochelle
Jim Sibthorp Professor, University of Utah

We will discuss what aspects within an individual might predispose them to have a transformational learning experience and what aspects within an outdoor adventure education course might cause someone to have a transformational learning experience.

Success and Failure as Pedagogical Tools in Outdoor Education
Michael Riley PhD Student & Graduate Research Assistant, University of Utah

Research was conducted to understand the success and failure beliefs and ensuing instructional practices of outdoor education instructors via a 29-question online survey.  Results indicated that while success beliefs and instructional practices were not significantly different among the demographic categories, the failure beliefs varied significantly.  Data indicated that the magnitude of failure beliefs differed depending on one’s age, years of professional experience, organizational affiliation, and the activities taught.  These results are discussed, and implications identified.   

Critical and Transferable Impacts of Camp Participation: Implications for Experiential Educators
Dr. Dan Richmond Post-Doctoral Research Assistant, University of Utah
Jim Sibthorp Professor, University of Utah

Cait Wilson Graduate Research Assistant, University of Utah 

This study examined how former camp participants believe their camp experiences influenced particular developmental outcomes and identifies primary learning contexts for these outcomes. This study is the second phase of a larger multi-year longitudinal study on the role of camp in developing skills, beliefs and behaviors related to college and career success. The study involved 528 former camp participants aged 18-25 from across the U.S. Findings provide insight on the critical transferable outcomes that can be significantly attributed to camp experiences.

Session III | 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM  | Primrose A
Situating Quagmire: Simulation-Based Gaming as Preparation for Field-Based Study
Lisa Meerts-Brandsma PhD Candidate & Graduate Research Assistant, University of Utah
Michael Riley PhD Student Graduate Research Assistant, University of Utah
Dr. Chris 
Zajchowski Assistant Professor, Old Dominion University

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of Quagmire, a game-based simulation designed to introduce students to the complexities of resource management, in preparing outdoor recreation studies students for a week-long field-based learning experience in Capital Reef National Park.  Results indicated that students believed Quagmire augmented their learning in a variety of ways and prepared them to interact intelligently and confidently with the landscape and park personnel during their week-long field excursion. 

“To Use or Not to Use”: Understanding Smartphone Use in High-Alpine Environments
Robert Warner PhD Student, University of Utah
Adanin PhD Student, Ohio University
Dr. Andrew Szolosi Associate Professor, Recreation and Sport Pedagogy, Ohio University

As smartphone use continues to become more embedded within daily life, identifying the factors driving their use in extreme environments may have numerous meaningful implications. Little is currently known about the factors driving mountaineers’ intentions to use smartphones in high-alpine environments. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine the extent to which attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control predict mountaineers’ intentions to use smartphones in high-alpine environments.

San Francisco Youth Outdoor Recreation Intentions through Themed Messages
Dr. Marni Goldenberg Professor, California Polytechnic State University
Dr. Keri Schwab Associate Professor, California Polytechnic State University

The purpose of this study was to use a quasi-experimental design to test the effectiveness of themed video messages on urban minority youth’s attitudes, social norms, and perceived behavioral control to recreate outdoors.

Session IV | 4:00 PM - 5:15 PM | Primrose A
Medical Specialty Camps: Campers/Staff Perceptions using the ACA Youth Outcomes Battery
Asiah Allen Old Dominion University
Takeyra Collins Visiting Professor, Virginia Wesleyan University
Cienna Gabriele Undergraduate Student, Old Dominion University
Dr. Eddie Hill Associate Professor, Old Dominion University
Betsy Kennedy Master Lecturer, Old Dominion University

Emmanuel Smith Undergraduate Student, Old Dominion University
Linnea Williams Old Dominion University

Youth with diabetes have limited access to summer camp. Medical specialty camps afford youth the ability to bond among peers. In 2017, this camp provided a camp experience for 50 youth with type 1 diabetes and their families. Data were collected through the ACA-YOB. Seventy percent of the campers “learned a little or a lot” about the outcomes. This opportunity can provide a meaningful explanation of outcomes during medical camping experiences.

Working Behind the Wall: Health-Related Concerns for Route Setters
Dr. Erik Rabinowitz Associate Professor of Recreation Management, Appalachian State University

The primary purpose of this investigation was to assess the overall health concerns of route setters, a group completely ignored in the literature, in commercial climbing gyms, to determine how long commercial route setters are working in these areas, and to see what precautions, if any, are already being taken by route setters when working behind their walls. 

Social Norms for Mountain Bikes and Mountain Dogs in the Wildland-Urban Interface
Dr. Chris Zajchowski Assistant Professor, Old Dominion University
Dr. Jeff Rose Assistant Professor, University of Utah
Kensey Baker Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of Utah

The purpose of this research is to assist in the trail development efforts of Salt Lake County Open Spaces by exploring outdoor recreationists’ social norms for recreation activities and crowding conditions within existing the Foothill Trail system. This work is designed to inform Salt Lake City’s Foothill Trail plan through the use of trail-counters, photo monitoring, and visitor use surveys, in order to assist Salt Lake City managers understand levels of actual use and potentials for conflict based on normative evaluations.


Poster Presentations

5:15 PM – 6:30 PM | Superior Lobby

Trail Work for Training: A Case Study of PET amongst 100-mile Runners
Dr. Clark Zealand Associate Professor, Liberty University

The purpose of the study was to seek resolution to this challenge by investigating the experience of runners-as-trail workers through de Bruin & Jelin?i?’s (2016) conceptual model of participatory experience tourism (PET).

Perceptions of Electric Mountain bikes by mountain bikers at one mountain park
Kristian Jackson Senior Lecturer, Appalachian State University
Dr. Erik
Rabinowitz Associate Professor of Recreation Management, Appalachian State University

Electric mountain bikes are becoming more common and are often showing up on mountain parks and trails. As expected with this growth of use legislators have adopted by the U.S. Congress HR 727 legislation. However, no laws apply to using mountain bike trails unless the land managers have adopted a no motorized vehicle policy. Before land managers begin to create limitations and regulations excluding these users the authors decided to do a grassroots examination of the MTB users at a local MTB park. The purpose of this investigation was to examine perceptions of electric mountain bikes (eMTB) by mountain bike users from one mountain bike park

Gender specific programs: Better understanding the female mountain biking experience
Patrick Lewis Assistant Professor, Ithaca College
Maggie Wise Student, Ithaca College

The purpose of this study is to address the gap in current literature regarding women specific outdoor recreation through examining female participation in women specific mountain biking programs.  Previous literature discusses the barriers to and benefits from participation in women-specific outdoor recreation programs. This study will seek to extend this literature to the outdoor pursuit of mountain biking. 

Examining Perceived Confidence/Proficiency of College Students in an Outdoor Leadership Course
Cody Anderson Program Assistant - Outdoor Programs, Appalachian State University 
Dr. Eric Frauman Professor, Recreation Management Program, Appalachian State University

This exploratory study examined perceived confidence and proficiency of college students participating in an outdoor leadership development course.  Given the increasing attention in higher education about documenting outcomes linked to curriculum as well as extracurricular offerings (e.g., college outdoor programs), this study was an attempt to better understand how a semester long academic course may influence college student’s perceptions of their confidence and proficiency tied to common outdoor leadership practices.  Furthermore, it was expected the findings from this study may also provide instructors (e.g., faculty, practitioners) with a survey tool to aid them in comparing their assessment of outdoor leader competencies to student/staff/participant perceptions. 

College students' definition of adventure: Three years of student generated videos
Benjamin Kumli Lecturer, San Francisco State University
Dr. Jackson Wilson Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator, San Francisco State University

This study problematizes the definition of adventure by investigating the emergent definitions of college students engaging in microadventures.  Unstructured and structured observation were used to analyze student produced videos from a general education adventure literature course (n=95).  The results confirm Varley’s (2006) claim that “adventure is an infinitely variable, malleable construct” (p.174).  Findings have implications for outdoor professional working with novice participants and evidence of a continued difference in the performance of gender in adventure.

Hosting Triathlons on a College Campus: Perceived Health Outcomes and Satisfaction
Dr. Eddie Hill Associate Professor, Old Dominion University
Taylor McIntosh Undergraduate Student, Old Dominion University
Tamara Morgan Director of Fitness and Wellness, Old Dominion University
Tyra Rounds Undergraduate Student, Old Dominion University
Emmanuel Smith Undergraduate Student, Old Dominion University
Melissa Turnage Director of Fitness and Wellness, Old Dominion University

The current study examined the health outcomes among participants in a college campus triathlon. In spring of 2018, 150 individuals will participate in an entry-level triathlon on a mid-Atlantic college campus. We will use the Perceived Heath Outcomes of Recreation Scale and the Means-ends to Recreation Scale. Data has not yet been collected, but findings from the 2017 pilot study (N=49) indicated males and females, married and non-married, and all ages, benefited equally from participation.

Evaluating the food intakes in the outdoor field classes
Dr. Aya Hayashi Professor, Biwako Seikei Sport College, Japan
Mai Suizu
Satoko Takeda

This research provides results from two different types of outdoor field classes offered through the Japanese college. One was a week-long expedition, and the other was 4-day freshman orientation program. Physical activity, calorie intake, energy expenditure, and urine were examined. Furthermore, subjective evaluation of individual conditions including fatigue, sleep, discharge, motivation, and satisfaction of the meals were asked everyday during the programs. Relationships among indicators were analyzed and implications will discussed. Evaluation of food intakes during the outdoor education programs in relationships with energy expenditure and conditions of participants.

Entry-Level Competencies for Natural Resource Based Outdoor Recreation Management Professionals
Dr. Rachelle Fuller Chair of Department of Recreation, Parks & Leisure Services, Assistant Professor, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Dr. Robyn Ceurvorst Assistant Professor, Recreation, Parks & Leisure Services, Minnesota State University, Mankato

For this presentation, participants will be able to identify core competencies of an entry-level professional in Natural Resource Based Outdoor Recreation Management. Participants will be able to align program learning objectives within preparatory curriculum to meet job market needs in Natural Resource Based Outdoor Recreation Management. Participants will develop a roadmap to successful job attainment by setting realistic, achievable goals to obtain needed entry-level competencies in Natural Resource Based Outdoor Recreation Management.

Instructor perceptions of smartphone use in outdoor education programs
Dr. Doris Bolliger Associate Professor, University of Wyoming
Trina Kilty Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of Wyoming
Dr. Daniel McCoy Degree Coordinator & Lecturer, University of Wyoming Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources
Dr. Craig Shepherd Associate Professor, University of Wyoming, College of Education

The study focused on instructor perceptions of general and appropriate use of mobile technologies in order to support learners in formal and informal outdoor education programs. The researchers explored the tensions between using smartphones, social behavior, and group dynamics in both front country and backcountry settings. Preliminary findings indicate that there are a set of common tensions between inappropriate and appropriate use for both instructors and students in these settings.

Perceived Health Outcomes and Values of College Climbers: Exploring Why They Climb
Peter Ahl Graduate Student, Old Dominion University
Chandler Berry Undergraduate Student, Old Dominion University
Cienna Gabriele Undergraduate Student, Old Dominion University
Dr. Edwin Gomez Professor, East Carolina University
Dr Eddie Hill Associate Professor, Old Dominion University
Rachel Resh Undergraduate Student, Old Dominion University
James Rice Undergraduate Student, Old Dominion University
Dr. Amy Shellman Recreation, Parks, & Leisure Studies Department, SUNY-Cortland
Mike Willett Undergraduate Student, Old Dominion University

The Benefits Movement arose in the 1990s from the increasing need to quantify and communicate the benefits of recreation. Empirical evidence of outcomes and value is instrumental to position and promote recreation services (e.g., college climbing programs) as a means to address current public issues, especially those related to health and quality of life. The movement implores recreation professionals to identify and measure the beneficial value of recreation (Allen & Cooper, 2003). The purpose of this study was to understand the perceived health outcomes and expected values of climbing programs across college campuses in the United States.