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Director of adventure programs Bruce Saxman and GreenMAP leaders Jamie Bernstein and Summer Reed presented “Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Management: A Student and Professional Perspective” at the 2011 Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Jamie also received the Undergraduate Student Literary Award for his position paper entitled “The Morality of Fixed Anchors for Rock Climbing in Wilderness Areas.”

Erik Schlimmer
gave a presentation to the GMC community. At home among grizzly bears, mountains, and deserts, Erik successfully rode 2,750 miles from Canada to Mexico, creating the longest mountain bike route on earth. Displaying original photography and video from his two month trek, this program is a tour of American culture. Not just a slideshow, Expedition to Success discusses the six life skills Erik uses to find success. Furthermore, these skills are tied into his six mentors.

Soil, water, and flora/fauna ecology, as well as special event assistance and service opportunities are just a few of the highlights for those enrolled in the essentials of mountain biking this fall. During labs, students ride primarily at Pine Hill Park in Rutland, but also spend time in the campus bike shop located in the basement of Dunton developing mechanical acumen.

The course’s curriculum covers land access, protection, and how community and state politics in tandem with professional organizations play a major role in the development of sustainable trail systems. The adventure education program plans to offer the course every other fall and non-majors are welcome to enroll. More

Every sophomore in the adventure education program will participate in either the fall or spring block course, though the course is far from your typical class. This semester, students will spend 45 days in the backcountry of the Adirondacks, the Green Mountains, and the White Mountains. So far, students have completed an 11-day rock climbing camp in the Adirondacks, and a five-day whitewater rafting section on the North Hudson River. Students participate in and learn how to facilitate rock climbing, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, and backpacking, which in turn prepares them for a professional career guiding trips or running their own business.

Research by Prof. Nate Furman (adventure education) was cited by John Gans, Executive Director of National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), as part of Gans’ Harvard Business Review article titled "Expedition Leadership in the Wild." The article, "Long-Term Impacts Attributed to Participation in Adventure Education: Preliminary Findings from NOLS" on which Gans relies was written by Furman and three colleagues who found that NOLS program graduates gained critical leadership skills including effective handling of difficult circumstances, the ability to work as a member of a team, and strategic planning.

Bruce Saxman and Nate Furman examined the role of mentorship in higher education through the lens of working with students in the field as part of their faculty colloquium on February 23, 2011. Combining ideas drawn from contemporary literature and research with personal observations and practices, Bruce and Nate provided a broad overview of what effective mentorship looks like with lessons learned from the field.

The title of their presentation was “Mentoring Strategies in Outdoor Programs and Beyond.”

In the summer of 2010 Nate Higgs '10 served as a representative of the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE) at the first "Outdoor Nation" summit hosted in New York City. The summit's charge was to establish an outdoor agenda promoting stewardship, increased outdoor recreation opportunities and policy creation. Student representatives were hand-selected by a committee from a national pool of applicants.

Prof. Tom Stuessy
(adventure education) has garnered this year’s Dr. Frank Lupton Service Award from the Wilderness Education Association (WEA) for securing a National Office at Indiana University and re-establishing the association’s place in the outdoor industry. Dr. Lupton was a founding member of the WEA. Tom was recognized at the national conference in Estes Park, Col.

Prof. Nate Furman
(adventure education) received a full tuition scholarship from the American Mountain Guides Association and Mammut Sports Group to attend the five day AMGA Rock Guide Examination in Red Rocks National Conservation Area in Nevada this April. The AMGA represents the United States in the International Federation of Mountain Guides Unions. Mammut Sports Group is a Swiss climbing and ski equipment company whose U.S. distribution is centered in Shelburne, Vt. The examination may result in the highest level of internationally recognized rock climbing guide certification.

Bruce Saxman
, GMC's Director of Adventure Programming, was interviewed in Vermont Sports Magazine for a story titled “Get Out and Get Paid: Some Cool Gigs for Vermonters Who Want to be Active Outdoors.” “Everyday is different, but you’re almost always outside doing something fun,” Bruce says in the story. “And when it’s time to do the paperwork, you need a rest anyway.”

Prof. Nate Furman
(adventure education) presented at the research symposium for the 2010 National Conference for Outdoor Leadership in Estes Park, Col., February 20. His presentation, “The Effects of a Treatment Curriculum on the Learning Transfer of Prosocial Behavior in Adventure Education,” discussed how students develop prosocial skills during adventure education courses and use them post-course. In the process of conducting the research project, Nate developed a theoretically-grounded treatment curriculum to target the transfer of an educational variable.

The Vermont Outdoor Job Fair in Withey Lobby February 23 drew students interested in learning more about career and internship opportunities in the outdoor education and recreation field. This year's fair also featured a host of alums who came back to campus to recruit for their employers. The list included: Amanda Kelley ’05 (Frost Valley YMCA, NY); Brian Bevacqua ’10 (Still River Outfitters, Mass.); Chris Ricker '09 (Vermont Youth Conservation Corps); Lee Robinson '09 (Vermont Adaptive Sports); Jason Drake (Camp Kieve Wavus Education, Inc., Maine)

U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, has announced that Maggie Burke ‘07, a program coordinator for Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, is one of six coaches and program leaders selected to attend the 2010 Paralympic Experience Vancouver from March 10-17 in Vancouver, Canada. Maggie is a graduate of GMC's adventure education program.

"This experience is an honor," said Burke, who is the program coordinator for Vermont Adaptive at Sugarbush Resort. "To have the opportunity to travel to Vancouver and see the Paralympics first hand, meet some of the athletes and be a part of a global event for athletes who are disabled will be something I will remember and cherish forever."

Director of Adventure Programs Bruce Saxman and GreenMAP trip leaders Aaron Strock, Morgan Gentry, Ben Halay, Mariano Sastre, Sam Grist, Alaina Killion, Tyler Randolf, Derek Gavelis, Jon DeBay, and Nate Higgs attended the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education's Annual Conference in Minneapolis, Minn. At the conference Bruce presented "Using Site Management and Course Area Guides for Trip Planning and Decision Making" and continues to serve on the association's Access and Permitting Committee.

Instructor Nate Furman (adventure education) presented "The Roles of Heuristic-Based Decision-Making Factors, Avalanche Forecast, and Risk Propensity on the Decision to Ski in Avalanche Terrain" at the Symposium for Experiential Education Research. The symposium is part of the 37th annual Association for Experiential Education conference. This work is part of a multi-phase study examining factors that influence decision-making during risky recreation. The project is a collaboration with Wynn Shooter from Monash University and Scott Schumann from the University of Utah. Results indicate that skiers refer to published avalanche forecasts to guide backcountry decision-making more than heuristic biases, and that the effects of gender dynamics within skier groups are less clear than previously thought. The project is funded through the American Alpine Club and partnered with the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education.

Students in the REC2026 Program Planning & Leadership class recently led a two-day Leadership Summit for Poultney Elementary School fourth, fifth, and sixth grade elected student representatives. The summit trained students to become effective members of the school's first student council, and included workshops on topics including goal setting, brain storming, self-awareness, communication, decision making and personal responsibility. Prof. Thayer Raines (youth development & camp management) coordinated the event with Dawn Sarli, Poultney School District Challenge Teacher.

The Adventure Education AORE Student Scholarship will be awarded to one student every October. This year's winner is adventure education major Ben Halay. The $100 award is given to the applicant who best articulates commitment to professional development through academic achievement, campus involvement and field experience. The scholarship is funded through writing royalties Prof. Tom Stuessy (adventure education) has earned. Tom believes adventure education students getting involved in the Association of Outdoor Recreation & Education (AORE) is an important professional step that is certain to pay off. Ben will be attending this year's conference in Minneapolis from Nov. 5 - 7.

The adventure education block semester recently attended a training hosted by the Professional Climbing Instructor Association in Acadia National Park. The week long clinic was designed to train and certify rock climbing instructors. Each of the students successfully completed the program and a number were certified as "Base-Managed Top-Rope Site Instructors.”

Nate Furman
(adventure education) was awarded a $1,000 grant by the American Alpine Club to investigate the role of heuristic-based decision-making in hazardous outdoor recreation activities. The research examines at how backcountry skiers make decisions in avalanche terrain, and whether or not unconscious heuristic-based thinking plays a role in determining acceptance of risk.

Professors Tom Stuessy
and Jim Harding along with former student Jane Anderson recently had an article accepted to the Journal of Outdoor Recreation Education and Leadership.  The article was focused on environmental ethics among rock climbers in the Adirondack Park.  The research was completed with a now former student, Jane Anderson.  The article is available at:

Casey Graham
, an adventure recreation major, recently won a full scholarship to the Peter Terbush Memorial Summit at Western State College of Colorado. He will be participating in the Alpine Mountaineering Instructor Course. The Summit will take place in June near Gunnison, Colorado.

The Summit memorializes Peter Terbush, who died in 1999. Peter's last act was to save the life of his friend and climbing partner by maintaining a proper belay in the face of a rock slide that took his life. The Summit takes its primary mission from Peter's life: "It is through service to others that we realize our full potential."

Prof. Tom Stuessy
(Adventure Education) spoke on the current challenges facing higher education relative to outdoor leadership training at the Wilderness Education National Conference at Indiana University. 

Prof. Thayer Raines
(recreation & outdoor studies) spoke at the 2009 Association of Experiential Education Northeast Regional Conference (April 17-19) at Becket Chimney Corners YMCA in Massachusetts. He presented on the topic “A Wider View of Service Learning: Sharpening Human Skills Through Peer Mediation Training.” Assisting him with the presentation were four students from the REC4010 Management of Outdoor and Adventure Programs class: Brian Bevacqua, Scott Perkins, Charles Watt, and Charles Weekes.

Students in REC 4051 Recreation & Outdoor Studies Seminar presented their annual colloquium April 2 in Withey Hall. The colloquium featured seven student-led workshops on the theme of "Recreation Values in a Changing Economy." Chris Stec, assistant director of safety, education, & instruction for the American Canoe Association, and David Cudmore, owner of Stillwater Outfitters, delivered keynote addresses. The primary learning goal for each year's colloquium is to provide students with hands-on experience organizing and developing a professional workshop. Students were responsible for all aspects of the event including hospitality, schedule, marketing, logistics, registration, budgeting and evaluation.

Pictured are (L to R): Chris Ricker, Charles Watt, Alexa Lepucki, Jess Elias, Alphonso Howlett, Graham Johns, Lee Robinson, Kyle Pike, Scott Perkins, Sam Gaughan, Doug Johnson, Brian Bevacqua, Erik Debbink, Prof. Thayer Raines. Missing is Chris Wetzel.

Prof. Thayer Raines
(recreation & outdoor studies) gave an invited lecture on "Human Factors that Contribute to Avalanche Hazard" at the 4th Biannual Eastern Division National Ski Patrol Level II Avalanche Course at Whiteface Mountain, March 19-22. The research shows that in 90 percent of all avalanche accidents, the victim or someone in the victim's party triggers the slide. The Level II course is designed to prepare search and rescue personnel for leadership roles in response to avalanche accidents. GMC students Lee Robinson and Wyatt Goodrich successfully completed their Level 2 Avalanche certification at this year's course.

(L to R): Brian Bevacqua, Jon DeBay, Matt Cavarnos, and Chris Ricker

They trekked through the backcountry of the Green Mountain Range by snowshoe and ski, conducted a mock rescue off a 30 degree pitch slope, built emergency evacuation sleds from skis and poles, slept in quinchee snow shelters, and in the end, left confident in their mountain rescue skills. Twelve GMC students in the REC3007 Winter Mountain Travel class recently completed the field requirements for the National Ski Patrol’s Mountain Travel and Rescue Level II certification.

From February 27 – March 1, the certification trip took place in the backcountry near the Sucker Brook Trail between Middlebury Gap and Brandon Gap. Participating GMC students include Brian Bevacqua, Dillon Bosma, Matt Cavarnos, Jon DeBay, Derek Gavelis, Wyatt Goodrich, Francis McGuire, Ian Newton, Adi Partojoyo, Chris Ricker, Lee Robinson, and Mariano Sastre.

Eleven GMC students and Prof. Thayer Raines: (recreation and outdoor studies) recently visited Smuggler's Notch to complete the requirements for the Avalanche Level 1 Certification Course. Because GMC is an affiliate institution of the National Ski Patrol (NSP), students enrolled in the REC3007 Essentials of Mountain Travel course are able to obtain this certification after completion of snow pit stability analysis, transceiver search, and a simulated mock rescue scenario in avalanche terrain. Smuggler's Notch is one of only three locations in the Northeast that have avalanche conditions suitable to meet the requirements of the NSP for the conduct of certification courses. Two GMC students plan to attend the Level II certification course March 19-22 at Whiteface Mountain, N.Y. Thayer will be presenting at the Level 2 course on the topic of human factors that contribute to avalanche hazard.

Prof. Tom Stuessy
(Adventure Education) contributed a chapter focused on ice climbing instructional techniques in a new book, Technical Skills for Adventure Programming, published by Human Kinetics. The book is due to be distributed this winter and is expected to be used by a number of colleges, universities and full time programmers. The book features contributions from authors from across the country and covers over 20 different outdoor skill disciplines.

Students from the REC 3061 mountain bike course recently contributed 100 person hours completing the Salamander Trail in Pine Hill Park. Pine Hill Park is an important resource for mountain bikers, trail runners and hikers in Rutland County. The trail links two of the park's trail systems and creates an alternative to a muddy logging road for park users. Pictured are: Prof. Tom Stuessy, Kevin Shivers, Ben Haley and Derek Gavelis.

Casey Graham
, Adventure Recreation major, was awarded a 2008 Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education Student Scholarship in San Diego, CA.  The scholarship is awarded to nine students from across the country.  In exchange for the scholarship Graham was required to help in a variety of capacities including assisting with the Student Career Center.  The Adventure Recreation program was proud to have Casey representing Green Mountain College at the conference.

Bruce Saxman
, Director of Adventure Programming, and Prof. Tom Stuessy(Adventure Education) recently completed a book chapter in Outdoor Recreation Program Administration: Essentials for the Professional. The book will be published by Human Kinetics and is due to be distributed next summer. The chapter focuses on adventure programming staff hiring, training, mentorship and assessment strategies.

Director of Adventure Programs Bruce Saxman, Wellness Center Director Jessica Ley and seven GreenMAP leaders attended the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education Conference in San Diego, Cal. Bruce co-presented “How to Get an Outdoor Job” with David Baumgarder, Director of Outdoor Programs for Ft. Carson during the Student Development Pre-Conference Session. In the core conference Bruce, Jessica and GreenMAP Leader Zach Behney presented “Moving into Stillness: An Outdoor Mindfulness-Based Stress Management Program”, and Bruce and GreenMAP Leader Alicia Lano presented on “Course Area Guides: Applications for Trip Planning, Decision Making, and Risk Management.”

Prof. Tom Stuessy
(Adventure Education) recently completed his service as the Vice President of the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE) and a three-year term on the board of directors. AORE is comprised of hundreds of outdoor professionals from across the country. Tom is proud of this service and mentioned that AORE has been a major catalyst for adventure recreation internship and full-time employment opportunities for GMC graduates over the past three years.

Prof. Tom Stuessy
(Adventure Education) serves on the advisory committee for the new Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership (JOREL), launched October 31 in San Diego, California at the 22nd annual AORE Conference on Outdoor Recreation and Education. Three organizations - the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE), the Wilderness Education Association (WEA), and the Western Kentucky University Research Foundation (WKURF) - have teamed together to create and manage this new peer-reviewed publication located at The journal's mission is to improve outdoor recreation, education, and leadership through the publication and dissemination of peer-reviewed manuscripts centered on professional best practices, research, and theoretical discussions.

Aaron Ashton
, Deborah DeLuca, Peter Jeffers, Hal Tomasson, Lucas Michel, Monique Couture, Nathan Bell, James Robertson, Stephen Leather, Joseph Grzyb, Ariella Wiener, Michael Koons, and Prof. Thayer Raines (recreation & outdoor studies) rebuilt a ramp way to a bridge and removed logs cut on a switchback trail in Coolidge and Okemo State Forests over the weekend of October 19. A voluntary service project, this was the fourth year GMC students have assisted with maintaining the College’s section of the 300-mile Catamount Ski Trail.

GreenMAP welcomes six new student leaders to the program. They are Candy Smith, Tyler Randolph, Aaron Strock, Ben Halay, Mariano Sastre, and John DeBay. Candy, Tyler and Aaron took part in ALPSS (Adventure Leadership Program for Staff and Students) over fall break in the Adirondack High Peaks while Ben, Mariano, and John are matriculating in through the Recreation & Outdoor Studies Intensive Semester.

Pictured is the fall break ALPSS group on the summit of Mt. Colden after climbing the southeast slide. From L-R: Meredith Budlong (instructor), Aaron Strock, Bruce Saxman (instructor), Candy Smith, Tyler Randolph and Derek Gavelis (instructor).

Prof. Tom Stuessy
(Adventure Education) taught the first of two outdoor leadership practicum courses last week in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks. Tom and the students spent four days on campus and three days with Wild Waters Rafting Company, then proceeded to a six-day expedition. The course focused on the integration of education, human and outdoor skills required for highly effective outdoor leadership. The next group will be in the field starting next week.

alpss 4/30/07:
Green Mountain Adventure Programs Director Bruce Saxman has announced that four new students have passed the College’s training course for student leaders. Over the spring break, students Nate Higgs, Vanessa Wilcox-Healy, Lisa Gilbert, and Kevin Rockey took part in ALPSS (Adventure Leadership Programming for Students and Staff), GreenMAP's leader training course. The group trekked through two feet of snow that fell during the trip in the Adirondack High Peaks. The training focused on developing instructor level "36 hour skills" (Hygiene, equipment, packing, food, water, shelter), learning effective group and individual assessment methods, designing learning progressions, and group management in the backcountry.

andersonjJane Anderson Wins Alpine Institute Scholarship
Senior Adventure Recreation major Jane Anderson of Concord, NH, recently traveled to the Association of Outdoor Recreation Education annual conference in Idaho and came home with a $2,000 scholarship from the American Alpine Institute. The scholarship will go toward a 2-4 week long course of study in technical alpine technique at North Cascades National Park in Washington State this June and will include a summit attempt of Mount Baker.

catamount_tr 11/9/06
Students enrolled in Professor Thayer Raines Introduction to Outdoor Services class participated in a service learning trail maintenance and clean up of all 11 miles of the Green Mountain College Section II of the Catamount Ski Trail - a 300-mile cross-country ski trail spanning Vermont from Massachusetts to Canada. It is the longest continuous ski trail in the U.S. Green Mountain College is in the process of adopting this section of the trail in perpetuity. The section lies between Killington Peak and Okemo Resort in Ludlow.

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