The introductory course for this certificate is ENVS 260 Outdoor Leadership, which has a capacity of 30 students. Four additional courses are required to complete the certificate and can be taken in any order. Additionally, optional elective credits are available for students taking part in field experiences which involve considerable time leading, or training to lead, others in outdoors. Optional topics courses may also be offered periodically that will be associated with Outdoor Leadership Certificate.

Core Courses

ENVS 260. Outdoor Leadership. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. This course is designed to provide an introduction to the concepts and skills needed to work and lead groups in outdoor settings. Topics include the historical and philosophical foundations of outdoor leadership, outdoor teaching and facilitation, safety and risk management, and environmental stewardship. The course includes classroom and field application components.

ENVS 360. Outdoor Programming and Event Management. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. This course is designed to provide students with information and practical experience required to successfully design, promote, implement and evaluate outdoor experiential programming across a range of contexts.

ENVS 361. Outdoor Team Building and Group Facilitation. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. This course is designed to provide students with the theory and practice of developing and deploying a successful outdoor recreational, educational, interpretive or adventure experience. In doing so, students will learn about group dynamics, teambuilding, risk management and inquiry-based learning techniques.

ENVS 460. Wilderness First Responder. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. This course is intended for anyone working in a position of leadership in an outdoor setting or for individuals who want a high level of wilderness medical training for working in remote field settings, extended personal backcountry trips or expeditions. The course is a comprehensive and in-depth look at the standards and skills of dealing with response and assessment, musculoskeletal injuries, environmental emergencies and survival skills, soft tissue injuries, and medical emergencies. Additional topics, such as CPR, are also included. Wilderness First Responder training is the industry standard for those who work as government and nongovernment field technicians, backcountry trip leaders, camp counselors, mountain guides, river guides and ski patrollers.

Optional Electives

ENVS 461. Wilderness Policy and Practice. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 2 lecture and 1 field experience hours. 3 credits. This course takes a multidisciplinary and experiential look at the concept of wilderness. Learning spans from the classroom to a first-hand wilderness experience, and materials include environmental law, natural resources management, environmental philosophy and ethics, regional and local history, and conservation science. Throughout students will focus on the intersection between society, biodiversity and the wilderness concept in principle and practice.

ENVS 491:  Expedition Planning & Management (1-4)

Semester course; 1-4 lecture hours. 1-4 credits. The primary learning objective for the Expedition Planning & Management course is to introduce students to knowledge, skills, and risk assessment necessary for effective planning and management of short and extended wilderness expeditions.

ENVS 491: Topics In Environmental Studies (1-4) [with advisor approval]

Semester course; 1-4 lecture hours. 1-4 credits. May be repeated with different topics for a maximum of 12 credits. An in-depth study of a selected environmental topic. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester and prerequisites.

ENVS 492. Independent Study. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. Variable credit. Maximum of 3 credits per semester; maximum total of 6 credits for all topic courses. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing, and permission of instructor. Options include, but are not limited to:

      • Nationally recognized certifications.
      • Extended field based trainings with outside organizations
      •  Guide schools or trainings
      • Administrative projects within outdoor organizations

ENVS 591. Swiftwater Safety. 1 Hour.

Semester course; 1 field experience hour. 1 credits. The River Safety and Rescue class teaches recognition and avoidance of common river hazards, execution of self-rescue techniques, and simple rescues of recreational paddlers in distress. Emphasis is placed both on personal safety and on simple, commonly used skills. Fundamental techniques for dealing with hazards that carry greater risks for both victim and rescuer, such as entrapments, and pins, also are also taught. This course is aimed at whitewater boaters interested in learning fundamental river rescue skills.