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Adventure Recreation Management

Adventure Recreation Management

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Program website
Sample Schedule
WVU Tech Catalog


        Badge reading Top Adventure College 2021

Winner of the 2021 Blue Ridge Outdoors "Top Adventure College Bracket Challenge." 

        Blue Ride Outdoors Magazine "Best of the Blue Ridge" badge.

Winner of the 2020 Blue Ridge Outdoors "Best of the Blue Ridge" for Outdoor Recreation Programs.

WVU Tech's Adventure Recreation Management program prepares students for managing programs and enterprises that offer outdoor adventure activities.  

The curriculum provides hands-on experience, and our classroom is often the outdoors. Students will explore the ins and outs of the adventure industry and discover the management skills and techniques required in the field.  

As part of the degree, students earn a certification as a guide or instructor in one of our fields of focus. Students also complete a practicum in the industry alongside the experts in the field.


Dave Bernier

Dave Bernier

Teaching Assistant Professor

Dave has worked in the outdoor adventure recreation field for more than 20 years.  Originally from the mountains of New Hampshire and Maine, he is proud to call West Virginia home. Dave has an undergraduate degree in Outdoor Recreation and a master’s degree from WVU.  He is an AMGA-certified SPI rock climbing instructor and has completed the AMGA Rock Guide Course. He is also an ACA L4 swift water rescue and whitewater kayak instructor and has been commercially guiding rafts on Class V sections of rivers for twenty years. Dave is also a current wilderness first responder. 

He has worked in the college outdoor recreation field for a dozen years sharing amazing experiences with students. Before that, Dave ran a commercial adventure recreation business, worked with adjudicated youth programs and was a National Park Service whitewater rescue ranger. Dave has traveled extensively for recreation and adventure but says that some of the most fun that can be had outdoors is watching students pick up a new life long skill in adventure recreation.

Photo of Melanie in the river holding a paddleboard

Melanie Seiler

Alumna and Executive Director, Active Southern West Virginia 

Melanie was raised in Fayetteville, West Virginia - the heart of what is now the New River Gorge National Park and Reserve. She worked in the whitewater rafting industry and has guided river trips since she was 18 years old.

She graduated from the ARM program in May 2021 and has used her industry knowledge, love of the outdoors and her ARM degree in her work as the founding executive director of Active Southern West Virginia. 

“I would recommend the program to anyone wanting to advance their career in recreation. It’s also a great program for someone that wants to run their own business in recreation by learning skills to manage services from top to bottom,” she says.

“I’m applying what I’ve learned to my work, including risk management, legal and ethical issues, and uncovering bias in our culture that contribute to health inequities. This helps provide better programming to our community, like an indoor aerobics class, organized sports or outdoor recreation,” she notes.

Headshot of Joshua Roe

Joshua Roe

Program Director & Teaching Assistant Professor

After working for a decade in the outdoor recreation industry, Joshua is in the final stages of completing a PhD in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism at the University of Florida. His dissertation research uses GIS and place attachment to better understand and promote diversity among user groups of public recreation areas. 

He has guided mountaineering expeditions to Mexico and Ecuador, worked as a guide in southeast Alaska for three years, spent a season guiding in the deserts of Arizona, taught Spanish and English in Korea, and was the teaching assistant for a month-long experiential education program in New Zealand for the University of Florida. 

Before coming to WVU Tech, he was a lecturer with the Hainan University-Arizona State University International Tourism College (HAITC). Prior to ASU, he taught outdoor recreation and leisure courses at the University of Florida both in class and online. 

He is a certified Wilderness First Responder (WFR) and swift-water rescue technician and previously certified as a wildland fire fighter with the USFS in the Tongass National Forest in southeast Alaska. 

He has two wonderful kids and an amazing spouse that love to go hiking, biking, and exploring with him.

Career Profile

Graduates of the program will leave with well-developed field skills, a solid background in management and the kind of real-world experience that makes them attractive to employers.

In our region - and throughout the nation - adventure tourism is growing. As people spend more of their free time experiencing the natural world, adventure recreation managers will play an increasingly important role in creating experiences that are unforgettable.


  • County/City adventure programmer
  • Challenge course manager
  • Commercial outfitter operation manager
  • Therapeutic adventure counselor
  • Rafting river manager
  • Climbing guide service manager
  • Non-profit recreation program/camp director
  • National Park Service, Forest Service, Army Corps of Engineers recreation planner

Learn by doing

Students in the program will achieve an instructor or guide certification during the course of earning their degree. They'll also complete a hands-on professional field experience with a working adventure recreation organization or company to learn how to put their skills and management knowledge to work in the real world.

Things You'll Learn

Skills to navigate the wild and the working world.

Adventure Recreation Program Management

Build your knowledge and competency in the management of an adventure recreation enterprise. You'll learn about program design, risk management, budgeting, staffing and support operations.

Technical Skills Coursework

In advanced skills-based courses, you'll learn the techniques and skills needed to lead various outdoor programs in, but not limited to, whitewater paddling, rock climbing, mountain biking and more. You'll engage in hands-on activities that focus on site selection, equipment, logistics, permits, risk management, on-site trip management and group safety.

Wilderness First Responder

Learn how to save lives. This course provides the training necessary to become certified in dealing with various aspects and levels of outdoor or wilderness crises in forestry, recreation or any outdoor professionals.

View a sample degree schedule or explore more course options in the catalog.

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