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Adventure Recreation Management

Adventure Recreation Management

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

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.


Explore with the experts

Dave Bernier

Dave Bernier

Instructor and Assistant Director, Tech Adventures

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.

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
  • Ski school director
  • Climbing guide service manager
  • Outdoor retail store manager

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.

Whitewater Raft Trip Leadership

This advanced skill course focused on methods and skills needed to lead whitewater paddling day trips primarily in rafts. You'll engage in hands-on activities that focus on site selection, equipment, logistics, permits, risk management, on-river 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.

Ready to get started?