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Adventure Recreation Management

Adventure Recreation Management

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

Our curriculum is hands-on and our classroom is often outdoors

Prepare for an exciting field in the adventure recreation industry. Our new, four-year program prepares you for managing programs and enterprises that offer outdoor adventure activities, with a special focus on whitewater paddling, rock climbing, mountain biking, challenge courses and other pursuits.

You'll learn alongside professionals with decades of adventure recreation experience as you build technical skills, explore the ins and outs of the adventure industry and discover the management skills and techniques required in the field.

Our curriculum is hands-on and our classroom is often outdoors. As part of the degree, you'll earn a certification as a guide or instructor in one of our fields of focus. You'll also complete a practicum where you'll work in the industry alongside the experts. And when it's all said and done, you'll have everything you need to start your career in adventure recreation management.


Explore with the experts

Dr. Steve Storck

Dr. Steve Storck

Instructor and Director, Tech Adventures

Steve has more than 30 years of experience working in the adventure recreation industry. His roots run deep in the whitewater paddling industry of West Virginia and the mid-Atlantic region. He has taught whitewater raft guiding, canoeing, kayaking, river rescue, backpacking, rock climbing, orienteering and cross-country skiing on lakes, rivers, trails and seashores throughout the region and beyond.  

His industry experience includes guiding, managing and teaching for commercial outfitters, outdoor retail, adventure camps, non-credit college outdoor programs, public park and recreation adventure programs and adventure academic programs. A focus of Steve’s career has been on improving the risk management of adventure programs and overall program administration. His proudest accomplishment? Introducing hundreds of students and clients to the joys of outdoor adventures and helping to foster rewarding, lifelong careers in the adventure field.

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.

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Important WVU Tech Codes

FAFSA: 003827   SAT: 5902   ACT: 4536
TOEFL: 5902