Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Plan B

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Science & Mathematics Teaching Center


Associate Lecturer Diana Wiig, Chair

Second Advisor

Assistant Director of Campus Recreation Daniel McCoy

Third Advisor

Associate Professor Edward Sherline


Through my years of experience educating people in the outdoors I have continued to grow and improve my skillset. The definition of effective outdoor leadership is complex and not completely settled, but the methods by which leaders become effective are even less clear in the literature. In this paper I outlined my complex personal path of experiences that led to my leadership abilities today. I reflected on challenging experiences, mentors that guided my way, and moments of sudden understanding; I analyzed those experiences to develop themes that I believe were (and are) essential to my own development as a leader. Themes discovered were (a) mentorship, (b) challenge, reflection, and opportunity, (c) training and skills development, (d) observational learning, and (e) community and socialization. I concluded by comparing this framework of themes to a leadership development program that I instructed – the Outdoor Leadership Development Series at the University of Wyoming. This paper is valuable as a framework for understanding the many and varied processes that transform novice leaders into excellent ones.


Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters in Science in Natural Science in the Science and Mathematics Teaching Center at the University of Wyoming.

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