Outdoor Leadership

The Market

Outdoor leaders are in demand from growing outdoor recreation, adventure tourism and multisport industries. In addition, outdoor leadership skills are directly applicable to the workplace in a wide range of leadership, management and coordination positions. There is also a steady demand for outdoor leaders in non-formal educational settings, such as outdoor education schools, the outdoor products industry, business and management training programs, adventure therapy projects, and other non-formal educational and recreational enterprises. Outdoor leadership employment opportunities often are located in some of the world’s most fascinating and beautiful places, both in the U.S. and overseas.

Our Program

The Outdoor Leadership study track described here combines relevant coursework in environmental science, kinesiology, business, and organizational leadership. All students are required to refine their skills through a formal internship.  Internships – with local outfitters and organizations or on-campus programs such as the rock wall, outdoor resource center, or wilderness welcome program – give students the opportunity to apply their skills to help coordinate, lead, teach and evaluate programs in the outdoor leadership field.  In addition to the required academic curriculum that follows, a variety of leadership training and skill development opportunities are also offered by SSU.

Our Campus

The SSU campus has many unique learning resources, such as:  Fairfield Osborn Preserve (where our students can teach children while spending the day out on the trails); a world-class “green” recreation center (with climbing wall, a ropes course, and adventure programs center); the Kenneth M. Stocking Native Plant Garden (where there are several plant propagation projects underway); Copeland Creek (the focus of a student-faculty lead restoration effort); and the Environmental Technology Center (our high tech “green” center and classroom). Not far beyond the campus there are rugged beaches, Oak and Redwood forests, the vine country, and a world-class city just over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Mountains to Oceans

The Sonoma State Outdoor Leadership study track takes full advantage of the unique location of our campus. The North Bay is home to amazing beaches, rivers, deltas, bays, and mountains as well as a wealth of outdoor businesses and organizations. Most of the courses in our major requirements include significant field-based study and some include multi-day field trips.