Outdoor Education Major


Idaho State University








Brief Descriptions of Outdoor Education Courses


PE 4445 Methods of Teaching Outdoor Activities and Practicum 3-4 credits.

This culminating course for outdoor education majors consists of two parts: a study of the objectives, programs and methods of teaching outdoor recreation activities followed by a practicum experience in which students assist in teaching and leading outdoor activities. PREREQ: PE 3386, PE 4440 Spring Semester


PE 4440 Survey of Outdoor Education Literature 3 credits.

An examination of recent research, literature and contemporary writing in outdoor education. Course work consists of a series of reading assignments followed by oral reports and class discussions. Fall Semester


PE 4441 Wilderness First Responder Certification 3 credits. 

80-hour certification program, including cardiac and respiratory emergencies, allergies and anaphylaxis, wound management and infection, neurological and spinal injuries, realignment of fractures and dislocations, rescue and extraction, patient monitoring and long term management problems.  Spring Semester


PE 3386 Outdoor Leadership 3 credits.

Designed to provide students with the knowledge to organize and lead outdoor activities. Includes leadership styles, liability, program promotion, planning, safety, and environmental impact. Practical experiences are included. Spring Semester


PE 3384 Outdoor Risk Management and Liability 3 credits.

Legal implications of outdoor recreation programming including a study of tort liability, risk evaluation, relevant case law, legal management strategies, and the use of waivers and releases. Fall Semester Every Odd Year


PE 3383 Advanced Rock Climbing and Climbing Safety 2 credits.

A comprehensive examination of climbing safety - anchor placement, self-rescue, belaying, route protection, case history review, equipment limitations - along with field experience including lead and aid climbing, advanced knots, movement techniques, and minimal impact procedures. PREREQ: PEAC 176A OR PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.  Spring Semester


PE 3381 River Safety & Swiftwater Rescue 1 credit.

A comprehensive safety and rescue course for river users and rescue service personnel. Topics include safety equipment, river hazards, river crossings, tag line procedures, zip line and Z-pulley use, moving water extrications, and first aid considerations. Summer


PE 2288 Ski Instructor Training 1 credit.

Skiing mechanics, teaching progressions, effective teaching styles and skiing techniques. Outdoors: teaching progressions, skiing demos and techniques for improved skiing. Fall Semester


PE 2287 Snowboard Instructor Training 1 credit. 

Mechanics of snowboarding, teaching progressions, effective teaching styles and snowboarding techniques. Outdoors: teaching progressions, snowboarding demos and snowboarding tips. Fall Semester


PE 2286 Avalanche and Winter Sports Safety 1 credit.

A study of snow, winter hazards, avalanche safety and rescue. Topics include basic snow physics, crystal identification, metamorphic processes, factors influencing avalanches, use of transceivers, snow pack evaluation, and avalanche rescue techniques. Spring Semester


PE 2285 Wilderness First Aid 1 credit

Provides an introduction to First Aid and patient care in remote settings. Includes wound and infection management, realigning fractures and dislocations, improvised splinting techniques, patient monitoring and long-term management problems, and up-to-date information on environmental emergencies. Fall & Spring Semesters


PE 2284 Intermediate Kayaking and Whitewater Safety 1 credit.

Combines practical field experience in moving water with a study of river safety and accident prevention. Topics include hazard evaluation, self and team rescue, case history review, and whitewater safety procedures. PREREQ: PEAC 175A OR PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR. Fall and Spring Semesters


PE 2283 Leave No Trace Trainer 1 credit.

Principles and practices of minimum impact outdoor techniques including traveling approaches, waste disposal, campsite placement, outdoor ethics, state/federal land management requirements, and sport-specific procedures.   Fall Semester


PE 2282 Map, Compass and Backcountry Navigation 1 credit.

Practical application of map and compass and wilderness navigation concepts including map and field bearings, declination, resection, contour line interpretation, GPS receiver use, map types, scales, and coordinate systems. Fall Semester


PE 2281 Practical Outdoor Skills 1 credit.

Basic skills for activity in the outdoors. Topics include practical outdoor knots, water treatment, map and compass, sheltering strategies, outdoor emergencies and first aid, equipment and clothing, minimal impact techniques, and fire building. Fall & Spring Semesters


PE 2280 Winter Camping & Backcountry Travel 1 credit.

Techniques, equipment and safety of overnight winter wilderness travel, backcountry skiing and snowshoeing. PREREQ: PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR. Spring Semester.


PE 2200 Team Building Leadership 2 credits

Trains individuals to facilitate and lead on a challenge course. Setup and dismantling of an Alpine Tower course, facilitation of large and small team building groups, safety and rescue techniques.  Designed to train participants in pursuit of employment within the challenge course industry.   Fall Semester


PEAC 1189 Beginning Gym Climbing 1 credit.

Taught entirely indoors on the Idaho State University Climbing Wall, this course covers climbing knots, belaying procedures, basic equipment, movement techniques, and safety. Spring Semester


PEAC 1101 Adaptive Snow Skiing 1 credit.

Adaptive and corrective exercise program in snowskiing designed for individuals unable to participate in a regular activity class. Spring Semester


PEAC 1108 Instructor Training of Adapted Snowskiing 1 credit.

Methods and techniques of teaching snowskiing to people with disabilities. Spring Semester.


PEAC 1118 Wilderness Survival Skills 1 credit.

Designed to provide students with knowledge and skills necessary to survive a 72 hour emergency (summer and fall seasons). Includes signaling, shelter building, hypothermia, survival kits, fire building, direction finding and desert hazards. Fall Semester


PEAC 1191A Basic Horsemanship 1 credit.

Introduction to horsemanship, safety and riding skills. Includes horse behavior, safety, grooming, tack care, tacking horse, nutrition, fitness, basic skills for the horse and rider. Skills include guiding, posting at a trot, correct leads, flying lead changes, obtaining balanced stops, roll maneuvers and techniques to work the problem horse. Fall & Spring Semesters


PEAC 1191B Intermediate Horsemanship 1 credit.

Build upon basic skills learned in beginning horsemanship. Intermediate skills include guiding, posting at a trot, correct leads, flying lead changes, stops, roll maneuvers and techniques to work the problem horse.  PREREQ: PEAC 1191A or permission of instructor.  (Available when announced)


PEAC 1194 Caving Workshop 1 credit.

Designed to develop the skills for exploring non technical caves. The course covers navigation, equipment, rappelling, light sources, emergency preparation, and the history of caving.  Spring Semester


PEAC 1175A Beginning Kayaking 1 credit.

Uses controlled environment of ISU pool and includes basic skills including draw and sculling strokes, high and low bracing, eddy turns, deep water rescue techniques, river safety, and Eskimo roll. Fall and Spring Semesters


PEAC 1176A Beginning Rock Climbing 1 credit.

Designed for students with little or no climbing experience, this outdoor class covers basic climbing including knot tying, belaying, movement techniques, top rope anchor systems, and safety procedures. Fall and Spring Semesters


PEAC 1176B Intermediate Rock Climbing 1 credit.

Designed for the intermediate level student, this course explores more advanced techniques, etiquette, and minimal impact techniques. Fall and Spring Semesters


PEAC 1177A Beginning CrossCountry Skiing 1 credit.

Designed for beginning skiers, this course introduces students to flat surface techniques and progresses to uphill and downhill techniques. Indoor lectures are combined with tours to local crosscountry ski areas. Spring Semester


PEAC 1177B Intermediate CrossCountry Skiing 1 credit.

Designed for intermediate skill xcountry skiers, this course builds on the fundamental techniques of the beginning course. Includes safety in the backcountry, more advanced uphill and downhill techniques, and overnight trip planning. Spring Semester


PEAC 1178A Beginning Telemark Cross Country Skiing 1 credit.

Fundamental skills of executing downhill turns on crosscountry skis. Telemark is primary emphasis, but wedge, stem christie, and parallel turns are also covered in relation to free heel skis. Spring Semester


PEAC 1178B Intermediate Telemark Cross Country Skiing 1 credit.

Course builds upon the basic skills first introduced in the beginning course. Introduces additional techniques. Spring Semester


PEAC 1181 Mountain Biking 1 credit.

Combines a series of indoor lectures with practical outdoor riding experience. Topics include mountain bike riding techniques, clothing, equipment, safety and bike maintenance. Fall Semester


PEAC 1182C Advanced Dutch Oven Cooking 1 credit.

Expands upon the basics taught in the beginning course. Includes large group meal planning, dutch oven catering, garnishing and presentation of meals, gourmet meal preparation, and competitive cooking. Fall Semester


PEAC 1185 Basic Mountaineering 1 credit.

Designed for students wishing to climb mountains on a nontechnical basis. Includes ice axe use, rope team travel, clothing, equipment, hazards, hypothermia, and acute mountain sickness. Spring Semester


PEAC 1186A Beginning Fly Fishing 1 credit.

Equipment selection, basic techniques of flycasting, basic knots and types of flies are included. Dry fly fishing, nymphing, and streamer fishing included.  (Available when announced)


PEAC 1186B Intermediate Fly Fishing 1 credit.

Specialized casting techniques for different conditions included. Selecting and using the proper fly as well as how to read a stream and locate fish will be addressed. Emphasis will be on fishing still waters, small streams and big rivers. PREREQ: PEAC 1186A or permission of instructor. (Available when announced)


PEAC 1186C Advanced Flyfishing Skills 1 credit.

Advanced level specialized techniques including casting, fly selection and use, fish behavior, stream, still water and big water fishing, advanced equipment use, and advanced equipment construction. PREREQ: PEAC 1186B or permission of instructor. Fall and Spring Semesters


PEAC 1186D Advanced Flyfishing –River and Still Water 1 credit.

Equipment selection, advanced techniques of fly-casting, knots and types of flies. River and still water techniques, including dry fly-fishing, nymphing, and streamer fishing. Fall and Spring Semesters


PEAC 1186E Advanced Flyfishing—Fly Rod Building 1 credit.

Equipment selection, basic techniques of rod building, basic wrapping and types of blanks. Students will wrap their own rods and apply resin. Fall and Spring Semesters


PEAC 1187A Beginning Fly Tying 1 credit.

Basic fly tying skills for the beginner. Introduction and explanation of basic tools and materials. Course will include simple nymph, wet and dry fly patterns. (Available when announced)


PEAC 1187B Intermediate Fly Tying 1 credit.

Intermediate level course for the experienced fly-tyer. Advanced patterns included with additional emphasis on innovative materials and techniques. Basic entomology will also be addressed. PREREQ: PEAC 1187A or permission of instructor. (Available when announced)


PEAC 1188 Winter Survival Skills 1 credit.

Designed to equip students with knowledge necessary for a 72 hour winter survival situation. Content includes winter shelter building, recognizing and treating frostbite, signaling, fire building, survival psychology, nutrition needs, clothing and equipment. Spring Semester


PEAC 1165 Backcountry GPS Navigation 1 Credit

The practical use of portable GPS devices for outdoor applications. Topics covered include angular and rectangular coordinates, cross-country land navigation, use of waypoint coordinates, determining direction and distance, and limitations of GPS.   Fall Semester


PEAC 1166 Canoeing 1 Credit

A basic level course, teaching both American Red Cross and Native American canoeing styles, and covering paddling techniques, canoe design, equipment, clothing, camping, safety and rescue.   Summer


PEAC 1167 Kayak Touring 1 Credit

Basic skills for lake, ocean and flat-water kayaking including equipment, technique, navigation, safety and rescue.   Fall Semester


PE 4491/PE 5591 Beginning Rock Climbing Workshop 1 credit.

This five day intensive workshop is held in the summer at a nearby climbing area. Course content includes rope handling, knot tying, belaying, anchor systems, climbing ethics and safety. Summer


PE 4491/PE 5591 Advanced Rock Climbing Workshop 1 credit.

The Advance Rock Climbing Workshop is a week long workshop devoted to advancing and refining climbing techniques. Topics include: using and placing rock protection, setting advanced belay anchors, refining lead and aid climbing techniques, and minimizing environmental impact. Summer


PE 4491/PE 5591 Beginning Kayaking Workshop 1 credit

This workshop begins with introductory pool sessions and then quickly moves outdoor where students can learn and practice kayaking skills on rivers. Skills and topics covered include paddling and rolling techniques, water hydraulics, reading whitewater, route selection, and safety. Summer


PE 4491/PE 5591 Backcountry Map and Compass Workshop

(Note a similar Map and Compass Workshop Class is offered in the fall under the course number PE 282). This course is the summer version of the Map and Compass Workshop. Topics are the same, but are oriented towards land navigation skills in remote areas. Summer


PE 4491/PE 5591 Canoe Workshop

The Canoe Workshop is held during the summer and consists of evening lectures, a day long practice session at a local lake, and an overnight canoe trip. Designed as a starter course in canoeing, this class encompasses both the American Red Cross and Native American canoeing styles, and covers paddling techniques, canoe design, equipment, clothing, route navigation, safety and rescue.  Summer


Outdoor Education Links


Outdoor Education Major

Outdoor Minor Information

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Course Syllabi & Course Information



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