Outdoor Education Major


Course Syllabi & Course Information







Outdoor Education Courses


Below is an alphabetical listing of all classes and workshops offered by the Department of Sports Science and Physical Education in combination with the ISU Outdoor Adventure Center.  Links are provided to the syllabus of each class. 


Also, see Information on Outdoor Education Major & Outdoor Minor Program

Classes Held Full Semester or Half Semester
Taught on regularly scheduled days each week throughout the semester or half-semester:


Advanced Dutch Oven Cooking | Advanced Rock Climbing | Beginning Cross-country Skiing | Beginning Telemark | Beginning Kayaking | Beginning Rock Climbing | Mountain Biking  | Dutch Oven Cooking | Gym Climbing | Intermediate Kayaking | Intermediate Telemark Ski | Methods of Teaching Outdoor Activities | Outdoor Leadership | Outdoor Risk ManagementPractical Outdoor SkillsSki Instructor Training | Survey of Outdoor Education Literature | Team Building Leadership


Classes Held in a Workshop Format
Taught on weekends, evenings or several-day periods:

Advanced Rock Climbing Workshop | Avalanche Safety | Backcountry Map and Compass |   Backcountry GPS | Basic Mountaineering | Beginning Kayaking Workshop | Beginning Rock Climbing Workshop |Canoe Workshop | Caving WorkshopGym Climbing Workshop | Intermediate Kayak Workshop| Kayak Touring | Leave No Trace  Map and Compass | River Safety Workshop| Winter Camping Workshop |Wilderness First Responder | Wilderness First AidWilderness Survival | Winter Survival



Classes (Held Full Semester or Half Semester)


Peter dutch oven cookingAdvanced Dutch-Oven Cooking PEAC 1182C

1 credit (Fall Semester - When Scheduled)
Designed for serious dutch oven devotees, the advanced course expands upon the basics taught in the beginning class. Course content includes large group meal planning, dutch oven catering, garnishing and presentation of meals, gourmet meal preparation, and competitive cooking.  Class Syllabus



Advanced Rock Climbing & Climbing Safety
PE 3383 - 2 credits (Spring - Half Semester)

Advanced Rock Climbing extends a climber's skill range from top roping to lead climbing techniques. Course content includes belay anchors, route protection, lead and aid climbing, minimal impact techniques, and safety and rescue procedures.  See Class Syllabus



Beginning Cross-country Skiing - PEAC 1177A 
1 credit (Spring - Half Semester)

Designed for beginning skiers, this class introduces students to flat-track techniques and progresses to uphill and downhill techniques. Indoor lectures are combined with field trips to local cross-country ski areas. See Class Syllabus.


X-C Skiing


Beginning Telemark Skiing
PEAC 1178A 1 credit (Spring Semester)

This class covers the fundamental skills of executing downhill turns on cross-country skis. This classic cross-country turn known as the telemark is the primary emphasis of the class, but wedge, stem christie and parallel turns are also taught. Telemark skiing classes are offered in two formats: once a week through the first half of the spring semester or as a workshop. See Class Syllabus




Beginning Kayaking - PEAC 1175A 1 credit (Fall & Spring Semester)
Using the controlled environment of the ISU pool, this course covers the basic skills of kayaking including draw and sculling strokes, high and low bracing, eddy turns, deep water rescue techniques, river safety, and the all-important Eskimo roll. For more information, see class syllabus


Peter on the rocks.


Beginning Rock Climbing - PEAC 1176A
1 credit (Fall & Spring Semester)

Designed for students with little or no climbing experience, this outdoor course covers basic climbing including knot tying, belaying, movement techniques, top rope anchor systems, and safety procedures.  See Class Syllabus



Dutch Oven Cooking - PEAC 1182A

1 credit  (Fall & Spring - Half Semester)
The dutch oven cooking course covers basic food preparation, meal planning, and the care and use of cast iron Dutch ovens. In addition to nightly demonstrations by guest chefs, students in the class gain experience by selecting recipes, buying food and preparing their own meals.  See Class Syllabus



Gym Climbing - PEAC 1176A-02 - 1 credit (Spring Semester)
This beginning climbing class is taught entirely indoors at the Idaho State University Indoor Climbing Wall. Skills and topics covered in the course include climbing knots, belaying procedures, basic equipment, movement techniques, and safety.  See Class Syllabus



Intermediate Telemark Ski - PEAC 1179B - 1 credit (Spring Semester)
The Intermediate Telemark Class is designed to help students increase the proficiency of their telemark turn. Class instruction takes place at Pebble Creek Ski Area, allowing plenty of time to practice technique.  Class Syllabus



Intermediate Kayaking and Whitewater Safety - PE 2284 - 1 credit (Fall & Spring)
Utilizing a combination of indoor pool sessions and actual experience on rivers, this course builds upon the foundation established in the beginning kayaking class. In addition to classroom work, emphasis is placed on refinement of paddle strokes and rolling techniques.  Class Syllabus



Methods of Teaching Outdoor Activities and Practicum  PE 4445 - 3-4  credits. (Spring Only) 
This culminating course for outdoor education minors 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 386, PE 440, AND PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR. See Class Syllabus



Mountain Biking PEAC 1181 - 1 credit (Fall & Spring Semesters)

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



Outdoor Risk Management and Liability PE 3384 - 2 credits (Fall Semester every odd year)

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. Class Syllabus



Outdoor Leadership PE 3386  - 3 credits  (Spring Semester)

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. Class Syllabus



Practical Outdoor Skills PE 2281 - 1 credit  (Fall & Spring - Half Semester)

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. Class Syllabus



Ski Instructor Training PE 2288 - 1 credit (Fall Semester)

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



Survey of Outdoor Education Literature  PE 4440 - 3 credits  (Fall - Half Semester)
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. See Class Syllabus



Team Building Leadership PE 2200 - 2 credits (Fall - Half Semester)

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.   Class Syllabus





Classes Held in a Workshop Format




Advanced Rock Climbing Workshop - PE 4491/PE 5591 - 1 credit (Summer - Workshop Format)
The Advanced Rock Climbing Workshop is a week long workshop devoted to advancing and refining climbing techniques. Topics include: using and placing rock protection, setting advance belay anchors, refining lead and aid climbing techniques, and minimizing environmental impact.  See Class Syllabus



Avalanche and Winter Sports Safety - PE 2286 - 1 credit  (Spring - Workshop Format)
Avalanches are, by far, the most serious montain hazard in the winter, and this course helps equip winter travelers with the knowledge and skills to minimize or avoid these hazards. Lecture topics include: snow crystal identification, snow pack metamorphism and factores influencing avalanche formation. Field sessions include: snowpit analysis, use of transceivers, rescue techniques and backcountry safety considerations. For more information, see Class Syllabus



Backcountry Map and Compass Workshop - PE 4491/PE 5591 - 1 credit (Summer - Workshop Format)
(Note a similar Map and Compass Workshop Class is offered in the fall under the course number PE 183).  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. For more information, see Class Syllabus.



Backcountry GPS Navigation PEAC 1165 - 1 Credit  (Fall - Workshop Format)

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.  Class Syllabus



Basic Mountaineering Workshop - PEAC 1185 - 1 credit (Spring - Workshop Format)
Designed for students who wish to climb mountains on a non-technical, "walk-up" basis, this course covers such practical skills as ice ax use, rope team travel, clothing and equipment, objective and subjective hazards, hypothermia, and acute mountain sickness.  Class Syllabus



Beginning Kayaking Workshop - PE 4491/PE 5591 - 1 credit (Summer - Workshop Format)
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, safety procedures and planning and organizing trips.  See Class Syllabus



Beginning Rock Climbing Workshop - PE 2299 - 1 credit (Fall or Spring Semester - Workshop Format)
This is a beginning class on climbing taught in a workshop format. Evening lectures are combined with a weekend trip to a nearby climbing area. Course content is the same as the Beginning Rock Climbing class. See Class Syllabus



Beginning Rock Climbing Workshop - PE 4491/PE 4591 - 1 credit (Summer - Workshop Format)
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.  See Class Syllabus






Canoe Workshop - PE 4491/PE 5591 - 1 credit (Summer - Workshop Format)
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 Indian canoeing styles, and covers paddling techniques, canoe design, equipment, clothing, route navigation, safety and rescue. See Class Syllabus.



Caving Workshop PEAC 1194 - 1 credit (Spring - Workshop Format)

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. Class Syllabus




Gym Climbing Workshop - PEAC 1189 - 1 credit (Spring - Workshop Format)
This beginning climbing class is taught entirely indoors at the Idaho State University Indoor Climbing wall. Skills and topics covered in the course include climbing knots, belaying procedures, basic equipment, movement techniques and safety.  See Class Syllabus



Intermediate Kayak Workshop - PE 4491/PE 5591 - 1 credit (Summer - Workshop Format)
This class is spent entirely on rivers practicing such kayak techniques as reading water, eddy turns, surfing, and safety and rescue.  If you have the basic skills but want to get out and spend a lot of time on the river practicing and refining those skills, then this is the class for you. It's only offered in the summer and is usually held on the Payette River system where we hold a special use permit.  See Class Syllabus




Kayak Touring PEAC 1167 - 1 Credit (Fall - Workshop Format)

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



Leave No Trace Trainer PE 2283 - 1 credit (Fall - Workshop Format)

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.   Class Syllabus



Map, Compass & Backcountry Navigation - PE 2282 - 1 credit (Fall - Workshop Format)
The use of map and compass is one of the most basic of outdoor skills.  This class is designed to provide enough information and practical experience that students will feel comfortable with land navigation techniques.  Topics covered include:  map symbols, contour line identification, Universal Transverse Mercator Coordinate System, township and range surveying system, latitude and longitude, map scales, declination, resection and map and field bearings.  During the class students go on three map and compass courses. For more information, see Class Syllabus



River Safety & Swiftwater Rescue - PE 3381 -1 credit (Summer - Workshop Format)
This two-day workshop is designed to help river users to respond quickly and safely to water emergencies. Topics include self rescue, broaching, entrapment, throw rope technique, Z-pulley systems, first aid, rescue equipment, kayak and raft rescue, swift water safety, etc.  See Class Syllabus



Wilderness First Aid - PE 2285 - 1 credit (Fall - Workshop Format)

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. Class Syllabus



Wilderness First Responder Certification - PE 4441 - 3 credits  (Spring - Workshop Format)

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. Class Syllabus



Wilderness Survival Workshop - PEAC 1118  1 credit (Fall - Workshop Format)
The focus of this course is to provide students with enough knowledge and skills necessary to survive a 72-hour emergency. Course content includes: signaling, shelter building, hypothermia, survival kits, fire building, direction finding and desert hazards. Though winter survival is briefly covered, the Outdoor Survival class is primarily devoted to emergency situations occurring in the summer and fall.  The type of shelter constructed during the overnight field session is primarily a summer/fall shelter.  In years past, Idaho's weather has provided several inches of snow to add that extra challenge and insight into wilderness survival.  The knowledge gained could save your life.  For more information see: Class Syllabus



Winter Survival Workshop - PEAC 1188 - 1 credit (Spring - Workshop Format)
This is the second of two survival classes offered and concentrates on equipping students with the knowledge necessary for a 72 hour winter survival situation. Students will construct several different snow shelters and spend the night in them during the field session.  The experience of spending a night in a snow shelter can be both invigorating and challenging.  The knowledge gained could save your life.  For more information see: Class Syllabus



Winter Camping & Backcountry Travel  - PE 2280 - 1 credit (Spring - Workshop Format)
This workshop is a well-rounded introduction to winter camping and wildlife observation, including an explanation of techniques, equipment, and safety considerations.  The goal of this workshop is to give students the basic skills and knowledge to safely enjoy and further explore the wonders of winter camping and wildlife observation.  Students will be volunteering to assist the Sawtooth National Forest with a mountain goat monitoring and research project.  See Class Syllabus



Outdoor Education Links:


Outdoor Education Major

Outdoor Minor Information

Questions & Answers

Brief Descriptions of Outdoor Classes

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