Brent Bell in Outdoor Education

Brent Bell

Phone: (603) 862-3047
Office: Kinesiology, New Hampshire Hall Rm 211, Durham, NH 03824

Brent Bell returned to UNH for his Ph.D. (2005) after a successful undergraduate experience the Outdoor Education and Psychology programs ('87). Prior to joining the UNH faculty, Brent was the director of the First-Year Outdoor Program at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. Brent has numerous professional experiences including work with therapeutic adventure programs, camp director and program director for an adventure travel company. In 1991, Brent developed an outdoor leadership program at New England College in Henniker, N.H. He was a longtime member of the Northeast Advisory Board for the Association of Experiential Education (1996-2007) and has worked extensively with program accreditation (1996- present). He is co-author, along with Bob Baird and Drew Leemon, of the 'Guide to Managing Risks in Wilderness Education,' published by United Educators.' Brent is a Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician (since 1988), and has a long history of active participation in emergency medical care, including service on the Henniker, NH, Rescue Squad (1993-2000) and a National Ski Patrol (1980-2005). Currently he is a wilderness first-aid instructor for SOLO in North Conway, NH.

Brent's research focuses on outdoor orientation programs. He helped develop and coordinates the Outdoor Orientation Program Symposium (OOPS) and developed The Outdoor Orientation Benchmarking Survey (TOOBS).

Courses Taught

  • INCO 590: Student Research Experience
  • KIN 883: Psych Factors of Adventure Ed
  • LAP 501: Lifetime Activity Program
  • LAP 516: Cycling
  • OUT 444A: Risk and the Human Experience
  • OUT 444C: AMPED UP: Perspectives on Adv
  • OUT 550: OE Philosophy and Methods
  • OUT 551: Backcountry Based Experience
  • OUT 681: Foundations of Adventure Ed.
  • OUT 682: Exp Teaching & Leadership
  • OUT 686: Wilderness Emergency Med Care
  • OUT 696: Independent Study
  • RMP 772/872: Law&Public Policy Leisure Svcs
  • RMP 796: Independent Study
  • RMP 970: Teaching Practicum
  • RMP 980: Independent Study


  • Ph.D., Education, University of New Hampshire
  • M.S., Human Services, New England College
  • B.A., University of New Hampshire

Selected Publications

  • Bell, B. J., Gass, M. A., Nafziger, C. S., & Starbuck, J. D. (2014). The State of Knowledge of Outdoor Orientation Programs. Journal of Experiential Education, 37(1), 31-45. doi:10.1177/1053825913518891

  • Bell, B. J. (2012). Assessing the Effectiveness of an Adventure-Based First-Year Experience Class. JOURNAL OF COLLEGE STUDENT DEVELOPMENT, 53(2), 347-355. doi:10.1353/csd.2012.0031

  • Bell, B. J., & Holmes, M. R. (2011). Important Factors Leading to Outdoor Orientation Program Outcomes: A Qualitative Exploration of Survey Results. Journal of Outdoor Recreation Education and Leadership, 3(1). doi:10.7768/1948-5123.1075

  • Bell, B. J., Holmes, M. R., & Williams, B. G. (2010). A Census of Outdoor Orientation Programs at Four-Year Colleges in the United States. Journal of Experiential Education, 33(1), 1-18. doi:10.5193/jee33.1.1

  • Bell, B. J., Holmes, M. R., Vigneault, B., & Williams, B. (2008). Student Involvement: Critical Concerns of Outdoor Orientation Programs. Journal of Experiential Education, 30(3), 253-257. doi:10.1177/105382590703000306

  • Bell, B. J. (2006). Wilderness Orientation: Exploring the Relationship between College Preorientation Programs and Social Support. Journal of Experiential Education, 29(2), 145-167. doi:10.1177/105382590602900206

  • Bell, B. J. (2006). Social Support Development and Wilderness Pre-Orientation Experiences. Journal of Experiential Education, 28(3), 248-249. doi:10.1177/105382590602800307