Prepare for personal and professional success, leadership in a global society, the advancement of a sustainable environment, and life-long intellectual growth.

Students gain a broad-based foundation of knowledge as well as strong universal skills (communication, critical thinking, etc.) that facilitate transition into a wide variety of professional areas. The program’s graduates are strong competitors for careers within the leisure services industry due to the combination of relevant courses and preparatory practicum and cooperative education experiences.

Statement of Values

The Outdoor Recreation and Leadership program emphasizes the integration of the environment, economic development and human behavior through its structured curriculum which transitions from foundational knowledge to leadership/programming skills, to management theory and practices.  The program emphasizes a balance between analytical thinking and practical application.  The Outdoor Recreation and Leadership curriculum is committed to academic excellence.  The faculty refers to a graduate of the program as “liberally educated” but also “professionally prepared” for individual success and leadership in the field.  The program utilizes its unique environment and its small community setting to offer hands-on learning and community service opportunities for the students.

The Outdoor Recreation and Leadership curriculum is designed and selected with the expectation that graduates will leave the University of Maine at Machias with a solid foundation of knowledge and skills pertinent to all areas within the leisure service industry (as “generalists”, rather than “specialists”). 

Students are encouraged to choose one or more complementary minors targeting a specific sector of the industry: coaching, outdoor recreation, conservation law or wilderness therapy.

Learning Objectives

Students in this program will:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of recreation and leisure as a profession including a broad appreciation of the nature and scope, ethical issues, principles and trends of the industry with special emphasis on the interrelationships between leisure behavior and the natural environment.
  2. Develop an understanding of current and changing techniques and processes used by workers within the broad range of professional positions and organizations housed in the industry.
  3. Demonstrate an appreciation of the social science, philosophical and historical grounding necessary for practical work in the field.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of concepts and the skills necessary for the design, implementation, and evaluation of comprehensive recreational programs tailored to a great variety of individual and group needs.
  5. Demonstrate leadership and facilitation skills that are effective for providing quality recreational experiences for diverse groups.
  6. Develop an appreciation for the role of the environment in the provision of leisure services and the design and operations of related facilities.
  7. Understand and develop techniques that enable the implementation of appropriate operational and strategic management practices.
  8. Demonstrate practical applications of their coursework through course-embedded fieldwork and faculty/staff guided practicum experiences. These experiences will better prepare them for management/leadership positions in their professional internship of no less than 10 weeks and 400 hours.

Degree earned

Bachelor of Science in Outdoor Recreation and Leadership

Students walk alongside a cliff, trees are shown reflected in a placid river
Students on Tusk Mountain

More ways to study recreation at UMaine Machias

➜ Start out with a two-year associate degree in conservation law and outdoor management and easily transition to a four-year degree

➜ Explore Early College certificate pathways in recreation professions and conservation law, and earn college credits as a high school student (tuition-free to qualifying Mainers)

➜ Take courses in outdoor recreation and behavioral health and earn a certificate in wilderness therapy

Minor in one of four complementary subjects aimed at a specific sector of the leisure services industry: coaching, outdoor recreation, conservation law or wilderness therapy