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Dr. Mark Wagstaff

RCPT Dr. Wagstaff

Mark Wagstaff, Ed.D.
Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism
P.O. Box 6963
Radford, VA 24142
139 Waldron Hall,
(540) 831-7724
(540) 831-7719 (fax)


  • Oklahoma State University - Ed.D. In Higher Education/College Teaching through Department of Leisure Services
    • Specialization: Community Counseling. Dissertation: Outdoor Leader Self-Awareness and Its Relationship to Co-Leaders' Perceptions of Influence
  • North Carolina State University - M.S. in Recreation Resources, Minor: Math and Science Education
    • Thesis: Evaluation of Litter Behavior Modification in a River Environment
  • North Carolina State University - B.S. in Recreation Resources Administration
    • Concentration in Natural Interpretation

Research Interests

  • Issues around outdoor leadership and adventure programming

Courses Taught

  • RCPT 210 – Introduction to Leisure Services
  • RCPT 317 – Adventure Programming
  • RCPT 331 – Outdoor Living Skills
  • RCPT 413 – Professional Issues
  • RCPT 414 – Recreation Programming Workshop
  • RCPT 421 – Challenge Course Facilitation
  • RCPT 470 – Fieldwork in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism
  • RCPT 476 – Wilderness Institute



  • Martin, B. & Wagstaff, M. (Eds.) (2012). Controversial issues in adventure programming. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  • Wagstaff, M. & Attarian, A. (Eds.) (2009). Technical skills for adventure programming: A curriculum guide. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  • Martin, B., Cashel, C., Wagstaff, M. & Breuing, M. (2006). Introduction to outdoor leadership; Theory and practice. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  • Drury, J.K., Bonney, B. F., Berman, D., & Wagstaff, M. C. (2005). The backcountry classroom: Lessons, tools and activities for teaching outdoor leaders. (2nd ed.). Guilford, CT: Globe-Pequot – Falcon Press.


  • Kafsky, J. & Wagstaff, M. (2012). Staff assessment. In G. Harrison & M. Erpelding (Eds.). Outdoor Recreation Program Administration: Essentials for the Professional, Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  • Wagstaff, M. (2010). The power of experience. In Radford University Foundation (Ed.) In Celebration of Teaching: Radford University Faculty Perspectives.  Deer Park, NY: Linus Publications.
  • Wagstaff, M. & Cashel, C. (2008). Paul Petzoldt’s perspective: The final 20 years. In K. Warren, D. Mitten, TA Loeffler (Eds.). Theory & Practice of Experiential Education, Boulder, CO: Association for Experiential Education.
  • Wagstaff, M., Attarian, A., & Jack, D.K. (2007). Outdoor pursuits. In Project Adventure (Ed.) Adventure Education: Theory and Applications, Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  • Wagstaff, M. (2003). History and philosophy of challenge course programming. In S. Wurdinger, & J. Steffen (Eds.). Challenge Course Programming in Schools, Kendall Hunt Publishing.

Refered Publications

  • Wagstaff, M. (2011). Do outdoor leaders have careers?: An introduction to the outdoor leader career development model.  Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership: Special Issue 2011 OLRS Research Symposium Abstracts. 3(2),
  • Brix, E., LaSala, K., & Wagstaff, M. (2011). Evaluation of a team-building retreat to promote nursing faculty cohesion and job satisfaction. Journal of Professional Nursing. 27(3), 174-178.
  • Birx, E., Wagstaff, M., & VanPatten, S. (2008). Cultivating caring through caring group and ropes course experiences. Nursing Educator. 33(2), 67-70.
  • Wagstaff, M. & Quinn, W.J. (2007). The challenge course facilitator technical skills assessment tool. Australian Journal of Outdoor Education. 11(1), 29-40.
  • Wagstaff, M. (Fall, 2006) Honoring Gretta Berglund: The case for abilities and limitations assessment in wilderness leadership. The Journal of the Wilderness Education Association. 18(2) 7-10.
  • Wagstaff, M. & Cashel, C. (2002). Developing outdoor leaders: Paul Petzoldt’s perspective. Proceedings: 2002 CEO Research Symposium.
  • Wagstaff, M. & Cashel, C. (2001).  Paul Petzoldt’s perspective: The final 20 years. The Journal of Experiential Education, 24(3), 160-165.

Other Publications

  • Wagstaff, M. (2013). The method and meaning of adventure education in US schools. Japan Institute of Scientific Research of Education. 21, 66-79.
  • Martin, B. & Wagstaff, M. (2007). Developing practical indicators of outdoor leadership competency. 2007 WEA Conference Proceedings, Estes Park, Colorado.
  • Wagstaff, M., Martin, B. & Cashel, C. (2006) Outdoor leadership: Developing core competencies. 2006 WEA Conference Proceedings, Bloomington, Indiana.
  • Wagstaff, M. (Fall, 2006) History of challenge courses. Outward Bound International Newsletter. Outward Bound International. (reprinted)
  • Wagstaff, M. (December, 2006). History of challenge courses. Association for Challenge Course Technology National Newsletter.
  • Wagstaff, M. & Quinn W.J. (2006). Challenge course technical skills evaluation tool. Proceedings: 2005 ICORE Research Symposium.
  • Wagstaff, M. (2005). Waldron College goes to Zululand. RU International Education Newsletter. 6(2), 2.
  • Christie, B., Drury, J. & Wagstaff, M. (2005). Visiting our past. Proceedings: Wilderness Education Association National Conference 2005, Estes Park Colorado.
  • Wagstaff, M. (2004, Winter). Resource available to advance adventure programming. Virginia Parks and Recreation Magazine.

Professional Involvement and Certifications

  • Master Educator Trainer, Leave No Trace
  • Certified Level One Ropes Technician
  • Certified Wilderness First Responder
  • Certified Top Rope Instructor with Professional Climbing Instructor Association
  • Member of the Association for Experiential Education
  • Member of the American Canoeing Association
  • Member of the Wilderness Education Association
  • Member of Professional Climbing Instructor Association
  • Member of Virginia Parks and Recreation Society
  • Reviewer for Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership

Honors and Awards

  • Excellence in Teaching Award, RU College of Education (2013)
  • WEA Affiliate Award (2012)
  • Inducted member of WEA Presidential Council (2008)
  • Awarded First Annual WEA Instructor Award (2006)
  • Inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Fraternity, RU (2005)
  • Recognized for excellence in advising, Radford University (2004)

Academic Service

  • Department of Recreation Parks and Tourism Personnel Chair
  • Radford University Sustainability Member – Chair of Education Committee
  • Department of Recreation Parks and Tourism Assessment Committee
  • Radford University Selu Advisory Board Member
  • Radford University, Outdoor Recreation and Leadership Coordinator