Dan Buselmeier

Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Alton Little, Charles Crume, William Kummer, Burch Oglesby


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Original department was Physical Education & Recreation

Degree Program

Department of Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport

Degree Type

Master of Science


This study was made in an attempt to establish a nationwide status of Outdoor Laboratories and, based on the findings, to make recommendations for the proposed Outdoor Laboratory at Western Kentucky University. Two survey instruments were developed for the two survey groups: American colleges and universities (Instrument The), and Western Kentucky University department heads (Instrument Two).

Two-hundred-ninety educational institutions were mailed Instrument ')ne; ninety-two returned completed and useable questionnaires. The questions concerned general, geographic, facility, and activity characteristics of the Outdoor Laboratory. A majority of the respondents maintained Outdoor Laboratories with areas of one hundred acres or more, located within ten miles of the main campus. Most of the Outdoor Laboratories were operated by college departments other than recreation and parks, and were financed by college funds. The mos. commonly used facilities were hiking trails, primitive camping areas, nature centers, and general play fields. A wide variety of activities were offered through the ninety-two Outdoor Laboratories for recreation and education. Students (elementary, high school, and college) were the groups most frequently served by the Outdoor Laboratories.

Twenty-six of thirty-three department heads returned Instrument Two. Their questionnaire was designed to elicit opinions and recommendations concerning the use and operation of an Outdoor Laboratory at Western Kentucky University. The recommendations called for leadership and developmental training for faculty and administrators, outdoor skills training and programs, and field trips geared toward specific outdoor-related disciplines. The recommended facilities were mainly open spaces, basic living, meeting, and eating buildings, and recreational facilities of various types.


Health and Physical Education | Outdoor Education