Outdoor Recreation Faculty & Adjuncts

Applied Health Sciences - Recreation & Leisure Studies

Outdoor Recreation Faculty & Adjuncts


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Dr. Mary Breunig

Dr. Mary Breunig is an Associate Professor. She has worked in the field(s) of experiential education for over 20 years.

Mary’s students have compelled her to examine the congruence (or lack thereof) between what she, as an experiential educator, teaches about and the ways in which she practices. This has resulted in her developing an indoor and outdoor classroom praxis and conducting research that meaningfully acts on the theoretical underpinnings of experiential pedagogies.

Dr. Breunig also conducts research related to sense of community and participation on wilderness trips, and research on Ontario integrated environmental studies programs.

Mary has co-authored several books and currently serves as the President of the Association for Experiential Education. She recently became a NOLS instructor and enjoys backpacking, sea kayaking, journaling, rock and ice climbing, yoga, and mountain biking.

Please find more information on Mary's personal website,

or continue to her Brock faculty profile.

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Dr. Bob Henderson

Dr. Bob Henderson is an Adjunct Faculty and taught Outdoor Education and Environmental Inquiry at McMaster University for 29 years. Currently he is involved with a variety of environmental education and outdoor adventure organizations.

Bob began his passion for outdoor life as a camper and staff at an Ontario summer camp. Later as a canoe tripper and winter travel guide with students, family and friends, Bob began exploring Canadian trails coast to coast. Bob is author of Every Trail has a Story: Heritage Travel in Canada (2005), and co-editor of Nature First: Outdoor Life the Friluftsliv Way (2007) and Pike's Portage: Stories of a Distinguished Place (2010).

Classroom teaching, heritage travel and outdoor guiding strategies have been a mainstay of Bob's research and teaching interests while at McMaster and beyond. Bob is currently Chair of the Editorial Board for Pathways: The Ontario Journal of Outdoor Education which is published by the Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario.

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Dr. Garrett Hutson

Dr. Garrett Hutson is an Assistant Professor and has worked professionally in outdoor recreation leadership for over 13 years.

Garrett has worked as a ski and snowboard patroller, backcountry ski guide, climbing guide, and university trips coordinator all over the continental United States. Garrett has also taught backpacking, mountaineering, and rock climbing for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in Wyoming, Alaska, and the Yukon Territory of Canada.

Garrett’s research interests include place meanings, sustainable outdoor recreation, outdoor recreation resource management, and Q methodology.

Garrett is an avid rock climber, cyclist, and runner. One of Garrett's favourite outdoor recreation activities during the school year is bouldering at the Niagara Glen Nature Reserve near Brock University.

Find out more about Garrett here. 

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Dr. Tim O’Connell

Dr. Tim O’Connell is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies. He has worked in the outdoor recreation industry for over 23 years.

After finishing his Masters degree at the University of Minnesota, Tim worked as a full time guide for Wilderness Inquiry, a company offering integrated outdoor adventure trips, which included people with and without disabilities. Tim has also worked in various capacities for the Cradlerock Outdoor Network, SUNY Cortland, Queensborough Community College, and the University of St. Thomas.

Tim is the co-creator of Brock BaseCamp, an innovative outdoor orientation program for incoming first-year students.

Tim’s research interests include sense of community in groups of people engaged in outdoor recreation and outdoor education activities, sense of place, experiential education, and the use of reflective journals as a teaching tool.

In his spare time, Tim is an enthusiastic climber (rock and ice), sea kayaker, mountain biker, canoeist, skier and enjoys spending time with his dog, Ridge.

Find out more about Tim here.