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David Erbe

David Erbe

Lecturer in Recreation and Outdoor Education


M.A., Appalachian State University, College Student Development, 2016
B.S., University of Maryland, Environmental Science and Technology, 2014


Growing up in Maryland, I spent my childhood years in the woods and on rivers learning how to mountain bike and kayak. As soon as I was old enough to work, I got a job as a kayaking instructor at a local summer camp and volunteered at a non-profit organization teaching wounded warriors and veterans how to kayak. These experiences’ led me to get an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland where I spent 4 years guiding and instructing for the college outdoor program. After graduating from the University of Maryland with a degree in Environmental Science, I attended Appalachian State University where I received a Masters Degree in College Student Development with a concentration in College Outdoor Program Administration. Along with my academics, I worked as a Graduate Assistant with the Outdoor Program assisting with multiple program areas and spending time teaching academic courses, developing students and adventuring in my free time. Following graduate school, I spent 4 seasons instructing for the Colorado Outward Bound School and 2 years teaching Adventure Sports Management at Garrett College. Moving permanently out to Colorado was always a dream of mine which has led me here to Gunnison to teach for the Recreation and Outdoor Education program.

How did you discover Western?

I discovered Western after spending many years driving through Gunnison on mountain biking road trips and eventually moving to and settling down in the state of Colorado.

What are some of the highlights of your career?

  • Instructing over 500 days in the backcountry with organizations like Outward Bound, City of Fort Collins, Garrett College, Appalachian State University, University of Maryland, Calleva & Team River Runner.
  • Witnessing life-changing student transformations on multi-day expeditions
  • Acquiring high level certifications with the American Mountain Guide Association, American Canoe Association, NOLS Wilderness Medicine, National Association for Search and Rescue and the Professional Ski Instructors of America
  • Hosting and presenting at multiple Association of Outdoor Recreation (AORE) conferences.
  • International expeditions to Norway, Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Canada & Mexico.

What most excites you about your field?

I am inspired to empower individuals and groups to develop and achieve more than they recognize they are capable of.  Additionally, I seek to cultivate unique, transformative learning experiences with those I lead, teach and interact within throughout the natural environment.

What is your favorite thing about the Gunnison Valley?

My favorite thing about the Gunnison Valley is the strong mountain community and the amazing local outdoor recreation opportunities.

Courses Taught:

ROE 189: Principles of Outdoor Education

ROE 283: Leadership & Facilitation

ROE 295: Snow-based Education

ROE 296: Land-based Education

ROE 351: Inquiry into Sustainability

ROE 391: Experiential Education Theory & Pedagogy

ROE 398: Program Planning

ROE 454: Human Development & Counseling for Outdoor Educators

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