Mark A. Gibson

Mark A. Gibson

Professor of Recreation & Outdoor Education
Paul Wright Gym 229


Ed.D., University of Northern Colorado, Outdoor Physical Education Pedagogy
M.S., Colorado State University, Resources Management,
B.A., Eastern Washington University, Outdoor Recreation


How did you discover Western?

Back in the early ’90s, I took a ski trip to Crested Butte and stopped in and grabbed a Western catalog and saw they had a degree in Recreation & Outdoor Education. I said, “Someday I will teach at Western.” The rest is an adventure-filled and fulfilling career! I have been teaching at Western since 2000 and plan to keep on going inventing new ways for students to thrive in our program!

What are some of the highlights of your career?

  • Being instrumental in installing the Gunnison Whitewater Park and holding the first Gunnison River Festival
  • Serving as a Board Member for the Adaptive Sports Center in Crested Butte
  • Starting the Yampa River Awareness Project to help preserve and protect our last major free-flowing river
  • Serving as the Department Chair for the Recreation, Exercise & Sport Science Department
  • Leading semester-long international expeditions to Chile, and twice to Costa Rica, for the Recreation & Outdoor Education program

What most excites you about your field?

Being instrumental in nurturing the development of leaders in the outdoor industry who become professionals in the field while making the world a better place! Being able to integrate Recreational Music Making into outdoor settings while on outdoor adventures!

What is your favorite thing about the Gunnison Valley?

Extraordinary people who strive to make the Gunnison Valley a safe and outstanding place to live and work! The sense of ownership that community members have for our valley and the all the recreational amenities that we have at our trailheads!