The Symposium on Experiential Education Research (SEER) provides an outlet and venue for researchers in the field of experiential education to present, share, dialogue, and further develop their research ideas each year at the AEE International Conference.

Research Symposium Co-Chairs

Curt Davidson, Ph.D., University of Wyoming,

Kathy Chau Rohn, Ph.D., University of Connecticut,

Ryan Zwart, Ph.D., Montreat College,

Michael (Mike) Froehly, PhD Candidate, University of Utah, 

Research Symposium Co-Chairs

Ryan Zwart Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Outdoor Recreation Studies at Montreat College

Ryan Zwart HeadshotRyan Zwart, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at Montreat College. His research interests are in leisure motivations, human health in connection with the natural environment, and more recently economic impacts of adventure recreation.  When not teaching, instructing, or writing, he is most likely mountain or road biking, paddling, or hiking with his wife, Lindsey, in the scenic mountains of western North Carolina.

ORCID Research

"SEER has been a forming place for me in my academic life. It is a large enough symposium to help expand one’s frame of reference with exposure to new ideas, topics, or methodologies within experiential education and a variety of associated fields. It is also small enough to provide presenters and attendees a feeling of support; We embrace questions and comments and work to foster discussion. It is also a great way to connect with colleagues."

Curt Davidson Ph.D, Assistant Professor, University of Wyoming. President, Alpenglow Education

Curt Davidson headshotCurt Davidson, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at the University of Wyoming. He is also the President of Alpenglow Education. Curt's love of the outdoor started when he worked as a mountaineering ranger with the Forest Service. Since then, he has worked for over a dozen Adventure Education and guiding programs throughout the globe. His research interests focus on mental health, outdoor recreation, and education. Curt is the author of the Behavioral First Responder Certification and the Outdoor Facilitator's Handbook. When not teaching and writing, you can find him skiing, climbing, or sailing.

"Coming to SEER is like breathing new life into your passion for research. It’s a great place to connect with colleagues, generate new ideas, and be inspired by what others are doing in the field. I always walk away with ideas for new research. I also find it incredibly inspiring to hear about all the good work others are doing to advance the field of Experiential Education. The crowd is always very welcoming and a great place to connect." - Curt Davidson, SEER Co-Chair

Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources

Alpenglow Education

The Outdoor Facilitator’s Handbook

By land or sea: Exploring motivations for outdoor adventure activities in a college student population

Kathy Chau Rohn Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Connecticut

Kathy Chau Rohn headshot

Kathy Chau Rohn is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Connecticut. She received her Ph.D in Higher Education from Boston College and her Ed.M. in Higher Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her areas of research interest include postsecondary access and success for marginalized student populations, college student experience, and outdoor education. She serves on the board of Summits in Solidarity, a non-profit organization that fosters justice and equity in the outdoor recreation community. When not conducting research, you can find her hiking, backpacking, skiing, or practicing yoga. 

"I presented at SEER for the first time last year and learned so much from fellow presenters and attendees. SEER is a place where I have been able to engage in meaningful discussion about current topics in experiential education with colleagues from around the world. I’m grateful to be a part of this community!" 

Michael (Mike) Froehly, PhD Candidate, University of Utah

Michael HeadshotMichael (Mike) Froehly is a current PhD Candidate in Parks, Recreational and Tourism and a graduate teaching and research assistant at University of Utah. Michael began his PhD at the U of U in 2020 to pursue research on the learning and development that happens within the out-of-school time context. He is especially interested in the lasting impacts of outdoor adventure education programs, and how people integrate these experiences into who they are and who they want to become. He is also Senior Field Faculty at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and instructs backpacking, climbing, mountaineering, canyoneering, winter programs, and custom leadership courses. When not teaching or conducting research, you can find him fly fishing, climbing, or birding.

See some of Michael’s research here

"I presented at SEER for the first time two years ago as a graduate student. It was so great to meet other graduate students, practitioners and researchers in the field, and be welcomed into the research community with open arms. I look forward to joining this year as a co-coordinator for SEER!”

For questions please contact symposium co-chair, Dr. Ryan Zwart at

The History of SEER

The first SEER took place at AEE's 2001 International Conference in Charleston, West Virginia. Fittingly, it was Dr. Alan Ewert of Indiana University who conceived of and led the effort to establish that first SEER. A widely published researcher and author in the field of adventure-based education, Dr. Ewert is also known for his distinguished career in academia, three decades as an Outward Bound instructor, as holder of the Patricia and Joel Meier Outdoor Leadership Chair, past editor of the Journal of Experiential Education, and as fellow and past president of the prestigious Academy of Leisure Sciences. In providing the leadership to launch SEER, Dr. Ewert was giving back to the field that he has helped develop throughout his academic and professional career. The symposium occurs concurrently with the International AEE Conference each year and involves the presentation of research papers from leading international scholars in the field of experiential education. 

Read abstracts from past years here!