Outdoor adventure instructors’ perceptions of nature and their work: a phenomenological study

Tuyen Huynh, Julia C. Torquati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This phenomenological study explored outdoor recreation instructors’ subjective experiences of the natural world. Participants (N = 21) from two outdoor adventure centres participated in semi-structured interviews about their experiences and perceptions of nature. Thematic analysis revealed eight central themes: (1) Childhood Experiences with Nature; (2) Personal Connection with Nature; (3) Solitude and Connection with Others; (4) Nature as Part of Their Lifestyle; (5) Accessibility to Nature; (6) Awareness of Self, Behaviours and Values; (7) Personal Impacts on Others’ Values of Nature, with two sub-themes Rewards of the Job and Goals of the Job; and (8) Had Another Career Idea. Participants recognized the health-related benefits of nature exposure and enjoyed mediating others’ relationships with nature through their work. Outdoor adventure instructors play a crucial role as conduits to facilitating others’ relationships with nature and associated physical and mental health benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-282
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2019


  • Phenomenology
  • environmental education
  • nature
  • outdoor adventure instructors
  • qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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