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Academics at Prescott College

Erin Lotz, M.A.

Faculty / Dean, Undergraduate Programs

Erin brings her love for, and commitment to, small liberal arts colleges to her role as Associate Dean of Instruction.  With an aptitude toward organization and the creativity to imagine new ways of delivering a quality education, Erin enjoys working with faculty to offer a cutting edge curriculum to students.   Her PhD studies inform the rich experiences that students and faculty have by participating in mission-driven college partnerships such as the Ecoleague.

In the field of adventure education, Erin has enjoyed decades of teaching. From adjudicated youth to Montessori preschoolers, from Outward Bound expeditions to science camp, Erin has taught individuals of all ages and facilitated groups with widely varied objectives. At Prescott College, Erin offers integrated educational theory and methods courses that use rock climbing, backpacking, and mountaineering to impart teaching and facilitation skills. While on campus, she teaches wilderness first aid as well as a course titled Origins and Directions in Adventure Education which explores the unique history, present and future of the industry. Erin has become a resource on feminine leadership and learning styles to aspiring women in the field, as well as to men and women wishing to teach inclusively to all genders.  One of her favorite courses is titled Women's Topics in Wilderness Leadership which is a co-requisite to Women's Rock Climbing.  In this semester course, Erin and the students spend two full weekdays, several weekends as well as classroom sessions exploring gender theory and women's psychology as it relates to adventure education by way of learning technical skills and current theory while challenging and supporting each other,



PhD in progress, Sustainability Education, Prescott College, AZ

Masters of Arts in Experiential Education from Mankato State University in Mankato, MN

Bachelor of Arts in Recreation and Leisure Studies from California State University Northridge, CA

Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician certified through the Wilderness Medicine Institute and the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians



As part of her studies in educational leadership and sustainability education, Erin is exploring challenges faced by liberal arts schools today and innovative solutions such as mission driven consortia relationships between like minded colleges.

Erin is currently collaborating with colleagues Denise Mitten, Prescott College, and Karen Warren, Hampshire College on a Delphi Study research project unearthing the 'hidden curriculum' in adventure education and its effects on women.  Once complete, the research team will present at several conferences and compile data into various papers addressing social justice, gender, and leadership.

During her sabbatical in 2008, Erin began a study of adventuring women becoming mothers. She interviewed women who have built careers in adventure education and/or define themselves by their adventure pursuits who subsequently have re-examined their identity after becoming mothers. See her E-Portfolio.




A colloaborative project with Denise Mitten, Karen Warren, and Chiara d'Amore resulted in the publication (2018) of The Gendered Hidden Curriculum of Adventure Education in the Journal of Experiential Education.

Erin contributed to an international anthology of writing about women's experiences in the outdoors.  Gray, T. & Mitten, D. (Eds.) (2017). The Palgrave Macmillan International Handbook of Women and Outdoor Learning. London, England: Palgrave Macmillan.

Erin's work on Motherhood and Adventure Education appears on a Digication website, and has been highlighted in the Women's Professional Group newsletter within the Association for Experiential Education.

Creative writing pieces, such as the introspective Turning Point, and the humorous Three Strikes and Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk, can be found on this online portfolio.

Erin has published, "The Littlest Birds Sing the Prettiest Songs", which appears in Teachable Moments a collaboration of writing from Prescott College Faculty. This creative article uses an actual course as case study to describe and define useful methods in teaching women in outdoor settings.  Johnson, D. R. (2006). Teachable moments: Essays on experiential education.



•  Presented at the Prescott College Master's Colloquium in Fall of 2016 on  Postfeminism in Adventure Education: A Historical Journey.

• Spoke on behalf of the Wilderness Medicine Institute about opportunities in wilderness medicine to an audience of Park Rangers at the City of Prescott in 2011

• Presented a workshop on Motherhood and Adventure Education at the 2008 International Association for Experiential Education Conference in Portland, OR and again at the 2010 International Association for Experiential Education Conference in Las Vegas, NV. Complete works from a sabbatical project on the same topic can be found at http://prescott.digication.com/motherae/Introduction_and_Welcome//

• Co presented with my Prescott College students on the historical underpinnings and influences of the field of adventure education at the 2005 International Association for Experiential Education Conference.

• Served on the host committee for the International Association for Experiential Education Conference held in Tucson, November 2005.

Created, promoted and hosted a women’s climbing day in the Prescott community. The event, Women on the Rocks 2004, was a huge success in both attendance and satisfaction proving the need for such events in the future.

Co-presented at the 2003 Association for Experiential Education International Conference. Workshop focused on identifying the needs of women in the field of adventure education and creating solutions for their future success in the hiring process.

Co-Convened the 2002 Rocky Mountain regional conference for the Association for Experiential Education where previous attendance levels were tripled. Responsibilities included all promotion, scheduling, work crew coordination, participant correspondence, special event creation and implementation as well as workshop facilitation.

Facilitated a session on stages of group development specific to women and its application to wilderness expedition planning for the Athenian School Instructor Training, summer, 1999

Presented an experiential lesson to practitioners at the Association for Experiential Education International Conference entitled Teaching Philosophy of Experiential Education - Experientially, fall, 1998

Designed and instructed a two-day workshop on institutional top rope climbing techniques for all staff members at Voyageur Outward Bound School’s Gila Program, summer, 1998



Awarded a mini-grant from the Consortium for Innovative Environments in Learning (CIEL) to conduct research on the Hidden Curriculum in Adventure Education.

Instruction at Prescott College

Instruction at Prescott College

Adventure Education

An Adventure Education graduate may be found guiding clients safely up a vertical rock face, forecasting avalanche... Read More

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Adventure-Based Environmental Education

Environmental education encourages the discovery and understanding of the earth's natural systems and the human role... Read More

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Outdoor Experiential Education

This option is for those who want to design hands-on curriculum and teach in the outdoors. Read More

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Outdoor Program Administration

The Outdoor Program Administration emphasis enables students to develop the administrative and leadership skills... Read More

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Wilderness Leadership

The Wilderness Leadership emphasis enables students to develop a high degree of expertise in a variety of technical,... Read More

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