My purpose is to help others grow, learn, develop, understand, and know their place in this world. I am passionate about educational experiences that engage the heart, hands, and mind. I believe I can make a difference in the world, and that is what I intend to do.
Forrest is an outdoor educator and social scientist with expertise in outdoor and environmental ethics, outdoor experiential leadership, expeditionary learning, and adventure program organization and administration. His applied and interdisciplinary scholarly work follows two primary tracks: one focuses on participant outcomes associated with outdoor education programs, and the other explores relationships between humans and the natural environment, with specific focus on outdoor/environmental ethics and societal health and well-being.
Forrest previously worked as the Assistant Director for the Adventure WV wilderness orientation and adventure education program at West Virginia University, helping to grow the program to be one of the largest collegiate outdoor programs in the country. He has instructed field courses throughout the United States and has developed and led multiple expeditions to New Zealand, Chilean Patagonia, and Peru.
Forrest earned a Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University, receiving a dual-degree in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment, and Recreation, Park and Tourism Management.
Ph.D. Penn State University, Dual-degree: Recreation, Park and Tourism Management & Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment, 2017
M.S. West Virginia University, Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Resources (Adventure-Based Counseling concentration), 2005
B.S. West Virginia University, Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Resources, summa cum laude, 2001
Blenderman, A., Taff, B. D., Wimpey, J., Marion, J. & Schwartz, F. (In Press). Understanding and Mitigating Wilderness Therapy Impacts: The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Case Study. International Journal of Wilderness.
Schwartz, F., Taff, B. D., Lawhon, B., Hodge, C., Newman, P., & Will, E. (2017). Will they leave what they find? The efficacy of a Leave No Trace education program for youth. Journal of Applied Environmental Education and Communication.
Schwartz, F., Taff, B. D., Lawhon, B., & VanderWoude, D. (2018). Mitigating undesignated trail use: The efficacy of messaging and direct site management actions in an urban-proximate open space context. Environmental Management.
Schwartz, F. & Belknap, C. J. (2017). Effects of a college outdoor orientation program on trait emotional intelligence. Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education and Learning, 9(1), 69-82.
Andre, E. K., Williams, N., Schwartz, F., & Bullard, C. (2017). Benefits of campus outdoor recreation programs: A review of the literature. Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education and Learning 9(1), 15-25.
Schwartz, F., Taff, B. D., Pettebone, D., & Lawhon, B. (2016). Boulderers attitudes and beliefs regarding Leave No Trace in Rocky Mountain National Park. International Journal of Wilderness, 22(3), 25-34.
Schwartz, F., Taff, B. D., Lawhon, B., Pettebone, D., Esser, S., & D’Antonio, A. (In Review). Leave No Trace bouldering ethics: Transitioning from the gym to the crag. Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism.
The Zero Landfill Initiative: Exploring Visitor Attitudes, Values, and Behaviors Regarding Waste in Yosemite, Grand Teton, and Denali National Parks.
The purpose of this study was to explore specific visitor attitudes, values, and behaviors towards waste in national parks in an effort to understand how the goals of the national park Zero Landfill Initiative can most effectively be met.
Social and Ecological Impacts of Pet Waste on Open Space Lands
The purpose of this study was to gain a baseline understanding of dog guardian attitudes regarding pet waste, as well as catalog the ecological impacts from pet waste on City of Boulder Open Space lands.
Examining Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids (PEAK)-based Education to Influence Leave No Trace Behaviors in Youth.
The purpose of this study was to examine the influences of a youth-focused Leave No Trace educational program on participants’ attitudes, behaviors, and nature connectedness.
Boulderers’ Perceptions of Leave No Trace in Rocky Mountain National Park: Improving Resource Conditions and Visitor Experiences.
The purpose of this study was to develop a baseline understanding of who is bouldering at Rocky Mountain National Park and their attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs, regarding Leave No Trace recommended bouldering practices.
Effectiveness of Combined Leave No Trace Educational Messaging and Direct Site Management Actions in Reducing Undesignated Trail Use on Open Space Lands.
The purpose of this study was to apply a range of direct and indirect site management approaches to assess their effectiveness in mitigating undesignated trail use on the City of Boulder Open Space recreational trail system.
Leave No Trace for Kids: Research Shows It Works. (2017, November). Workshop accepted for presentation at the National Association for Interpretation Annual Conference, Spokane, WA.
Leave No Trace for Kids: Research Shows It Works. (2017, November). Workshop accepted for presentation at the Association for Outdoor Recreation Education Annual Conference, Roanoke, VA.
Leave No Trace: From Science to Application. (2017, April). Session organizer at the George Wright Society Conference, Norfolk, VA.
Second Century Thinking: Research to Support Interpretation, Education and Engagament. (2017, April). Invited panelist at the George Wright Society Conference, Norfolk, VA.
Undesignated Trail Management and Messaging Study Key Findings and Recommendations. (2016, May). Invited presentation to The City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks management team, Boulder, CO.
Boulderers’ Perceptions of Leave No Trace in Rocky Mountain National Park Study Key Findings and Recommendations. (May, 2016). Invited presentation to Rocky Mountain National Park managers and rangers, Estes Park, CO.
Social and ecological health: Leave No Trace Science. (2016, October). Research presented at the 1st Annual Tourism Naturally Conference, Alghero, Italy.
Effects of a College Adventure Orientation Program on Trait Emotional Intelligence. (2016, April). Research presented at the 28th Annual Northeast Recreation Research Symposium, Annapolis, MD.
The Path Less Traveled: Horizontal Explorations of an Open Space Environment. (2015, November). Invited speaker for the Pennsylvania State University Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management Seminar Series, University Park, PA.
Benefits of Participation in Campus Recreation Programs: A Review of the Literature. (2014, April). Poster presented at the Northeast Recreation Research Symposium, Cooperstown, NY.
Recycling While Tailgating: Applying an Information-Motives-Behavior Skills Approach. (2014). Poster presented to the Pennsylvania Environmental Resources Commission, University Park, PA.
Benefits of Participation in Campus Recreation Programs: A Review of the Literature. (2013, October). Presented at the Association for Outdoor Recreation and Education National Conference, College Park, MD.
Making a Fresh Start: How Adventure Based Counseling can be utilized within an Outdoor Orientation Program for At-risk First Year College Students. (2012, April). Workshop presented at the Outdoor Orientation Program Symposium, Association for Experiential Educational Northeast Regional Conference, Beckett, MA.
A Multisensory Orientation Model for At-risk First Year Students. (2011). Presented at the 30th Annual Conference on the First Year Experience, Atlanta, GA.
Making a Fresh Start: A Multisensory Orientation Model for At-Risk First Year Students. (2011). Presented at the Outdoor Orientation Program Symposium, Atlanta, GA.
Conference Convener: Outdoor Orientation Program Symposium. (2008, April). Association for Experiential Educational Northeast regional Conference, Hancock, New Hampshire.
Stoking the Fire: Getting more out of your Fireside Discussions. (2006, April). Workshop presented at the Outdoor Orientation Programs Symposium, Bolton Valley Resort, VT.
Awards, Grants & Honors
The Access Fund Climbing Conservation Grant Program
Funded research grant to support bouldering research in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Project title: Boulderers’ perceptions of Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Sponsor: The Access Fund
Boeing Global Corporate Citizenship Grant
This grant supported the development of two unique freshman orientation programs for at-risk student populations at West Virginia University. One program was for incoming US Military Veterans and the other for university identified “academically at-risk” students.
Project title: Fresh Start
Sponsor: Boeing Corporation