Ben Mirkin

Ben Mirkin
Ben Mirkin
Associate Professor
Mountain Recreation Management
802.626.6356
Lyndon
HAC, Room 128

About Ben Mirkin


Ben Mirkin's students find out quickly that this is one outdoor adventure expert who takes hands-on learning literally. "I firmly believe in the need for extensive time in the field. This means everyone needs to learn to be competent and comfortable in the woods - which is done by spending a lot of time there. If someone wants to be a climbing guide, they must spend lots of time climbing. Experience is key." The goal is to bring theory to life by having students be a part of it. "This does not necessarily mean playing," Professor Mirkin says, "although sometimes it does."

He lives what he teaches at NVU-Lyndon. In the winter, you will find him scaling the ice cliffs at Lake Willoughby. In the summer, he points his mountain bike toward the paths at nearby Kingdom Trails.

Professor Mirkin is an avid backcountry skier, mountain biker, and a rock and ice climber. He came to NVU-Lyndon in 2013 as the coordinator and full-time assistant professor of the Adventure Leadership concentration. Prior to the university, Professor Mirkin spent nine years at The White Mountain School working with students with learning difficulties and as director of White Mountain Climbing Camp. He has taught college Adventure Education courses at UNH, Plymouth State University, and the University of Northern Colorado, in addition to leading extended wilderness courses throughout the American northeast, northwest, Canadian Rockies and Alaska.  He is excited to share his passion for using the outdoors to help students learn and teach.

When he meets a student for the first time, he will ask, "What's your dream job?" The answers fascinate him. "I have heard everything from a rock climbing guide to a naturalist, to a game warden, and many things in between. The students are pretty great." He is particularly impressed with first-in-family students and veterans. "They tend to be motivated to learn in order to better themselves and their position in life, and if they enter the field I teach in, they are following their passion."

Courses Taught


MRM 1080 Leadership and Small Group Dynamics

MRM 1110 Introduction to Adventure Programming

MRM 1121 Fundamentals of Rock Climbing

MRM 2121 Advanced Single Pitch Rock Instruction

MRM 3121 Advanced Rock and Rescue

MRM 1126 Fundamentals of Ice Climbing

MRM 2126 Advanced Ice Climbing

MRM 2150 Backcountry Ski and Ride

MRM 1128 Level 1 Avalanche

MRM 2128 Level 2 Avalanche

MRM 1810 Practicum in Outdoor Education

MRM 2150 Advanced Backcountry Ski and Ride

MRM 2240 Backcountry Leadership

MRM 2850 Adventure Programming II
    
MRM 2900 Outdoor Expedition

MRM 4740 Research and Evaluation Capstone

Publications and Presentations


Mirkin, B., Struck, J., & Seaman, J. (2017). Backcountry Play Book: Games and Activities to
Enhance Educational Field Experiences. Wood N Barnes Publishing.
Mirkin, B. (2014). Group social climate and individual peer interaction: Exploring complex
            relationships on extended wilderness courses. Research in Outdoor Education, Vol 12, p. 
            58-79.
Mirkin, B. (2014). Social climate and peer interaction on wilderness courses. Paper presented at
the Coalition for Education in the Outdoors: Twelfth Biennial Research Symposium,
Bradford Woods, Martinsville, Indiana.
Mirkin, B., & Middleton, M. (2014). The social climate and peer interaction on outdoor courses.
Journal of Experiential Education, Vol 37(3), 232-247. DOI:
10.1177/1053825913498370

Mirkin, B., Struck, J., & Seaman, J. (2015, October). Games and Activities for Backcountry Field
Instructors. Workshop presentation at the Association for Experiential Education
International Conference, Portland, Oregon.
Mirkin, B. (2014, January). Social climate and peer interaction on wilderness courses. Paper
presented at the Coalition for Education in the Outdoors: Twelfth Biennial Research
Symposium, Bradford Woods, Martinsville, Indiana.