Contact Information: 
Chris McCart, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Outdoor Education
Black Hills State University
1200 University Street #9401
Spearfish, SD 57799
Office: 605-642-6027
Mobile: 605-639-5654

Student Hours (aka "Office Hours") Fall 2020 Zoom (Join URL: or Phone (605-639-5654)

  • Mondays and Fridays from 10:00-11:00
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00 - 5:00

OE Office Location: Young Center Academic Offices; located across the basket-ball gym balcony/fitness area through the far doors. Follow the signs.

Role: Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator in the BHSU Outdoor Education Program; an interdisciplinary undergraduate degree program that combines studies in environmental education, interpretation, adventure education, and environmental science.

Education: Chris earned her Ph.D. from the University of New Hampshire's Experiential Outdoor Education Program. She holds a Masters of Science Degree in Biology, with an emphasis in Environmental Education, from South Dakota State University, and Bachelors of Science Degrees in Environmental Management and Biology, with minors in Chemistry and Zoology, from South Dakota State University. 

Courses:  ED 592 Fundamentals of Environmental Education (online), OE 494 Internship in Outdoor Education, OE 492 S/T: WILD about Mountain Lions, OE 592/492 S/T: Basic Archery Instructor-Trainer (partnership with SD Game, Fish, & Parks); OE 491 Independent Studies, RECR 420 Organization and Management of Outdoor Programs, OE 376 Interpretive Media, OE 350 Environmental Interpretation, OE 310 Environmental Education: Theory and Practice, PE 263 Physical Education Outdoors, RECR 242 Outdoor Skills, PE 100 Backpacking, PE 100 Beginning Rock Climbing, PE 100 Canoeing, PE 100 Challenge Course, PE 100 Cross Country Skiing, PE 100 Fly Fishing, PE 100 Intermediate Rock Climbing, PE 100 Intermediate Kayaking, and PE 100 Orienteering.

Service:  Major service projects include Service Learning Program (matching student volunteers with program partners for service activities), Collegiate Outdoor Leadership Program (adviser and trainer to student leadership development organization that plans and leads outdoor activities for campus community), Prairie to Plate (co-advisor to hunting skills club in partnership with SD Game, Fish, and Parks), Outdoor Gear Rental Center, Non-academic courses (partnership with organizations and agencies to expand training and certification opportunities for current students and the community in such courses as Emergency Medical Technician, Wilderness First Aid/Responder, SCUBA, etc.), committees and boards.

Research Interests:  Effectiveness of outdoor ethics education programs, moral development, aquatic stewardship education programs, and non-formal education program evaluation. 

Awards:  School of Behavioral Sciences Outstanding Adviser (2019) and Outstanding Service (2014) awards. Association for Moral Education Graduate Student Award (2011). Bush Leadership Fellowship (2008-2010). 

Professional Organizations:  National Association for Interpretation, American Camp Association, North American Association for Environmental Education. As funds allow: Association for Experiential Education, Association for Outdoor Recreation and Education, Association for Moral Education. 

Selected Certifications and Trainings:  PCIA Single Pitch Climbing Instructor, PCIA Climbing Wall Instructor,  ACA Kayak Instructor (Level II), American Red Cross Small Craft Safety, Wilderness First Responder, NAI Certified Interpretive Trainer, NAI Social Interpretation (Social Media & Graphic Design), Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics Master Educator, NOLS Risk Management Training, Project Adventure Adventure Based Counseling & Adventure Programming, AMC Mountain Leadership School, Outward Bound Outdoor Instructor, PSIA Nordic Skiing Instructor. 

Recreational Pursuits: Backpacking, fly fishing, paddling, rock climbing, road biking, cross country skiing, and natural history.

BHSU OEP graduates!  

2019 OEP Grads in front of wall

'You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.' E. O. Wilson

'Joy and inspiration don't come from comfort. They come from the same place fear does - from confronting something different and larger than ourselves, and not knowing what will happen next. The steps come in a million forms. They happen in climbing, skiing, kayaking, and they continue into our normal life. That is probably why adventure sports are so compelling. They present life in a microcosm, simplified and elemental, symbolically carrying life's biggest questions in a primal form. There's control and letting go, feeling safe and being scared, standing in the known and stepping into the unknown. We need faith in ourselves...a trust that we will learn the things we need to climb, paddle and live a full life.' Doug Ammons

'A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity and stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.' Aldo Leopold

'The work of the guide implies abnegation. The guide does not go where he wants to go, but must go to the summit of which his client has dreamed. The guide does not climb for himself but primarily for the pleasure of the companion he is leading.' Gaston Rebuffat

'I don't know exactly what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it is something we need to know.' John Gierach