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FLC professor wins awards for book on outdoor adventure

Dr. Andrew Gulliford
Dr. Andrew Gulliford

Fort Lewis College Professor of History and Environmental Studies Andrew Gulliford is the winner of two New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. His work, entitled Outdoors in the Southwest: An Adventure Anthology, won the Nature/Environment category and was named the Best Arizona Book.

“The book is about major themes related to public lands and the Southwest as well as our need for wilderness and why children and young adults should spend more time outdoors,” says Dr. Gulliford. “The book has sections on river running, canyons, mountains, going solo, and stewardship or giving back to public land, which I call ‘wilderness tithing.’

“The idea for the book came from the confluence of [FLC’s] new Adventure Education degree program and my own teaching and advising in Environmental Studies. I saw the need for a college reader which could address both degree programs, and because I regularly have students from those programs in my classes I knew what they needed for background.”

Much of the book came together during a sabbatical that Dr. Gulliford took recently. The sabbatical afforded him the time and opportunity to immerse himself in his subject, namely the outdoors.

“During my sabbatical I climbed mountains, ran rivers, interviewed public land managers and professors in several states, and honed my ideas and chapters into a cohesive whole,” he recalls. “I worked on the chapter on animal encounters and also spent more time volunteering on public lands, specifically picking up trash at Lake Powell, so I could write about that, too. I visited three other college campuses, learned about their outdoor education programs, and discussed with their faculty what kind of college reader would be useful.”

Dr. Gulliford hopes that his book will help more people think more deeply about the outdoors and actually push people to experience the wilderness areas around them.

“From reading Outdoors in the Southwest the reader can learn more about the opportunities and dangers inherent in wilderness travel and profit from many ‘lessons learned’ about being outdoors. Hopefully, the book will inspire more visits to remote places.”

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