Ryan Zwart

Assistant Professor of Outdoor Recreation Studies
Studies in Education and Outdoor Recreation
Faculty of Science and Human Services

Ryan Zwart

Dr. Ryan Zwart joined the Montreat College faculty in Spring 2020. He has a B.S. in recreation and leisure studies and psychology from Calvin College, an M.S. in recreation administration from Indiana University, and Ph.D. in leisure behavior from Indiana University.

Dr. Zwart teaches in the outdoor recreation studies major primarily within the outdoor leadership and adventure education concentration. His research interests include psychological and physiological response to nature exposure, health promoting components of nature and outdoor recreation, outdoor recreation administration and management topics, and outdoor adventure influence on teamwork, leadership, and decision making.

Dr. Zwart has worked with youth and young adults in the private, not-for-profit, and public sectors with a focus on post-high school and college-aged populations. He has worked as an outdoor educator at several institutions with a focus on leadership development and outdoor adventure programming. He has also led expeditionary outdoor trips throughout the United States and Canada in a variety of activities including cycling, climbing, sea kayaking, and backpacking.

When reflecting on the field of outdoor recreation, Dr. Zwart says, “The outdoor recreation field is rapidly growing and developing as individuals continue to recognize the unequivocal importance of the outdoors. The field now includes a plethora of career paths including, environmental education, outdoor and adventure education, outdoor industry and business, therapeutic approaches, guiding and trip leading, outdoor program and camp administration, and conservation law officers and park rangers. While our goal is to produce solid outdoor recreation professionals a side effect is that we are producing environmentally conscious, well rounded, thoughtful individual who are able have a positive influence wherever they explore!”


Journal Articles

Zwart, R. & Hines, R. (2022) Community wellness and social support as motivation for participation in outdoor adventure recreation. Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership, 14(1), 33-50.

Ewert, A., Zwart, R., & Davidson, C. (2020) Underlying motives for selected adventure recreation activities: The case for eudaimonics and hedonics. Behavioral Sciences, 10(12), 185.

Hines, R., Davidson, C., Zwart, R., & Ewert, A. (2019) Exploring motivations and constraints of minority participation: College outdoor adventure programs. Research in Outdoor Education, 17, 59-81.

Zwart, R., & Young, S. J. (2018). Assuming the risk of open and obvious dangers of climbing gyms. Physical Educator, 75(4), 725.

Published Abstracts

Zwart, R. & Ewert, A. (2022) Health and outdoor adventure recreation: a mixed method study. Abstracts from the Coalition for Education in the Outdoors 15th Biennial Research Symposium.

Ewert, A., Davidson, C., Zwart, R. (2022) Why take a chance: towards a framework for motivation for outdoor adventure activities. Abstracts from the Coalition for Education in the Outdoors 15th Biennial Research Symposium.

Zwart, R. (2020) An exploratory analysis of the relationship between outdoor recreation activity type and environmental self-selection strategies for health promotion. Symposium for Experiential Education Research, 40-42.

Anderson, K.A., Zwart, R., & Ewert, A. (2020) A comparison of transferable skill development in both experiential and traditional leadership curriculums. Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership. 12(2), 217-221.

Ewert, A., Davidson, C., & Zwart, R. (2018) The role of university outdoor recreation programs: The conclusion of a multi-phased, multi-method research study. Association for Outdoor Recreation and Education Conference Publication of Presentation Abstracts from AORE Conference. Nov. 2017.

Zwart, R. (2018) Characterizing student motivations in outdoor recreation program activity offerings. Abstracts from the Coalition for Education in the Outdoors 14th Biennial Research Symposium.