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Recreation Administration Staff - Steve Spencer

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Phone: (270) 745-2498


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   Accredited since 1980.

Steve Spencer, Ed.D.

Steve Spencer, Ed.D.

Professor, Transitional Retiree

Office:  E.A. Diddle Arena 2023
Phone:  (270) 745-6073


REC 200:  Intro to REC

REC 235:  Outdoor REC

REC 332:  Outdoor Education

REC 335:  Outdoor Skills – Land

REC 337:  Outdoor Skills – Water

REC 406:  REC Administration

REC 430/430(G):  Recreation Resource Management

REC 437:  Outdoor Expedition

REC 490:  Practicum

REC 482/482(G): WFR with SOLO

PE 300:  Leisure Time Outdoor Pursuits

ENVE 580:  LBL Environmental Education Consortium



Research Areas of Interest: My career research has been of eclectic nature including – Conservation Education, Environmental Education, Aquatic Education, Evaluation of Physical Education Components in Public School Systems, Components of the Tourism Industry and Experiential Sampling/Involvement of Leisure pursuits.

Selected Publications:

Spencer, S. & Stenger-Ramsey, T. (2012). Outdoor Leadership Semester Field Manual. 7th Edition.  WKU Outdoor Leadership Program, Course Text, WKU, Bowling Green, KY.

Spencer, S. & Stenger-Ramsey, T. (2010). Warren County Blueways: Adapting the American Democracy Project into Applied Student Engagement Among Pre-service Outdoor Leaders. Stewardship of Public Lands Monographs. American Association of State Colleges and Universities.  June, 2010.

Spencer, S. (2010). Development and Management of a Canoe Instructor Program as Part of the Western Kentucky University Outdoor Leadership Program.  Journal of the Wilderness Education Association 21:2, Editor: Bridget Eastep.

Spencer, S., Stenger-Ramsey, T. & Cary, K. (2009).  Water Trails and Blueways: A new Way to connect with the Past. KRPS Journal  58 (4). Pp 23-26

Spencer, S. L. (2007). In Debby Spencer (Ed.), It's not an Elk Problem.  It's a People Problem (pp. one). 2007 KY Elk Hunt Economic Impact Study.

Spencer, S., Wilson, T. , Gibson, F. & Flowers, A. (2007).  Research project: Perceptions of Environmental and Recreation Importance to Elementary School Campers. Published Proceedings From the 2005  North American Association for Environmental Education, National Conference, Albuquerque, Oct.

Selected Presentations:

Spencer, S. & Stenger-Ramsey, T. (2012). outdoor leadership programs: teaching, living and modeling the outdoor ethic.  KAEE/SEEC Conference, Lake Cumberland, KY Sept.

Spencer, S.(2011). Essentials of River Canoeing for Trip Leaders.  KRPS Annual Conf. Bowling Green, Nov.

Spencer, S. (2011) Adapting the Earth Force Model for University Class and Community Improvements. KAEE Annual Conf. Louisville , Sept.16, 2011.

Spencer, S. & Stenger-Ramsey, T. (2011). Environmental Stewardship in Action on University Campuses: The Earth Force Model.  AORE San Antonio, TX Nov.

Stenger-Ramsey, T. & Spencer, S. (2010). Develop a Canoe Instructor Program as part of your Outdoor Program the ACA Way.  AORE Keystone, CO Nov.

Spencer, S. & Spencer, D. (2010).  Trail Nirvanna, A Partnership that “Made it Happen”: by transforming reclaimed coal land into an Adventure Tourism Trail System. American Trails National Symposium. Chattanooga, Nov.

Spencer, S., Cary, Kevin, & Stenger-Ramsey, T. (2009).   Warren County Blueways: Expanding River Awareness/Stewardship. Presented to: The First Southeastern Water Trails Forum, Chattanooga, TN. Oct.

Spencer, S., Stenger-Ramsey, T., and Cary, K. (2009). Lets Get Wet: Service Learning with the Warren County Blueways. National Conference of the WEA, Bloomington, IN, Feb.



Ed. D., Recreation emphasis -HPER Department.  University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Ed. D. 1990.  Minor:  Psychology.  Dissertation:  "Involvement, Flow, and the Leisure State in Deer Hunting:  An Experience Sampling Method"

Principal's Certificate:  Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, MO, 1986.

M.S. in Physical Education, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, 1979.

B.S. in Physical Education Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, MO, 1976. 


American Canoe Association (ACA)-- Whitewater Canoe Instructor Trainer (L4), Adapted paddling endorsement,1st Three Minutes of Rescue endorsement (1983- 2014)

American Camping Association- OLS Instructor (1992)

Aquatic Education Instructor Trainer- Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources  (1994)

Hunter Education Instructor Master Trainer-- Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (1994)          

First Aid/CPR, Instructor  -- Red Cross/Am. Heart Assn  (1985)                

Hunter Education Instructor --Missouri Department of Conservation (1985)                      

International Bowhunter Association (1991)  

Leave No Trace Inc. Master Educator (2004-)

National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association Instructor  (1991)

National Rifle Association

Home Firearm Safety Instructor, Muzzle Loading Pistol, Rifle & Shotgun Instructor  (1991)

Project Wild Trainer (2001)

Project Wild Aquatic Trainer (1996)

Project Wet Trainer (1999)

Project Learning Tree Facilitator (1999)

Scuba--Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI)  - Open Water Diver (2000) Dives to date: 23

Wilderness Education Association- Certified Instructor (Outdoor Leader)- (1991-)            Wilderness Box Instructor (1996)

Wilderness First Responder (1997- Wilderness Medical Associates/Stonehearth Outdoor Learning Opportunities (SOLO)

Principal's Certificate:  Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, MO, 1986 Lifetime Certification

Professional Background:

Professor, P.E. & Recreation Department (2001), Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY, 1990-1994 (Assistant Prof.) (1995-2000 Associate  Prof.)          

Graduate Assistant, HPER Department, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, 1988-90, Mgr. Athletic Dormitory (1988-89)

Athletic Director, Head Football Coach, P.E. Dept. Head, Track Coach, Weight Lifting Coach.  Springfield Catholic High School, Springfield, MO, 1985-1988. 

Instructor, Urban Fishing Program, Missouri Dept. of Conservation, 1986-87. 

Lecturer, HPER Dept., Assistant Football Coach, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, MO, 1981-1985. 

Assistant Football Coach, University of Missouri, Columbia, 1978-1981.               

Graduate Assistant PE Dept., Football Coach, Illinois State University, Normal, IL, 1977. 

Program Director YMCA, Springfield, MO, 1977.

Other Information:

Steve Spencer has a great wife, and two good kids. He enjoys outdoor pursuits but does not do them enough.  He is good at a lot of activities but is master of only a few.  His contributions to his profession have been minimal, but he has maintained his sanity… barely and he will die before he pays off his mortgage.


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 Last Modified 9/25/14