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Briget Eastep - Southern Utah University. Cedar City, UT, US

Briget Eastep Briget Eastep

Executive Director of Outdoor Pathways | Southern Utah University


Specializing in public lands, youth engagement, wilderness first aid, conservation youth corps, and recreation impact monitoring.


As the Executive Director of SUU’s Outdoor Pathways, Dr. Briget Eastep's mission is to connect the SUU community of students, faculty, and staff to public lands in order to create the next generation of outdoor stewards, professionals, and advocates.

Dr. Eastep began her career in 1991 as a ranger at Philmont Boy Scout Ranch in New Mexico. Since then her sense of adventure and passion for the great outdoors has led her across the country and to her current leadership position at SUU.

When Dr. Eastep started at SUU in 2006, she worked with public land professionals in the region to create the Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative, which has since placed over 1,500 paid interns into federal and state land agencies. Dr. Eastep partners with the parks and local communities broadening opportunities for service projects, internships and other experiential learning opportunities. She also teaches field courses and stewardship courses in the outdoor recreation in the parks and tourism program. Under her guidance students gain confidence, stewardship, and leadership skills.

Dr. Eastep earned her bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Cornell College and her master’s degree in recreation and environmental education from the University of New Mexico. Her Ph.D. is from the University of Utah in parks, recreation, and tourism in natural resource recreation management.







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Stewardship: Caring for places we love - A Little Learning Lecture with Briget Eastep Major Decisions: Outdoor Recreation Meet Our Professor: Briget Eastep, Outdoor Rec Experiential Teaching & Learning - Briget Eastep


Industry Expertise (3)

Leisure / Recreation


Environmental Services

Areas of Expertise (20)


Outdoor Education & Leadership

Public Lands

Workface Development



Wilderness First Aid

Utah National Parks

Swift Water Rescue

Tourism in Utah


Recreation Program Planning

Outdoor Leadership

Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative

Communities of Practice

Youth Engagement

Cooperative Agreements

Human Impact Monitoring

Experiential Learning

Leave No Trace

Education (3)

University of Utah: Ph. D., Natural Resource Recreation and Outdoor Education

The University of New Mexico: M. A., Recreation and Environmental Education

Cornell College: B. A., English and Environmental Studies

Accomplishments (6)

Distinguished Faculty Service Award (professional)

Southern Utah University, 2018

Leave No Trace Master Educator (professional)

Certified Leave No Trace Master Educator through the Center for Outdoor Ethics

Wilderness First Responder (professional)

Certified wilderness first responder by the Wilderness Medical Institute.

Swift Water Rescue Technician (professional)

Certified swift water rescue technician.

CPR/First Aid (professional)

Certified by the American Red Cross.

Director's Partnership Award, Director of National Park Service (professional)

August 2016

Affiliations (16)

  • Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative
  • Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Education Leadership
  • Cedar Breaks National Monument
  • Association for Experiential Education
  • National Society for Experiential Education
  • National Recreation and Parks Association
  • Utah Parks and Recreation Association
  • Utah Society for Environmental Education
  • National Interpretation Association
  • The Corps Network
  • Great Basin National Park Foundation, Chair
  • Great Basin Observatory Operations Committee
  • Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals
  • Center for Outdoor Ethics
  • National Interpretation Association
  • Utah Trails Forum

Media Appearances (4)

We asked, you answered: Responsible recreation

The Salt Lake Tribune  online


“We’ve seen so many people visiting trails, which is great,” said Briget Eastep, a Southern Utah University professor who holds a doctorate in parks, recreation and tourism and who specializes in Leave No Trace principles.

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SUU and Bryce Canyon Continue On-Location Learning Experience for Hundreds of Students

St. George News  online


“The alliance has welcomed classes from across campus, hosted the Wilderness First Responder for ten years, and it has gotten students involved with research in a number of different projects, including geology, archeology and recreation visitor use,” Director of Outdoor Engagement Briget Eastep said, according to the news release. “Every five years we renew the alliance, and this year there was really a sense of partnership and hope for the future.”

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Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative, Paul Roelandt, and Dr. Briget Eastep

National Park Service  online


The Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative, a consortium of 19 federal and state land agencies, the Paiute Tribe, and Southern Utah University, has worked with Cedar Breaks National Monument to place students into employment, internship, and volunteer positions. These positions expose students to public lands jobs and projects and link students to friends and mentors; leadership and job skills; and pathways to college, career fields, and to their public lands.

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Utah Internship Program Gets National Parks Service Praise

Utah Public Radio  radio


It has a long name, the Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative or IIC. This month, the program received the National Parks Service Director’s Award for Partnerships. Paul Roelandt, the superintendent of Cedar Breaks National Park and Briget Eastep, from Southern Utah University, received the award from the National Parks Service.

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Research Grants (6)

Cooperative Agreements for Internships and Service Learning Projects

Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative $8.9 Million

Responsible for $8.9 Million in Cooperative Agreements for internships and service learning projects with regional public lands. The IIC hires 200 interns and places them in internship positions throughout our region in fields from accounting to wildlife.

IIC Youth Development

Colorado Plateau Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit $851,620

2016 Funding for student internships in national, state and public lands.

US Fish and Wildlife Next Generation

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service $81,000

2016 Research on native fish and wildlife.

Recreation Impact Monitoring

Bureau of Land Management $24,000

2016 Recreation impact monitoring at Vermilion Cliffs.

Direct Hire Internships

Bureau of Land Management $100,000

2015 Funding for student internships with the Bureau of Land Management.

Field Office Trails

Bureau of Land Management $50,000

2014 Bureau of Land Management field office trails youth work project in Cedar City.

Articles (3)

Information Sources and Planning Horizons for Southern Utah Visitors

Academy of Marketing Studies Journal

Roberts, W. A Jr, Steed, E., Eastep, B.

2014 As part of a larger visitor profile study of southern Utah visitors during four seasons beginning summer 2010, data was collected regarding trip planning horizons, defined as the time that elapses between when trip planning begins and trip departure, and data regarding the influence of different sources of information, ranging from the Internet to past experience to guidebooks and brochures. There were significant differences in regard to planning horizons with regard to season of travel, education, age, and domicile, but not with regard to household income. With regard to source influence, past experience and the Internet were rated as the most influential, much more so than guidebooks, friends and relatives, and other sources. Results highlight the importance of hospitality businesses understanding their target groups through marketing research.

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Seasonal Differences in Origin, Destinations, Activities and Expenditures of Central and Southern Utah Visitors

International Journal of Business, Marketing, & Decision Science

Steed, E., Roberts, W., Eastep, B.

2014 In 2010-2011, the Southern Utah University Hospitality Research Center joined with the Utah Office of Tourism to explore various characteristics of visitors to Central and Southern Utah. This study focuses on one of the study's research questions, which was the seasonal differences of visitor origin, destinations visited, activities selected and expenditures. Chi-square and ANOVA tests were conducted to determine differences. Many significant differences were detected, and many similarities were discovered.

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Affinity for Nature in Outdoor Programming: Theoretical Foundations, Scale Development, and Importance

Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership

Cachelin, A., Eastep, B.T., Sibthorp, J.

2011 The objectives of this study were to develop a youth Affinity for Nature Scale that can be used to document the outcomes of children participating in nature based programs; to review three relevant strains of literature informing the development of the scale; and to review the importance of this scale’s utility in terms of the current state of children’s relationship with the natural world.

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Courses (6)

ORPT 2000 Outdoor Skills Seminar

A special topics course designed to develop outdoor recreation and leadership skills. Topics will vary depending upon demand.

EDGE 3050 Outdoor Project Proposal & Planning

An online, eight week workshop that guides students through the process of creating and EDGE project proposal and plan tuned specifically to the Outdoor Engagement Center.

EDGE 4050 Outdoor Project Reporting & Reflection

An online eight week course that guides students through the process of verifying, reporting, and reflecting on their EDGE Project, which is tuned specifically to the Outdoor Engagement Center. Students will create a portfolio featuring their project.

ORPT 4600 Outdoor Recreation Policy & Planning

Course will cover foundations of natural resource recreation policy and planning: policy history, key agencies, wild land recreation policy, rec planning, management practices, & the NEPA process.

ORPT 4860 Outdoor Recreation Skills Practicum

This course is designed to give outdoor recreation majos and minor experience leading, teaching, and developing skills in the outdoor recreation field.

ORPT 4900 ORPT Senior Seminar

A capstone course: ORPT majors will complete a capstone project to investigate current trends, issues, research, and professional standards in the field. Students will also prepare for internships.