MSU Billings Course Descriptions

REC - Outdoor Recreation

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Due to the course content and environmental requirements, a significant number of REC classes will be held off of the MSU Billings main campus.  Courses may meet on weekends and/or during semester breaks.  Some courses require a special fee.  Fees cover a number of things that include but are not limited to:  transportation, food, gear, lift tickets, and certifications.

REC 119 Nordic Skiing I

[formerly HHP 131 Cross Country Skiing]

1 cr.  Presents skills needed in cross country skiing including equipment, base preparation, waxing, and classical and skating techniques.  Depending on time constraints and student interest, basic winter risk management will also be included.


REC 120 Fundamentals of Backcountry Travel

[formerly HHP 184 Hiking/Backpacking]

2 cr.  Develops understanding and demonstration of backcountry and expedition trip planning to include:  goals and objectives, participant considerations, budget resources, appropriate selection and packing of equipment, clothing, itinerary and time control planning, access requirements, nutritional needs, and risk management and emergency planning.


REC 122 Alpine Skiing I

[formerly HHP 132 Skiing, Beginning Downhill]

1 cr.  Covers the basics of downhill skiing for students without prior experience.


REC 123 Telemark Skiing I

[formerly HHP 138 Telemark Skiing]

2 cr.  Learn, understand, and demonstrate telemark skiing techniques and proper equipment needs for the sport of telemark skiing.


REC 125 Snowboarding I

[formerly HHP 134 Beginning Snowboarding]

1 cr.  Covers the basics of snowboarding equipment, safety, mechanics and techniques.


REC 130 Fly Fishing I

1 cr.  Builds the necessary skills and self-confidence to learn the sport of fly fishing.  This course is an entry-level fly fishing class designed to develop all the skills and understanding necessary to catch wild fish on a fly rod.  Class sessions will cover the mechanics of casting, proper equipment, the basic cast, variations of the basic cast, knots, entomology as it relates to fly selection, and conservation and safety of the sport.


REC 140 Mountain Biking

[formerly HHP 187 Mountain Biking]

1 cr.  Teaches students how to choose the correct size bicycle, develop students’ mountain biking skills, develop awareness of risk management in mountain biking, develop students’ ability to negotiate mountain bike terrain with proper technique, and develop students’ ability to maintain and fix common problems that they may encounter on a mountain bike ride.


REC 150 Low Element Challenges

[formerly HHP 191 Low Element Challenges]

2 cr.  Learn a variety of low element challenges and demonstrate creative planning, teamwork, cooperation, and trust development, and understand the many varied values of low element challenges.


REC 155 Rappelling/Belaying

[formerly HHP 190 Rappelling/Belaying]

2 cr.  Develops students’ understanding and demonstration of rappelling and belaying methods, correct anchoring, equipment, proper climbing knots, and rescue techniques.


REC 160 Shooting Sports I

1 cr.  Focuses on understanding and demonstrating proficient skills, knowledge, and attitude towards the manipulation and proper use of firearms.  Emphasis is placed on safety, firearms history, actions, loading, unloading, and ammunition identification.


REC 178 Canoeing I

[formerly HHP 193 Canoeing]

1 cr.  Learn, understand, and apply canoeing terminology, principles, and equipment.  Included will be canoe design affects, paddle selection, carrying the canoe efficiently and safely, and tandem canoeing.


REC 181 Basic Navigation/Orienteering

[formerly HHP 181 Basic Navigation/Orienteering]

1 cr.  Provides an introduction and application of the history, equipment, and techniques of land navigation and orienteering.  Included will be sections on map reading, compass use, GPS use, map and compass techniques, orienteering principles, and orienteering course design.


REC 182 Advanced Navigation

[formerly HHP 182 Advanced Navigation]

2 cr. Prerequisite: REC 181 or Instructor approval.  Introduces newest technology for navigating in wilderness and emergency settings and navigation techniques ranging from environmental to global positioning systems.  Included will be practical application of learned skills in an outdoor/wilderness setting.


REC 185 Winter Survival Skills

[formerly HHP 185 Winter Survival Skills]

2 cr.  Presents skills and application of necessary techniques needed for safe winter travel as well as involving winter risk management, nutrition, survival skills, ice rescues, snow shelters, avalanche awareness, and protection methods.


REC 187 Basic Survival in the Outdoors

[formerly HHP 189 Basic Survival in the Outdoors]

2 cr.  Understand and demonstrate basic wilderness survival recommendations including methods of staying warm and building shelters, signaling, natural indicators of direction, fire building, and accessing water.


REC 200 Foundations of Outdoor Adventure Leadership

[formerly HHP 200 Foundations of Outdoor Adventure Leadership]

3 cr.  Introduces foundational information of Outdoor and Adventure Leadership/Education.  Included are history, background, and current local, state, and national issues of outdoor and adventure education.  Introduces the relationship to a variety of career areas such as educational teachers, outdoor recreational instructors, challenge course coordinators, corporate teambuilding managers, community activity centers, and the like.  Fundamental competencies for effective outdoor adventure leadership are presented, discussed, and practiced.


REC 210 Environment/Leave No Trace

[formerly HHP 183 Environment/Leave No Trace]

2 cr. (1 lec/wk & 2 day field trip) Prerequisite: REC 120 or instructor approval.  Develops participants’ awareness and application of Leave No Trace principles and an appreciation of the ethical reasons behind the principles.  Explores current environmental and wilderness issues.


REC 220 Alpine Skiing II

[formerly HHP 133 Skiing, Intermediate Downhill]

2 cr.Prerequisite: REC 122 or Instructor approval.  Goes beyond REC 122 to cover additional techniques and skills of downhill skiing for students with successful prior instruction and experience.


REC 225 Snowboarding II

2 cr. Prerequisite: REC 125 or Instructor approval.  Builds upon the skills developed in REC 125 Snowboarding I.  Students will learn additional snowboarding techniques, develop an understanding of teaching and learning styles, be provided the opportunity to both teach and evaluate a group lesson, and gain experience in writing lesson plans.


REC 230 Fly Fishing II

2 cr. Prerequisite: REC 130 or Instructor approval.  Builds upon the skills and knowledge gained in REC 130 Fly Fishing I.  Emphasis will be placed on reading water, bug identification, guiding techniques, risk management, and group awareness.


REC 233 Skiing/Snowboarding Instructor Development

2 cr. Prerequisites: REC 220 or REC 225 and Instructor approval.  Develops techniques and skills needed to become an instructor in either Alpine skiing or snowboarding.  Emphasis placed on teaching techniques and learning styles.  PSIA certification may be offered.


REC 255 Rock Climbing I

1 cr.  Introduces students to the basic concepts associated with spotting and belaying techniques and bouldering and top rope climbing techniques in both an indoor and outdoor setting.


REC 257 Rock Climbing II

2 cr. Prerequisite: REC 255 or Instructor approval.  Builds on skills gained in REC 255 by introducing leading climbing and multi-pitch climbing equipment and techniques.  Emphasis will be given to placement of protection and anchors, ground and hanging belays, rope management, and site management.


REC 260 Shooting Sports II

2 cr. Prerequisite: REC 160.  Seeks to build on the skills, experience, and knowledge gained in REC 160 Shooting Sports I.  Emphasis is placed on the ability to manage, facilitate, and execute the demands of firearm safety, accuracy, and manipulation.


REC 275 Kayaking I

[formerly HHP 195 Kayaking]

1 cr.  Learn, understand, and execute kayaking skills such as getting into a kayak, forward and backward paddling strokes, stopping techniques, forward and reverse sweep stroke, and draw stroke.  Included are safety and rescue methods recommended in kayaking.


REC 276 Kayaking II

2 cr. Prerequisite: REC 275 or Instructor approval.  Seeks to build on the skills, experience, and knowledge gained in REC 275 Kayaking I.  Emphasis will be placed on strokes, lateral movement, maneuvers, safety, rescue, group management, river reading, and paddling in appropriate whitewater.


REC 277 Rafting I

[formerly HHP 198 Rafting]

1 cr.  Learn to identify rafting equipment, awareness of preplanning considerations, proper raft carrying techniques, execution of proper rowing and oar strokes, foundational execution of rescue maneuvers, and a thorough understanding of safety considerations.


REC 278 Rafting II

2 cr. Prerequisite: REC 277 or Instructor approval.  Seeks to build on the skills, experience, and knowledge gained in REC 277 Rafting I.  An emphasis will be placed on equipment, proper preparation for a river trip, paddling strokes, control of a raft, river dynamics, maneuvering in whitewater, reading the river, proper commands to safely descend and control a raft in rapids, river safety and rescue, and care for and minor repair of a raft.


REC 280 Challenge Course Fundamentals

[formerly HHP 280 Challenge Course Fundamentals]

2 cr.  Introduces history and current practices in American challenge courses.  Current practices in design, facilitation, and evaluation of curricula in Outdoor Adventure Leadership settings, including low and high ropes and challenge course programs, are presented.  Students will also be introduced to current offerings in challenge course technology and the opportunity to practice basic challenge course facilitation methods.


REC 285 Scuba Diving I

2 cr.  Teaches understanding and application of scuba diving techniques, equipment, and knowledge of diving hazards and precautions.  The skills include, but are not limited to:  remove mask and clear, remove and recover regulator, remove and recover Scuba equipment, demonstrate cramp removal, assist other divers, underwater navigation, hand and arm signals, signs and symptoms of decompression sickness, plan and conduct open water dives, dive computer, wetsuit utilization.


REC 287 Archery I

[formerly HHP 103 Archery, Beginning, Intermediate]

1 cr.  Designed for the beginner archer with a focus on recognizing, understanding, and following the safety guidelines employed in the handling and use of archery equipment.  Emphasis will be placed on target archery, range safety, shooting stance and techniques, terminology, scoring, and conducting a shooting line.


REC 288 Archery II

2 cr. Prerequisite: REC 287 or Instructor approval.  Seeks to build on the skills, experience, and knowledge gained in REC 287 Archery I.  Emphasis will be placed on safety, skills accuracy, instructing archery, group management, and environmental issues.


REC 306 Outdoor Living Skills

3 cr. Prerequisite: REC 120 or Instructor approval.  Explores the fundamental skills necessary to successfully and safely exist in the backcountry setting.  Topics include proper dress, nutrition, backcountry navigation, personal hygiene, and shelter systems employing leave no trace (LNT) and low impact techniques.  Students are committed to seven days (two days in the classroom and five days in the field).


REC 308 Winter Outdoor Living Skills

2 cr. Prerequisite: REC 120 or Instructor approval.  Explores the fundamental skills necessary to successfully and safely exist in a winter backcountry setting.  Topics include proper dress, nutrition, backcountry navigation, personal hygiene, and shelter systems employing leave no trace (LNT) and low impact techniques.  (Students are committed to a four-day overnight trip in the field.)


REC 309 People and the Environment

3 cr. Prerequisite: REC 120 or Instructor approval.  Gain an understanding that the natural world is a critical component to the appropriate enjoyment and appreciation of the outdoors.  Students will learn about the environment around them, including natural and cultural history, and how to share that knowledge with others from clients to students of all ages.  Students will examine the evolving relationship between humans and nature, as well as the philosophical and theoretical foundations and practice of environmental education.  The course will include a wilderness camping trip and skills session.


REC 310 Adventure Leadership

[formerly HHP 310 Adventure Leadership]

3 cr.Prerequisite: REC 200 or Instructor approval.  Acquaints students with the history, philosophy, depth, and scope of Adventure Leadership.  Methods discussed will be applied to group development, minimizing risk in the field, teambuilding, decision making, problem solving, and teaching.  Students will explore and enhance their own leadership, philosophy and style through participation in group projects, lecture, and activities while taking this class.


REC 356 Search and Rescue

3 cr. Prerequisite: REC 181 and Instructor approval.  Instructs individuals in the methods of searching for lost persons.  Topics include search and rescue (SAR) hierarchy, personal preparedness, rescue, search, and preventative search and rescue.  Course is hands-on oriented and includes one overnight experience.  FUNSAR certification offered.


REC 357 Ropes Rescue

3 cr. Prerequisite: REC 155 or REC 257 and Instructor approval.  Develops skills and techniques needed to safely perform a rope rescue.  Emphasis is placed on rescue philosophy, liability, mitigation, safety, managing a rope rescue, equipment, knots, anchors, mechanical advantage, low-angle and high-angle ropes systems, raising and lowering systems, rappelling, belaying, ascending, and pick-offs.


REC 358 Swift Water Rescue

3 cr. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.  Explores skills and methods of rescuing persons in swift water conditions.  Students study the dynamics of moving water, natural and man-made hazards, swimming the rapids to assist in a rescue, how to deal with strainers, use of a throw rope, rope rescue techniques, and the use of a rescue vest.  Special topics are added as appropriate by the instructor.  SWR certification offered.


REC 359 Backcountry Avalanche Forecasting and Rescue

4 cr. Prerequisite: REC 308 or Instructor approval.  Develops skills and techniques needed to safely plan, recognize avalanche hazards, make safe travel decisions, and apply effective companion rescue techniques (including multiple and deep burials) in avalanche terrain.  Develops an understanding of snowpack development, metamorphosis, factors that contribute to spatial variability, and avalanche release and triggering mechanisms.  Introduces snow stability analysis, backcountry forecasting, and standard observation guidelines and recording formats.


REC 381 Leadership and Group Dynamics

[formerly HHP 381 Adventure Counseling and Leadership]

3 cr.  Explores leadership principles and group dynamics applied to adventure settings.  Emphasis will be given to risk management and group process, the development of decision-making, ethical issues, communication, and motivational, organizational, and evaluation skills.


REC 389 Mountaineering

3 cr. Prerequisite: REC 257 or REC 155 or Instructor approval.  Builds on skills gained in REC 257 by introducing alpine ice, mixed route climbing, glacial travel (including roped travel, ice axe, and crampon techniques), and crevasse rescue equipment and techniques.  Emphasis will be given to the ecological, environmental, physiological, and technical requirements needed for responsible travel in the alpine environment.  (Students are committed to a six-day mountaineering trip.)


REC 411 Adventure Guiding and Instructing

3 cr. Prerequisite: REC 200, REC 310 or Instructor approval.  Provides students an opportunity to explore teaching methods appropriate for a wide spectrum of adventure guiding and instructing.  Examines learning styles, lesson planning, delivery options, risk management, evaluation, and assessment.


REC 466 Ethical/Legal Aspects in Outdoor Adventure Leadership

[formerly HHP 466 Ethical/Legal Aspects in Outdoor Adventure Leadership]

2 cr.  Presents the ethical and legal principles and practices recommended and required in outdoor adventure leadership careers.  Particular emphasis is on the ethical and legal guidelines that follow national program accreditation standards.


REC 470 Adventure Program Planning and Development

3 cr. Prerequisites: REC 200, REC 310 or Instructor approval.  Examines principles related to planning, scheduling, and implementation of recreational activities and events.  Students will be introduced to the procedures involved in development of programs, staffing, budgeting, and managing risks for adventure programs for diverse populations.


REC 480 Challenge Course Skills and Facilitation

[formerly HHP 480 Advanced Challenge Skills and Facilitation]

3 cr. Prerequisites: REC 150 and REC 280 or Instructor approval.  Presents understanding and proficiency in applying current and advanced outdoor adventure leadership facilitation and debriefing skills.  Course coverage will include developing various risk management plans, review and awareness of new safety policies and recommendations, understanding program construction basics, and applying evaluation methods in all levels of adventure challenge settings.  Included will be planning and development of facilitation objectives and methods for diverse populations.


REC 494 Seminar/Workshop

V1-4 cr. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.  Provides an opportunity for students to investigate intensively specific/independent areas of OAL or allows for a trial of a proposed course to determine acceptability and demand before requesting a regular course number.


REC 498 Internship/Cooperative Education

V1-6 cr. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.  Provides OAL majors with practical experience in an OAL profession or a program under the supervision and by prior approval of OAL program faculty.  A learning agreement must be completed with the student’s advisor prior to registration.  In-field contact time is 45 hours per semester credit.