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2NT Research Meeting Photo



Innovation through research and collaboration

At Waypoint Adventure, we knew our programs were having an impact but needed help understanding how to collect and use data to show that impact beyond anecdotal stories.

Dan Minnich

Co-Founder / Co-Director

Waypoint Adventure

We believe educational programs should care for the heart and mind, which is why we are educators first, and have devoted our careers to education. 


Our Services

Research constitutes the major portion of what we do currently. We have conducted research and program evaluation for various outdoor programs including the North Carolina Outward Bound School (NCOBS) and Montreat College’s Discovery Wilderness Program. We present at conference/research symposia and publish frequently in peer-reviewed journals, books and popular press.

Quantitative Research. We conduct quantitatively-oriented research using experimental and quasi-experimental designs. Current projects include looking at the impact of outdoor experiences on brainwave activity using portable EEG devices.

Qualitative research. We conduct qualitatively-oriented research using a wide variety of approaches including grounded theory, case studies, and phenomenology. Qualitatively- oriented studies seek to understand the richness and fullness of human experience in the words of the participants themselves. Current projects include the impact of various national park landscapes on participant inspiration.  


Mixed Methods Research. We conduct mixed methods research by combining qualitative and quantitative techniques in order to look at a research question, topic, or phenomenon from multiple points of view. Using mixed methods often provides a more holistic understanding of the phenomenon under study.

Significant Life Experience Research. Significant life Experience (SLE) research is an example of a mixed methods approach and is one of our specialties. SLE research seeks to understand the impact of various life events on human development. For example, we have studied how early outdoor experiences impact the development of environmental attitudes.

Program Evaluation and Assessment. We do program evaluation and assessment to help organizations become better at what they do. This often includes survey work and semi-structured focus group or 1:1 interviews.

Outcomes and Process-oriented Research. We conduct research on both the outcomes of various programs and experiences while also looking at the process by which those outcomes were/were not achieved. For example, we have conducted many research studies for the North Carolina Outward Bound School (NCOBS) on topics including the impact of the solo experience and final expedition, and the NCOBS end-of-course assessment instrument.

2nd Nature TREC harnessed their extensive knowledge in the field of experiential education, adventure programming and research/evaluation to help our organization bring about deeper impact and more effective practices.

Adam Combs

Co-Founder / Co-Director
Waypoint Adventure

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