Professor and backcountry ski guide Brennan Lagasse explores the conflicts between outdoor recreation and sustainability, providing tips for getting outside as an environmental advocate

Brennan Lagasse is a teaching assistant professor at the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe. He teaches courses across departments and programs through a holistic approach grounded in sustainability education. In Fall 2024, he will be teaching the Sociology of Climate Change as part of the semester-long Sustainability Certificate program.


Beyond his role as a teaching assistant professor, Lagasse is also a backcountry ski guide having led and been a part of numerous international expeditions, as well as a published writer and photographer. He works with several outdoor companies as an athlete and is proud to be an ambassador with organizations such as Protect Our Winters and the Winter Wildlands Alliance.


Local to his home, Lagasse works closely with members of the Washoe Tribe through The Washoe Cultural and Outdoor Expedition Program, and the Washiw Zulshish Gum T’anu (Washoe Warrior Society). He also partners with Neets’aii Gwich’in and Inupiat Elders in Alaska each year, commonly acting as a bridge for interested students, to learn traditional ecological knowledge while experiencing the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.


As an avid outdoor enthusiast and athlete, Lagasse has had to confront the complexities of outdoor recreation and its impacts on the environment. Below he answers the question, can you recreate sustainably?


What are the conflicts between outdoor recreation and sustainability?


I feel that users ultimately want to be better, more informed advocates. There are a lot of good conversations happening around access and enjoying the outdoors while recognizing what impacts there might be on the environment.


Check out the rest, including a video of our conversation here.