Office: Smith Gym 4005
B.A., Natural Resource Management, Western Washington University
M.S., Water Resource Management, McGill University
Ariahna Jones began teaching physical education and outdoor recreation courses at WVC in 2015.
From the WVC Discover magazine, winter 2016:
“Our play was always outdoor recreation,” Ariahna Jones said of growing up in Tonasket, Washington. Ariahna is the new faculty member of the WVC Outdoor Recreation Management program. Her love of the outdoors began at a young age, when she went camping, hiking and fishing with her family, and continued into her education and career. Working on Forest Service trail crews, as a white water rafting guide, wilderness therapy instructor for at-risk youth and as a science resource center coordinator, Ariahna combined her love of the outdoors with her love of science in order to protect the landscape.
She has brought that appreciation and sense of stewardship to students enrolled in outdoor recreation courses at WVC. Through the outdoor recreation management program, students explore their roles as managers and stewards of the land, their relationship with the outdoors, and how it strengthens them as individuals and as a community. Outdoor recreation management is a lifelong learning experience, not just a course, Ariahna said. The program is a proponent of a healthy and active lifestyle.
WVC offers a two-year associate in applied science-transfer degree in outdoor recreation management. Students receive hands-on, applicable experiences so that after completing the program, they can seek either seasonal or full-time employment, or they can continue their education at a four-year college or university. In their courses, students learn natural history and ecology, plant and animal identification, maps and navigation, and first-aid emergency response, in addition to taking business, communications and customer relations courses. Students are required to plan a trip with a friend or family member and share their lessons learned from that experience, submit a trail report and volunteer in an outdoor recreation community event, such as Make a Difference Day.
Ariahna is taking advantage of all the outdoor opportunities in the Wenatchee Valley to get her students into the field for learning experiences. “At our fingertips, we have an immense amount of opportunity and open space,” she said.
Employment within the outdoor recreation field is strong, with career opportunities available in community development, therapy, guiding, businesses with a focus on outdoor recreation pursuits, and local, state and federal land management agencies. Ariahna makes certain that students develop connections and receive hands-on learning experiences with professionals in the field. This fall, students have discussed land management with Dave Erickson, director of parks and recreation, while hiking Castle Rock trail; explored forest health management with Roy Maglessen, a biological technician for the Forest Service, while hiking Saddle Rock; practiced kayaking on the Columbia with the Wenatchee Row and Paddle Club; and they studied birds and learned about the Citizen Science program with a local birder at Walla Walla and Confluence parks.
“The community network is incredibly supportive because this valley is evolving and has the opportunity to grow as a recreational hub,” Ariahna said.