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Welcome to Dr. Rolloff's World

Courses | Field Experience | Research Projects | Professional Associations | Jobs and Internships

Contact Information

Title: Associate Professor
E-mail: rolloff@csus.edu (best way to reach me)
4046 Solano Hall

Dept. of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration   California State University, Sacramento
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819-6110

Current Courses

  • RPTA 42 - Recreation Use of Natural Resources
  • RPTA 34 - The Outdoor Recreation Experience
  • RPTA 122 - Perspectives on Leisure
  • RPTA 153 - Outdoor Education and Environmental Interpretation

Previous Courses

  • RPTA 105 - Management of Leisure Services
  • RPTA 109 - Computer Applications for Leisure Services
  • RPTA 110 - Research Applications in Recreation & Leisure
  • RPTA 150 - The Ecology of Recreation Resource Areas
  • RPTA 151 - Visitor Management in Recreation Areas
  • RPTA 154 - Recreation Facilities Design and Maintenance
  • RPTA 194 - Orientation to the Field Experience
  • RPTA 195 - Internship
  • RPTA 202 - Policies, Issues & Problems in Leisure Services
  • EVST 395 - Border Country: Ecology & Management of the Boundary Waters Ecosystem (Summer 2005 with the Wild Rockies Field Institute)

 Field Experience

  • My field background is primarily in two areas: adventure/wilderness education and resource management/recreation planning. 

    Wilderness Education Coordinator - Desolation Wilderness I served as the education outreach staff member with a dual appointment on the Eldorado National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. My responsibilities include creating educational materials and programs relating to Leave No Trace use of Desolation Wilderness so it will be preserved for future generations of visitors.

    Wilderness Instructor - Outward Bound I teach backcountry courses in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of northern Minnesota with what used to be known as Voyageur Outward Bound. I also used to work with the program in the Big Bend region of southwest Texas.  These courses focused on adventure-based education, and involved canoe expeditions, whitewater canoeing, desert backpacking, canyoneering, and rock climbing. Way back in the 90s I also worked in Oregon with OB, teaching mountaineering in the Cascade Mountains and whitewater rafting courses in the high desert.

    Field Instructor - Wild Rockies Field Institute.  In summer 2005 served as a course instructor with WRFI, based in Missoula, Montana.  I instructed a field course offered in my home woods of the Boundary Waters and Quetico region of northern Minnesota and western Ontario.  The course involved an 11-day canoe expedition in the Boundary Waters and a 5 day backpacking trip along the North Shore Hiking Trail near Lake Superior.  

    Wilderness Ranger - U.S. Forest Service I served as a wilderness ranger in the Eagle Cap Wilderness in the Wallowa Mountains of NE Oregon, and the Waldo Lake Wilderness in the central Cascades of western Oregon.  This work focused mostly on doing public contact and law enforcement in the backcountry, but it also involved recreational impact monitoring, restoration work, and cleaning lots of firepits.  We called this work "camping for dollars" and it was the happiest time of my life. 

    Recreation Planner - EDAW, Inc As part of an environmental consulting firm, I worked as a recreation planner on efforts related to hydro-relicensing efforts at numerous reservoir and river projects in the Pacific Northwest and California.  This work was focused on conducting field research which contributed to a number of recreation resource management plans for water recreation areas, such as Lake Billy Chinook (PGE) in central Oregon, and the Upper North Fork Feather River (PG&E) in northern California.


Oregon State University - Forest Resources

   Ph.D. 1998


Western Illinois University - Recreation, Park, & Tourism Administration

   M.S. 1991

   Post-baccalaureate in Psychology


St. Olaf College - Northfield, Minnesota

   B.A. 1988.  Majors in History & Norwegian


Telemarks Distrikshøgskule  - Bø i Telemark, Norway

  1986-87  Emphasis in History, Norwegian, and Skiing 


 Dr. Rolloff's Teaching Philosophy

  • My philosophy of education and teaching is comprised of three elements: relevance, practicality, and action 

    • Higher education can be thoroughly relevant in students’ lives as a way of expanding their world view. 

    • Knowledge and abilities gained in higher education can have infinite practical applications for students throughout their lifespan. 

    • When students apply relevant knowledge to practical situations, they are more likely to produce pragmatic responses to life’s challenges.

    • More...

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 Current Research & Projects

California State Parks Winter Trailhead Study (2008 to Present).  Interviewing winter trailhead visitors at OSV Program sites in the Sierra Nevada mountains is the focus of this study. Focused on people who are both motorized (snowmobilers) and non-motorized (snowshoers, xc skiers) is the goal of this study. Participants are asked by student and volunteer researchers about their travel patterns, spending, amounts of time on the snow, among other recreation-related questions. Click the following link to learn more about State Parks On Snow Vehicle trailhead system.


California State Parks Visitor Study (2007 to 2009).  This was a major 2 year-long study launched in the fall of 2007.  Interviews with park visitors were conducted among visitors at 25 units in the California State Park System totalling almost 10,000 interviews.  The study was a cooperative effort between Sacramento State and State Parks Planning Division. The study was staffed by 33 paid student researchers, who contacted visitors in person to ask them questions about a number of features of their park visit (e.g. their activities in the park, costs associated with travel to the park, opinions on the allocation of park resources).  Interested in working with us as a field researcher?  Contact Dr. Rolloff at rolloff@csus.edu

                  California State Parks Planning Division: http://www.parks.ca.gov/planning

Desolation Wilderness Recreation Monitoring Study (2003 to Present).  This study is based in the Desolation Wilderness, located in the national forests to the east of Sacramento approximately 75 miles.  This study is being conducted with the Pacific Ranger District and the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit of the U.S. Forest Service as part of the wilderness management plan.  The goals of the study include measuring the bio-physical impacts of recreation on campsites, as well as the social impacts of encounters along trails on opportunities for solitude.  Students interested in participating in the study should email me to learn more about the excellent field opportunities involved in the project.   

                  Desolation Wilderness link: http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/eldorado/wild/deso/index.html

State of California Recreation Policy (2004 to 2005).  I was privileged to serve as an author of the new State of California recreation policy, along with State Park recreation staff members Laura Westrup (M.S. Alum of our RPTA Dept) and Eric Natti.  The focus of the work is to serve as part of the Policy Oversight Committee, which presents the proposed policy to the California Parks and Recreation Commission. The state policy provides direction for decision making as it relates to  recreation, tourism, and parks entities across the golden state.


              CSUS Bulletin story: https://www.csus.edu/bulletin/022805bulletin.pdf



Sacramento River Public Recreation Access Study (2002 - 2004). The goal of the study is to document current public recreation access to a 100-mile section of the Sacramento River, between Red Bluff and Redding, California.  Issues relating to access were studied on-site, as well as through interviews with agency land managers, non-profit land trusts, private landowners, interest groups, and public meetings.  The study also looked at opportunities and constraints for coordinated management of the recreation resources of the Sacramento River. This study was conducted for The Nature Conservancy though a CALFED grant. 


               The report is available at http://www.sacramentoriverportal.org/recreation/report.htm

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Professional Associations


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Job and Internship Links


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What I'm Reading

Journals and Newspapers


Last updated: January 2010