Our Impact / Global Research Advisory Committee

global research advisory Committee

The Global Research Advisory Committee (RAC) is comprised of researchers from across the globe who are experts in the field of adventure and experiential education. All of the members of the committee are connected to at least one Outward Bound School and through volunteering their time and expertise on the committee demonstrate their passion for and commitment to the work of Outward Bound.

eleanor booth – australia

Eleanor Booth is the Managing Director and Founder of the award winning social impact measurement business For-Purpose Evaluations.  Her areas of interest are gender equality, criminal justice, and policy making. Eleanor’s diverse experience working with community organisations in Australia and overseas, as a consultant and in service delivery, informs her belief that community and human services must effectively communicate their social impact to remain sustainable. Eleanor has a Masters of Community Development Measurement and Evaluation from UNSW, an academic background in journalism and philosophy, she also holds qualifications in data analytics and visualisation.

Nevin Harper – Canada

Nevin has worked as a wilderness guide and outdoor skills instructor across a wide range of populations both in Canada and abroad for more than 30 years. He is a Professor in the School of Exercise Science at the University of Victoria, lecturer for Forest Therapy Hub, and instructor trainer for the Outdoor Council of Canada. Nevin’s research explores outdoor and nature-based activity approaches to therapy and human development. Nevin coauthored Nature-based Therapy (New Society Publishers) and co-edited a textbook on Outdoor Therapies (Routledge). He is a practicing nature-based therapist who loves his time outdoors, adventurous play, and quality time with his family.


Susanna is a Lead Specialist with the Ministry of Education who provides curriculum leadership in outdoor and adventure education in Singapore schools. She is concurrently an associate with the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) where she develops and teaches Masters and Post-grad diploma courses in outdoor learning. In her free time, she volunteers with the nature parks and advocates for green initiatives and movements.


Thais is an interdisciplinary practitioner and researcher who works with theories from multiple disciplines and fields, including psychology, sustainability and environmental sciences. Her areas of interests are the relationship between biodiversity conservation, human well-being, pro-environmental behaviors, community collective processes, social-emotional development and transformations towards sustainability.

Part of Outward Bound Brazil, she is currently residing in Germany and working as a researcher for Helmholtz Center of Environmental Research and the Economist Intelligence Unit. Thais’ experience in research and working with social-environmental and community projects led her to the belief that collective learning experiences are essential for humanity to transition to just and sustainable futures.


Theresa Melton is a current postdoctoral scholar at The Pennsylvania State University. She has a background in positive youth development and received her doctorate in research, statistics, and evaluation methods from the University of Virginia. Her research focuses on exploring the mechanisms by which contexts can promote positive youth development, specifically examining the role of youth development interventions and programming. Her research also focuses on strengthening the partnership between researchers and youth development practitioners and expanding the research methods applied to research on adolescent development.

pete Allison – united Kingdom/USA

Pete Allison is director of the Kurt Hahn Consortium for Values and Experiential Learning at The Pennsylvania State University. He has worked with various OB schools around the world instructing and researching processes and outcomes of Outward Bound experiences. He is a skier, canoeist and mountaineer favouring Arctic and Himalayan environments. He is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Explorers Club of New York, Young Explorers Trust and the British Exploring Society.

jim sibthorp – USA

Jim Sibthorp is a professor of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism at the University of Utah. His scholarship focuses on youth programming and outdoor education, much of which has been in collaboration with his research partners NOLS and the American Camp Association. Jim has written extensively on topics involving outdoor and adventure education and coauthored Outdoor Adventure Education: Foundations, Theory, and Research. Jim has collaborated with Outward Bound Hong Kong as well as several of the Outward Bound schools in the US via research on outcomes, processes, and college pathway programs. He regularly serves on editorial boards for professional journals, and he currently serves on the Research Advisory Council for the Coalition for Education in the Outdoors. Jim is a Fellow in the Academy of Leisure Sciences, and he has been recognized by his university and both the Association for Experiential Education and the American Camp Association for his contributions to graduate education and research.

rob wallis – Canada

Robert Wallis came to work in the outdoor industry relatively late in life. After completing a PhD. in Genetics from Oxford University, moving to Toronto as a Post-doctoral Fellow and gaining his B.Ed. from OISE, he became an Instructor with Outward Bound Canada in 2011. Putting the outdoors into his teaching matched Outward Bound Canada’s drive to grow their educational programs, and Rob is now Principal, Curriculum and Education Manager at Outward Bound Canada. He also uses his research background to good use to evaluate the outcomes and societal impact of Outward Bound programs. He is kept (really) busy with 9yr old twins and a 7yr old, and his greatest pleasure is watching them explore and discover their natural world.

aaron funnell – vietnam

Aaron Funnell is Executive Director of Outward Bound Vietnam and has been working in outdoor education in the Asia Pacific region for over twenty years. In addition to outdoor qualifications, he has a Masters of Education, an MBA and a Diploma of Training and Assessment.

Aaron is originally from Australia, and also serves as a member of the Association for Experiential Education Accreditation Council. His research experience is in phenomenology, and separately he has implemented and overseen quantitative research systems, including publishing Impact Reports in two separate OB schools.


James is an educational psychologist, with expertise and interest in outdoor education, adventure therapy, green exercise, as well as in experiential education, online education, open education, psychology of social networking, and program evaluation. James’ PhD examined the effects of Outward Bound programs on life effectiveness skills. James’ current research is on the effects of adventure therapy programs on life skills, mental health, and adjustment to health and medical conditions.

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