Benjamin Mirkin, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Mountain Recreation Management
Ben Mirkin’s students find out quickly that this is one outdoor adventure expert who takes hands-on learning literally. “I firmly believe in the need for extensive time in the field. This means everyone needs to learn to be competent and comfortable in the woods – which is done by spending a lot of time there. If someone wants to be a climbing guide, they must spend lots of time climbing. Experience is key.” The goal is to bring theory to life by having students be a part of it. “This does not necessarily mean playing,” Ben says, “although sometimes it does.”
He lives what he teaches at Lyndon. In the winter, you will find him scaling the ice cliffs at Lake Willoughby. In the summer, he points his mountain bike toward the paths at nearby Kingdom Trails.
Ben loves to play outside, in almost any way you can imagine. He came to Lyndon in 2013 as the coordinator and full time assistant professor of the Adventure Leadership concentration. Ben is an avid backcountry skier, mountain biker, and a rock and ice climber. Prior to LSC, Ben spent nine years at The White Mountain School working with students with learning difficulties and as director of White Mountain Climbing Camp. Ben has taught college Adventure Education courses at UNH, Plymouth State University, and the University of Northern Colorado, in addition to leading extended wilderness courses throughout the American northeast, northwest, Canadian Rockies and Alaska. He is excited to share his passion for using the outdoors to help students learn and teach.
When he meets a student for the first time, Ben will ask, “What’s your dream job?” The answers fascinate him. “I have heard everything from a rock climbing guide, to a naturalist, to a game warden, and many things in between. The students are pretty great.” He is particularly impressed with first-in-family students and veterans. “They tend to be motivated to learn in order to better themselves and their position in life, and if they enter the field I teach in, they are following their passion.”
Guiding and Teaching Credentials
- AMGA Certified Rock Instructor
- AMGA Certified Single Pitch Course Leader and Exam Provider
- Wilderness First Responder
- AIARE Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 Avalanche Certification
- AIARE Level 1 instructor
- 16 years on rock, ice, and snow
- Sport routes to 5.12a
- Traditional routes to 5.10+
- Ice routes to WI4+
Other Credentials and Achievements
- Professional Member of the AMGA
- Ph.D. in Education from the University of New Hampshire (2012)
- Office: HAC 128