Mullins, Philip

Philip Mullins
Email: Phone:
Website: Office:
  • Prince George


Phil is a committed husband and father of two boys; they love to play and adventure outdoors together. He completed his MA and PhD at the University of Alberta in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation. His doctoral research included canoeing from the Rocky Mountains (Hinton, AB) to the Arctic Ocean (Kugluktuk, NU) along the Athabasca, Slave, Yellowknife, and Coppermine rivers. Phil has also facilitated international field programs focused on community-based environmental problem-solving in rural and remote areas, with a particular focus on East Africa. He completed undergraduate degrees in Geography (BA) and Outdoor Recreation (HBOR) at Lakehead University. He grew up on and around Lac St. Louis, in Montreal.

Research and Expertise

Phil critically interprets dominant Western conceptions of human-nature relationships and focuses on socio-ecological approaches to studying, theorizing, and practicing and facilitating outdoor recreation, education, and travel. He investigates the interrelationship of people and place through outdoor activities (e.g. canoeing, fly fishing, hiking, climbing) and the institutions that enable them (e.g. families, clubs, schools, businesses). He’s particularly interested in how the process of becoming skilled involves learning about and engaging with environments, landscapes, and issues. That is, how outdoor activities and related discourses position people as participants in particular social, ecological, and economic relations relative to issues of sustainability. Phil interprets how these relations produce, maintain, and challenge wilderness, parks, protected areas, and green space, as well as how they can be used to understand and improve outdoor and environmental education and management for conservation and social change.

Research Fields:
  • Anthropology
  • Culture
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Geography
  • Natural Resources
  • Northern Issues
  • Sustainability
  • Wildlife
  • Youth
Areas of Expertise:

Outdoor recreation, outdoor education, adventure education, adventure, expeditions, wilderness, travel, tourism, skill, environmental ethics, recreation management, experiential education, experiential learning, mobilities, phenomenology, hermeneutics, qualitative research methodologies.

Languages Spoken:
  • English
Currently accepting graduate students
Supervises in:
  • MSc NRES
  • PhD NRES

If your research interests align closely with Phil's, please contact him to see whether he is currently accepting graduate students.

Available to be contacted by the media as a subject matter expert

Selected Publications

Mullins, P. M. (2019). Together along the way: Applying mobilities through praxis in outdoor studies field research (Ch. 18). In B. Humberstone and H. Prince (Eds). Research Methods in Outdoor Studies. London: Routledge.

Mullins, P. M. (2018). Toward a participatory ecological ethic for outdoor activities: reconsidering traces (Ch. 10). In S.R. Grimwood, K. Caton, and L. Cooke (Eds.) New Moral Natures in Tourism. New York: Routledge

Mullins, P. M. and Wright, P. (2016). Connecting Outdoor Recreation, Community, and Health in Living Landscapes. In Gillingham, M. P. Exploring Cumulative Effects and Impacts Through Examples (Ch. 6). In M. P. Gillingham, G. R. Halseth, C.J. Johnson, and M.W. Parkes (Eds.) The Integration Imperative: Cumulative Environmental, Community and Health Effects of Multiple Natural Resource Developments. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Mullins, P. M., Lowan-Trudeau, G., and Fox, K. (2016). Healing the split head of outdoor recreation and education: Revisiting Indigenous Knowledge from multiple perspectives. In H. Prince, K. Henderson & B. Humberstone (Eds.) International Handbook of Outdoor Studies (pp. 49-58). New York: Routledge International.

Mullins P. M. (2015). Getting Into It: Qualitative Research in Outdoor Recreation. International Leisure Review, 4(2), 56–82.

Mullins, P. M. (2014). Conceptualizing skill within a participatory ecological approach to outdoor adventure. Journal of Experiential Education, 37(4), 320-334.

Mullins, P. M. (2014). The commonplace journey methodology: exploring outdoor recreation activities through theoretically-informed reflective practice. Qualitative Research, 14(5), 567–585.

Mullins, P. M. (2014). A socio-environmental case for skill in outdoor adventure. Journal of Experiential Education. 37(2), 129-143.

Mullins, P. (2009). Living stories of the landscape: perception of place through canoeing in Canada's north. Tourism Geographies, 11(2), 233-255. DOI: 10.1080/14616680902827191