Mark Needham

Dr. Mark Needham, an associate professor of nature-based recreation and tourism, social science, and natural resources in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society at Oregon State University’s College of Forestry, was recently honored with the national Excellence in Teaching Award from The Academy of Leisure Sciences, the leading organization of scientists focusing on park, recreation, and leisure research. Dr. Needham received the award at the 2016 National Recreation and Park Association conference in St. Louis, Mo.

Administered and voted on by The Academy of Leisure Sciences, the Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes a colleague who has demonstrated outstanding ability as a teacher of parks, recreation, and leisure services over the course of her or his career.

In his 12th year at OSU, Dr. Needham has routinely been recognized for excellence in both teaching and research. He received the College of Forestry Dean's Award for Outstanding Teaching and Advising Professor in 2009, and the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society Graduate Students’ Award for Outstanding Faculty in 2013. In 2007, Dr. Needham was recognized with the College of Forestry Dean's Award for Outstanding Research Professor.

From 2012 to 2015, Dr. Needham held the OSU Gene D. Knudson Chair in Forestry. This endowed chair position was established to recognize and reward outstanding teaching, advising, and mentoring of undergraduate students, and visible leadership of undergraduate education. During his time at OSU, Dr. Needham has advised 15 masters and doctoral degree seeking students, taught several courses every year, and served on numerous other curriculum and student advisory committees.

An accomplished researcher, Dr. Needham has published 57 refereed articles in leading journals, authored one book and nine book chapters, and presented over 130 papers at local, national, and international conferences. He serves as the Director of the Natural Resources, Tourism, and Recreation (NATURE) Studies lab at OSU, and is also Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Human Dimensions of Wildlife.

Dr. Needham received his bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Victoria in Canada, and his Ph.D. degree in human dimensions of natural resources, recreation, and tourism from Colorado State University.


The Academy of Leisure Sciences was founded in 1980 with its central purpose as the intellectual advancement of leisure sciences.