Timothy Burdick ’89 MED’01 appointed Outdoor Programs Office director

by Abby Ridsdill-Smith | 7/6/18 2:25am

Timothy Burdick ’89 MED’01 has been named as the new director of the Outdoor Programs Office at Dartmouth College. Burdick will assume the role on August 1, replacing OPO acting director and associate dean for student life Eric Ramsey. Burdick is the first permanent appointment to this role since Dan Nelson retired in November 2017.

According to an email sent to the Dartmouth Outing Club liserv by Eric Ramsey on June 27, Burdick has held a variety of positions since graduating Dartmouth in 1989. Immediately upon graduation, he taught “science, photography and outdoor education” to middle and high school students. After graduating from the Giesel School of Medicine in 2002, he worked for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, leading a group of primary and urgent care providers, Ramsey’s announcement said.

Burdick was involved with Cabin and Trail and Ledyard Canoe Club as an undergraduate. He taught kayaking and rock climbing classes, lead trips to local crags and volunteered for the freshman trips program. He also served as the DOC student safety director and was responsible for “management and safety training across the entire DOC.”

Ramsey further elaborated on Burdick’s experience with the DOC, mentioning Burdick’s roles as a member of the Dartmouth Mountaineering Club, a rock climbing instructor and an ice climbing trip leader.

Burdick said his experiences with the DOC have inspired a life-long interest in rock climbing, biking, running, hiking, boating and fly fishing. He now explores these interests through his commitment to the Wilderness Medical Society, an organization focused on supporting research related to wilderness medicine, and his active role with “Stowe Mountain Rescue,” a government-affiliated search and rescue team in Vermont .

As director, Burdick aims “to integrate outdoor programs more strongly with the academic side of Dartmouth College.” He believes OPO can and should “be a common space” where students, academics and DOC members can discuss issues surrounding “outdoor or wilderness themes.” He sees these interactions as beneficial to both parties.

According to Burdick, this idea is “very much in line with President Hanlon’s Call To Lead initiative where we can look at these intersections between parts of the campus.”

The search committee tasked with determining the next OPO director was impressed by Burdick’s experience with the outdoors, experiential education, risk management and wilderness education. Students involved in the DOC also played a part in the selection process, as they were able to meet candidates when they visited campus.

Assistant director of outdoor programs Rory Gawler added that Burdick is a “very experienced outdoorsman” with great technical ability “in a number of different activities.” Gawler also noted that since Burdick was involved with the DOC at Dartmouth, he has a clear understanding of the importance of student leadership in the DOC.