David Cockrell has been a recreation and outdoor education professor, an urban planner, and a college administrator. His Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees are from the University of Pennsylvania. Following completion of his Ph.D. in Conservation Social Science from the University of Idaho, David taught outdoor recreation and education at Virginia Tech, the University of North Carolina—Wilmington, and Colorado State University—Pueblo. He left academia for a decade-long second career in urban and regional planning, providing local government technical assistance, writing county comprehensive plans, and finally serving as senior neighborhood planner for the City of Pueblo. He returned to academia as Dean of Business & Technology at Pueblo Community College, and subsequently as Associate Vice President of Instruction at Otero Junior College, retiring in 2014.
David has served as the president of the Wilderness Education Association and Conservation Chair for the Colorado Sierra Club. His recent board assignments have included the Packard Foundation Colorado Advisory Board, Colorado Preservation Inc., and the Palmer Land Trust. He has written widely on topics pertaining to wilderness education and resource recreation policy. David has long been a climber, mountaineer, kayaker and sailor. He recently completed a Himalayan trek and a full sailboat crossing of the Caribbean.