Winter 2019 - Inside Outdoor Magazine

Inside Outdoor | WINTER 2019 42 T his spring, Utah State University’s College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences will award its first-ever un- dergraduate degrees in Outdoor Product Design and Devel- opment (OPDD). The groundbreaking program, which launched four years ago, offers students hands-on product devel- opment training and a foot in the door to the growing $373 billion outdoor industry. The program’s first graduating class will emerge from Utah State ready to fill a variety of in-demand positions as designers, technical developers, sup- ply chain and product line managers, buyers and more. The OPDD program — which operates through the college’s School of Ap- plied Sciences, Technol- ogy and Education (ASTE) department — is unique in that it’s closely tied to the outdoor industry. The college regularly features lecturers who are actively shaping their fields, with recent guests including Oboz footwear developer Dave Dolph, Goal Zero founder Robert Workman and Nanga brand ambassador Jona- than Young. L.L. Bean and Vibram also have participated in recent activities and seminars for students. The college also works with a formal advisory board comprised of out- door companies that are helping to shape and refine OPDD curriculum. This advisory board meets at least once per year to ensure that the program’s classes reflect actual in- dustry needs and includes representatives from sev- eral high-profile organiza- tions including Patagonia, Dupont, Cotopaxi, Burton, Black Diamond and the Outdoor Indus- try Association, among others. One example of how the OPDD program is helping the industry is by by Gerald Baldino Utah State is prepping the next generation of outdoor leaders The Advocates Pipeline forProduction OPDD’s Chase Anderson Aerial view of USU Campus