M.S. in Exercise & Sport Science: High Altitude Exercise Physiology (HAEP)

Careers

Profiles

Bryant Byrd

~Students~

Bryant Byrd headshot
Bryant Byrd headshot

Bryant Byrd

“I’ve learned the importance of understanding my clients’ limitations and developing rapport.”

Exercise is a common thread for Bryant Byrd. As an Academic All-American in cross country and two-time member of the Western squad that qualified for nationals, Byrd found a balance between preparing himself for competition, generously volunteering his time to help elders with physical limitations and conducting research.   

Through his volunteer work at Gunnison Valley Health’s Senior Care Center and his help with Western’s Wellness Elevated program, Byrd strives to make the people of the Gunnison Valley healthier.

“I’ve learned the importance of understanding my clients’ limitations and developing rapport,” said Byrd, who graduated from Western in 2017 with a B.S. in Exercise & Sport Science. “While I might understand what exercises work best for me as an athlete, I try to approach everything with an open mind.”

In addition to work with clients, Byrd also took advantage of many research opportunities as an undergraduate. He co-authored several publications with faculty and graduate students and has authorship of an article titled, “The Effects of Ischemic Preconditioning on Endurance Athletes.”

“My involvement in research is going to help me tremendously going into the High Altitude Exercise Physiology (HAEP) program,” he said.

Byrd’s involvement as an undergraduate is a testament to his passion and dedication, although he attributes his success to the guidance from his professors and friends. He hopes to use his HAEP master’s degree to become a physical therapist.

“Being a physical therapist would allow me to help people stay free of injury and continuing what they love to do,” Byrd said. 

Faculty & Staff

Faculty

Christina Buchanan, Ph.D. headshot
Professor, High Altitude Exercise Physiology Director
Phone: 970.943.2027
Office Location: Paul Wright Gym 224
Michelle Conway, Ph.D. headshot
Assistant Professor in Recreation, Exercise & Sport Science
Phone: 970.943.2104
Office Location: Paul Wright Gym 227
Lance Dalleck, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of Exercise & Sport Science
Phone: 970.943.3095
Office Location: High Altitude Performance Lab 171
Angela Dalleck, M.A. headshot
Exercise & Sport Science Lecturer, Wellness Elevated Manager, HAP Lab Manager
Phone: 970.943.2179
Office Location: Paul Wright Gym 232

Courses

For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

 ESS 600 - ADVANCED STATISTICS (3 cred.)

Statistical tools for scientific research, including parametric and non-parametric methods for ANOVA and group comparisons, simple linear and multiple linear regression. Emphasis placed on the use of dedicated statistical software.

 ESS 601 - QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS (3 cred.)

Research design and methodology in environmental exercise physiology.

 ESS 605 - EXER SPRT SCI TEST INSTRM LAB (3 cred.)

Techniques of in-lab exercise testing and result interpretation in healthy and/or diseased populations.

 ESS 606 - EXC SPRT SCI TEST INST FIELD (3 cred.)

Techniques of field-based exercise testing and result interpretation in healthy and/or diseased populations.

 ESS 612 - Exercise Biochemistry (3 cred.)

Provides advanced content on research-based findings of how exercise alters biochemical function in skeletal muscle, the liver and adipose tissue. Prerequisite: HAEP graduate standing. 

 ESS 630 - Clinical Exercise Physiology (3 cred.)

Physiological study of acute and chronic responses to exercise in diseased populations. 

 ESS 640 - ENVIRONMENTL EXERCISE PHYSIO I (3 cred.)

Principles of exercise physiology in extreme environmental conditions including extreme temperatures, hyper- and hypobarometric pressure, air pollution, sleep deprivation, and zero gravity. Healthy and diseased populations are studied.

 ESS 641 - ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY II (3 cred.)

Advanced research and principles of exercise physiology in extreme environmental conditions including extreme temperatures, hyper- and hypobarometric pressure, air pollution, sleep deprivation, and zero gravity. Healthy and diseased populations are studied. Prerequisite: ESS 640.

 ESS 650 - Thesis Proposal Development (3 cred.)

Current topics and issues in exercise and sport science and environmental exercise physiology. Seminar topics change each semester. Emphasis may be placed on thesis proposal development and submission of the proposal to Western Human Research Committee.

 Ess 660 - Health Promotion (3 cred.)

Development of skills in health promotion program design, implementation and evaluation. Specific emphasis may be placed on healthy and diseased populations in extreme environments

 ESS 675 - CLINICAL EXERCISE PROGRAM LAB (3 cred.)

Role of exercise/physical activity in the prevention, pathophysiology and treatment of chronic diseases. Hands on clinical exercising programming experiences.

 ESS 685 - CARDIOPULMONARY PHYSIOLOGY (3 cred.)

A foundation course that covers 1) the structure and function of the cardiopulmonary systems; 2) exercise-related physiological changes of the cardiopulmonary system and their applications to exercise training; and 3) pathophysiological changes secondary to cardiopulmonary dysfunction and their effects on function.

 ESS 692 - Independent Study (1-3 cred.)

Advanced study for students with specialized interest in a particular area of environmental exercise physiology. Prerequisite: advisor permission. 

 ESS 695 - THESIS (6 cred.)

Independent research project, supervised by academic advisor. Prerequisites: second year graduate standing, ESS 650.

 ESS 698 - Practicum/Internship (1-6 cred.)

An opportunity for in-depth work at a site in the area of academic concentration. The experiences must meet standards of the department and the University. Prerequisite: advisor permission. 

This program prepares students for careers in performance, academia, research or clinical practice, as well as for further study in the discipline. The High Altitude Exercise Physiology program aims to examine how the human body functions physiologically, both acutely and chronically, in extreme environments. These include–but are not limited to–high altitude, heat, cold and low humidity. Students in this program will complete at least 36 total credits, including six thesis credits. The thesis will be a culminating research project, to be completed during the last semester of the two-year program.

Program Goals

  • To enhance student understanding of human physiology – at rest and during exercise, in healthy and diseased populations – in extreme environments, including hyper- and hypobarometric conditions, heat, cold, pollution.
  • To prepare students for original research under supervision of the ESS-HAEP faculty.
  • To prepare students to share their research as presentations, publications or both.
  • To prepare students for careers in academia, research or clinical practice, as well as for further study in the discipline.

Student Outcomes

Research — HAEP Graduates will understand Exercise Science research methods and demonstrate the ability to recognize and employ various study designs. They will:

  • Be adept at retrieving and analyzing information relevant to Exercise Science.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the background and principle research in their specialization.
  • Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate scientific literature and apply the scientific method to exercise sciences, by actively engaging in the research process with critical analysis and research.
  • Demonstrate the ability to situate their own research within the broader context of the Exercise Science field.

Communication and Writing — HAEP graduates will master oral and written skills to present and publish their research in peer-reviewed venues.

Application/Outreach — HAEP graduates will be able to translate research into practice, developing evidence-based exercise prescriptions for individuals with performance goals – particularly those at risk, including special populations – who seek to perform in extreme environments, such as altitude, cold and stressful heat.

Critical Thinking — HAEP Graduates will effectively use information obtained through traditional and non-traditional sources to solve problems related to academic or professional practice.

Technology — HAEP Graduates will use technology to complete tasks within the Exercise Science profession. This includes proficiency with exercise testing equipment and relevant computer skills.

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A special "Thank You!" to the generous sponsors of the HAEP program: 

   

Master of Science in High Altitude Exercise Physiology (HAEP) SPONSOR: GRIGGS ORTHOPEDICS Crested Butte
  
Master of Science in High Altitude Exercise Physiology (HAEP) SPONSOR: HEIGHTS PERFORMANCE REHAB, HEALTH
Gunnison Valley Health Rehab and Athletic Medicine Logo

Learn More

Reach out for more information about the program.

Photo of Terri Stinson
Administrative Assistant
Phone: 
Office Location: 
Paul Wright Gym 209

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