Nathan J. Shipley

Personal Bio



In the Fall of 2017 I began my doctoral studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. I currently work alongside Dr. Carena van Riper in the department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (Dr. van Riper's page) and Dr. William Stewart in the department of Recreation, Sport, and Tourism (Dr. Stewart's page).

I have a varied background that broadly fits under the umbrella of the Environmental Social Sciences. I received my B.S. in Park Management and Conservation from Kansas State University in 2015 where much of my coursework was dedicated to the biological sciences and environmental education. During my undergraduate degree, my interest in nature was refined into a passion for connecting people with the outdoors.

I then went on to receive my M.S. in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management from Clemson University in 2017 where my research was focused on human interactions with insects. While at Clemson, my research interests quickly turned to applying neurological and cognitive psychological theories to inform the relationship between people and nature.

My career goal is to pursue a tenure track position at an R1 where I can continue to conduct research that informs the interface between people and nature, elucidating the role that human-nature bonds promote stewardship and well-being.

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Research Interests

My current research is primarily focused on understanding the intersection between emotions, place, conservation, and leisure behavior. Several ongoing and studies reflect this intersection.

  1. My Dissertation Research

    • Examining the role of emotion and memory in sense of place through qualitative interviews, quantitative structural equation models, and neurological measures.

  2. Emotion & Pro-environmental Behavior Systematic Review

    • A systemic review and meta-analysis synthesizing the effect that emotions have in promoting pro-environmental behaviors

  3. Kaskaskia River Watershed

    • Interdisciplinary study seeking to understand how to balance agriculture with conservation. Our research incorporates interviews, focus groups, participatory mapping, and a general population survey to assess preferences for future growth.

For more information, please check out my other links



Google Scholar



Orchid ID

Outside of the Lab


Beyond academia I am an avid outdoors-man and passionate birder. I enjoy spending time with my wife and dragging her around on my birding adventures.