The Parks and Environmental Behavior Research Group is located in the Departments of Recreation, Sport and Tourism and Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. We are a group of scholars dedicated to understanding recreation and leisure behavior in ways that build sustainable communities and enhance human health and well-being. We foster interdisciplinary collaborations to understand connections between people, their environments, and communities in ways that influence conservation of parks and protected areas. The impact of our research advances theory while providing agencies and professional organizations with information to promote behaviors leading to environmental protection, social justice, and a high quality of life.

Areas of specific interest

  • Community-based and individual values
  • Conservation behavior
  • Parks and protected areas
  • Connections formed between people and places
  • Transboundary and landscape scale conservation
  • Attitudes toward environmental impacts such as invasive species, climate change, and water quality
  • Connections between natural settings and human health and wellbeing

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Components of Parks and Environmental Behavior

Human Behavior & Conservation

  • Environmental externalities in protected areas
  • Minimizing human impacts through internal processes and institutional arrangements
  • Values of nature across space and time

Place-making & Communities

  • Descriptive and normative currents of place-making in communities
  • Tenets of communiuty satisfaction including parks, culturally relevant landscapes, and residential agency
3 intersecting triangles witth text in the center reading Parks and Environmental Behavior

Human Health & Nature

  • Access to nature
  • Preferences for environmental conditions
  • Nature-based programming
  • Technology in nature