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Wasatch mountains

Justice and Nature Research Group

Justice. Nature. Discovery.

The Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism's Justice and Nature Research Group is an inclusive, interdisciplinary, collaborative of student and faculty scholars interested in pursuing the interdependent goals of social and environmental justice.



Research Group

The Justice and Nature Research Group is premised on the framework that there are fundamental inequities and unjust distribution of resources, and that these injustices can be addressed, in part, through inquiry, engagement, and action. We imagine the space created by our group to be an: intellectual space, theoretically rich space, inclusive space, supportive space, organizational space, collaborative space, space for challenging ideas, and a space resistant to neoliberal productivism.

Walking in Nature




By justice, we mean a process of endlessly working for equity, dignity, and human rights within a democratically organized social space.


By nature, we reference Bruno Latour’s “Jumble of Greek philosophy, French Cartesianism, and American parks,” resulting highly produced, but relatively unbuilt spaces across the urban-wildland spectrum.

Justice and Nature Topics

Justice and Nature is a research group covering topics related to homelessness, public parks and recreation, diversity and inclusion efforts, visitor impact mitigation, and the health benefits of outdoor recreation. The group provides perspective and commentary on issues like racial justice, equitable access to green spaces, and responsible utilization of recreational lands through an environmental lens.

  • Homelessness
  • Community Parks and Recreation
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Racial Justice
  • Visitor Use Management
  • Health Through Recreation




The Justice and Nature Research Group values collaboration with partners who share our commitment to environmental justice and sustainability. Some of the groups we’ve worked with include the University of Utah Sustainable Campus Initiative Fund, Jordan River Nature Center, State of Utah Division of Outdoor Recreation, and many others. The Justice and Nature Research Group welcomes collaboration and furthering this important work together.

University of Utah Campus