Matthew Tyler James Brownlee, Ph.D. portrait
  • Coordinator of the Natural Resources Recreation Planning and Management emphasis area, Parks, Recreation & Tourism
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Health-Kinesiology-Recreation
  • Affiliate Faculty, Global Change and Sustainability Center

Research Summary

Dr. Brownlee’s research provides information to help park and protected area managers plan for, monitor, and evaluate visitor experiences. He also examines how human interactions with climate-impacted environments influence 1) attitudes towards sustainability initiatives, 2) visitation and recreation behavior, and 3) opinions about global climate change. His research generally incorporates student learning and addresses a pertinent management need in addition to unanswered academic questions.

Education

  • Ph.D., Parks, Recreation, and Tourism: Parks and Conservation Area Management, Clemson University. Project: Nature-based recreationists’ perceptions of climate change and attitudes towards climate change mitigation in natural environments
  • M.S., Administration of Outdoor and Therapeutic Recreation, Aurora University. Project: Co-creating emotionally safe environments during wilderness and adventure programming experiences
  • B.S., Outdoor Education, Northland College. Project: Senior Project: Wilderness and adventure programming for families involved in clinical counseling
  • Semester experience, Kenya, East Africa, National Outdoor Leadership School. Project: Mountaineering, Desert Travel, Sailing, and Cultural Studies

Biography

Dr. Brownlee’s inter-disciplinary research links outdoor recreation, human health, and resource management.  His applied research provides information to help park and protected area professionals manage visitor experiences while evaluating the reciprocal linkages in complex social-ecological systems (SES).  Within the park and SES context, Dr. Brownlee examines numerous phenomena, including a) nature-based recreationists’ interactions and attachments to climate-sensitive and climate-impacted environments, b) health-oriented outcomes of park experiences, and c) SES dynamics. His methods include visitor surveys, in-depth interviews, GPS visitor tracking, trail and traffic counters, social network analysis, fuzzy logic cognitive mapping, and photographic methods (time-lapsed, manipulated, and visitor-employed). Dr. Brownlee maintains particular expertise in Structural Equation Modeling and advanced quantitative methods used in applied research. His research generally incorporates student learning and addresses a pertinent management need in addition to unanswered academic questions.