Nina S. Roberts, Ph.D. Professor ~ Department of Recreation, Parks, & Tourism

Image: Photos of SF State students and scenes from around campus

Fulbright Scholar, Senior Researcher, India

Indo-American Environmental Leadership Program


Diversity/Social Justice at Conferences/Symposia/Forums

"Beyond moving picnic tables and hosting a fiesta: Meeting the needs of diverse visitors." Facilitated dialogue at the People of the Global Majority in the Outdoors, Nature, & Environment (PGM ONE) Summit. Berkeley, CA. June 28-29, 2017. (Co-presenter: Naomi Torres, Nat'l Park Service).


"Understanding constraints and crossing cultural boundaries." Panel presentation at "The Color of Our Parks: Nature, Race, & Diversity in the National Park Service," National Parks symposium, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. Sept. 29, 2016.

"Parks as Catalysts for Social Change: An Ethnic Media Forum", partnership with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and The Presidio Trust. Frontline Discussant: Data on Parks Use & Constraints of Bay Area Diverse Communities. June 16, 2016.

"Science for Parks, Parks for Science: The Next Century." In partnership wtih the National Park Service and National Geographic Society. Panelist/Discussant for Connecting People to Parks, Strategic Conversation. March 25-27, 2015, UC Berkeley, CA.


National Wilderness Conference: Celebrating 50 years of America's Wilderness, October 15-19, 2014 Albuquerque, NM. Presented on 2 panels,Civic Engagement track: "Voices of Wilderness Across Cultures: Ways we engage" and "Connecting Wilderness to All Communities: Wilderness and human well-being" (Conf. Program Booklet of Speakers/Sessions). Conference Proceedings.

"Cultural Perspectives on Wilderness & the Outdoors." Panel Moderator. Visions of the Wild Festival.Celebrating 50 years of the Wilderness Act. Sept 3-7, 2014, Vallejo, CA. (Distinguished panelists: C. Finney, UC Berkeley; Hao Tran, USFS; C. Sisk, Chief/ Winnemem Wintu Tribe; and T. Drivas, USFS).

"Urban Parks Access: Trends, Issues, Challenges". California Parks Forward, Commission Meeting. March 14, 2014. David Brower Center, Berkeley, CA.


“State of the Union: African Americans and the Great Outdoors.” Presentation at the Black Environmental Thought Conference II: Trans-local & Transnational Dialogues and Collaborations.  Sept. 21-23, 2012. Minneapolis, MN. (Co-presenters: C. Finney, M. Starkey).

"Meeting at the Cross-Roads: Progress for Multiracial People or Delicate Balance Amidst Old Divides".  Symposium on Speaking Up and Speaking Out: Working for Social and Environmental Justice through Parks, Recreation, and Leisure.  May 17-19, 2012.  Salt Lake City, UT.


"Relevance and services to engage emerging demographics". Panel presentation at the Concessionaires and Public Land Managers Partnership Symposium. Nov. 16-17, 2010. Asilomar, CA (Moderator: John Koeberer, California Parks Hospitality Association; Co-panelists: Emilyn Sheffield, Chico State University; Mike Collins, REI).


“Cultural Competency and your agency: What stage are you in?” Presented at the National Recreation and Park Association Congress & Exhibition. Minneapolis, MN.  October 26-29, 2010. (Co-Presenters:  Corliss Outley, Texas A&M, Dan Hibbler, Chicago Park District, & Sam Roberson, Texas A&M).


"Crossing Cultural Boundaries". Panel presentation on ethnic minority use and non-use of parks and protected areas. Partners Outdoors. January 10-13, 2010. San Francisco, CA (Moderator: Peter Fitzgerald, National Wildlife Federation; Co-panelists: Audrey Peterman, Earthwise Productions, and Art Hutchison, Superintendent, Great Sand Dunes National Park).


“Diversity in adventure education”.  Moderator for panel presentation. CA Park & Recreation Society, Bay Area Institute, District IV Summit. November 6, 2009, San Jose, CA.  (Co-Moderator: Jackson Wilson, SFSU; Panelists: Teo Ildefonzo-Olmo, R.O.C.K., Drew McAdams, PLI, Priscilla McKenney, GirlVentures; Joshua Brankman, Outward Bound).


“Removing Constraints, Creating Connections”. Panel presentation. Breaking the Color Barrier in the Great American Outdoors. September 23-26, 2009. Atlanta, GA. (Moderator: Emilyn Sheffield, Chico State. Co-panelists, Jack Shu, Consultant; Hazel Wong, Nature Conservancy; Rue Mapp,


"Parks for All" - Community engagement and our national parks. Panel presentation and screening of The National Parks: America's Best Idea with filmmaker Ken Burns and writer/co-producer Dayton Duncan. April 22, 2009. Moderator: Milton Chen, George Lucas Educational Foundation. (Co-panelists: Bill Gwaltney, NPS; Gerard Baker, NPS; Rose Matsui Ochi, Attorney; Ernesto Pepito, Crissy Field Center).


“Use of Public Lands and Open Space for Recreation: Connecting with Diverse Communities”. Strategies for the Future of Conservation WorkshopBroadening the Base Through Open Space: Addressing Demographic Trends by Saving Land and Serving People. Asilomar Conference Center, July 9-11, 2008. Pacific Grove, CA. (Sponsored by the Yale School of Forestry, Center for Business and the Environment).


“Conservation and the Changing Face of America”. Student Conservation Association, 50th Anniversary, Earth Vision Summit. April 24-27, 2008. Co-presenters: Marceo Bonta, The Center for Diversity and the Environment, and Iantha Gantt-Wright, The Kenian Group.


“Cultural connections and all that jazz: Why does it matter? What are the likely impacts?” Panel presentation at the PA Governors Outdoor Conference. Session: Likely Impacts – Outcomes and Effects of Current Trends. March 18-20, 2007. State College, PA.


“Community engagement: Exploring ethnic minority constraints and park experiences through focus groups”. 4th Annual Symposium for Educators on the Natural and Cultural Resources of the Southern Marin area of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. February 15, 2007. San Francisco, CA: Headlands Institute.


“Being allies and taking action towards social justice in experiential education.” 34th Annual International Association for Experiential Education Annual International Conference.  November 1-5, 2006. St. Paul, MN (Co-presenters:  Lara Mendel, The Mosaic Project & Kineta Lyde, Consultant).


“Making parks relevant to non-traditional users:  Diversity and the National Parks.” National Park Service, Intermountain Region, Superintendent’s Conference.  Tucson, AZ.  November 15-18,2005.


“Roles and responsibilities of White people and People of Color in Diversity/Social Justice Work”.  Association for Experiential Education, 33rd Annual International Conference, November 2-6, 2005.  Tucson, AZ. (Co-presenter:  Lara Mendel, The Mosaic Project).


“Approaching and using culture in outdoor/experiential education research and practice”. Association for Experiential Education, 32nd Annual International Conference, November 4-7, 2004. Norfolk, VA.


“Minority visitor use patterns: Results of an examination of barriers and constraints among Delphi and focus group participants.” Social Aspects of Recreation Research Symposium.  February 4-6, 2004.  San Francisco, CA.


“Impact through action, influence and involvement:  Ethnic minority recreation – where to from here?”  George Wright Society Conference.  April 14-18, 2003.  San Diego, CA (Moderator: N. Roberts; Panelists:  Deborah Chavez, USFS; Edwin Gomez, Old Dominion Univ.; Naomi Torres, NPS; Flip Hagood, SCA, Inc.)


“Social justice and outdoor leadership.”  Association for Experiential Education, 30th Annual International Conference.  November 6-10, 2002.  St. Paul, MN (Co-presenters:  Sky Gray & Karen Warren).


“Making parks relevant to diverse non-user groups.”  National Recreation & Park Association (NRPA), Congress. Tampa, FL.  October 15-19, 2002.


“Minority use visitor patterns: Results of an examination of barriers and constraints among Delphi and focus group participants.”  National Park Service, Rocky Mountain National Park Research Conference, April 9-11, 2002. Estes Park, CO.


“All the colors of the earth: Critical directions in the interpretation of American wilderness”. National Association for Interpretation (NAI), Des Moines, IA, Nov 7-11, 2001.  Panel presentation segment: Research.  (Co-presenters:  Bill Gwaltney, Assistant Regional Director, Workforce Enhancement/NPS I-M region, Moderator; Laura Cheek, Wilderness Education Specialist, Shenandoah Nat’l Park; Jerry Stevens, personal commentary).


“Diversifying career opportunities in the environmental movement.” October 11-14, 2001. North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), Little Rock, AR.  SCA’s National Urban & Diversity Programs presented as a model.


“Wilderness and diversity.”  Rocky Mountain Region Wilderness Ranger Workshop.  May 21-25, 2001.  U.S. Forest Service, Region II. America’s Wilderness Legacy: Helping Our Resource to Endure. Aspen, CO.


“Minority recruitment and retention.”  The Roundtable Associates, National Forum and Training Institute.  Panel presentation segment:  What Trial and Research Shows.  April 2001. Shreveport, LA.


“Innovative strategies for engaging and respecting the values and interests of all communities in National Parks and Landscapes:  A case study at Rocky Mountain National Park.”   A Mosaic in Motion 2000: The National Park Service – Embracing and Engaging All People.  Sponsored by the National Parks Conservation Association and the National Park Service.  Panel presentation. (Co-presenters, Bill Gwaltney, RMNP; Cheryl Armstrong, Beckwourth Mountain Club).


“Social justice in experiential education.”  Panel presentation conducted at the Association for Experiential Education 26th Annual International Conference, November 1998. Lake Tahoe, NV. (Co-panelists: Warren, K., Barnett, H., Crawford, B., Proudman, B.).


“Crossing cultural boundaries & becoming an effective ally.”  Workshop presented at the Asia Pacific Conference & Exhibition on Experiential Learning (APCEEL). August 1997.  Sponsored by the Singapore Training and Development Association, Outward Bound Singapore, and AEE.  Southeast Asia: Singapore.


“Forming cross-race relationships in experiential education: Exploring the issues.” Workshop presented to the Association for Experiential Education 24th International Conference.  September 1996.  Spokane, WA. (Co-presenter: Sharon Washington).


“Addressing racism in experiential education programs.”  Workshop presented to the Association for Experiential Education 24th International Conference. September 1996.  Spokane, WA. (Co-presenter: Karen Warren, Hampshire College).

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 Women Outdoors/Gender Issues

"Ecological and social healing: Multicultural women's voices" - Book launch and panel preresentation at The New School, Sept .2016 (based on chapter in edited book). New York City.

“Leading the way for women of color in outdoor experiential education.” Presented at the 40th Annual International Association for Experiential Education International Conference. Nov. 1-4, 2012. Madison, WI (Lead presenter: T. Rao, SFSU graduate student).

"Adolescent girls and body image: Influence of an outdoor adventure program on healthy living." Presented at the CA Park & Recreation Society Leisure Research Symposium. Long Beach, CA. March 22, 2012. (Co-presenter: S. Barr-Wilson).

“Women’s adventure history and education programming in the United States: A legacy of mentoring”.  Presentation at the Association for Experiential Education.  Las Vegas, NV.  Nov. 4-7, 2010.  (Co-presenters:  D. Mitten, Prescott College; J. Radtke, Women’s Wilderness Institute; K. Warren, Hampshire College).


“Take Back the Trails: 10 years later” (Report). 35th Annual International Association for Experiential Education Conference.  November 7-11, 2007. Little Rock, AR. (Co-presenter:  M. Deborah Bialeschki, Senior Researcher, American Camp Association).


A celebration of Women’s voices in experiential education.”  The Women’s Professional Group of the Association for Experiential Education, pre-conference workshop presenter, 33rd Annual International Conference, November 2-6, 2005.  Tucson, AZ.  (Co-presenters:  K. Warren, D. Mitten, T.A. Loeffler).


"Women in Parks and Recreation:  Successes and Challenges”. National Recreation & Park Association (NRPA), National Conference. San Antonio, TX (Organized and moderated panel presentation. Panelists: D. Chavez, M. Dougherty, K. Hooper).  Oct. 19-22, 2005.


“Take Back the Trails:  A national initiative of empowerment and safety for women and girls outdoors”. Presentation at the Colorado State University Women at Noon spring semester, 2003, lecture series.  April 19, 2003.  Fort Collins, CO. (link is to news article distributed)


“An exploration of fear in the wilderness.”  Workshop presented at the First AEE Women in Experiential Education Professional Group Conference. January 1999.  Camp Algonquin, IL.  (Co-presenter:  S. Pohl).


An integrative review of the literature on women in the outdoors.”  The 4th Biennial Coalition for Education in the Outdoors (CEO) Research Symposium ~ Keynote Presentation.  January  1998.  Martinsville, IN: Bradford Woods.  (Co-presenter: K. Henderson).


Experiential Education for Women & Girls: A Review & Analysis of Research.”  Paper presented at the Asia Pacific Conference & Exhibition on Experiential Learning ‘97 (APCEEL).  August 1997.  Sponsored by the Singapore Training and Development Association, Outward Bound Singapore, and AEE.   Southeast Asia, Singapore.


“Women in experiential education: Experiences, issues and trends.”  Workshop presented at the Association for Experiential Education (AEE), Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference. March 1997.  Trenton, NJ.


“Attitudes and experiences of women of color in the outdoors.”  Paper presented to the National Recreation and Park Association Congress, Leisure Research Symposium. October 1996. Kansas City, KS.


“Women of color in the outdoors: Involvement and culture.”  A staged reading and performance presented to the National Recreation and Park Association Congress, Leisure Research Symposium. October 1996.  Kansas City, KS. (Co-presenter: K. Henderson).


“Women in the outdoors: What’s happening with research?”  Paper presented to the 23rd International Conference of the Association for Experiential Education. November 1995.  Lake Geneva, WI.  (Co-presenter: M.Deb Bialeschki; Historical Perspective).


“Women of color in outdoor recreation:  The role of culture and ethnicity.”  Paper presented to the International Conference on Women & Leisure: Toward a New Understanding. May 1995.  Athens, GA.


“Sports and outdoor recreation for women and girls: Issues and ideas.”  Paper presented to the National Recreation and Park Association Congress. October 1994.  Minneapolis, MN (Panel presentation with: M.D. Bialeschki, D. Mitten, S. Straw, & K. Thurber).


“NAALA women speak out: Our vision, our voices, our values.”  Workshop presented to the first annual Native, African, Asian, Latino American Meeting of the Association for Experiential Education.  September 1994.  New York, NY.


“Women and Adventure Research: Round table discussion.” Panelist: Association for Experiential Education, 21st Annual International Conference. October, 1993.  Smuggler's Notch, VT.


“The portrayal of women in Climbing magazine: A content analysis.”   Paper (Master’s Thesis) presented at the Northeast Recreation Research Symposium. April 1993.  Saratoga Springs, NY.


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Risk Management

"Behavioral risk management: Models and tools for predicting and mitigating incidents in the field." Presentation at the Association for Experiential Education, November 2010, Madison, WI. (Co-presenter: S. Gray, Santa Fe Mountain Center).


“The impact of diversity and risk management” OR “Culture, Competency and Risk Management:  Where the 3 Shall Meet?” (Co-facilitator:  S. Gray, Santa Fe Mountain Center).  Workshops and pre-conference sessions presented 1998-2012):

  • American Camping Association
  • Wilderness Risk Management Conference
  • Association for Experiential Education

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Youth Development

"Outside your door: Young producers bridge the divide between urban youth and public lands." Paper presented at the Conference on Communication and the Environment, Boulder, CO, June 11-14, 2015 (Co-presenters: S. Reist, K. Pozzoboni).

"Outside your door: Urban youth media producers create new connections to the land." Presented at the George Wright Society Conference, Oakland, CA, March 29-April 2, 2015 (Co-presenters, S. Reist, K. Pozzoboni, V. Wang).


"Strategies for inspiring the next generation of young conservationists and scientists in our parks". Assist with facilitation for panel of youth presenters, George Wright Society Conference, Oakland, CA, March 29-April 2, 2015. (Lead: S. Gardner; co-facilitators: C. Pogge & N. Ramus).

"Creating a youth engagement strategic plan for East Bay Regional Park District." Presented at the CPRS, CA & Pacific Southwest Recreation and Park Training Conference, Leisure Education & Research Symposium. March 4-7, 2014, Ontario, CA (Co-presenters: T. Rao, M. Fortune).


“National Parks Student Opportunity Center.”  Presentation at the Association of Partners for Public Lands.  February 23-27, 2014.  Albuquerque, NM.  (Co-presenters:  D. Shea, GGNPC, J. Carter & M. Gee, NPS/Golden Gate National Recreation Area).

"Through the Eyes of Urban Teens: Youth Leaders for Change".  Panel presentation at the Nat'l Recreation & Park Association Congress & Exposition.  (Moderator).  Panelists: Youth leaders and program directors from the Crissy Field Center. October 2011.  Atlanta, GA.


“Youth Leaders in Adventure Recreation:  Cultural Connections with Urban Teens”.  Presented at the National Recreation and Park Association Congress & Exhibition.  Minneapolis, MN.  October 26-29, 2010. (Co-Presenters:  Jackson Wilson, SF State; Mitsu Iwasaki, Big City Mountaineers, & Kineta Lyde, Consultant & Trainer).


“Creating new partnerships and innovative strategies for engaging new and diverse audiences for connecting children with the outdoors.” Panel presentation at "Be Out There", the National Wildlife Federation National Summit and Workshops on Children and the Outdoors.  April 10, 2010.


“Different strokes for different folks: Trends in urban youth development”. Presented at:

~ Association of Partners for Public Lands. March 1-5, 2009. Baltimore, MD. Co-Presenter: Gayle Hazelwood, National Park Service.

National Recreation and Park Association Congress. October 14-18, 2008. Baltimore, MD. Co-presenter: Corliss Outley, Ph.D., Texas A & M.


"Youth Lead!  Urban training for the next generation of outdoor leaders." Presented at the CA Park and Recreation Society, Pacific Southwest Training Conference. February 26-29, 2008. Long Beach, CA. (Co-presenter: Drew McAdams, Chief of Programs, Pacific Leadership Institute).


"Camping at the Presidio: Exploring the Effects of an Urban Camping Experience for Underserved Youth." Poster presentation at the Coalition for Education in the Outdoors Ninth Biennial Research Symposium. January 10-12, 2008. (Co-presenter: Allison Hughes, SFSU Graduate Research Assistant).


“The impacts of the National Green Corps Program on students and their participation in Eco-Club activities in India.”  Presented at the 4th Annual Research Symposium at the 34th  Annual North American Association for Environmental Education conference.  Nov. 14, 2007, Virginia Beach, VA.


“Positive youth development and youth organizing:  Trends and innovations.” 34th Annual Association for Experiential Education International Conference.  November 1-5, 2006.  St. Paul, MN (Co-presenter:  Sky Gray, Santa Fe Mountain Center).


“Youth Lead!  Urban training for the next generation of outdoor leaders.”  National Recreation and Park Association Congress.  October 10-14, 2006.  Seattle, WA. (Co-presenter, Drew McAdams, SFSU / Pacific Leadership Institute).


“Parks and recreation as youth development.”  Panel Presentation.  National Recreation & Park Association Congress (NRPA), Tampa, FL.  Oct. 15-19, 2002.  (Moderator – Mickey Fearn, Consultant; Co-panelists: Reco Bembry, Consultant; Pierre Morin; City of Montreal; Bernard Greisemer; Sports Medicine/MO).


“Combating racism among teenagers” (1996). A Video-text of a lecture in spoken English segmented for practicing simultaneous interpretation, Tape S-4.  In D. Coakley (Producer), Developing Interpretation Skills. Burtonsville, MD: Sign Media, Inc.


“After class enrichment programs: Partnering with schools.”  Paper presented to the National Recreation and Park Association Congress. October 1994.  Minneapolis, MN.

Miscellaneous Presentations

"Engaging the next generation of future leaders and assessing resources." San Francisco Parks Alliance, Inaugural Partner Conference, The City Club of San Francisco, CA. April 14, 2018

"What Park Visitors Really Want and Need: A Tale of Two County Park Departments as told through Visitor Surveys". Panel presentation, Bay Area Open Space Council, Spring Gathering. Berkeley, CA. March 16, 2017. (Co-presenters: P. Tierney, SF State University; M. Korten, Director, Marin County Parks; S. Birkeland, Interim Director, San Mateo County Parks. Moderator: Pat O'Brien, BAOSC Board member/former Executive Dir. East Bay Regional Park District).

"National Park Service & Urban Park Lands." Panel session moderator and presented data on metropolitan social trends. Yale University, Hixon Center for Urban Ecology, New Haven, CT. Sept. 14, 2016. (Note: This panel is first in a series of public events sponsored by the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies during fall 2016 commemorating the National Park Service Centennial.)

"Connecting families to parks: New approaches for outreach and programming." Panel session moderator and presented trends data. Greater & Greener International urban Parks Conference, San Francisco, CA. April 11-14, 2015.


"Multiculturalism in a changing world: Keeping up and keeping it real". Panel presentation at the Outlook Forum of the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals, National Outdoor Recreation Conference. San Francisco, CA. May 13-16, 2014. (Moderator: J. Wilson; Co-presenters, B. Doyle, East Bay Regional Park District; P. Tierney, SF State).

"Recruitment and retention:  Getting beyond 'we don’t know where to find them' - Presentation at the American Camp Association. San Diego, CA. Feb 8-11, 2011.  (Co-presenter, D. Ouellette).


“3rd Annual Trends and Issues in Outdoor Education Programs Panel Discussion."  Presentation at the Association for Experiential Education.  Las Vegas, NV.  Nov. 4-7, 2010. Segment:  Ethnic minority visitor use and non-use of parks and participation in experiential education/outdoor recreation opportunities   (Moderator:  Andrew Bobilya, Montreat College).


“Partnership, community stewardship, and reaching new audiences” Panel presentation at the National Park Service Executive Leadership Seminar. International senior level park managers. April 30, 2010.  (Moderator: Christy Rocca, Crissy Field Center.  (Co-presenters: Emilyn Sheffield, CA State University at Chico; Kelli English, Golden Gate Nat’l Recreation Area; Ernesto Pepito, Program Manager, Inspiring Young Emerging Leaders).


“Measuring program outcomes: Approaching evaluation with effectiveness”.

  • California Park & Recreation Society(CPRS)
  • Association for Experiential Education, International Conf. (AEE).
  • North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE)
  • National Recreation & Park Association (NRPA)

"Components of the outdoor trip:  What really happens?” The 5th Biennial Coalition for Education in the Outdoors (CEO) Research Symposium. Keynote Panel Presentation. January 2000. Martinsville, IN: Bradford Woods ~ (Roberts Presentation segment: Research recommendations for future).

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