Department of Recreation, Hospitality, & Parks Management

Emilyn Sheffield


Emilyn Sheffield is a Professor and chair of the Department of Recreation, Hospitality and Parks Management at California State University, Chico. Since 1986, she has worked with partners to connect people to the parks and special places that enhance their lives. Her applied research projects and high-energy presentations help natural resource-leaders and their partners respond more effectively to changing demographic and lifestyle trends. 

She coordinates the department’s Field School service learning program in partnership with national forests, parks, and trails throughout California. Students restore habitat for threatened and endangered species, plant thousands of native plants, remove truck-loads of invasive species, re-route trails to "rescue redwoods," share nature with children through Junior Ranger Day and Every Kid in a Park programs, assume integral roles in training conferences, launch cultural heritage stewardship programs, and gain "hands-on" experience with dozens of community-based stewardship programs. Students analyze the challenges confronting natural resources professionals as society becomes more urban and less connected to nature. They propose innovative solutions, learn from the best, and join their ranks finding satisfying careers with agencies and organizations committed to protecting and restoring nature by engaging community stewards in their work.

Sheffield is the past board President of the Public Lands Alliance (formerly the Association of Partners for Public Lands) and serves on the executive board of the California Round table for Recreation, Parks and Tourism, a public-private partnership of resource agencies, tourism organizations, environmental entities, equipment manufacturers, and user groups working together to ensure sustainable, outdoor recreation for Californians. She is also a board member of the Lassen Park Foundation.

Portrait of Emilyn Sheffield

  • PhD The University of Southern California
  • BS The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Link to Vita (PDF)