Theme & Topics of Interest

Pathways 2025 Theme

“Appreciating Nature’s Benefits”

The recreational participant base has changed over time, and, in turn, the popularity of outdoor recreation activities is shifting. Historically, a space that has been focused on hunting and angling, now includes activities such as birding and wildlife viewing, hiking, and rock climbing as popular avenues to engage in natural areas and on public lands. As interest in these activities continues to grow, wildlife agency leadership will need to adapt to help diverse communities connect with and appreciate nature’s benefits in both new and more traditional forms of engagement.

This year’s theme, Appreciating Nature’s Benefits, focuses on the health and wellbeing aspects of connecting with nature, as well as the benefits that communities gain from engaging in outdoor activities. Among other topics, this year’s conference will explore complex issues in wildlife management, use of social science, effective communication, and changing landscapes and seascapes due to climate change and land use management practices.

In pursuit of Pathways’ mission of increasing the professionalism and effectiveness in the human dimensions of wildlife management field, we continue to address the most pressing issues facing conservation efforts today. We invite your perspectives on this critical topic.

In addition to the theme, this year’s topics of interest include:

  • Effective communication in the field
  • Application/use of social science
  • Adapting to social change
  • Complex issues in wildlife management
  • Changing landscapes and seascapes
  • Integrative approaches to wildlife management
  • Transformative science
  • New directions in science to understand benefits
  • Transformational leadership
  • Positive emotions and the “awe” of wildlife
  • Health and wellbeing from connecting with nature
  • Increasing access to nature and wildlife
Elderly, couple hiking and fitness, adventure outdoor with hike together, active lifestyle with freedom and travel. Nature, trekking and senior man pointing and woman with binocular for bird watching
Evening Atmosphere 5324159 1280
Mountain 5000813 1280
Maldive Islands 2190384 1280
Rock Climbing 2264698 1280
Field 176602 1280

Brought to you by:

Colorado State University Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources
Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies