Shields studies the factors that influence regional economic growth, emphasizing policy options that will enhance economic opportunities and quality of life for Colorado residents.
Shields develops economic models to identify regional competitive advantages and manners by which these advantages are reinforced and strengthened through public-private partnerships.
Shields has published more than 25 scholarly articles and book chapters.
Shields received his B.A. in Economics and International relations from Michigan State University in 1989. He earned an M.S. in Agricultural Economics from Pennsylvania State University in 1991 and a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1998.