Nathaniel has served as a public lands employee for 16 seasons. Eight of those were working on the Grand Canyon National Park Service trail crew, the subject of his memoir "Steel on Stone: Living and Working in the Grand Canyon." He received his Master of Fine Arts Degree in nonfiction creative writing from the University of Arizona. He was the recipient of the PEN Northwest 2014 Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency, and was a finalist for both the 2013 Ellen Meloy Desert Fund and the 2015 Waterston Desert Writing Prize. Nathaniel was a lead editor of "Forest Under Story: Creative Inquiry in an Old-Growth Forest," and his essays have appeared in a number of magazines, literary journals and anthologies.