Nature Contact & Human Health Group

Mission & Goals

People derive many psychological and physical health benefits from being in nature. The Center is supporting a forum that brings together researchers and practitioners from the medical, public health, design and planning, parks and recreation, and environmental fields from the academic, public, private, and NGO sectors, to assess evidence linking nature to human health, and explore the implications for policy and planning.

The goals of this project are to:

  • identify knowledge gaps and delineate important directions for future research
  • incubate and facilitate research projects
  • raise the profile and awareness of the strong links between health and the natural environment
  • highlight and share the latest research findings about the health benefits of natural spaces
  • identify challenges and needs in the fields of public health, planning, parks, and the environment; and
  • support and launch policies and programs that promote and enhance the health benefits of natural spaces, from urban greenspace to wilderness.

Our major accomplishments to date are publishing a research agenda to promote further study of the human health benefits of nature contact; and hosting a symposium that showcased the latest innovations in research, policy, and practice supporting the nature-health connection.

First meeting at the Ravenna Brewery

Participants

Jesus Aguirre Tower Steel Services, Inc.
Marco Ammatelli UW School of Art/School of Public Health
Meher Anita UW Population Health Initiative
Andrew Arakaki Yale School of Public Health
Stanley Asah UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
Liz Baxter North Sound Accountable Community of Health
Marc Berejka REI
Joshua Brandon Outdoor Consulting
Greg Bratman UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
Sara Breslow UW Center for Creative Conservation
Todd  Burley Seattle Parks and Recreation
Michelle Caulfield City of Seattle, Office of Sustainability and Environment
Matt Chadsey Earth Economics
Sterling Clarren UW Department of Pediatrics
April Claxton Recreation Northwest
Bobby Cochran Willamette Partnership
Hannah Cohen-Cline Center for Outcomes Research and Education
Kathleen Conner Seattle Parks and Recreation
Betsy Conrad Kaiser Permanente
Kitty Craig The Wilderness Society
Silvia de Sanjose PATH
Kris Ebi UW Public Global Health
Pam Emerson Seattle Public Utilities
Garrett Esperum Discovery Park Advisory Board
Liz Exell UW College of the Environment
Shannon French UW Center for Creative Conservation/Communication Leadership Program
Hannah Frenkel UW Northwest Center for Public Health Practice
Howie Frumkin UW School of Public Health
Amber Fyfe-Johnson Washington State University, College of Medicine
Victoria Garcia Tamayo Kaiser Permanente, Washington
Jeanette Geiger Seattle Parks and Recreation
Danette Glassy BestStart Washington/Mercer Island Pediatrics/UW School of Medicine
Philip Govedare UW School of Art
Ben Greuel The Wilderness Society
Anne Guerry Natural Capital Project
Anjum Hajat UW School of Public Health
Hanaa Hamdi Trust for Public Lands
Derek Hann Snohomish Conservation District
Kit Harrington UW Botanic Gardens, Fiddleheads Forest School
Marnie Hazlehurst UW School of Public Health
Thatcher Heldring Spitball
Emily Henke Oregon Health & Outdoors Initiative
Chris Hilton The Nature Conservancy
Lauren Honaker UW College of the Environment
Emily Howe The Nature Conservancy
Ben Hughey Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust
Nancy Huizar Sustainable Seattle
Jessie Israel The Nature Conservancy
Kate Janeway The Nature Conservancy
Andrew Jay Tiny Trees Preschool
Elizabeth Jessup King County
Janine Jones UW College of Education
Catherine Jordan University of Minnesota, Pediatrics and Extension/Children & Nature Network
Peter Kahn UW Department of Psychology/School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
Manolis Kogevinas University of Washington
Katherine Kreis PATH
Dave LaClergue City of Seattle, Office of Planning and Community Development
Josh Lawler UW Center for Creative Conservation/School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
Mandy LeBlanc Group Health Cooperative
Martin LeBlanc Sixkiller Consulting LLC
Phil Levin The Nature Conservancy,/UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
Robert Liberty Portland State University, Urban Sustainability Accelerator/Institute for Sustainable Solutions
Rachel Lodge Artist
Paulina Lopez Duwamish River Clean Up Coalition/TAG
Edna Maddalena BestStart Washington
Edgar Marcuse UW Department of Pediatrics
Yuta Masuda The Nature Conservancy
Julie McCleery UW College of Education
Rob McDonald The Nature Conservancy
Corll Morrissey Islandwood
Nalini Nadkarni University of Utah
Laura Nelson UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
Chip Nevins Seattle Parks and Recreation
Andreea Niculescu REI
Dan Nordstrom Outdoor Research
Julian Olden UW Center for Creative Conservation/School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
Ben Packard UW EarthLab
Sara Perrins UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
Patrice Carroll City of Seattle
Kathleen Phan UW College of the Environment
Ed Pottharst City of Seattle
Danielle Purnell Seattle Public Utilities
Nooshin Razani University of California San Francisco, Center for Nature and Health
Tom Reeve The Trust for Public Land
Susanne Rockwell Seattle Parks and Recreation
Nancy Rottle UW Department of Landscape Architecture
Cynthia Seely Psychotherapy
Dan Seely Medicine
Amir Sheikh USFS Pacific Northwest Research Station/UW Department of Urban Design and Planning/UW Bothell
Michael Shiosaki Seattle Parks and Recreation
Contance Sidles Seattle Audubon
Cary Simmons The Trust for Public Land
Jon Snyder Outdoor Recreation and Economic Development
Dan Stonington WA Department of Natural Resources
Skip Swenson Forterra
Pooja Tandon UW Center for Child Health, Behavior & Development/Seattle Children’s, General Pediatrics
Craig Taplin Seattle Children’s Hospital
Rick Thomas UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
Jessie Thoreson Western Washington University
Tierney Thys California Academy of Sciences
Ann Vander Stoep UW School of Public Health
Usha Varanasi UW College of the Environment/School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
Marc Vogl The Mountaineers
Sean Watts Seattle Parks Foundation
Leslie Webster Seattle Public Utilities
Saul Weisberg North Cascades Institute
Katie Weiss Tiny Trees Preschool
Steve Whitney Bullitt Foundation
Daniel Winterbottom UW Department of Landscape Architecture
Kathy Wolf UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences/USDA Forest Service, Pacific NW Research Station
Spencer Wood UW Center for Creative Conservation
Kyle Yasuda UW Department of Pediatrics/BestStart Washington
Ken Yocom UW School of Landscape Architecture

Conversation at the Ravenna Brewery

Many thanks to the REI Foundation for supporting the Nature and Health Working Group 

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