Meet Tyler Ung: Can art provoke moral inquiry and environmental consciousness?

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Tyler Ung

Tyler Ung

We are excited to welcome our third UW Environmental Studies intern, Tyler Ung. Tyler is an artist and scholar who uses line drawings superimposed on photographs to provoke moral inquiry and collective action about issues of sustainability in our everyday lives, such as climate change, plastic pollution, and landscape alterations. His internship project is titled, “A Mind’s Meadow: Beauty beyond Suppression.” During a study abroad quarter in China and India, and back in the United States, Tyler is combining field research and art to explore how these three countries are intricately connected in their responsibility for global sustainability. Specifically, he is focusing on how waste generation is experienced and perceived differently in Beijing, Bangalore, and Seattle. In an online exhibit of more than 35 visual artworks, Tyler plans to explore how art can raise awareness of the complexities and inefficiencies in our systems, shape cultural, moral, and aesthetic values, and thereby promote environmental consciousness and advocacy. Stay tuned!

Nature Design Walk 2

The Northwest Nature & Health Symposium “launches a global movement”

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By all measures, our first Northwest Nature & Health Symposium was a great success! One hundred and sixty participants, over 30 speakers and panelists, and an unusually energized and passionate crowd – not to mention gorgeous weather – made for a truly inspiring day. Tierney Thys with National Geographic wrote, “You are the launchpad for a global movement!” Videos of presentations, speaker bios, and photos are on the website. The symposium, held October 26th, 2017, at the Center for Urban Horticulture, brought together professionals and community leaders to explore common goals and collective strategies related to the human health benefits of being in nature, from gardens to wild lands. We learned about the latest innovations in research, policy, and practice; discussed common challenges; and identified shared opportunities to collectively, and equitably, expand the potential of nature to improve our health. We are now working to harness the momentum, expand and diversify the audience, and create more opportunities to learn about the latest research, share ideas, and collaborate on taking this movement to the next level.

NW Nature Health Audience Sally Jewell Nature Design Walk Conversing


NW Nature & Health Symposium Flyer

REGISTER TODAY: The Northwest Nature & Health Symposium

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We are excited to announce that registration for the Northwest Nature & Health Symposium is now open!

Leaders in healthcare, education, planning & conservation will explore the health benefits of being in nature, from gardens to wild lands. Join us to learn about the latest innovations in research, policy, and practice; discuss common challenges; and identify shared opportunities to collectively, and equitably, expand the potential of nature to improve our health. Featuring a lunchtime panel with Sally Jewell (former US Secretary of the Interior), Jesús Aguirre (Superintendent, Seattle Parks), Terry Williams (Tulalip Tribes), and Philip Wu (Kaiser Permanente).


Center for Urban Horticulture, University of Washington, Seattle

Register *this week* for early-bird tickets ($35 through Oct 9; $49 thereafter)


We recommend registering as soon as possible as we expect this symposium to fill quickly.

Looking forward to seeing you there! Please extend our invitation to your friends and colleagues.

Ava Holmes asks, how can elephants and people co-exist?

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Ava Holmes

Ava Holmes

Ava Holmes

Ava Holmes

We are excited to welcome our new UW Environmental Studies intern, Ava Holmes, who asks, “How can we design conservation solutions that enable humans and African elephants to co-exist peacefully?” While ivory poaching is detrimental to elephants, humans, and other animals alike, popular media rarely addresses the complexity of why it continues. Through video-recorded interviews, Ava is exploring various perspectives on the conservation of African Elephants and creating media that dives deeper into the social dynamics around poaching. Interviewees are selected for their expertise and unique perspectives, ranging from an anthropologist working with indigenous tribes living in close corridors with elephants, to the director of a major conservation organization, to a prominent elephant researcher. Ava anticipates that understanding the human intentions surrounding elephant poaching and conservation is a pathway to solutions that better address both human and elephant needs. In her spare time, Ava blends a passion for elephants, conservation—and fashion!

Under the Canopy by Jill Clardy

Nature is prescribed! C3’s Nature & Health working group publishes it’s first paper

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We are excited to announce the first peer-reviewed journal article emerging from a Center for Creative Conservation working group. Nature Contact and Human Health: A Research Agenda has just been published in Environmental Health Perspectives. Congratulations to Howard Frumkin of the School of Public Health, who led the paper, and to all the co-authors and contributors! The paper exhaustively reviews the existing literature on the health benefits of being in nature (the reference list alone is a major resource), and identifies 7 major domains in which further research is needed:

  1. mechanistic biomedical studies look at how nature improves human health, such as by facilitating physical activity, a sense of wonder, and social connections
  2. exposure science develops methods and metrics, both quantitative and qualitative, for measuring what counts as “nature contact” and a meaningful “dose”
  3. epidemiology of health benefits examines the health outcomes of being in nature, from reducing pain and stress to reducing the risk of getting cancer
  4. diversity and equity considerations underscore the need to account for cultural differences and inequities in understanding the nature-health connection, from unequal access to nature, to disparate ways of valuing nature, to the phenomenon of “green gentrification”
  5. technological nature refers to technologies that mediate the nature experience, such as apps and virtual reality, and the question of whether these have the same or different health benefits as being in real natural places
  6. economic and policy studies refer to cost-benefit analyses of the health benefits, avoided medical costs, and other services provided by ecosystems, and policy implications for conservation and planning
  7. implementation science develops and evaluates the tools and actions that best deliver the benefits of nature, such as how to best design parks, trails and schools, and how doctors can best “prescribe nature.”

Happy reading — under a tree!





C3 now supports self-funded Incubators for complex problem-solving

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Most environmental problems are highly complex, yet we rarely find the time and institutional support to convene the full range of people, ideas, and resources we truly need to address them. Incubators are start-up meetings of interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral teams that encourage innovative conservation problem-solving. Incubators are an ideal tool for scoping a new project, initiative, program, or business. They help new teams build effective working relationships, further conceptualize project ideas, develop plans for implementation, and seek additional funds to support long-term collaborations.

The Center for Creative Conservation is now hosting self-funded Transdisciplinary Project Incubators on any cross-cutting topic related to conservation and sustainability. Transdisciplinary research and action authentically engages different modes of knowing, from outside of a single discipline, on equal footing. Incubators can involve as many meetings as needed, but a typical incubator involves 2-3 multi-day meetings held over a 6-12 month period. We welcome teams of practitioners and University of Washington researchers from diverse disciplinary, professional, and cultural backgrounds to apply. Do you have an idea for an Incubator and funding to support it? Read more here!


Oceanography Internship Opportunity for UW Students

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Interested in the intersection of environmental science and game development? Check out this amazing summer internship/consultancy with E-Line Media over the summer (20-40 hours per week) to help with the design of a new video game.  The main focus is on the mesopelagic through abyssopelagic zones and looking at the various trophic webs unique to those habitats and phenomena such as bioflourescence, bioluminescence, electrosensory perception, etc.  E-Line is looking for someone who can help source likely species and inter-species relationships, unique behaviors and interesting species.  The chosen candidate will have the opportunity to consult with some top researchers and explorers to whom E-Line Media can provide access, including David GruberMandy Joye, and (to a more limited extent) Sylvia Earle. This is a paid position.  Additional course credit though an independent study with the Center for Creative Conservation can also be arranged.
Please contact if you are interested in applying. Questions about the internship and E-Line media can sent to Matt Swanson (

Eco, Shelter 2, and Walden win awards at inaugural EarthGames on Tap

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Three earth-friendly video games won awards at the Center for Creative Conservation’s inaugural EarthGames on Tap event, which took place May 18, 2017 in Seattle. Twelve stunning “earthgames” were entered into the games showcase. A panel of three judges carefully evaluated the games based on their potential to have an environmental impact and the quality of their game play. In the judges’ competition, Shelter 2 won first place and Walden won second place. In addition, audience members voted for their favorite game, and Eco won the people’s choice award. Congratulations! We hope EarthGames on Tap inspires more video games that are good for people and the planet, and we hope to see all of the participating developers, and more, at our next event.

EarthGames on Tap 2017

EarthGames on Tap catalyzes a new community

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We are excited to report that our first EarthGames on Tap event was a smashing success! Thanks to everyone who came out! Held May 18, 2017 at Impact Hub Seattle, the event drew a crowd of 140, showcased 11 stunning new “earthgames” and more from the UW studio, and brought together professionals in the game development, environmental research, and education fields. The evening catalyzed many new connections, and a new community dedicated to joining games and research in creative ways for the good of people and the planet. Explore the EarthGames on Tap site to view photos from the event, learn more about the featured speakers and panelists, and take a peek at the showcased games. To receive an invitation to our next event, email and request to join the mailing list – and join our Facebook group to stay in touch and help our new community grow!

Games Showcase

Racial Ecologies Conference

Register now for the Racial Ecologies Conference!

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The Center for Creative Conservation is honored and excited to co-sponsor the Racial Ecologies Conference, hosted by the UW Center for Communication, Difference, and Equity. The conference will bring scholars from across the country together with locally based scholars and activists to exchange information and inspiration. Drawing from multiple disciplines, the conference will focus on collaborative research, on the unequal impact of environmental degradation, and on the work of communities of color to address those impacts. Join us!

Thursday, June 1, 2:30-4pm & Friday, June 2nd, 8:30am-4:30pm. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center, University of Washington, Seattle. Free with RSVP.