News and Events
Time spent in nature can reduce anxiety and help you sleep better at night, experts have found. It also offers promising benefits for a range of health issues, including cardiovascular disease, depression and obesity.
But there are still many questions about how time in nature can help with these health conditions, and others. A new University of Washington initiative announced this week seeks to advance research on these questions, connecting academic researchers with pediatricians, childcare providers, mental health practitioners and others who work with various populations on critical health issues.
One fall day on Washington’s Mount Rainier, Josh Brandon and a group of fellow active duty platoon leaders discovered something about the outdoors that could improve the lives of veterans.
It was September 2009 and the group had decided to make a late-season summit attempt of Washington’s highest peak as part of a team-building exercise. The platoon leaders, who were all members of the same infantry company, began their climb in the early morning hours.
Dedication. Passion. Determination. Resilience. Pride. The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars exuded these feelings and many others during the Conservation Scholar Summit, where individuals shared connections with their communities, cultures and environment. Most significantly, they planted their banners of belonging to the environmental movement — a fitting conclusion to the scholars’ summer.
ECOSS was fortunate to host two Doris Duke scholars this summer: Pheng Lor, a UC Berkeley student focusing on conservation and LGBT studies, and MaKail Crawford, hailing from Wesleyan University working on classics and Latino studies.
Join us for a day exploring the connecting between nature and human health at our 2018 Nature and Health Symposium and Dough Walker Lecture.
Nature and Health Symposium
This annual one-day symposium held each fall brings together professionals and community leaders in the fields of health, conservation, design and planning, and education to learn from each other and explore common goals and collective strategies related to the human health benefits of being in nature, from gardens to wildlands.
We’re living in the Anthropocene, or the epoch in which humans are—for the first time—the dominant driver of global change related to climate and the environment. As polar ice melts, sea levels rise, and storm and wildfire seasons get longer and more intense, climate projections suggest the Earth will be several degrees warmer by 2100. Although most Americans say climate change is an important topic, research shows fewer than half see it talked about in the media and just one in five discuss it with their peers.Read more
One morning in July, Sierra Campbell awoke in a tent and unzipped the flap to a view of mountain prairie bathed in sunlight. Though she’d been exploring Washington for weeks, the scene touched the UW sophomore from Fife in a way that reinforced her desire to make a difference in the environment.
It was one of many impressions Campbell collected through the summer as she and a diverse group of undergraduates took a crash course in the region’s natural resources.
Can exposure and access to nature give a boost to human health? That question was front and center at the EarthLab Center for Creative Conservation’s recently convened Northwest Nature and Health Symposium. On tap for the day were leaders in education, planning and conservation — including former secretary of the interior Sally Jewell — all exploring the health benefits that come with being outside.Read more
We know that connecting with nature is good for us, but there are still many questions that need to be answered through more credible scientific research: What is the ideal “dose” of nature? What health conditions do these doses actually help with? Does duration and frequency of dose matter? How long do the benefits last? Does who you are and where you live impact how beneficial exposure to nature will be?Read more
At a time of increasing disconnectedness from nature, scientific interest in the potential health benefits of connecting with nature has grown. Research in recent decades has yielded substantial evidence of nature’s health benefits, but large gaps still remain. Lead by Howard Frumkin, the Center for Creative Conservation’s Nature and Health working group published a proposed research agenda on nature contact and health.Read more
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.Read more