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The Post Nature + Human Health Town Hall

Nature + Human Health Town Hall

Dear colleagues,

The Office of the VPR and Nature and Human Health Utah invite you to a 2-hour, in-person town hall to interdisciplinary, large-scale research capacity building in the area of Nature and Human Health at the University of Utah.

Nature and Human Health research is defined as a growing body of research that links nature exposure to positive physical, emotional and mental health. However, myriad questions remain about how and why nature yields these benefits. Many of these research questions require interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral perspectives that bridge research and practice and that benefit from collaborations across many ways of knowing. Experts in parks, recreation and tourism, biology, environmental studies, urban planning and sociology, among other disciplines, may best position research teams to address the complex questions surrounding nature and human health. Not all people and communities are able to experience the health benefits of nature equitably. Research in this area can help us to better understand the barriers to nature and the address inequities when it comes to accessing nature. With its urban and wilderness parks and monuments, natural resources, and recreational opportunities, Utah is uniquely positioned to foster this research collaborative. The University of Utah, along with partners across the state, has the expertise and resources to answer compelling questions about the nature and human health link, improve access to nature for all populations and increase awareness of the important role nature plays in human health and well-being.

The goal of this town hall is to share a history/overview of how the University of Utah has engaged Nature + Human Health research so far, and to determine whether faculty and researchers are interested in pursuing interdisciplinary and large-scale research opportunities focused on Nature + Human Health. The Town Hall would function to hear community/researcher input on this Nature + Human Health research, identify potential theme areas, discuss strengths and barriers in institutionally approaching this research space, hear from other individuals/units doing this work on campus, and determine whether there is interest and momentum in building a formalized entity (such as a research working group, hub, center, etc.) to support this work.

The town hall will take place on Thursday, March 21st from 11:00am-1:00pm.  The first session will promote the working group, help determine first steps, and to ensure that we are actively meeting the areas of need for various populations and for researchers who wish to collaborate and develop research action in this space. All faculty, students, staff, and post-docs are welcome to attend the town hall to share input and imagine the future of Nature + Human Health research at the U together.

RSVP is required to ensure a room with adequate seating can be arranged AND to ensure participants who want to present a lightning talk can be scheduled. RSVPs are accepted HERE.

Questions can be directed to

Thank you.