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Our 1-day Summit on Connecting to Nature in an Urban World, April 19, features a morning plenary and roundtable sessions followed by interactive workshops and walkshops in the afternoon. Building on the Summit is our Conference, April 20-21, featuring keynotes speakers, hands-on workshops and networking opportunities.

Please note: Schedules are now locked from being changed. If you would like to make changes to your schedule, please come see us at the registration desk. See you in Vancouver!

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Track 1: Making the Case: Advancing the evidence base for the children and nature movement [clear filter]
Thursday, April 20

9:45am PDT

Learning to Use Behavior Mapping to Capture and Assess Children’s Nature Play in Outdoor Environments
Limited Capacity filling up

Dramatic declines in outdoor and nature play have inspired initiatives to (re)design and (re)naturalize children’s environments. Installing appropriate natural play environments requires a better understanding of how children playfully interact with outdoor settings, and the features that are most conducive to developmentally-supportive play. Behavior mapping is a highly effective field observation method for studying children’s outdoor and nature play behaviors. This workshop provides a foundation in behavior mapping, covering effective strategies for preparing and conducting behavior mapping and selecting appropriate measures, and offering hands-on experience in coding and mapping children’s play behavior through mock observations.

avatar for Adina Cox

Adina Cox

HumanNatureDesign Consultation
Dr. Adina Cox received her PhD in Design from North Carolina State University. Her dissertation was completed under the direction of Professor Robin Moore, and examined children and families’ use of pathways along greenways and in public parks. She holds degrees in Landscape Architecture... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Little

Sarah Little

Assistant Professor, University of Oklahoma
Dr. Sarah Little is an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Oklahoma, a registered landscape architect in the state of North Carolina, and holds a Ph.D. in Design from North Carolina State University. In her research, Sarah works to understand the effect... Read More →
avatar for Janet Loebach

Janet Loebach

Environmental Design & Research Consultant, Thrive Design Consulting
I am an environmental design researcher and consultant based in Ontario, Canada, specializing in evidence-based, user-centred programming, design and evaluation of environments for special users, including children, seniors, and minority and Indigenous communities. My research... Read More →

Thursday April 20, 2017 9:45am - 11:00am PDT
Bayshore Grand Ballroom

11:15am PDT

The Health Benefits of Nature: An Evidence-Based Medical Review of the Literature
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

There is increasing literature on the connections between nature and human health. This is particularly relevant as our cities—and the Earth—struggle with the increased pressures of an urbanized landscape. Scientific evidence is important for informing policy decisions on educational programming, community initiatives, and urban design of the built environment. We therefore present a comprehensive, critical review of the possible human health benefits of nature exposure, including: increased physical activity in children with associated decreased obesity; improved social cohesion and community well-being; healthier pregnancies and birth weights; decreases in myopia rates; improvements in cognitive/academic functioning, attention, personal resiliency, and psychological wellness; decreased lengths of hospital admissions; and spiritual re-connection with our world at the end-of-life. The Hygiene Hypothesis and the Biodiversity Hypothesis are discussed as overarching themes that are being considered to tie these nature-health benefits together. Finally, we will discuss knowledge gaps and next research steps to address them.

avatar for Doug Klein

Doug Klein

Family Physician
I am a family physician and researcher with the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alberta in Canada. I am interested in the area of nutrition, physical activity and the health benefits of nature for both children and adults. I currently lead the research team CHANGE... Read More →
avatar for Clark Svrcek

Clark Svrcek

Physician, Alberta Health Services/University of Calgary
I am currently a locum family physician recently graduated from the University of Calgary, but I also wear the hats of environmental engineer, explorer, husband, and father. I have interests in both qualitative and quantitative research, the most recent being the role that ‘touch... Read More →

Thursday April 20, 2017 11:15am - 12:30pm PDT
Bayshore Grand Ballroom

2:45pm PDT

Mixed Method Evaluations for the Real World
Limited Capacity filling up

Documenting program impact is critical but can also be challenging. In this session, presenters will explore the effective use of mixed methods in evaluating program success. The first presenter will discuss the RE-AIM framework (reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance), describing its application to a multi-method evaluation of Chicago’s Space to Grow, and discussing results from three low-income, urban elementary schools’ post-schoolyard transformations. During the second presentation, participants will learn how mixed methods techniques and results can be used by environmental education organizations and K-12 schools to garner funding and to improve the match between program goals and outcomes related to environmental stewardship, civic engagement, and academic motivation. Survey data and interviews of diverse campers from the 1940's to 2010's will be used to illustrate interpretation of data and unexpected findings.

avatar for Carolyn Bates

Carolyn Bates

Doctoral Student in Clinical Psychology, Loyola University Chicago
Carolyn Bates is a doctoral student at Loyola University Chicago specializing in child clinical psychology. Her research interests include environmental factors that influence health behaviors in children, particularly in relation to obesity. As a member of Dr. Amy Bohnert's Activity... Read More →
avatar for Amy Bohnert

Amy Bohnert

Associate Professor, Loyola University Chicago
Amy Bohnert is a leading scholar on how various out-of-school contexts serve a protective role in psychological and health-related outcomes, including obesity and obesogenic behaviors. Collectively, her work suggests that out-of-school contexts are essential targets of obesity-prevention... Read More →
avatar for Amy Frame

Amy Frame

Graduate Researcher, UCLA
I love nature, coffee, and research, in that order. I'm a long-time K-12 urban public school teacher and administrator. I've helped thousands of kids get into California's mountains, deserts, and oceans. My vision is that school accountability and finance systems make it easy for... Read More →

Thursday April 20, 2017 2:45pm - 4:00pm PDT
Stanley Salon 1 (2nd Floor)