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Bridging the gap between nature and health

Nature and Human Health Utah (NHH UT) invites you to its inaugural Research and Networking Symposium. During this event, we will delve deeper into the connections between nature and human well-being, drawing upon both emerging and existing literature and practical insights. Our Symposium will commence with an illuminating keynote address by Rosemary Lesser, followed by a presentation of lessons and insights from our 2021 pilot grant recipients. The day will end with an interactive networking session, in which we will learn from a wide array of community organizations working in the realm of nature and health. This Symposium offers a unique opportunity to learn from community organizations and leaders in the field of nature and health.

When: October, 4th 2023
Where: University of Utah’s Alumni House, 155 Central Campus Dr, Salt Lake City, UT 84112
RSVP: please please visit our website at

Keynote speaker

The Symposium’s keynote speaker is State Representative and medical doctor, Rosemary Lesser. State Representative Rosemary Lesser has represented southern Weber County in the Utah House of Representatives since January 2021. She was a member of the first class of women at the University of Notre Dame. Following her graduation from Notre Dame, she attended the Uniformed Services University (the only military medical academy in US) where she earned her MD. She served in the US Air Force for 15 years including five years in Germany. Over the course of her four-decade clinical career, she recognized many contributions to wellness beyond pharmaceuticals. Notably, her work on the Clean Air Caucus, where she works with a bipartisan group of legislators seeking to promote innovative, forward-thinking strategies for improving Utah’s air quality by investing in public transportation and incentivizing clean energy. Now in her role as a policy maker, she believes that it is important to facilitate an environment that will allow for Utahns benefit from our unprecedented natural resources for health and wellbeing. Rosemary will walk us through the importance of policy in bridging the gap between nature and health.

Pilot grant presentations

During the Symposium, we will learn from the four pilot grant recipients funded in 2021 by NHH UT’s anonymous donor. The pilot grant recipients were required to address a topic that draws upon multiple disciplines or approaches that address a pertinent question that concerns the relationships between nature and human health research. We will hear from the following pilot grant recipients:

  • Homelessness, Health, and Nature: A Community-Based Research Partnership (Jeff Rose)
  • Identifying Barriers and Facilitators to Implementing Nature-Based Mental Health Interventions for Older Adults (Alessandro Rigolon)
  • The Effects of Nature-Immersive Experiences on Social, Mental, and Physical Health in Adults with Mental Illness or Symptoms of Mental Illness (Joanna Bettmann Schaefer):
  • A Randomized Control Pilot Study of Nature Immersion for Veterans with PTSD (Tracy Hermann).

Networking and collaboration

The Symposium will conclude with an exciting networking opportunity, in which we will be learning from community organizations that work in the field of nature and health. Symposium attendees will have the chance to connect with fellow environmentalists, researchers, community advocates, and potential partners. This session is designed to foster collaborations and gain a better understanding of the work that is being done in Utah related to natre and health.

Join us on October 4th

Please join us on October 4th from 9am-3pm at the Alumni House at the University of Utah! To RSVP and for more information, please visit our website at