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New research/practice collaborative group explores connection between nature and health

Funding opportunities to study connections between nature and health will be announced in winter 2022.

Nature and Human Health-Utah (NHH-UT), is a new innovative research/practice collaborative group comprised of scholars, educators, practitioners and community members.  Our goals are to raise awareness of the value of nature for human health and well-being and to incorporate more nature into our lives. With generous funding from an anonymous donor, NHH-UT will coordinate group activities, connect with related groups at a national level and fund Utah-based pilot projects that investigate and further our understanding of the links between nature and human health. A call for proposals for nature and health-focused research projects will be announced in Winter 2022. Multiple projects will be funded at two levels, $5,000 and $10,000.

A growing body of research 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 others, will best position research teams to address the complex questions surrounding nature and human health. Inspired by innovative research and projects produced by the similar Nature and Health program at the University of Washington, NHH-UT provides an arena in which experts from many societal sectors can collaborate.

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.

Visit our website here to learn more about what we do and upcoming events.

Join us at our next meeting on Dec. 7, 2021, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Chase Mill in the Tracy Aviary. Email NHH-UT here for more information.

Email us here to be added to our listserv.