Univ. of Washington program Nature and Health studies link between environment and well-being


Sol Duc Falls at Olympic National Park in Washington State. (Photo by Kevin Lisota)

It started as an idea among friends over alcohol. Now, University of Washington’s Nature and Health Its purpose is to help government agencies raise funds for millions of projects.

Take the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, or Snohomish County, for example. The pair recently made $ 18 million and $ 22 million in donations and donations, respectively, thanks to a large amount of data collected by Nature and Health researchers.

Environment and Health learn about the relationship between nature and human life. It has projects and courses in a number of areas as it seeks to become a natural health care professional with professional skills for years to come.

The group’s origins come from a small group of scientists and researchers from UW who met at a brewery with outside members and environmental companies. They discussed their interest in the relationship between human health and the environment.

Josh Lawler, dean of the Department of Environment and Health at the University of Washington. (UW photo)

Doctors and policymakers joined in, drafted the document, and in 2018 a $ 1 million from REI turned the loose contract into a legal program. Director Josh Lawler said now more than 300 people are taking part in the Environment and Health.

The purpose of nature and health is to understand the benefits of human health related to the environment and, according to its website, “translate this understanding into programs, systems, policies, and health systems, education and communities that benefit all.”

At the moment, the work is often in the research phase, and active students look at everything from Twitter to learning how the environment affects how people feel, to using the design of a sharing program to promote external research. The latter in particular is evolution from a seasonal video game program Lawler contributed to the launch in 2016.

Lawler, who is actually a research scientist, teaches at the School of Environmental and Forest sciences at UW, and helps run the Landscape Ecology and Conservation Lab. He is also a member of the Ecological Society of America.

Lawler told GeekWire that he prefers to use research and science to influence people and communities outside of education. These interests are in line with the Lawler and director of Nature and Health, as co-operation and the desire to benefit the public are crucial in taking action.

The plague brought disruption and change to the work of the Environment and Health. One of its modern functions and Trust for Public Land to study the health of the Tacoma Green Schoolyards Project, aimed at transforming asphalt playgrounds into unprotected schools into public access parks.

But the advantages of green playgrounds make it difficult for students to learn at home. Although the formation and integration of the community has a long history, “not much of what has been planned has been achieved” last year, said Dr. Pooja Tandon, UW professor and researcher at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. .

But for other groups under the umbrella of Environment and Health, the epidemic provided an opportunity to use technical research methods. Spencer Wood, a senior research scientist with UW’s eScience Institute, is researching the popularity of informing site managers such as the US Forest Service and the Washington Trails Association.

The plague forced his party to change its policy. It was difficult to do personal research, so they created a software program that allowed information to be self-explanatory.

Wood and his team provided data that travelers sent to Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and Snohomish County, helping them find the latest funding.

In the meantime, Wood’s research and the support he has received from the ground is a unique example of the work of Environment and Health that is driving reality. But Lawler said the Environment and Health are beginning to shift from research to real-world concepts and the development of designs. As it continues to establish a research base, Environment and Health are working to help enhance the health of human and environmental health for years to come.


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