The Health & Nature Webinar Series

Health and Nature Webinar Series

SHIFT’s Health and Nature Webinar Series brings together innovators, opinion-leaders and researchers at the forefront of the health-and-nature movement to help advance our understanding of the public health benefits of time spent outside. Through brief webinar presentations, subject-matter experts share their perspectives and needs regarding investments in nature as a health-care intervention strategy. Overall, the series aims to stimulate cross-sectoral learning, contribute to the transdisciplinary advancement of the field, and promote broader mainstream adoption of the health benefits of contact with the natural world. The first chapter of the series defines the overarching scope of the Health & Nature space. The subsequent four chapters provide deeper exploration of the topic from the perspective of SHIFT’s stakeholder communities in Public Health, Land Management, Outdoor Recreation, and Conservation.

The webinars are held on select Tuesdays of each month from 10:00 – 11:00 AM MT.



Webinar Schedule


Chapter 1: The Health & Nature Movement

Special Episodes:

  • March 18: Nature and the COVID-19 Pandemic
    • Suzanne Bartlett Hackenmiller, MD, Ob/Gyn and Medical Director, Association of Forest Therapy and Guides
    • Morgan Green, MD, Pediatrician and Director of The Emerging Leaders Program
    • David Sabgir, MD, Founder, Walk with a Doc
  • April 7: Managing Parks and Recreation in a Covid-19 World 
    • Catherine Nagel, CEO, City Parks Alliance
    • Capt. Sara Newman, Director, Office of Public Health, U.S. National Park Service
    • Kevin Roth, PhD, Vice President of Research, National Recreation and Park Association

Chapter 2: Public Health: Nature as an Intervention Strategy

Chapter 3: Conservation: Public Health as an Ecosystem Service

  • May 26: Nature, Health and the Future of Environmental Leadership 
    • Florence Williams, author, The Nature Fix
    • Juan Lazo Bautista, Program and Outreach Coordinator, Environmental Leadership Program
    • Ciarra Greene, Native Environmental Science Faculty, Northwest Indian College – Nez Perce Site
    • Jess Johnson, Advocacy and Legislative Liaison, Wyoming Wildlife Federation
  • June 9: The Green Heart Project
    • Aruni Bhatnagar, PhD, Director, The Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute
    • Chris Chandler, Director of Urban Conservation, The Nature Conservancy
    • Joy Hart, PhD, Professor, University of Louisville Department of Communications
  • June 23: Urban Nature POSTPONED
    • Mickey Fearn, Professor of Practice, North Carolina State University
    • Alden Stoner, CEO, Nature Sacred
    • Eugenia South, MD, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  • July 7: Engage, Connect, Protect: Conservation, COVID-19 and the New Civil Rights Movement 
    • Angelou Ezeilo, CEO and Founder, The Greening Youth Foundation
    • Shatiba Bradley, Greening Youth Foundation
    • Mickey Fearn, Professor of Practice, North Carolina State University

Chapter 4: Land Management: Land Use and Public Health

  • July 14: Park Rx
    • Robert Zarr, MD, Founder, Park Rx America
    • Atiya Wells, Founder, Backyard Basecamp
    • Kathleen Wolf, PhD, Research Social Scientist, University of Washington
  • July 28: The Trails Calculator Project
    • Eva Lizette Garcia, Caracara Trails Project Manager, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
    • Torsha Bhattacharya, Director of Research, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
    • Dr. Henry “Shelton” Brown, Associate Professor of Management, Policy & Community Health at the University of Texas School of Public Health
    • Attila Bality, Outdoor Recreation Planner, National Park Service Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program
  • Aug 11The Mental Health Benefits of Parks 
    • Ralf Buckley, School of Environment and Science – Ecology and Evolution, Griffith University
    • Jon Jarvis, Executive Director, UC Berkeley’s Institute for Parks, People, and Diversity
    • Brenda Schmidt, CEO, Coplex

Chapter 5: Outdoor Recreation: The Health Benefits of Time Outside

  • Aug 25: The Mental Health Benefits of Outdoor Recreation 
    • Elyse Rylander, Founder, OUT There Adventures
    • Alyssa Solis, Field Instructor, Outward Bound Adventures
    • Kristen Walter, PhD, Clinical Research Psychologist, Naval Health Research Center
  • Sep 8: Quantifying the Health Care Cost Savings of Outdoor Recreation Register here
    • Senator Brenda Gilmore, Tennessee State Senate
    • Leslie Meehan, Director, Tennessee Department of Public Health
    • Randall Rosenberger, PhD, Professor, Associate Dean – Student Success, Oregon State University
  • Sep 22: Outdoor Recreation Therapy for Veterans: A Manualized Approach Register here
    • Semra Aytur, PhD, Associate Professor, Health Management and Policy, University of New Hampshire
    • Jessie Bennett, PhD, Assistant Professor, Recreation Management and Policy, University of New Hampshire
    • Colonel Sally Coulthard, Founder, Nature and Health Foundation
    • Nick Otis, PhD, Senior Research Associate / Project Coordinator, Leidos; Senior Research Associate, Naval Health Research Center 
    • Jasmine Townsend, PhD, Assistant Professor, Recreational Therapy, Clemson University

For more information about the webinar series, contact Christian Beckwith at


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