Coming Soon to PSU: How Nearby Nature Heals

Where will you be on Sept. 12, 2013?

If you’d like to learn how nearby nature heals, and may even be a matter of life and death, you’ll want to be at Portland State University’s Hoffmann Hall, 1833 SW 11th Ave., from 7:00 to 9:00 pm on Thursday, Sept. 12. You can register online here at Legacy Health.

Roger Ulrich, Ph.D. (Daily Journal of Commerce)

Dr. Roger Ulrich, professor of architecture at the Center for Healthcare Building Research at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and adjunct professor of architecture at Aalborg University in Denmark, will speak about “How Nature Heals the Human Body.” Dr. Geoffrey Donovan, Research Forester with the USDA Forest Service, will address the topic: “Trees don’t make our cities livable. They make them survivable.”

Following their talks, the two experts will engage in a dialogue on the relationship between trees, gardens, nature and public health. After the dialogue, they will answer questions from the audience.

The groups sponsoring the event encompass a range of fields involved in green and public health infrastructure:  Friends of Trees, J. Frank Schmidt Family Charitable Foundation, Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education & Counseling Ecopsychology in Counseling Program, Legacy Health Therapeutic Gardens, PSU’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions, TKF Foundation, and ZGF Architects LLP.

Dr. Ulrich is the most frequently cited researcher in evidence-based healthcare design. Among other achievements, he was the first to document scientifically the stress-reducing and health-related benefits for hospital patients of viewing nature.

His work has received many awards, directly impacted the design of billions of dollars of hospital construction, and improved the health outcomes and safety of patients around the world. His Theory of Evidence-Based Design offers a “user friendly” guide for creating successful healthcare facilities. Dr. Ulrich has published widely in both scientific and design journals, and his research has received international scientific recognition. This opinion piece in The New York Times describes some of his recent work.

Geoffrey Donovan, Ph.D. (The Oregonian)

Dr. Donovan has quantified many urban-tree benefits ranging from intuitive ones, such as reduced summertime cooling costs, to less intuitive benefits such as crime reduction. More recently he has focused on the relationship between trees and public health. His studies have found that mothers with trees around their homes are less likely to have underweight babies and that more people die from cardiovascular and lower-respiratory disease in areas where trees have been killed by invasive pests.

His recent studies have been published in journals ranging from the Journal of Forest Economics to Environmental International and the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. You can hear his recent interview on the PBS News Hour.

The doors at Hoffmann Hall will open on Sept. 12 at 6:00 pm for registration, networking, educational displays and refreshments, with the presentations beginning at 7:00 pm. The cost is $10 for early registration until Sept 10 and $15 day of event.