The central focus of my research is on the connection between neighborhood environments and health and how physical features (e.g., design, amenities, services), natural features, and social factors at the neighborhood scale influence health and mental well-being. My research encompasses two major areas: 1) the examination of green space at the neighborhood scale and its impact on populations using community gardens as a model for understanding how people interact with green space and the health and social benefits that result from these interactions; and 2) the systems, policies and environments more generally that support active, healthy, and socially meaningful lifestyles and in particular, the effectiveness of policy collaboratives in advancing systems-, environmental-, and policy-level changes to support food security, nutrition, physical activity, and active lifestyles. In the past several years, this research has focused on nature-based social interventions to support social prescribing to reduce loneliness and improve quality of life in South America, Europe, and Australia. This work spans across the life course from young people to older adults.
Nature contact, built environment, health behavior change, policy, public health, loneliness, diet, nutrition, physical activity, mental health, gardens, community gardening, social prescribing, community referrals, randomized controlled trials, intervention science
ENVS 1001 - Introduction to Developing Environmental Solutions
Builds on ENVS 1000 to give students greater understanding of how to approach environmental issues and work toward solutions. Integrates all focal areas of ENVS - sciences, policy, values - with greatest emphasis on learning science, data analysis and critical thinking fundamentals. Uses case studies of local issues to provide context for skill building and synthesis.
ENVS 3525 - Intermediate Environmental Problem Analysis: Topical Cornerstones
Engages students in in-depth study of a topic such as climate change, energy, natural resources or sustainability. Through lectures, discussions, readings and activities, students will become conversant with how science, policy and values are integrated in environmental problem solving, and develop their own sense of how to critically engage with proposed solutions. Fulfills cornerstone requirement for Environmental Studies Major. Recommended prerequisite: ENVS 1000. Recommended corequisite: ENVS 3020. May be repeated up to 6 total credit hours, provided the topics vary.
ENVS 4800 - Capstone: Critical Thinking in Environmental Studies
Examines a specific environmental topic in depth, synthesizing information from complex and controversial issues. Different course sections present different topics. Fulfills capstone requirement for Environmental Studies major. Recommended prerequisites: ENVS 1000 and ENVS 3020.