professor at Institute for Housing and Urban Research
Most of my research concerns restorative environments - those places in which we can recover relatively quickly and completely from ordinary psychological wear-and-tear. The places on which I focus in my research are those which most people care about deeply and turn to frequently - home, neighborhood, and natural settings such as forests. The fundamental intent in all of these efforts is to inform environmental and policy measures that promote health and well-being.
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I have studied restorative environments and nature experience since the early 1980s. After my early years in Michigan, I moved to California, where I completed degrees at Orange Coast College (AA, 1982), the University of California at Santa Cruz (BA, 1984), the University of California at Irvine (MA, 1990; PhD, 1993), and the University of California, Berkeley (MPH, 1994). After completing my postdoctoral training at Berkeley in 1996, I began work at Uppsala University. At that time I added the residential context of health to the set of topics on which I focus my research efforts. With my background in environmental psychology, social ecology, and social epidemiology, I bring diverse theoretical perspectives and methodological tools to bear in formulating and addressing research questions. This has enabled me to get involved with empirical studies of widely varying kind, including but not limited to small-scale laboratory and field experiments concerned with basic issues of restorative process and mechanism, large-scale surveys on attitudes toward nature and environmental protection, and time series studies on phenomena of constrained and collective restoration in entire populations. In much of this work I have over the years had the privilege and pleasure of collaborating with thoughtful, dedicated scholars from leading universities and research institutes throughout the world.
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