Dinner Table Talk

Research OutcomesThat Matter: Physiology, Mental Wellbeing, Environmental Epiphanies

Kate Irvine

This project's overall aim considers the relationship between planetary and human health within the context of environmental change through the eyes of women. The Institute for Integrative Health Scholar, Sara L. Warber, MD and a women’s collaborative, including academics, e.g. Katherine Irvine PhD, and arts professionals will undertake a mixed methods study of women's textual data, visual art and lived experiences in nature. Excursions into nature for diverse groups of women will utilize two innovative ways of connecting people and nature. Forest therapy is an intervention to promote human health through brief sensory experiences in nature. Music of Plants uses biofeedback and electronic music technology to translate plant electrochemical changes into sound. Documentation and evaluation will include in-depth interviews, expressive art, brief self-report scales on spiritual wellbeing and nature engagement, as well as photography and videography. The collaborative hopes to inspire others to imagine anew our human ways of living, such that we have a template for transformative action that could occur in many venues and through multiple pathways, all supporting an expanded view of health that includes both humans and the environment.

Kate is a senior researcher in conservation behaviour / environmental psychology at the James Hutton Institute, focusing on people-environment relationships. She draws on an interdisciplinary background in molecular biology, natural resource management, conservation behaviour and environmental psychology to investigate the interface between people and their environmental settings (for example, natural, built, home, office) with an aim to develop bridges between issues of ecological quality, health/wellbeing and sustainability.