I will lead a discussion on my journey of exploring, researching, and teaching about the restorative power of nature to help others on their path. Woven into the session will be references to research on how nature is connected to human health.
Mark Ellison began exploring southern Appalachian forests as a teenager and became fascinated with the beauty and solitude he found. His doctoral research at NC State focused on the restorative benefits of hiking in wilderness, opening doors for collaboration with researchers and practitioners in the U.S., Japan, Finland, South Korea and other countries to better understand the connections between nature and human health. Mark helped introduce the Japanese practice of shinrin yoku, or forest bathing to the U.S. in 2012, and is a certified forest therapy guide in western North Carolina. He developed and teaches a college course on nature and human health and founded HikingResearch.com to help others benefit from the restorative power of nature.