Prescription: Nature. Can Time in the Great Outdoors Save Your Life?

Date: July 30, 2021

Time: 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Event Type: Online/Virtual


Eugene, Oregon

City Club Eugene Icon


Can an hour a day keep the doctor away?

After a year in the great indoors, no one can deny the therapeutic benefits of nature and wide, open spaces. America’s national parks other public lands are reporting record numbers of visitors for a second year in a row—but what about accessing nature’s benefits closer to home?

Can we all get the nature we need, nearby? The answer likely depends on your zip code, maybe even your street number.

A Eugene-based startup, NatureQuant, is combining data and infrared technology to create vegetation “heat maps” that show how healthy a specific location is likely to be, based on its green cover. Along similar lines, researchers at the University of Oregon are working to understand the influence of access to nature on environmental physiology, the study of how the environment impacts an organism’s functions. As researchers quantify the long-term and holistic benefits of nature exposure, education programs that support equitable access become even more important. 

Today’s City Club speakers will tell you just how much nature you need, what happens if you do or don’t get it, and how local programs are working to expand nature access to everyone within our community.

Photo by Mark Logan:


Name: Jared Hanley
Title: Founder
Organization: NatureQuant

Jared Hanley is Founder at NatureQuant, a technology and research company that provides a suite of tools to monitor, quantify, and evaluate natural elements and exposure to nature. NatureQuant seeks to improve public health through the development of strategies and interventions for the use of such greenspaces through innovative technology.

Name: Katie Lynch
Title: Co-Director and instructor
Organization: University of Oregon’s Environmental Leadership Program

Katie Lynch is Co-Director and instructor in the University of Oregon’s Environmental Leadership Program, which includes Restoring Connections, a place-based, experiential environmental education project that supports environmental access for school children from kindergarten to fifth grade in Eugene School District 4J.

Name: Christopher Minson
Title: Director
Organization: Human Cardiovascular Control Lab and Co-Director of the Exercise and Environmental Physiology Labs at the University of Oregon

Christopher Minson is Director of the Human Cardiovascular Control Lab and Co-Director of the Exercise and Environmental Physiology Labs at the University of Oregon. He is also a Founder of the Bowerman Sports Science Center, and has been performing research on human adaptations to environmental extremes, biomarkers of cardiovascular health, and autonomic-vascular regulation for over 20 years at the University of Oregon. This research is consistently funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, and numerous other funding groups.

Upcoming Forums