Tara Brown – Nature Vancouver Graduate Scholarship
Tara L. Brown is a 2nd year Ph.D. student in the UBC Faculty of Forestry, a certified Forest Therapy Guide, and a certified educator in sustainable development. She’s interested in forest-based interventions and human health and well-being. Previously, she co-founded startups and nonprofits that developed hands-on and digital STEM education programs in formal and informal K-8 spaces in the U.S. and Japan.
For her dissertation research project, she examines the effects of forest bathing and environmental factors on individual health responses in Vancouver parks. Volunteers will be forest bathing over four seasons while monitoring the environment, including the forest air.
The results obtained in this study and the broader program of research support Nature Vancouver’s objective to encourage individuals to spend time in nature. With a greater understanding of the linkages between nature mechanisms and human health, it will be possible for park and forest managers to adjust their practices (if necessary) to maintain and enhance the factors for forest-based interventions. By expanding the understanding of the connection between forest characteristics and different health-related benefits, health practitioners prescribing nature can be more prescriptive. Overall, individuals can make more informed choices when choosing where to spend their time in forest spaces.
As an advocate for open and participatory science, Tara is developing a community science project for residents of B.C. interested in measuring their environment and understanding the impact on their health and well-being.
Rachel Foster – Nature Vancouver Under Graduate Scholarship
Rachel Foster in six short years has come from Graduating with a Fine Arts degree from the University of Derby located in the relatively domesticated English Peaks District countryside – to Graduating with a Diploma in Fish, Wildlife and Recreation from BCIT. Along the way Rachel served a stint in the remote wilds of the Yukon where in 2021 she assisted with a fire ecology study as an Avian Technician with the Wildlife Conservation Society Canada, a tale from which you can read about in Volume 49 of Discovery. During these six years Rachel also volunteered banding birds at Iona with WildResearch, video recorded the Great Blue heronry with the Stanley Park Ecology Society and did Purple Martin nest success monitoring with Wild Bird Trust. This brave, determined, community minded and fun person upgraded her physics, biology and mathematics in order to qualify for the FW&R Diploma program. Rachel discovered that she has a passionate interest in the ecology of western Canadian wildlife. Thus Rachel is upgrading further and shall now enter the Bachelor of Ecological Restoration program at BCIT. One more powerful element I want to mention – Rachel has found through volunteering on WildResearch’s Grant-Writing Committee that she has the linguistic aptitude to successfully apply for money. In her own words: “ As an emerging biologist, I feel it is critical to research sensitive habitats, attune to their adaptations to climate change, and to prioritize strategies that protect the need of impacted species.”With great pleasure, I present the Nature Vancouver Undergraduate Scholarship for 2022 to Rachel.