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In this evidence-based presentation, we discussed the powerful healing properties of nature. We also discussed realistic and accessible ways to engage with nature. We explored how humans are hard-wired to see beauty in nature and why teaching our children to love nature is more important than ever.

 

Presenters: Catherine Haines, OT, OTR (she, her) is a community based occupational therapist and consultant for the Cambridge Health Alliance Center for Mindfulness and Compassion. She is a member of the stakeholder committee for Project SUCCESS, comparing evidence-based interventions for improving functioning of people with schizophrenia-spectrum illnesses. Through UMASS Memorial Medical Center, she leads support groups for siblings of children with severe behavioral and developmental challenges. She has developed nature-based presentations for The Somerville Community Growing Center and the Earthspirit Community. She is a coordinator for a community garden in her neighborhood in Somerville, MA.
 

 

Frannie Marin (she/her) is a clinical research coordinator with the Cambridge Health Alliance Center for Mindfulness and Compassion (CMC). With CMC, she researches the impact of stress reduction training and vagus nerve stimulation for patients with chronic pain. During her time on the CBS reality competition show Survivor, Frannie spent nearly one month on the islands of Fiji with few resources and no contact with the outside world. During that time, she experienced first-hand the potent healing power of nature, even within the high-stress environment of competing against 17 other people for one million dollars. Spurred by her personal experiences, she hopes to pursue a PhD program in psychology to explore new methods to reduce stress and improve the lives of others.