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Human-Nature Systems

Tag that refers to research on integrated human-natural systems.

Reconnecting nature and human health

When hiking in the gorge or swimming in one of Oregon’s many rivers, the connection between human health and nature seems intuitive. Nature gives us a place to get out, to roam, to sweat, to be calm—all things that tend to have a positive impact on our wellbeing, and, perhaps more importantly, can help keep us out of doctors’ offices and hospitals.  

Latest climate report brings impacts home

The latest in a series of Big Reports on climate change was released this week, the third National Climate Assessment, delivering piles of data, graphics, forecasts, and research on the topic of impact. 

VIDEO | Fortified: True Stories of Climate Action

An executive, a student, a diversity strategist, a tribal leader, an activist, and a veteran—they’re all taking on climate change. And they all came together at Portland State University this winter to share a live story about their efforts at an event called Fortified: True Stories of Climate Action. Missed the event? Not to worry—we filmed it just for you.

Talking nature’s benefits in Washington, D.C.

I recently accompanied a team of environmental leaders to Washington D.C. for a series of discussions with senior environmental agency staff about ecosystem services. Ecosystem services are, basically, the benefits that nature provides. For example, the ability of forests to refresh water supplies and reduce air pollution, or the ability of clean rivers to provide healthy fish as a local food source.  

Finding a path toward diversity in sustainability

“Equity, diversity, and inclusion in the sustainability movement—that’s the only way I see forward,” said Marcelo Bonta, founder and executive director of the Center for Diversity and the Environment, at Portland State University last week. Speaking candidly about his own experience working in the environmental field as a man of Filipino descent, Bonta addressed issues around the lack of diversity in the U.S. environmental movement.

Restoring ecosystem services in the Rogue

I recently took a trip down to the Rogue Basin where the Freshwater Trust has partnered with the city of Medford, local nurseries, restoration contractors, and property owners to lower the temperature of the water in the Rogue River by planting trees along the banks of the Rogue and its tributaries.

Video | IGERT program marks two successful years, welcomes third student cohort

The National Science Foundation-funded Ph.D. program at Portland State focusing on the relationship between natural systems and urbanizing areas is welcoming its third cohort of students into the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship, or IGERT

Regional conservation

Portland is constantly touted as one of America’s greenest cities. But there’s more to it than an affinity for public transit and renewable energy—Portland has an abundance of natural green space that reaches beyond city limits to support communities, ecosystems, and economies throughout the region.

SWEET solutions: monitoring global public health solutions from PSU

Nearly a billion people lack access to clean drinking water, and half the world’s population burns wood as a sole means of cooking and sanitation. Consequently, two million people—mostly kids—die every year from contaminated water, and millions more from upper-respiratory disease caused by prolonged exposure to black soot. Unbelievable.