The study of nature-based learning brings together research on access to nature, human health and well-being, and settings that support learning. Nature-based learning occurs in natural settings and where elements of nature have been brought into built environments. It includes learning about the natural world, but extends to engagement in any subject, skill or interest while in natural surroundings.

Dr. Louise Chawla

Dr. Louise Chawla

On September 24th, Dr. Louise Chawla presented to the faculty, staff, and students in the AESE department about her research in Nature Based Learning and Environmental Education. The resources from her presentation can be found on this page as well as a recording of the presentation itself.

Louise Chawla, Professor Emerita in the Program in Environmental Design at the University of Colorado Boulder and previous associate director of the Children, Youth and Environments Center, is a prolific author on topics related to children and nature, children in cities, and the development of active care for the natural world. Dr. Chawla is a Fellow of CEDaR (Community Engagement, Design and Research Center), Program in Environmental Design, University of Colorado Boulder; Executive Committee Member for Growing Up Boulder (an initiative to
engage the voices of children and youth in urban planning and design in the city of Boulder); and Member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Children and Nature Network. She has a Ph.D. in Environmental Psychology from the City University of New York Graduate Center.

Her presentation can be found here:

Benefits of Nature Contact for Children

PDF document, 261.1 KB

Two Hour Dose of Nature

PDF document, 1.3 MB

Slide Show Presentation

PDF document, 3.0 MB

The Natural World as a Resource for Learning and Development: From Schoolyards to Wilderness

A series of 13 articles on nature-based learning was published in Frontiers in Psychology, an open access journal. The articles can be found through this link.

Children & Nature Network

A large collection of references and publication summaries on children and nature, including many studies of health and well-being benefit can be found on the Children and Nature Network.

Nature Learning Initiative

Another good website of resources related to the Nature Learning Initiative can be found here.

International School Grounds Alliance

Information on the International School Grounds Alliance and a collection of short videos on school ground greening and issues like risk management.