There is considerable evidence that contact with nature yields benefits for human health and well-being (with important contributions from researchers at the University of Exeter). However, available evidence for the most part does not yet support robust, specific recommendations for public health action. Dr. Frumkin will present a proposed research agenda for this emerging field, recently developed through a multidisciplinary, multi-stakeholder process at the University of Washington, that aims to identify priority research questions needed to support public health action.
Howard Frumkin is Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, at the University of Washington School of Public Health, where he served as Dean until 2016. He is currently on sabbatical as a visiting research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He is an internist, environmental and occupational medicine specialist, and epidemiologist. Previously he directed the National Center for Environmental Health and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (NCEH/ATSDR) at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2005-10) and a faculty member at Emory University (1990-2005).
Dr. Frumkin’s research interests include public health aspects of the built environment, climate change, energy policy, and nature contact. He chairs the Wellcome Trust Our Planet, Our Health funding committee and serves on the steering committee of the Planetary Health Alliance. A strong proponent of academic engagement with communities, his current and recent board service includes the Washington Global Health Alliance, the Bullitt Foundation, the Children and Nature Network, the Seattle Parks Foundation, and the U.S. Green Building Council. He is the author or co-author of over 200 scientific journal articles and chapters, and his books include Urban Sprawl and Public Health (2004), Emerging Illness and Society (2004), Safe and Healthy School Environments (2006), Green Healthcare Institutions: Health, Environment, Economics (2007), Making Healthy Places: Designing and Building for Health, Well-Being, and Sustainability (2011) and Environmental Health: From Global to Local (Third Edition, 2016).
Dr. Frumkin was educated at Brown (A.B.), Penn (M.D.), and Harvard (M.P.H. and Dr.P.H.). He is an avid cyclist, paddler, and hiker. He is married to radio journalist Joanne Silberner, and has two children: Gabe, an environmental campaign worker, and Amara, a medical student.