Your Brain on Trees: An Obermann Conversation

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Ever sit under a grand old tree and sense its presence? Have you gone to the woods to clear your head and re-find inner calm? In his “biophilia hypothesis,” evolutionary biologist Edward O. Wilson proposes that humans have evolutionary biological and psychological needs attached with the natural world. Some social ecologists believe that a possible effect of environmental destruction will be decreased psychological and spiritual well-being. Join UI arborist Andy Dahl for an introduction to several notable trees on the UI Pentacrest, as Naomi Greyser discusses her research on emotions, and Kristin Bergman of Taproot Nature Exerience shares her experience taking kids into natural spaces.

We'll meet on the front (east-facing) steps of the Old Capitol Museum.

Free and open to the public. Rain or shine.

Thunderstorm location: Obermann Center, 111 Church St.

Andy Dahl, UI arborist, helps to manage the more than 8,000 trees growing on UI property around Iowa City and Coralville. In 2014, he was named a True Professional of Arboriculture by the International Society of Arboriculture.

Naomi Greyser is associate professor of Rhetoric, English and Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies at the University of Iowa, where she is also executive director of Iowa’s Project on Rhetoric of Inquiry. Greyser’s research and teaching span the areas of American literature and culture, critical race and gender theory; affect studies and new materialism; the rhetorical arts; and critical university studies. Greyser’s first book, On Sympathetic Grounds: Race, Gender and Affective Geographies in Nineteenth-Century North America, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press in Fall 2017. 

Kristin Bergman, LPN, LMT, Doula integrates consciousness education in healthcare as well as place-based education for children with Taproot Nature Experience. She facilitates deepening awareness of our relationship with Nature, body wisdom and our unique inner nature. She practices Shinrin Yoku or forest bathing and food systems experiential learning with preschoolers through teens, observing the healing powers and growth opportunities in this playful self discovery.