Recent evidence quantifies many brain health benefits of forests, but this idea is not new. The health benefits of public parks and wild areas were heralded long ago by Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect who designed Central Park, and others of his era. Now we know that protected areas and natural ecosystems are also essential to remove and store carbon and to prevent extinction. This presentation will highlight new data that underscores power of trees and forests as “multisolvers” – systemic solutions that protect the climate while improving health, equality, and well-being.
Susan A. Masino, PhD is the Vernon D. Roosa Professor of Applied Science at Trinity College. Her neuroscience research focuses on metabolic therapies for epilepsy and autism as well as opportunities to improve brain health. Recently she has been applying an interdisciplinary lens to brain health across the landscape. In 2018 Dr. Masino was awarded a Charles Bullard Research Fellowship at Harvard University on forests and brain health and she has incorporated that work directly into her scholarship and teaching. She collaborated with a climate scientist and an ecologist to publish the seminal paper on “proforestation” – protecting a strategic subset of forest ecosystems for multiple benefits. Dr. Masino also serves as the Co-chair of the Science and Technology Working Group of the Governor’s Council on Climate Change (GC3) in Connecticut.