Exploring the Impact of Nature on Health
Fridays at Findlay guest speaker brings a unique insight to the discussion of nature and how it can affect both mental and physical health.
The Friday, June 11, 2021 session, “How Nature Positively Impacts Our Well-Being: Insights from Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director, Mary Mertz,” will be presented virtually from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. through UFTV livestream, and is free to the public.
From reducing anxiety and blood pressure, to increasing focus and creativity, the positive impact nature has on people physically and mentally is incredibly diverse. Mary Mertz, director of the Ohio department of natural resources, will discuss the strides psychologists and ecologists have made in understanding how nature positively affects health and well-being.
As summer gets underway, more Ohioans will be spending time in parks and other natural settings. Along with discussing nature as it relates to health, Mertz will share information regarding Ohio’s state parks including new park projects.
Mertz earned her undergraduate degree at American University, a master’s degree at George Washington University and her juris doctorate at The Ohio State Moritz College of Law.
Since her appointment to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources by Governor Mike DeWine in 2019, Mertz has been instrumental in advancing initiatives in the H2Ohio water quality program and has also led efforts to conserve and protect important land areas for both recreational opportunities and preservation of rare species.
Mertz now leads and oversees 11 divisions that manage Ohio’s state parks, preserves, and forests. Her areas of focus include geologic and water resources, conserving and managing Ohio’s fish and wildlife, regulating oil, gas and the mining industries, as well as protecting and improving the Lake Erie coastline.
Joining Director Mertz on the panel will be Robin Walters-Powell, Ed.D., UF associate professor, director of the Social Work Program, and chair of the Healthcare Services Department, and Patricia Bakies, board certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner at Blanchard Valley Hospital.
Sponsored by Premier Bank, the Fridays at Findlay lecture series is designed to encourage continued educational opportunities for members of the community, the campus, and alumni regarding best leadership practices.