Center for Health and Nature 2023 Symposium

Launched in 2018, the Center for Health & Nature is a partnership between Texan by Nature, Houston Methodist, and Texas A&M Health Science Center. The Health & Nature Symposium convenes friends of the center, researchers, potential funders, and donors to explore ways to advance the science of the interplay between exposure to natural environments, health and healing.

The symposium increases awareness of the Center for Health & Nature research priorities, the current state of research in the field, and funding mechanisms available to collaborative partners of the center. Researchers can develop collaborations for innovative and meaningful research and take steps to secure funding in support of their projects.

Agenda and Speakers

Nature Contact and Health Promotion: From Science to Application

Erin Largo-Wight, PhD

Director, Institute of Environmental Research and Education (IERE)

Professor, Department of Public Health

University of North Florida

The Clean Environment for Healthy Living Initiative: A Case for Environmental Justice

Garret Sansom, DrPH, MPH

Research Assistant Professor, School of Public Health

Texas A&M University

Exposure to nature and children’s health and development: Understandings from life-course research

Dongying Li, MLA, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning

Texas A&M University

Exploring the Connection Between Health and Nature: Research Updates from CHN

Omar Elsayed, MBBCh

Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Health & Nature

Houston Methodist Research Institute

Morning Vision Panel

(audio only)


  • Erin Largo-Wight, PhD, University of North Florida
  • Garret Sansom, DrPH, MPH, Texas A&M University
  • Dongying Li, PhD, MLA, Texas A&M University
  • Omar Elsayed, MBBCh, Houston Methodist Research Institute


(not recorded)

Howard Frumkin, MD, DrPH

Senior Vice President and Director, Land and People Lab, Trust for Public Land,

Hagler Fellow Professor, Texas A&M University

Beyond the Bayous for a Healthier Harris County

Lisa Graiff

Senior Capital Projects Manager

Houston Parks Board

Waterloo Greenway Overview: A Place for All

Jesús Aguirre

Chief Executive Officer

Waterloo Greenway

Using Big Data, Machine Learning, and Passive Behavioral Data Collection to Understand the Relationships between Nature and Health

Jared Hanley

Chief Executive Officer



Afternoon Vision Panel 

(audio only)


  • Howard Frumkin, MD, DrPH, Hagler Fellow Professor
  • Jared Hanley, NatureQuant
  • Lisa Graiff, Houston Parks Board
  • Jesús Aguirre, Waterloo Greenway