Dr. Aaron T. Ebata will speak at Illinois State University about his studies regarding spending time in nature as it relates to family relationships during two talks on February 6 and 7. Part of the Children’s Studies Minor Speaker Series, the events are free and open to the public.

Ebata is an associate professor in human development and family studies with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

His first talk, titled “From Profession to Passion: Making a LateCareer Move to #Getoutside,” will be at 7 p.m. in Stevenson Hall, room 401. Ebata will describe a theoretical framework developed with his former student, Dina Izenstark, and a series of studies examining how time in nature affects families and the meaning that family-based nature activities have in the memories of college students. He will discuss the implications that these results have for contemporary families.

The second talk, titled “The Humans in Nature Project: Engaging students to engage the public,” will be at 9:30 a.m. in Schroeder Hall, room 214. Ebata will discuss the Humans in Nature Project (HIN). The project is a web-based effort that relies on social media as a way of informing people of the benefits of nature and inspiring them to spend time outside. The project provides students an opportunity to synthesize research and communicate it to the public, and to learn strategies of social media marketing.

Ebata earned a Ph.D. in human development and family studies from Penn State University.

The talks are funded by an Interdisciplinary Initiative Grant from Illinois State’s College of Arts and Sciences and sponsored by the Department of Psychology. Those who need special accommodations to attend can contact the Department of Psychology at (309) 438-8651.