Forest Therapy

Sent on behalf of Blake Ellis (Ecotherapy Program Manager) and Josh Trout (Kinesiology Professor)

Forest Therapy is inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku, or “Forest Bathing.” Forest Therapy is a simple, guided, immersive experience in a natural environment to promote the well-being of both people and the land. Forest Therapy is an opportunity to slow down and experience the natural world through your senses.  During your guided immersion, a certified guide will offer a series of invitations to deepen your sensory experience and assist you in finding your own authentic way of interacting with the land. There’s no right or wrong way to do it; just come and be yourself. It’s all welcome in the forest. Forest Therapy experiences finish up with tea made from wild-foraged forest herbs and snacks.

Proven health benefits include:  

  • Reduction in cortisol and adrenaline levels. 
  • Enhanced immune system function by increasing the production of natural killer cells. 
  • Improved respiratory and cardiovascular function. 
  • Decreased anxiety and depression. 
  • Improved mood, focus, academic performance, and creativity. 

We hope you can join us and experience valuable tools for mental, emotional, and physical health and well-being!  

Click on the dates linked below to sign up for a guided Forest Therapy experience.

  • On Campus – wheelchair accessible
  • Off Campus
    • Saturdays from 9:30-10:45 a.m. (April 2nd and April 16th)
      • Feel Better, Feel Good, Feel Wonderful: Forest Therapy for Individuals Facing Severe Illnesses & Their Families at Cedar Grove Trail with Emiliano – wheelchair accessible.
    • Sunday, April 3rd 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. : Forest Therapy at the Butte Creek Ecological Preserve with Liz.
    • Sunday, Apr 10th 1:30-4:00 p.m. : Paradise Lake with Dan. 
    • Thursday, April 14th 7:00-9:00 p.m. : Full Moon Forest Bathing at the Butte Creek Ecological Preserve with Dan.
    • Sunday, April 24th 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. : Forest Therapy at Cedar Grove Trail with Josh – wheelchair accessible.
    • Saturday, May 7th 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Forest Therapy at the Butte Creek Ecological Preserve with Liz.
    • Saturday, May 13th 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. : Full Moon Forest Bathing at the Butte Creek Ecological Preserve with Josh.

Flexibility in the class: yay or nay?

Dear faculty, 

One question that I often receive from instructors, and certainly more so since the pandemic, goes approximately like this: how can we allow for flexibility in our classes without losing track of meeting objectives and teaching the importance of meeting deadlines? 

This is a very legitimate question: we want to be flexible and acknowledge how hard the last 2-3 years have been, but we also want to teach students that in the professional world they will have to respect due dates and meet their responsibilities. 

To look at flexibility from different perspectives, I want to share a couple of readings that invite to consider flexibility as both a blessing and a curse, so to speak. In Flexibility is key if we want students to connect with their studies (Nave, 2021), the author makes a great point about how “the forced shift to online education was in fact a great windfall for many students, who found the flexibility it brought to be life-changing. Education, suddenly, became much more accessible.”  

On the other hand, in The Perils of Flexibility (2022), Breana Bayraktar reminds us that flexibility might actually be an inequitable practice: “I’m always concerned that being flexible when asked for grace from a student means that some students will ask but others equally in need of extra help will not” and therefore she “prefer[s] to build in from the start of the semester whatever flexibility or choice I plan to offer.” 

Specifically, Bayraktar advocates for negotiable deadlines, which 

  • Teach evaluation & planning skills 
  • Helps students articulate their process 
  • Improves self-awareness 

I hope these readings will encourage some conversations among faculty about both the benefits and the perils of flexibility, as I remind everyone that faculty always have the ability to establish thresholds of flexibility, as long as they are applied equitably to all your students! 

Inspired 2022

Sent on behalf of Jodi Shepherd, Interim Dean of the Meriam Library, and the Meriam Library and CSE Inspired Team.

Tuesday Tip: Take a few minutes to recognize your research and creative activities for Inspired 2022. 

Event: April 6th 3:30-5:00

Inspired 2022 will be a virtual event hosted on Zoom from 3:30-5:00 on Wednesday, April 6th. During this event we’ll recognize Lantis awardees,  FRAS awards, Early Career Community Engagement award and  Our Civically Engaged Scholar Award, among others. While Inspired 2022 looks a little different this year, we are excited to celebrate the awardees and the work that has gone into research and creative activities in the past year. The decision to hold the event online was a result of COVID uncertainties and  4th floor upgrades

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to host Inspired 2020 and Inspired 2021 because of  COVID-19.  We will acknowledge past recipients during this year’s virtual event.  Recognition of awardees will also be on display in the library during the month of April. 

We hope you’ll join us to celebrate the awardees who are being recognized for their achievements. 

In-Person Exhibit: Library throughout April

The continued scholarship of Chico State faculty will be recognized with posters throughout the library during the month of April. With one poster dedicated to each department and each author’s citations listed with a link to their work, we welcome the Chico State community to view the research that has been accomplished during the pandemic. Our aim is to engage students who are in the library as well in displaying their faculty’s research achievements

Participate and be recognized. Please take a few minutes and submit your research or creative work completed between:

January 1st, 2021 to December 31st, 2021

January 1st, 2020 to December 31st, 2020

We are excited to celebrate with you,

Jodi Shepherd, Interim Dean of the Meriam Library

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion: Teaching Practices

Dear faculty,

Last week I was asked by Dr. Zach Justus to have a conversation with teaching assistants in Communication Studies about inclusive teaching practices and how equity and diversity can be brought into the classroom.

The request was both incredibly simple and incredibly complex!

My main concern was being able to condense information in a way that would be comprehensive and yet not overwhelming, and create a set of resources that could capture all the nuances of approaching EDI from a pedagogical perspective.

To be fully honest, I was surprised that I had not come up with such resources before. We have many tools about EDI in Faculty Development, they were just not collected in one place. So, this request was a great opportunity to explore some of our resources and organize them in a presentation that is easy to share. This is by no means an exhaustive and complete list, but I hope it is a good starting point for instructors that want to approach more inclusive practices in their courses.

You can access the slides here, and they will probably morph and grow into something bigger in the next weeks.

If you have used some of these practices, share your experience on our blog!

Chiara Ferrari, Ph.D. 

Faculty Development, Director