Location: Indiana, United States

I became a Professor Emeritus after serving 29 years as a recreational therapy faculty member at Indiana University. I'm a long-time Hoosier, having grown up in Hanover, Indiana. My RT practitioner work was in psych/mental health. After completing my Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, my first faculty position was at the University of North Texas. RT has been a wonderful profession for me as I have had the opportunity to serve as an author and national leader.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Call for Presentations -- National Symposium, University of Utah

"This Land Is Your Land: Toward a Better Understanding of Nature's Resiliency-Building and Restorative Power for Armed Forces Personnel, Veterans, and their Families"

A National Symposium, September 17-20, 2014
University of Utah Guest House, Salt Lake City, Utah

Co-Sponsored by the Sierra Club, the Veterans Administration, the National Ability Center, Wasatch Adaptive Sports, and the University of Utah's National Center for Veterans Studies, Veterans Student Affairs Office, and Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism

The purpose of this symposium is to bring together a variety of individuals and organizations dedicated to providing nature-based resiliency-building and restorative experiences for Armed Forces personnel, veterans, and their families. We expect delegates to include social scientists researching the resiliency-building and restorative power of nature-based experiences, representatives from a cross section of organizations providing nature-based outings, and interested others from across the allied health professions. The symposium's content will be driven by four broad questions: 1) What does the research tell us about nature-based experiences' contributions to building resiliency against trauma in Armed Forces personnel, veterans, and their families? 2) What can we learn from existing programs and practices about how best to conduct nature-based outings for Armed Forces personnel, veterans, and their families? 3) What does the research tell us about nature's healing power for Armed Forces personnel, veterans, and their families? and 4) What are the research challenges and funding opportunities to further our understanding of nature's resiliency-building and healing power for Armed Forces personnel, veterans, and their families?

The symposium will include an opening social and keynote on Wednesday evening, September 17th, 2014 followed by three days of plenary sessions with luncheon keynotes, and a banquet and closing keynote on Saturday, September 20th. A block of rooms at modest prices will be reserved at the University Guest House on the University of Utah's campus for symposium delegates, and three lunches and two dinners will be included as part of a modest symposium registration fee ($150 for students, $300 for all other early bird registrants [before April 15, 2014], and $400 for late registrants [after April 15, 2014]).

We will welcome paper/presentation proposals for the symposium until June 1st, 2013. Please submit a proposal detailing your paper/presentation in 500 words or less with your contact information electronically to Dr. Dan Dustin, Chair, Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, University of Utah . Authors of selected proposals will have approximately one year to polish their paper for presentation and publication in book form following the symposium (Sagamore Publishing, LLC)). We are interested in proposals that reflect sound studies (responding to questions #1 and #3 above), best practices (responding to question #2 above), and needed research directions (responding to question #4 above). The symposium's planning team will review all proposals and select 24 that best reflect attempts to seek answers to questions #1, #2, #3, and #4. We will notify everyone submitting proposals of the status of their submission by June 15, 2013, so the authors of the accepted proposals can begin work on preparing the best possible paper for presentation and publication.

Please direct any questions to Dr. Dan Dustin via the above email address or phone (801-585-7560). On behalf of the planning team, I thank you for your interest in our symposium.


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