Tara L. Brown
PhD Candidate | Sustainable Forest Management Research Group
Department of Forest Resources Management | Faculty of Forestry
The University of British Columbia

Personal Website | LinkedIn | Research Gate

Investigating the influence of forest bathing and environmental factors on health outcomes through a randomized controlled trial in Vancouver’s forested parks.

Research Themes
Forest bathing, Forest therapy, Shrinrin-yoku, Nature therapy, Environmental health, Environmental monitoring

Research Interests

  • Environmental Health: Investigating the intersection of environmental factors with public health outcomes, with a dedication to enhancing community well-being through natural interventions.
  • Forest Therapy: Focusing on the physiological and psychological benefits of forest bathing (Shinrin-yoku), aiming to develop scalable models for implementation in diverse ecological and social contexts.
  • Digital Innovation: Creating augmented reality (AR) applications to simulate immersive nature experiences, making forest therapy accessible to individuals facing physical or logistical barriers.
  • Community Engagement: Championing community science initiatives to foster inclusive citizen participation in environmental monitoring and education, particularly within urban settings.
  • Environmental Monitoring: Conducting rigorous research to understand the health impacts of specific environmental conditions, with a focus on leveraging technology for data collection and analysis.

Academic Background

2021-2024 | Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
2019 | Certificate on Education for Sustainable Development, Sustainability Studies, University of Peace (UPEACE) – UN Mandated
2003 | Bachelor of Science in Technology Management, Post University, Waterbury, CT


2021 | Certified Forest Therapy Guide, Association of Nature and Forest Therapy, Credential ID 77 (Hummingbird)
2019 | Forest Medicine Trainee, International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine

Professional Experience

2014-2021 | Co-Founder, Board Member, and CEO, KitHub, Los Angeles, CA, and Tokyo, Japan
2012-2019 | Co-Founder, Board Member, and Chief Encouragement Officer, Los Angeles Makerspace, Los Angeles, CA
2015-2016 | Co-Founder, Board Member, and Technical Director, Connected Camps, Los Angeles, CA
2012-2016 | Technical Director, DML Research Hub at UC Irvine, Irvine, CA
2009-2010 | Account Manager – Artist Services, Topspin Media, Los Angeles, CA
2008-2009 | Senior Program Manager, Topspin Media, Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA
2000-2008 | Senior Lead Program Manager, Microsoft, Mountain View, CA, and Redmond, WA


Silent Trails – A Vision for Acoustically Protected Trails

Lead Researcher & Project Lead, In partnership with Metro Vancouver Regional Parks June 2023 – Present

A pilot project to create silent trails in urban parks, aiming to study and improve visitors’ health outcomes by mitigating noise pollution. Overseeing research and collaborating with Metro Vancouver Regional Parks to implement the project.

Forestʌr: Your On-Demand Guide to Forest Bathing

Project Lead, The University of British Columbia, Emerging Media Lab, Vancouver, BC May 2023 – Present

Launched an AR application, Forestʌr, providing virtual forest bathing experiences tailored to support undergraduate mental health. This initiative intersects digital innovation with environmental psychology to create accessible nature experiences for urban and indoor settings, promoting well-being across diverse populations.

Awards and Grants

Fellow, Centre for Japanese Research, Institute of Asian Research, UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, October 2023 – Present, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Public Scholar, UBC Public Scholars Initiative, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, September 2023 – Present, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

President’s Academic Excellence Initiative PhD Award, Award, Awarded 2021, 2022, 2023

Conference Travel Grant, DeSci London, Grant, Awarded January 2023.

Nature Vancouver Graduate Scholarship, Scholarship, Awarded May 2022.

Shuttleworth Foundation Flash Grant, Shuttleworth Foundation, Grant, Awarded January 2021.

Conference Presentations

Brown, T.L. (2023). Designing Evidence-Based Forest Spaces: A Comparative Review of Japanese and Canadian Approaches. Presentation at the 3rd World Conference on Forests for Public Health, October 4-7, Sherbrooke, Quebec.

Brown, T.L. (2023). Designing Health-Promoting Forest Spaces in BC’s Community Forests: Lessons from Japan’s Forest Therapy Trails. Poster session presented at the BC Community Forest Association Conference, June 7-9, Kamloops, BC.

Brown, T.L. (2022). Sensing the Forest: Participatory Trail Assessment. Presentation at the International Conference on Forest Therapy, July 7-9, Vancouver, BC.

Peer Reviewed Work

Brown, T.L. (2023). Forest Bathing. In S. Priest, S. Ritchie & D. Scott (Eds.). Outdoor Learning in Canada. Open Resource Textbook. Retrieved from

Non-Peer Reviewed Work

Brown, T. (2019, October 3). Noise Pollution: How To Measure Its Effect On Your Health. Medium. Retrieved from

Brown, T. (2019, August 9). Blend subjects and build skills – The Canadian. The Canadian. Retrieved from

Public Outreach

Brown, T.L. (2023, April). Forest Bathing Research Overview. Presented at the Pacific Spirit Park Society.

Brown, T.L. (2022, May). Forest Bathing in B.C. Parks. Presented at the Salt Spring Trail & Nature Club, Salt Spring Island.

Brown, T.L. (2022, April). Forest Bathing: Health and Wellbeing. Presented at the Arrowsmith Naturalists, Qualicum, B.C.

Brown, T.L. (2022, February). Forest Bathing and Evidence-based Research. Presented at the Smithers Climate Action Group, Smithers, B.C.

Institute for the Future (IFTF). (2020). IFTF Online Collaboration: Crowdsourcing Safety in Times of Crisis, Featuring Tara Brown of SafeCast [YouTube Video]. Retrieved from

Brown, T.L. (2017, April 22). Measuring Air Quality in Los Angeles. Presented at the March for Science Los Angeles.

Professional Memberships

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT)
  • Children & Nature Network
  • Earth Charter Educators Network
  • International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine
  • Nature Vancouver
  • North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE)
  • The GLOBE Program