Permission to Take Part in a Human Research Study

You are being asked to take part in a research study because we are interested in learning about people’s attitudes and early life experiences in nature.

Specifically, researchers at the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health are interested in learning about how interaction with nature may affect health and wellbeing, recognizing that interest and opportunities to be in nature differ for every individual.

You are eligible to participate in this study if you are 18 years of age or older. Your participation in this study is voluntary and you may withdraw your participation at any time for any reason.

If you take part in this study, you will be asked open-ended questions in the setting of this small focus group. Your participation in this informal discussion will last approximately 60-75 minutes. There is no commitment beyond this session. Specifically, you will be asked to provide your opinion on 15 questions about your attitudes toward nature and the outdoors, how you were introduced to nature, and where you currently find nature. There are no right or wrong answers. We are interested in your own opinion and experience.

The possible risks of participating in this study include discomfort speaking to a group of unknown individuals, and we ask you to please respect the rights and opinions of others. A second possible risk is breach of confidentiality as we are audio-recording the session to accurately capture your opinions. In order to minimize this risk, research data will remain confidential through these measures:

1) audio files will be kept secure and only research investigators will have access.

2) audio files will be transcribed as soon as possible after the focus group, and

3) after audio files are transcribed, they will be deleted. All transcriptions will be de-identified and will not include any names or other identifying information. We will only use first names during the session.


You will not directly gain anything from taking part in this focus group other than knowing you are contributing to research that may influence health across people and places. The study objective is to learn about factors that encourage or discourage people from seeking out nature.


The opinions you contribute as a focus group participant may help explain why individuals choose or not choose to spend time in outdoor nature and why this may matter for adult health and wellbeing.

You can decline to participate in any part of this study for any reason and can end your participation at any time. Just let me know if you wish to leave.


If you have any questions about this study, you can contact Linda Tomasso at

Thank you again for your time and participation.