October 20, 12pm: Using Embodied interviews to understand nature experiences
In recent years, researchers have come to recognize the importance of understanding the cultural significance of nature for people. However, methods to evaluate those services and values often miss the authentic and complex nature of experiences and relationships that people have with nature. For the past several years, Dr. Yael Teff-Seker has employed an embodied approach to the evaluation of cultural ecosystem services, as she interviewed people while walking with them in nature. The study took place in a variety of places and landscapes, including the Negev desert (Israel), the island of Texel (Netherlands), an old growth sub-arctic forest (Finland), and the Scottish Highlands (UK). An analysis of these cases has highlighted the benefits of the embodied approach, and its ability to bring forward what was previously disregarded as mere background. Finally, the study findings suggest certain common, potentially universal, aspects of nature experiences.