Date of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Type



Public Health

Director of Thesis

Dr. John Grego

First Reader

Greg Cunningham

Second Reader

Greg Cunningham


In recent years, there has been a drastic spike in diagnosed mental illnesses and many people, including students, are reporting problems about their overall mental well-being (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2021). Furthermore, college students are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress, especially from the ongoing pandemic, leading to an increase in mental health disorders (Meredith et al., 2020). Scientists have known for years that there are numerous positive health-related effects that occur as a result of spending time in nature, one of which is a better mental state (Bratman, 2012). Therefore, the main purpose of this thesis is to increase awareness about the connection between nature and mental well-being by developing specific programs on-campus and at Congaree National Park, tailored towards college students.


© 2022, Emily P Baniewicz