National Geographic: Nature is Good for Your Brain


An article in the January 2016 issue of National Geographic titled, “This Is Your Brain on Nature,” highlights the benefits of spending time in nature.

Although anecdotal evidence of this effect can be felt by anyone who enjoys a stroll through the woods, new research is looking at how our brain waves and functions change when we experience the outdoors.

Scientists hypothesize that nature has profound effect on our fatigued, over-stimulated minds, allowing the brain’s prefrontal cortex to rest, as if it were a fatigued muscle.

Read the full article from National Geographic here.

Apply Now for Highstead’s Communications Internship

Highstead is now accepting applications for one communications intern for the spring of 2016. The intern will help support the efforts of Highstead and the Wildlands and Woodlands vision through effective and compelling communications products. The intern will gain experience in multiple areas of communications, potentially including social media campaigns, website copy, partner interviews, website design, media outreach, video editing, and photography.

View the full internship description and application details here.

RCP Handbook Released


A new handbook aimed at driving collaborative conservation in New England, New York, and beyond, has been released by Highstead and the RCP Network. The Regional Conservation Partnership (RCP) Handbook captures the experiences of RCPs to date and outlines 10 steps identified as important to RCP success. 

Building upon the knowledge gained from the 43 partnerships that are part of the RCP Network, the Handbook is organized around the three fundamental stages of RCP growth (Emerging, Maturing, and Conserving). 

The RCP Handbook is available digitally on the Wildlands and Woodlands website and hard copies can be requested by emailing

Highstead Senior Ecologist Featured in Arnoldia

Ed Faison, Highstead senior ecologist, wrote an article featured in the current issue of Arnoldia, the quarterly magazine of the Arnold Arboretum.

The article, titled, “Seeing the landscape in landscape art,” looks at the ecological information depicted in paintings of the Northeast done by members of the Hudson River School artists in the 1800s. Read the full article here and learn more about Arnoldia here.

Photo on right: Thomas Cole's 1836 painting, View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm--The Oxbow. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.