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Peter Kahn’s quest to cure environmental amnesia is highlighted in a story in ParentMap.

Why Your Kids Are Forgetting About Nature

Inside one UW professor’s quest to cure environmental amnesia BY NANCY SCHATZ ALTON


Peter H. Kahn , Jr., is on a mission. The University of Washington professor wants to cure environmental generational amnesia.

Um, what’s that again?

As kids, we form a picture of what “environmentally normal” means, says Kahn. It’s what we call up when we think of “the environment.” But each new generation gets a worse picture of their environment because of environmental degradation. That degraded condition becomes the “new normal” and skews our perceptions of the natural world. In a sense, we lose our memory of what the world once was — hence the term “environmental generational amnesia.”

Environmental generational amnesia refers to the fact that we lose more knowledge with each generation, says Kahn, who is also director of the Human Interaction With Nature and Technological Systems Lab . Each new generation doesn’t have the knowledge of what they’ve lost, a slide that Kahn says enables a relentless development of the natural world.

How do we counteract that slide? Get wild.

"Kids can learn cognitively why it’s important to save the natural world at school, but until they have experienced why being in natural settings is so great, they won’t know why it’s worth saving,” says Kahn. This means a daily walk is good, and walking in the most wild place nearby is even better. (An extra benefit: There’s plenty of research that shows getting outside is actually good for your health.)

The the entire story here .