Our ancestors may not have called themselves "citizen scientists" or organized to collect data for scientific inquiry, but they were keen observers of the natural world. Their survival often depended on being able to tease apart nature's complexity -- where to find game and when to sow seeds, collect berries and prepare for winter or bad weather.
But our modern, technology-obsessed lives increasingly divorce us from nature, with consequences for our health and well-being. Numerous studies now remind us of what we know intuitively: Spending time in nature makes us feel better -- helping with depression, attention deficit disorder, recall and memory, problem-solving and creativity. People who spend more time outside are also physically healthier.