A a grassy field with trees in the distance
A a grassy field with trees in the distance

Centre Connecting Humans and Nature

Connecting Humans and Nature, from childhood experiences to engaged citizenship
Project type

Centre Connecting Humans and Nature (CCHN) studies people’s connectedness with nature in different contexts and over the human life course. The mission is to contribute to connecting humans and nature through research and by organising and encouraging dialogues within and between science and society. CCHN focuses on connecting humans and nature through childhood & life course and through practice & perception. CCHN is based at the Institute for Science in Society. Follow CCHN on X.


Schilderij van twee mensen liggend naast een waterval

Nature: Our Hope in Harsh Times, writes Noelle Aarts

Nature is in trouble, people say. Well, no, others respond, nature will take care of itself. As a bulb grower indicated: "Vulnerable? You wouldn't believe what I have to spray to keep nature at bay."

Logo EnviroCitizen

EnviroCitizen report out: 'Participatory Bird Events in Five European Countries'

Within the EnviroCitizen project, the report 'Participatory Bird Events in Five European Countries' is finalised. The report describes a series of 19 events organised across five countries, which together engaged hundreds of people.


Researchers at CCHN are working on the following research projects.

  • FLOW: Future Lives with Oceans and Waters. Funded by the European Union


    In contribution to the EU mission Restore our Oceans and Waters by 2030, FLOW is an international and interdisciplinary project studying young generations relations and engagement with water and oceans, their expectations and emotions.

  • Vossen in het bos bij de Radboud Universiteit


    WildlifeNL is dedicated to the search for new forms of wildlife management. The goal is to develop new technologies, governance arrangements and communication strategies, to enable a low-conflict coexistence of humans and wildlife.

  • Logo EnviroCitizen


    The EnviroCitizen project uses birding activities to study how citizen science can foster environmental citizenship. It aims to develop community interventions across Europe, using an educational programme and public events.

  • Visions of Nature in Indonesia

    A collaborative project between Indonesia and the Netherlands is investigating how Indonesian cultures and religions influence their relationship with nature.

  • Eurasion Curlew (Red List Species)

    Mourning for Deserted Skies

    The 'Mourning for Deserted Skies' project investigates how digital platforms influence emotional responses to biodiversity loss among citizen scientists.

  • Visions of Nature in the Metropolitan City of Lima

    Visions of Nature in the Metropolitan City of Lima

    This project investigates citizens' views of nature in Lima, Peru and compares the results with studies from the Netherlands and Vietnam. A subproject uses poetry as a tool in biology education to enhance students' understanding of nature.

  • Boy standing on tree branch

    From Childhood Experiences to Engaged Citizenship

    This project explores how childhood experiences with nature impact ecological citizenship in adulthood, using both qualitative and quantitative research methods.


In the following list, you can find the international peer reviewed articles of the last years.

Student Theses

Students from Radboud University or other universities can carry out their student projects or internships at the CCHN. Sometimes we have specific research questions to be addressed. Below are a few examples of student projects.

Experiences of volunteers from Sovon participating in a blackbird nest monitoring project
Mees van Laanen
Mees van Laanen Student Science in Society Read Mees' story
How do activities in green environments stimulate children's connection to nature?
Portrait Leonie Kooloos
Leonie Kooloos Student Science in Society Read Leonie's story
Perspectives on Nature at the Environmental Planning Agency
Student Sietske Dijkstra
Sietske Dijkstra Student Science in Society Read Sietske's story
Logo Centre Connecting Humans and Nature (CCHN)

About CCHN

Centre Connecting Humans and Nature (CCHN) is based at the Institute for Science in Society and is part of the Faculty of Science of the Radboud University Nijmegen.

Riyan van den Born is director of the CCHN and Noelle Aarts is scientific advisor.


The CCHN is an initiative of the Foundation Endowed Chair (Stichting Bijzondere Leerstoel) and is financed by IVN Nature Education, Natuurmonumenten, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Staatsbosbeheer, WWF and Radboud University.

The sounding board of CCHN consists of José Koopman (Natuurmonumenten), Marjolein Kloek (Staatsbosbeheer), Kris van Koppen (Stichting Bijzondere Leerstoel en Natuurbeheer), Noa Dunnewind (Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds), Joline de Weerdt (IVN Nature Education) en Monique Grooten (WWF).

Contact information

If you have any questions, please contact CCHN director Riyan van den Born.