NLI's first priority is research of children's outdoor environments to generate new knowledge that may support evidence-based design. Included is the post-occupancy evaluation (POE) of model environments created by the NLI and others, and the testing and evaluation of design prototypes.
Behavior mapping has been developed by NLI over the last several years as a paperless method using handheld devices for observing behavior and associated social interactions, environmental attributes, and physical elements.
NLI research projects have been conducted with interdisciplinary partners in other departments at NC State University and several other universities and research centers nationally and internationally.
Major funding has been provided by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), The National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF, through Active Living Research, San Diego State University), the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation of North Carolina (BCBSNC), and the Buffalo Hospital Foundation (BHF).
Selected Research Projects
- Childcare Outdoor Renovation as a Built Envirionment Health Promotion Strategy: Evaluating the Preventing Obesity by Design Intervention
- Parks for Kids. Research translation project. RWJF / Active Living Research. 2011-2012.
- Investigating Parks for Active Recreation for Kids (I-PARK). RWJF / Active Living Research. 2007-2009.
- Measuring Physical Activity Affordances in Preschool Outdoor Environments. NIEHS. 2006-2009.
- Head Start Growth and Readiness in the Outdoor World (HS-GROW). Head Start Bureau. 2004-2005.
- Preschool Outdoor Environment Measurement Scale (POEMS). NC University Cooperative Extension. 2004-2005.
- My Place by The Bay: Inquiry-Based Investigations Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito, California. NSF. 2003-2007.
- Motivation to Move: Physical Activity Affordances in Outdoor Preschool Areas. RWJF.
- Kids Together Park, Cary, NC. Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE). NIDRR. 2003-2004.
- Baseline Survey of Environmental Conditions of Outdoor Areas in North Carolina Childcare Centers. 2002-2003. Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. Smith Reynolds Foundation, NC.