Dr. Jean Larson began her work for the University of Minnesota at the Arboretum in 1991, where she developed the Center for Therapeutic Horticulture and Recreation Services. In 2012, the program expanded to Nature-Based Therapeutic Services, which includes therapeutic horticulture, animal-assisted interactions, facilitated green exercise, and therapeutic landscapes. Jean has a Ph.D. in Education (emphasis in therapeutic recreation) with a minor in integrative medicine from the University of MN. She is also an Assistant Professor for the Center for Spirituality and Healing as part of the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center, where she teaches six courses: Introduction to Therapeutic Horticulture, Introduction to Therapeutic Landscape Design, Applications in Therapeutic Horticulture, Animals in Healthcare, Introduction to Nature-Based Therapeutics, and Horse as Teacher: Equine facilitated education and psychotherapy. She is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, a Registered Horticultural Therapist, and has a certificate in Disability Services and Adminstration, with a specialization in serving people with developmental disabilities, from the Institute of Community Integration.
Jean's work has taken her to Japan, England, Sweden, Norway, Taiwan and Israel. When not working for the University, Jean is at home enjoying her family farm north of the Twin Cities along with her husband, dogs, cats, goats, chickens and horses.