Ecopsychology Explorers

(Some of those actively engaged in Scholarly Research and/or Creative Ecopsychological/Human-Nature Relationship Explorations)

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Almut Beringer, Ph.D.

Dept. of Outdoor Education and Nature Tourism
La Trobe University, Bendigo
P.O. Box 199
Bendigo, Victoria 3552, Australia
Phone: +61 3 5444 7487, Fax: +61 3 5444 7848

Research interests: environmental ethics, ecospirituality, sacred cosmology, the healing powers of nature. Current project: how do nature experiences and outdoor pursuits assist recovery from traumatic life events, e.g., spinal cord injury. Other project: how do individuals learn to care for nature?

  1. The transformative and healing effects of nature and nature experiences. Current project: the role of outdoor recreation therapy in the psychological adjustment to physical disability after spinal cord injury (qualitative research)
  2. Spirituality and nature -- current project: a conceptual analysis of spirituality
  3. Moral development/environmental ethics
  4. Ecogrief (trauma, grief and loss associated with the natural world, e.g., extinction of species) and therapeutic approaches current project: documenting ecogrief experiences.

List of publications

Beringer, A. (2001). "In search of the sacred: A conceptual analysis of spirituality." Journal of Experiential Education, in press.

Beringer, A. and Martin, P. (2000). "Where is nature? Adventure therapy and the natural world." Scisco Conscientia, in press.

Beringer, A. (2000). "Nature experiences and outdoor pursuits in the psychological adjustment to physical disability following spinal cord injury (SCI)", Rehabilitation Psychology , submitted for review.

Beringer, A. (2000). "Being moved by nature: Healing through nature and implications for an ethics of care for nature." Proceedings of the Eighth International Symposium for Society and Resource Management, Bellingham, Washington 17 – 22 June 2000, in press.

Beringer, A. (2000). "Ecospirituality: true, indigenous, western." Australian Journal of Environmental Education 16, in press.

Beringer, A. (1999). "Earth requiem: Letter to a grieving friend." Boulder, CO: Association for Experiential Education Individual Monograph # 300198.

Beringer, A. (1999). "On adventure therapy and Earth healing". Australian Journal of Outdoor Education 4(1), 33-39.

Chenery, M.F. and Beringer, A. (1998). "Reconsidering what feels like failure." Australian Journal of Environmental Education 14, 27-38.

Craig Chalquist, MS, PhD

Former co-founder of the Cornerstone Counseling Center in Simi Valley, CA and graduate of the Pacifica Graduate Institute.  Research interests:  My dissertation explored the application of depth psychology, California history, and folklore (e.g., La Llorona, the Weeping Woman) to a "Psychoanalysis of Place" tracing the "voice" of colonized and overdeveloped places deep into the psychological symptoms of their inhabitants.

Michael J. Cohen, Ed.D 

Director: Project NatureConnect at the Institute of Global Education
Director: Institute of Applied Ecopsychology, Akamai University (
Chair: Greenwich University Applied Ecopsychology
Faculty: Portland State University Extended Studies

P. O. Box 1605,
Friday Harbor, WA 98250
888-285-4694 (toll free)

Project NatureConnect at the Institute of Global Education researches and implements a Natural Systems Thinking Process that enables people online to share, thoughtful sensory contacts with attractions in natural areas in order to increase personal and environmental wellness.  The Project offers subsidized Professional Certification and M.S. and Ph.D Degree programs and courses.

The website contains Research Questionnaire Results and analysis of the Webstring Natural Systems Thinking Process Approach to Personal and Global Balance.
SYNOPSIS: Backyard or back country, the Natural Systems Thinking  Process (NSTP) is an easily accessible sensory tool that empowers us to improve our health and relationships by genuinely connecting our psyche to its origins in nature's peace and beauty.
-Nature sustains its perfection by recycling itself; nature continually purifies and heals its disorders.
-We suffer many discontents because although we are part of nature, most of us live excessively nature separated lives; we deprive ourselves of  nature's restorative qualities.
-When we visit a natural area and begin to feel revitalized or clear-headed, we are sensing natural systems starting to heal our stress or disturbed thinking.
Benefit from activities in natural areas that strengthen the maverick natural genius within you. Enjoy an Earth friendly job, career, internship, certification, or online  advanced degrees in Applied Ecopsychology or Integrated Ecology

Relevant Publications:

John Davis, Ph.D.

Dept. of Transpersonal Counseling Psychology, Online MA in Transpersonal Psychology

Naropa University
2130 Arapahoe Ave. Boulder, CO 80302 (303) 444-0202; 444-0410 (fax)

Description of Research Interests

Relevant Publications:

"The transpersonal dimensions of ecopsychology: Nature, non-duality, and spiritual practice." The Humanistic Psychologist (1998, Spr/Sum/Autumn), Vol. 26, (Nos. 1-3), pp 69-100.

"An integrated approach to the scientific study of the human spirit." In Driver, B., et al., Eds. (1996). Nature and the Human Spirit: Toward an Expanded Land Management Ethic. Radnor, PA: Venture Publishing. Pages 417-429.

The Diamond Approach: An Introduction to the Teachings of A. H. Almaas. (1999, Boston: Shambhala Pub.)

"We Keep Asking Ourselves, What is Transpersonal Psychology?" Guidance and Counseling (2000, Spring), Vol. 15 (No. 3), pp 3-8.

Lorraine M. Fish, M.A.

Seattle, Washington
(206) 361 0166

Lorraine teaches Ecopsychology at Bastyr University, Environmental Psychology, Social Psychology, and The Psychology of Difference at City University, and Philosophical Perspectives on Environment and Community and Spiritual Ecology at Antioch University Seattle.  She has been practicing as an Ecotherapist for the past 5 years and has been working on a PhD in Ecopsychology with the Union Institute for the past two years.  Her doctoral studies focus on the relationship between nature, culture and addiction.

Four articles in The New Times by Lorraine M. Fish: Ecopsychology (February 2000), Ecotherapy (April, 2000),  Collective Recovery: An Interview with Chellis Glendinning (July 2000), and EcoRecovery (November 2000).

Robert Greenway, Ph.D.

Corona Farm, Port Townsend, Washington
Professor Emeritus, Sonoma State University.

In the 1950's Robert Greenway worked with W.T. Edmondson on the ecology ("limnology") of Lake Washington, in Seattle.

Robert Greenway wrote his first ecopsychology paper in 1962 as a graduate student at Brandeis University,  working as a writer and researcher for Abraham Maslow.   Subsequently he was the founding dean of Franconia College,  based on ecopsychological principles.

For 22 years he taught ecopsychology at Sonoma State University, and developed the first graduate program in the country training providing training in wilderness therapy.   Currently he has been working on a book on ecopsychology,  developing an organic farm in Port Townsend Washington,  involving himself in local politics, and contributing to the anti-war movement in the U.S.

Most of his writings and research results (primarily on "the wilderness effect") are unpublished and circulated privately.    These, however, have seen the light:

"Die Erfahrung der Wildnis -- Schule der Kooperation, Ort der Heilung"  in Kooperation mit der Evolution -- das kreative Zusammenspiel von Mensch und Kosmos, Eugen Diederichs Verlag,  Munchen, 1999

"Notes in Search of an Ecopsychology," unpublished paper presented at the first Esalen Institute Ecopsychology conference, Big Sur, California, 1993

"Psychoecology as a Search for Language."  Unpublished draft, 1994

"The Wilderness Effect and Ecopsycyhology" in ECOPSYCHOLOGY: RESTORING THE EARTH, HEALING THE MIND, ed. Theodore Roszak, Mary E. Gomes, and Allen D. Kanner,  San Francisco:  Sierra Club, 1995.

The Multiple Approaches to Ecopsychology: One View

Peter H. Kahn, Jr., Ph.D.

Research Associate Professor
Department of Psychology
Box 351525
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-1525
206-616-9395 (Office)

Peter H. Kahn, Jr. is Research Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology, University of Washington. He is also Co-Director of The Mina Institute (Covelo, CA), an organization that seeks to promote, from an ethical perspective, the human relationship with nature and technology. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1988. His publications have appeared in such journals as Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Developmental Review, Human Development, Environmental Values, and Journal of Systems Software. His 1999 award-winning book (MIT Press) is titled The Human Relationship with Nature: Development and Culture. His edited volume (MIT Press, 2002) with Stephen Kellert is titled Children and Nature: Psychological, Sociocultural, and Evolutionary Investigations. His research projects are currently being funded by The National Science Foundation.  See for more information.

The Human Relationship with Nature: Development and Culture,
The MIT Press (1999).
  (Winner of the Book Award for the 2000 Moral Development and Education Group of the American Educational Research Association)

"Peter Kahn addresses a subject important to humanity correctly, not as an advocate of genetic or cultural hypotheses, but as a scholar pondering the way in which the two forms of evolution are interwoven. His conclusions are informed by his own considerable research, presented in a clear and interesting manner. This is a significant contribution to the understanding of the human condition."
- Edward O. Wilson,
Research Professor and Honorary Curator in Entomology,
Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University

“This penetrating analysis is the best yet blending of philosophical analysis and empirical research."
- Holmes Rolston, III,
University Distinguished Professor,
Colorado State University

"Peter Kahn has written a sweeping and original account of the relationship between people and their living environments. The studies in Kahn's ambitious book open new doors into an important area of psychological study, and his bold theorizing adds greatly to our knowledge of developmental universals as well as cultural variation in how humans relate to the natural world."
- William Damon, Professor and Director,
Center on Adolescence,
Stanford University

Department of Human Ecology
Vrije Universiteit Brussels
Laarbeeklaan 107/D150
1090 Brussels
Research Interests: Traditional norms versus Formal state laws in nature conservation. Psychology of human needs and biodiversity conservation theory.  The enhancement of local knowledge and practice versus national park strategy in Sub-saharan Africa. Cultural modification and impacts on local knowledge and perceptions.
Current Research:   Local Knowledge and Perceptions on Nature Conservation in the Korup National Park in Cameroon

Head of The Department of Outdoor Education and Nature Tourism
La Trobe University, Bendigo
Victoria, Australia
Research interests lie in understanding the human to nature relationship and the way such relationships develop.  As a consequence how might educational practices be structured to foster such development?  In particular I believe human/nature relationships are formed in the affective rather than cognitive domain - they exist as felt relationships based on personal direct experience with the natural world.
Relevant publications
Beringer, A. & Martin, P. (2003). On Adventure Therapy and The Natural Worlds: Respecting nature's healing. Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, 3 (1), 29-39.
Martin, P. & Thomas, G. (2001) Interpersonal relationships as a metaphor for human-nature relationships. Australian Journal of Outdoor Education, 5, (1), 39-45.
Martin, P. (1999). Daring to Care? - Humans, Nature and Outdoor Education. Australian Journal of Outdoor Education, 4, (1), 2-4.
Martin, P. (1999) Critical Outdoor Education. In Miles, J. & Priest, S. (Ed.) (1999) Adventure Education (2nd Ed.) (pp. 463-471). State College, PA: Venture Publishing.

Sergio Cristancho Marulanda, M.S.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1115 Plant Sciences Lab
1201 South Dorner Drive
Urbana, IL 61801

Research interests:

Cultural and cross-cultural psychology regarding environmental cognitions and
morality. Human-nature interactions among indigenous communities from the
Northwestern Amazon and Central America. Concept of nature. Relationship
between environmental cognitions/morality and health/illness
conceptions.Culturally-defined keystone species.

Michael Payne, MA

Visiting Lecturer in Theatre Studies
Scarborough School of Arts
University of Hull, Scarborough Campus
Filey Road, Scarborough Y011 7PB

I am researching the relationship between climate and theatre, and investigate particularly the effects of weather on the psychology of performance, whether it be writer, performer or ‘character’. Theatre and performance work from much of Northern Europe, Russia and North America evidences a strong link between climatology and certain pathologies of mind or place, called, in my terms, meteopathology.  The outline of this form of critical practice was given in my paper, Meteorology and Modern Drama as part of the ‘Writing the Environment’ conference, University of East London, September 2000.

John Scull, Ph.D.

phone 250-746-6141
fax 250-746-1529
P. O. Box 156
Duncan, B.C. V9L 3X3 CANADA

Description of research interests

  1. The application of psychology to changing environmental attitudes and behaviour.
  2. The social marketing of environmentalism, especially to farmers and rural landholders.
  3. The use of ecopsychology in stress management and psychotherapy.
  4. Environmental education, especially the Earth Charter.

Publications related to ecopsychology:

Lawrance, R., Littley, S., & Scull, J. (2000)    Three landholder contact programs in British Columbia.   Paper presented at Caring for our Land: Stewardship and Conservation in Canada. University of Guelph, June 4, 2000 and 8th International Symposium on Society and Natural Resource Management, Western Washington University, June 19, 2000.

Scull, J. (1996 - 2000) "Applied ecopsychology." Workshops presented at Malaspina University College, the Land Trust Alliance of British Columbia, and the Urban Salmon Habitat Program, and elsewhere.

Scull, J. (1999) "Ecopsychology: Where does it fit in psychology?"

Scull, J. (1999) "The Separation from More-than-Human Nature."

Scull, J. (2000) Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom. Gatherings #1, ICE Journal

Scull, J. (2000) Chief, Ted Perry speaks. Gatherings #2, ICE Journal

Scull, J. (2000) Caring for the Land. Gatherings #3, ICE Journal

Scull, J. (2001) Health Notes:  Connecting with NatureEnCompass, Volume 5, Number 4, May/June.

Scull, J. (2001) Building an Organic Left, Canadian Dimension, Volume 35, May/June.

Scull, J. (2001) Is it Ever Too Late? The Rescue of Tower Hill. Gatherings #5, ICE Journal

Scull, J. (2002) Why would anyone go to jail to save trees?  Gatherings #7, ICE Journal

Also book reviews in most issues of Gatherings.  These are all available here.

Laura Sewall, Ph.D.

Yes, I would like to have my contact info on your website. My most consistent email address is:

P.O. Box 243, Phippsburg, ME 04562.


Sewell, L. (*1999)  Sight and Sensibility : The Ecopsychology of Perception.
New York:  J P Tarcher; ISBN: 0874779898.


Jed Swift, M.A.

Director, Center for Ecopsychology
Naropa University
2130 Arapahoe Ave. Boulder, CO 80302

Naropa University Center For Ecopsychology

Professional Trainings, Academic Programs & Wilderness Journeys

Exploring the Human-Nature Relationship

Jed Scott Swift, M.A. is the Director of the Center for Ecopsychology at Naropa University and a half time core faculty in Transpersonal Psychology.  He has created several other successful educational organizations over the past twenty years including the Colorado Sacred Earth Institute and the Shavano Institute (co-founded with Will Keepin). He is also an experienced wilderness guide and former co-director of Earth Rites, Inc. a rites of passage organization. Jed has also authored a chapter in The Soul Unearthed: Celebrating Wildness & Personal Renewal Through Nature.

Naropa’s Center for Ecopsychology: A Unique Approach

The Center for Ecopsychology was founded in August 2000 to meet the growing demand for both professional trainings and academic courses in Ecopsychology.  The Center offers both non-credit professional trainings and for-credit academic courses, including a 16 credit certificate program in Ecopsychology. The certificate in Ecopsychology is available either as an on-campus or as an on-line program. For further information on the on-line program, please call Naropa Distance Learning at 303-245-4703. For information on any of the professional trainings, please call Continuing Education at 303-245-4800 or toll free at 1-800-603-3117.

Naropa University’s unique approach to Ecopsychology is grounded in contemplative practice, combining experiential and conceptual learning with awareness training, including meditation and nature-based mindfulness. These practices disclose the reciprocal and seamless connections between ourselves and the world, and nurture our innate desire to contribute to the well-being of both people and planet with understanding and compassion.

What Is Ecopsychology?

Ecopsychology is a new field that is developing in recognition that human health can not be separated from the health of the whole and must include mutually enhancing relationships between humans and the non-human world. Ecopsychology attempts to bridge the gap between humanity and the earth, between ecology and psychology, to learn to again see the needs of the person and the needs of the planet as interrelated and interdependent.

Ecopsychology suggests that the violence that we do to ourselves and to the natural world results from our psychological and spiritual separation from nature. By ecologizing psychology and bringing psychological insight into the ecology movement, it seeks to understand the psychological dimensions of the environmental crisis and to help us recover our capacities to care for the earth and each other.

Areas of interest to ecopsychologists include effective environmental education and action, ecotherapy, the healing and initiatory influences of encounters with "wild" nature, development of the "ecological" self, creating healthy alternatives to materialism and consumerism and the spiritual dimensions of the human-nature relationship.

Scott Taylor, M.A.

The psychological effects of being in wilderness for extended stays. My inquiry involves:

  1. A review of previous wilderness research
  2. A self-study/account of the primary researcher’s wilderness experience
  3. An examination of personal descriptive accounts of co-researcher’s experiences
  4. Analyzing and synthesizing the data.

Four central meaning aspect clusters emerge:

  1. Attuning to, opening to and entering wilderness
  2. Oneness with nature
  3. Self-awareness, inner and outer process
  4. Perspective perception and consciousness shift.

This study illuminates the process of entering wilderness and points to nature connecting as a way toward psychological wholeness, personal purpose and meaning while largely validating previous research and raising questions for further research in this area.

An Exploration of Wilderness Effects: A Phenomenological Inquiry

Michael J. Vandeman, Ph.D.

My research is about changing the way humans think about wildlife. I think that that is the foundation of ecopsychology. I am working on creating wildlife habitat that is off-limits to
humans ("pure habitat"). Want to help? (I spent the previous 8 years fighting auto dependence and road construction.)  Visit

Relevant Publications:

Wildlife and the Ecocity -- Attitudes Toward Wildlife. Third International Ecocity Conference, Dakar, Senegal, January 12, 1996.

Wildlife Need Habitat Off-Limits to Humans. Sixth International Tsukuba Bioethics Roundtable (TRT6) Tsukuba University, Tsukuba, Japan, October 27, 2000

The Animals Came Dancing -- Native American and European Rationalizations for Killing Wildlife -- Do the Animals Really Care?. Eighth International Tsukuba Bioethics Roundtable (TRT8), Tsukuba University, Tsukuba, Japan, February 16, 2003.

Robin F. van Tine, Ph.D.

Professor of Natural Sciences
Saint Leo University
Tidewater Center
105 Cannon Dr., Newport News, VA 23602

Research Interests:

The possibilities of a eco-centric paradigm shift in worldview relating to the human-nature relationship. Comparative eco-ethno-spirituality. The relationships between spirituality and environmental ethics, worldviews and environmental policy.

Pertinent publications and presentations:

The environmental consequences of a community's worldview regarding the human-nature relationship and its sense of place and time: Lessons from history, wisdom from indigenous peoples, and application to contemporary communities.
Presented to The North American Interdisciplinary Conference on Environment and Community, Weber State University, Ogden, Utah, Feb. 11-13, 1999.

The Emerging Interdisciplinary Field of Ecopsychology.
Presented at The Biennial Conference of the International Society for Theoretical Psychology, Sydney, Australia,April 25-28, 1999.

"Hunter-Gatherers in Suits and Ties."
Presented at, For the Love of Nature: An International Interdisciplinary Conference Exploring the Relationship between the Personal and the Planetary, (presented by the Centre For Human Ecology, Edinburgh), Findhorn Foundation, Scotland, 24-28 June 1999.

Gaeaphobia: Ecophobia, Ecomania and "Otherness" in the Late 20th Century
In, Derek Hook, Kathryn Smith, Brett Bowman and Martin Terre Blanche (eds.), From Method to Madness: Five Years of Qualitative Enquiry, History of the Present Press, Department of Psychology, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, WITS 2050, Johannesburg, South Africa, 1999.

"Eco-Psycho-Spiritual Geographic Boundaries,"
Presented to: Philosophical Explorations of Spatial Boundaries, The Society for Philosophy and Geography Second Annual Conference Towson University, Towson Maryland, April 28 - 30, 2000.

"Cosmologies, Ancient, Old and New and their Relationship to Environmental Ethics: Can the Human - Nature Paradigm be Shifted?" Paper presented at 11th International Conference of the Society for Human Ecology: Democracy and Sustainability. Oct. 17-21, 2000, Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Green Fire: The Spirit of Nature. Book in progress.

An Invitation

This is a community effort and we welcome your contribution. Are you pursuing research or exploring the human-nature relationship? Would you like to add a description of your work here and connect with other Ecopsychological Researchers and Explorers? Just send an email to:


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