I graduated from UCSC in 1977 with an independent major that combined anthropology, psychology, and natural history. I returned to school nine years later and completed my masters in psychology at Sonoma State University where I worked closely with a professor whose specialty is the use of group wilderness trips for psychological and personal growth. I did my master's thesis on Emerson and Whitman, focusing on the transcendentalist emphasis on nature as divine. I became involved with the Sierra Institute first as a student in 1976, then as a teaching assistant, and have taught for Sierra Institute since 1989. Balancing my scholarly interests, I'm also an organic gardener and for two years was head gardener at the Mother Earth News Eco-Village in North Carolina. Coupled with my teaching duties I now co-director the Sierra Institute as well.
Incredible things happen when you get out in the wilderness with a small travelling group. A community is created in which the dynamics are rich, complex and an education in themselves. In addition, there is a private thread, which is the individual before and after the course and the individual away from the group at times, alone by a creek or under the stars. Finally, there is the reading and course work, ideas and questions interesting enough to lose sleep over.
Muir said that he left the academic university in order to devote himself to what he thought was a greater teacher, the university of the wilderness. This program will attempt to provide the best of both.
Humboldt State University
Office of Distance and Extended Education
Student and Business Services, Suite 211
Arcata, CA 95521
Fax (707) 826-5885