Current Board Members
Jane is a graduate of the last cohort of the MSc in Human Ecology at the University of Strathclyde and was an active participant in the collaborative inquiry into the future direction of the organization. She has a background in Psychology and Counselling psychology as well as horticulture and gardening. She is currently involved in setting up a community food garden near her home in Brighton and is a community governor for the primary school attended by her two sons. She is working as a Domestic Energy Assessor, the Education and Outreach Manager for the Brighton Earthship Eco Education program and is a director of the Low Carbon Trust.
Originally from a farming background in Oxfordshire, Miriam completed the CHE masters in 2009 and now lives in Glasgow. She is an investigative researcher and environmental and social activist, whose passion is supporting and linking communities affected by the aluminium industry globally. She also currently works with the Poverty Truth Commission- a Glasgow based participatory project bringing people in poverty together with some of Scotland’s lead decision makers. Miriam feels the Centre for Human Ecology has given her the confidence to deepen her activism into the personal, emotional and spiritual, and to find ways to express this. In her thesis she explored her upbringing in a landowning family and delved into the psychology of land ownership which damages both the psyche of the landed and the landless. It was a truly transformative experience, which has deepened her resolve and ability to challenge all abuses of power, including her own.
bio coming soon: website www.lukedevlin.org )
Danielle Cohen – Bio & Photo to follow…
Other CHE folk past and present
this list is not exhaustive: graduates, members and fellows who wish to be featured here please email a photo and short bio to firstname.lastname@example.org
Jenny McCarry – Administrator
Vérène was the course coordinator of the MSc from 2005 to 2010. She also co-developed the Community Programme, working with marginalised communities across Scotland and enabling community activists to acquire skills in critical thinking, local community action and participative democracy.
Her current practice focuses on teaching skills and practices to live life with more integrity and facilitate change at individual, community and organisational levels. She is particularly interested in transformative approaches including grief & healing work, nonviolent communication, dialogue, Biodanza, and the Freirian-based “Training for Transformation”.
She lives with her husband, Alastair McIntosh, in Govan, Glasgow.
Alastair McIntosh is a Fellow and former director of the Centre for Human Ecology. His involvement began in 1990 when he developed the masters programme in Edinburgh University with Ulrich Loening. For the past seven years he has lived with his wife, Vérène Nicolas, in the Greater Govan area of Glasgow drawn there by the GalGael Trust of which he is a founding director. Originally from the Isle of Lewis, his books include Soil and Soul, Rekindling Community and Hell and High Water: Climate Change, Hope and the Human Condition. His writing has been described as “world-changing” by George Monbiot, “wonderful and inspiring” by Starhawk, “profoundly important” by Michael Russell the Scottish Government’s Minister for Education, and “truly mental” by Thom Yorke of Radiohead. He holds a BSc from the University of Aberdeen, an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD by published works in liberation theology, community empowerment and land reform from the University of Ulster. In 2006 he was appointed Visiting Professor in Human Ecology at the University of Strathclyde, an honorary role that continues until 2012. He guest lectures to community groups, universities, and on programmes including WWF International’s One Planet Leaders, the World Council of Churches’ Decade for Overcoming Violence, and the UK Defence Academy’s Advanced Command & Staff Course.
Former Director Jamie Whittle grew up in Moray near the River Findhorn, and now lives near Hopeman. He completed the MSc in 2000/02, and has been a board member since 2009. By day, Jamie is an environmental lawyer at R & R Urquhart LLP in Inverness. He also moonlights as a BASI qualified ski instructor. Interests include: ski-mountaineering, conservation, surfing, travel and canoeing.
Environmental credentials include:
-Represented clients in a broad range of environmental, planning and agricultural law related matters including the Beauly-Denny public inquiry, contamination at Dounreay, the Trump development at Meanie, renewable energy projects, flood alleviation schemes, GM crop contamination, and wildlife protection.
-Part time lecturer in environmental law at the University of Edinburgh School of Law.
-Chairman of the Highland Foundation for Wildlife.
-Council Member of the United Kingdom Environmental Law Association (UKELA).
-Referral solicitor for the Scottish Tenant Farmers Association and the Environmental Law Foundation.
-Trustee of Scottish Native Woods and Secretary of the Findhorn, Nairn & Lossie Fisheries Trust.
-Accredited mediator and co-author of ‘A Guide to the Use of Mediation in the Planning System in Scotland’
-Author of ‘White River: a Journey up and down the River Findhorn’ – Sandstone Press, 2007
Originally from Canada, Anne arrived in Europe nine years ago with the idea of exploring her Glaswegian/Serbian roots. She is a graduate of the last cohort of the Msc in Human Ecology. Her thesis focused on community garden projects in glasgow which led nicely to her current job as a community gardener and volunteer coordinator with Lambhill Stables – a small charity in north Glasgow.
Her time with the CHE has helped her to name and realize her skills in mediation/facilitation and action inquiry. Within her capacity as a board member, Anne is currently working on simplifying and redeveloping the CHE membership systems with the goal of widening the network of paying members and therefore enabling the organisation to become more sustainable and hopefully serve its members better.
Crispin is an independent eco-consultant who contributed for a decade to the core of the former MSc course, and co-developed the Food Culture & Agri-Culture option module. His interests are carbon, food, localisation, and community & environment.
Crispin now focusses on his consultancy business CW Hayes Associates that works in these areas of interest. See www.eco-consultancy.co.uk
Fellow – Eurig Scandrett
Eurig uses popular education for social change, as a sociology lecturer and in collaboration with environmental justice movements. He is also involved in pro-feminist men’s activities, and is a member of the Iona and Ashram communities. He is a board member of the Bhopal Medical Appeal, Zero Tolerance Trust and Active Inquiry forum theatre company.
He writes: I would describe myself as a radical Christian and a Socialist.
Human ecology gives meaning to my work because it highlights the creative tension involved in integrating different ways of engaging with the world: analysis and action; science and spirituality; ecology and creativity; matter and meaning. I seem to be able to combine Marxism, ecology, Christianity and feminism and still be a human ecologist.
Since my association with CHE began, I have played a role in developing Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Community Action Team, including and especially, the environmental justice course for activists. I also co-ordinated and edited the production of ‘Scotlands of the future: sustainability in a small nation.’ I coordinated the Bhopal Survivors Movement Study and produced Bhopal Survivors Speak: Emergent Voices from a People’s Movement, and am currently involved in a campaign against environmental injustices perpetrated by the Jewish National Fund in Israel / Palestine.
Fellow – Jennifer Batty
Part of the former MSc team, Jennifer’s ecological research has focussed on impacts of chemical pollutants on wildlife. Her current interests are in Ecoliteracy and developing workshops and course materials to enhance understanding of our impacts on, and engagement with, nature.
Jennifer has extensive environmental education experience, including university lecturing, course development, individual study programmes and external NGO student project development. She has been associated with the Human Ecology MSc since 2001, firstly as course coordinator for 2 years, and then as an organiser of the Sustaining Ecosystems option module, as well as part of the core teaching team.
Fellow & former Director – Osbert Lancaster
Osbert is an independent changemaking consultant and facilitator, helping people, organisations & planet flourish. He worked at CHE from 1997 to 2008, latterly as executive director. http://changemaking.co.uk/
Dan Glass graduated from CHE in 2008. Dan revels in creating militant and cheeky ways to be a thorn in the side for those destroying the planet. Dan was named one of the UK’s youth climate leaders by the Guardian, and one of Attitude magazine’s 66 new role models for helping bridge LGBTQ and environmental justice movements. Since graduating he has superglued himself to the Prime Minister to draw attention to communities impacted by aviation and climate change, was a member of Scotland’s Climate 9 and co-founded So We Stand , a campaign to bring together anti-racism, anti-poverty and anti-climate change struggles. So We Stand is a UK peoples movement for empowering social change and environmental justice. It engages with popular education and creative facilitation action skills to help build a culture of community defence to better lives and communities.
It was an honour to be opened up to the world of Human Ecology and meet such a brilliant community of wise and mischievous people. It has since informed most of what I do – from understanding my own identity, to environmental justice community organising, to challenging the law for greater social change. I speak regularly on direct action, environmental, multi-racial and climate justice, Jewish activism, climate racism, queer ecology, and organizing for action. This Autumn (or fall!) I hope to be jumping on a boat to America to help build a movement nationwide to build sustainable travel alternatives to the 1000+ Government planned airport expansion plans. Watch this space! – please do get in contact on email@example.com
A Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Queen Margaret University, Tessa taught the option module ‘Creativity in Life and Art’ from 2001-2005. She is a writer, poet, and cultural activist, and also works with Scottish PEN, campaigning for freedom from oppression for writers worldwide.
Tessa writes: Since retiring from the Scottish Poetry Library, I have been concerned with promoting pamphlets as a vehicle for poets (see www.scottish-pamphlet-poetry.com for further details).
I feel in tune with human ecology because I consider myself a ‘pattern head’ rather than a blockhead. Accordingly, I am interested in politics, culture, the environment, education, children and life.
‘Shades of green’, my latest poetry pamphlet (Autumn 2005), grew out of my experience in the community of the Centre for Human Ecology.
Tessa’s website: www.wisdomfield.com
More information on PEN in Scotland: www.scottishpen.org
Nick brings expertise as an action researcher to his vocation as a human ecologist. For many years he was a core tutor on the MSc Human Ecology, including leading an option in action research. He is currently working at Carnegie UK Trust developing a portfolio of practice-oriented work fulfilling the Trust’s mission to ‘change minds, change lives’ towards improving community wellbeing across the UK and Ireland. Recent publications include ‘Exploring Community Resilience’ (Carnegie UK Trust 2011) and ‘Experiments in Action Research and Human Ecology: Developing a Community of Practice for Rural Resilience Pioneers’ in Radical Human Ecology: Intercultural and indigenous Approaches (Ashgate, 2011). Nick lives in Falkland, Fife with his wife Tara and sons Eisean and Oran. He can also occasionally be seen playing with his band Quixote (violin).
Adam completed the MSc in 2006. He is currently working as a facilitator with three “more than profit” organisations to identify needs, clarify visions and develop strategies. He also helps to develop CHE events, connecting Human Ecology insights with the needs of Glasgow’s communities.
Adam writes: I came to the CHE from a background of project development in the “third sector”, most recently in community finance. The course has deepened my understanding of the dynamics of change in individuals, organisations and communities. The strong encouragement to take a “hands-on” approach led me during the course to organise a series of public events, creating opportunities for people to meet and new connections to occur. This combination of theoretical and practical learning has helped me develop both the skills and confidence to expand the work I do. Drawing on ecological understandings, I am working to help organisations grow in both strength and sustainability.
Originally from the US, Myshele completed the MSc in 2005, and is currently working on her PhD in Sociology at the University of Strathclyde. Passionate about writing and social transformation, she writes a monthly education column in the Scotsman, and edits the CHE newsletter.
Myshele writes: Human ecology has given me a deeper sense of the connections between personal and political, local and global, social and environmental…. The list goes on! The course helped me gain confidence in working on my small part of the problem, knowing that the ripples will spread outwards.
I started my PhD in the year following the MSc, and most of the time in between was spent working and writing. My project is on social conscience in higher education, and my other research interests include activism, mythology, spirituality, identity, and class/race/gender issues. When I’m not working, I love to dance, make music, fiddle with websites, walk in Holyrood Park, and take care of my composting worms.
Learning to Save the Planet: article about MSc course, published in the Scotsman.
Personal Website (www.myshelegoldberg.com)
Originally from Sydney, Australia, Samantha was part of the first MSc cohort, graduating in 1993. After living in Scotland for 8 years, she returned to Sydney to run a sustainability & cultural transformation consultancy, working with businesses, NGOs, and local government. Samantha writes: The Masters gave me what I now see is a fairly unique worldview, one of the few that is sufficiently systemic and inclusive so as to inform sustainability initiatives, corporate and civic, in meaningful, consciousness-changing ways.
Human Ecology provides the backdrop, concepts and language for all the programmes I design, whether they’re corporate sustainability, undergraduate or postgraduate university courses, or contributions to my local government’s sustainability initiatives.
To contact Samantha: firstname.lastname@example.org
Arran graduated from CHE in January 2006 after completing a dissertation outlining an approach to ecoliteracy based on critical awareness of the ways that language constructs society. He is now a senior lecturer in linguistics at the University of Gloucestershire.
Arran’s approach to ecoliteracy helped in the creation of a new module called Language and Ecology at the University of Gloucestershire. The module was highly commended in the national HEEPI Green Gown awards, and more information about the course, including examples of student work and the online journal Language & Ecology can be found at www.ecoling.net/courses.html
In his academic work Arran is now working on a range of topics, including the analysis of discourses implicated in ecological destruction (such as economic, agricultural and consumerist discourses) and exploration of alternative discourses drawn from world literature and traditional Japanese culture in particular. His research has has also expanded to include the integration of Education for Sustainable Development across the curriculum in Higher Education and he has become chair of the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges Education for Sustainability Group.
He founded the Language and Ecology Research Forum (www.ecoling.net), which is dedicated to research which analyzes language not only within a social context, but also within an ecological context, in recognition that societies are embedded within the larger ecosystems which support life. The forum provides a range of resources including bibliographies, projects, a network of associates and the online journal Language & Ecology journal. The journal provides a useful place for CHE students to publish their work.
Arran writes: Since graduating from CHE I have found that without exception, everything I learned has proved immensely valuable. I am dedicated to spreading the insights of Human Ecology into the higher education sector and want to thank all the staff for what that they shared with me during the course.
After graduating in 2006, Emily moved to Vancouver, Canada. She currently works as a Consultant on adult-literacy and ESOL related projects and is preparing for a new role as mother. Emily is expecting her first child in early October, 2011.
She writes: I came to the course with a question: is poetry/creativity a valid form of activism (is it enough?) in the face of the ecological and social crisis we face? The answer I came to was a resounding yes, and so I graduated with a renewed commitment to writing and creative expression as a tool of political and spiritual resistance.
Human Ecology grounded me in the world. It showed me that I am intrinsically connected to everything that is, that I belong here, and that I am a child of the earth no less than the trees and the stars. This has nurtured a deeper desire for awareness in me, to pay attention to the moment, to what is happening now. It bridged the split I felt in myself between feeling I had to choose between being an environmentalist or fighting for social justice.
I strive to bring this awareness of humanity’s interconnectedness with the earth to all aspects of my life and especially to my work as a mother. To contact Emily, please e-mail email@example.com.
Hannah has particular interest in community building and mobilisation, and connecting peace, planet and people. In the past she has undertaken a range of work in development, environmental and social justice campaigning and education and community building. She graduated in 2007.
She has a BA (Hons) in International Relations and Development Studies from the University of Sussex.
She writes: Whilst at University I took time out to work in Tamil Nadu, South India with VSO, working for Action Aid and AVAG primarily on HIV/AIDS, sexual health and gender issues with rural women, but also other projects such as women’s groups and alternative education programmes for non school going children. Whilst there I lived in Auroville in community on a perma culture, solar and wind powered farm. After graduating I joined Brighton Peace and Environment Centre as co-ordinator, a Development, Environment and Social Justice Education and Resource Centre . I am passionate about peace, planet and people and facilitating other people getting passionate about peace, planet and people!
Originally trained as a lawyer, Helen spent 10 years working in the Pacific Islands as a development manager with an international NGO and the European Commission. Interested in processes that enable communities to flourish, she graduated in 2007.
She can be contacted on: firstname.lastname@example.org.
After completing the MSc in 1994, Mary Anna went on to earn a PhD, studying cultural change. She now lives in London, working as a qualified coach focusing on professional development, and leading an international group of researchers who examine the impact of consciousness exploration. Mary Anna has applied Human Ecological understanding in the field of social marketing, in particular to engage diverse inner-city communities in environmental issues.
She works as a communications consultant and is a qualified life coach, helping people who want to have a positive impact on the world. She loves working with organisations keen to define their values during periods of change, then stick to those values while developing their competitive edge.
Her career includes five years as a journalist for The Independent. Cross sector experience managing communications for an international recruitment agency, several environmental charities including Gaia Foundation and Centre for Alternative Technology and an advisory role at a local authority.
Graduate and former Director Gerri Smyth
Originally from Edinburgh, Norah completed the MSc in 2002. She now lives on the Scottish isle of Eigg, with her partner Bob Wallace (also a CHE graduate) and three small children. Together they run the Earth Connections Sustainability Centre.
Norah writes: Currently, we’re renovating an old building in an eco way, creating an organic garden, renewable energy demo project and lots more. We aim to eventually be a visitor and residential centre running workshops, courses and providing info on all aspects of green living.
The MSc affected my life in many ways! Personally, I met my partner and together we were inspired by the CHE course to put the theory we learned into practise and start our Centre. Also CHE links with Eigg helped us find this amazing place.
We try to put ecological principles into all that we do here – materials and energy we use, our relationships with ourselves and our community, linking local and global issues, the food we eat, the books we read, who we vote for… the list is endless!
Sam runs Open Ground specialising in place-based education and research. Revealing the ways that our places shape who we are, as we shape them, draws together both ecological and cultural understandings. Sam works to develop this awareness of place through running multi-day projects in the outdoors with schools, training teachers, and also working as an action researcher on these themes.
Based in Argyll, Sam has worked with almost all the schools in his area, and run many training courses, with for example Learning and Teaching Scotland, and the University of Edinburgh. Recent action research projects include WWF’s Natural Change, and Tramway’s Footprints project.
Sam is also coming to the end of a part time PhD exploring the professional practice of place-based education, through action research, and the philosophical idea of ‘thinking through place.’
Sam brings to his work a passion for exploring the landscape and using those experiences to link historical, ecological and cultural perspectives. He feels that this bears out the strong influence of his experience completing the Human Ecology MSc. He continues to explored the ways in which thinking through the ways we live in place, and the connections to wider issues and ecologies, can help move us towardsm healthier people and places.
After completing the MSc in 2005, Todd began working on a PhD in Religion at the University of Florida, with an emphasis on Religion and Nature. He is now finishing his dissertation on what he calls “religious agrarianism,” and is an adjunct professor in the Religion Department at the College of Charleston, SC, where he teaches courses on religion and ecology, religion and animals, and introduction to world religions. He and his wife are also proud parents of a young little girl who likes to pull his books of his shelves while he’s studying.
Tom lives in Warwickshire with his partner Caz and young daughter, and they have established an organic community food project on their small farm, giving people a direct connection to the land and to the process of growing their food. They are also establishing a Forest Garden and other local projects.
Tom writes: The time I spent with CHE and the people I got to know was transformational. It allowed me to focus on what made my heart sing, and where it was that i could be most effective i.e on the land.
I believe strongly in helping to reconnect people with their local land, and in doing so feel that folk will gradually be able to rediscover meaning in their relationship with food and land.
Caz and I are forging links within our community to establish a community support farm. CanalSide Community Food was born early in 2006 and has begun with a small ‘Pig Club’. This allows members the chance to really connect with their food with regular visits to the see and help feed the pigs. In the coming months the aim is to begin a number of different projects producing food that will be sold direct to the community members. A significant emphasis of the project is to allow members access to the land and to share in the process of growing, rearing and tending. Our main push for the next 12 months is to start to grow fruit and vegetables as well as the planting of an extensive Forest Garden. Having begun organic conversion we feel the land has really taken the turn towards a more people and nature friendly form of agriculture.
There is so much variety and diversity that can be created on small farms. Perrenial crops with multiply uses offering the chance to increase the number of people employed on farms and helping them to become economically sustainable without the perverse subsidies currently handed out by government.