Earth Day in the Here and (Long) Now

April 22nd, 2014 by Darrin Gunkel No comments »

In Honor of Earth Day, a guest post from my colleague Darrin Gunkel

—Thomas Doherty

NASA Earth Observatory photo — Bombetoka Bay, Madagascar

Photograph courtesy Terra/ASTER/NASA and NASA Earth Observatory

Let’s wish everyone a Happy Earth Day, but carefully around environmentalists of a certain ilk. You may know the type: “Every day is Earth Day!” they’ll say, kind of like my grandmother chiding me for complaining one Father’s Day that there was no Children’s Day. It’s an interesting point: we could debate long and richly the pros of raising consciousness with special events vs. the cons of sending that consciousness to live on the Reservation of Ideas that those events sometimes turn out to be. Maybe every day should be Grandmother’s Day.

Regardless of how many Earth Days you believe there should be each year, it’s a good thing that there’s some sort of recognition in the broader world of a mantra at its heart: Be Here Now. Earth Day encourages us to look around and see what needs doing, opening a space to think about how we do what we do today, as opposed to the constant future tense, the unending checklist of what needs doing, in our busy, busy society. Living intentionally. Living simply. Making living intentionally simple. Simpler. Remembering what’s happening on the ground, the earth with a little “e” we walk every day. But even a friendly doctrine like “Being Here Now” can take on ominous overtones in the light of the Immediacy Culture cultivated by our gadgetry and attitudes. Take all those phones and apps helping us get life done. They plunge us deeply into the moment, so deeply that the Here and Now is shrinking at an alarming rate.

Instead of just looking around to see what needs doing, we can amplify our sight with electronics, putting the Here of the whole world into the palm of a hand, unearthing countless tasks to take care of. We define ourselves by what we do, and so what we’re doing at the moment defines Now. The more we take on, the shorter Now becomes. Brilliantly efficient, which is important in our world where so much needs to happen. But maybe it’s time we pause to question that efficiency. An app is efficient largely because it saves labor, the collection of steps required to reach a goal. Things are sped up at the expense of the benefits of slowing down. Can you simplify and at the same time go faster? Can inherently complex systems make life easier? Or do they bury the distracting noise of complex, industrial culture and obfuscating tendencies of marketing-driven consumer capitalism under a veneer of ease? And what are ease, convenience, and efficiency really all about? The faster we live the faster we can consume, and so we can consume more. And so back to Earth Day.

earthdaySMMyself, I’ve always been a bigger fan of Buy Nothing Day. (If you’re not familiar with it, Buy Nothing Day comes in the month of November, the day after Thanksgiving, and is an alternative to the shopping seizure known as Black Friday.) A few years ago I interviewed a business owner who gives his employees Buy Nothing Day off. He suggested they stay at home by the fire. Or go on a walk. Or several other slow, thoughtful activities, that implied that the moment could be something longer than a moment. Maybe instead of one Earth Day or many, we need a longer unit: Earth Year. Actually, given the extent of what’s happening to our world and the depth of change in our collective Self necessary to correct it, Earth Century might be a better idea. Suspicions about Earth Day dwell in the tension of a ticking clock. We’ve got a lot to do, and little time to do it in, if we want to save the planet. On too many levels, we live in a world where “This needs to be done yesterday!” Maybe we could relax a little if our sense of now were different.

There are already plenty of counter culture rumblings around rethinking our ideas of time. One place, quite apropos of Earth Day, with its implications about perspective, is the Long Now Foundation, “established in 01996 to creatively foster long-term thinking and responsibility…” (Their words, my emphasis.) The organization’s best known project, the 10,000 Year Clock, manifests that long-term thinking the way Earth Day manifests environmentalism (here’s what Michael Chabon has to say about it.) The capitalist society that drives the need for Earth Day in the first place regularly employs numbers beyond the normal human ability to truly comprehend. Count 100 seconds. It takes almost two minutes, not overwhelming. Now count 16,500 seconds, the number where the Dow Jones hovers lately. It’ll take you four and a half hours. Try to count out the national debt and you’ll be at it for 555,881 years. Since we deal in numbers like that constantly, it’s odd that only geologists and archeologists account for years beyond the scale of 1,000 (sixteen and two thirds minutes). One of the grander capacities of the human mind is the ability to play with such abstracts. Why can’t math that works for the economy be put to work for something that will hopefully outlive that economy, namely us? Earth Day begs us to start thinking the Long Now. Time maybe to leave quibbling over mere days to our past.

 

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Darrin Gunkel at Mt. Pilchuck

Darrin Gunkel

I believe my job as writer and editor is to make sure words don’t get in the way of communication.

Experience includes contracting for Gale/Cengage, freelancing for various SEOs, covering City Hall for Seattle’s NPR affiliate, KUOW, and producing stories for Washington News Service, a radio news agency reporting on environmental and social issues.

My B.A. is in Comparative History of Ideas, from the University of Washington. Reading about, photographing and climbing mountains in the Pacific Northwest takes up many of my weekends. I own a Westfalia and have traveled in it to the Arctic Circle and Tropic of Cancer with my wife, Karin and our pug, Lola.

Happy Earth Day, Love Daddy and Mama

April 21st, 2014 by Thomas Doherty No comments »

— A developmental perspective leads to insights about how to celebrate Earth Day with children, in ways that may lead to deeper connections and activities as they grow older.

EarthFromAboveInspired by my recent research and talks on “parenting and nature” and being more attentive to the presence and urgency of parent-child communications given my wife Chelsea’s condition and her work with children and breast cancer, I began thinking about ways to celebrate Earth Day with my daughter Eva, age 6. I came upon the idea of giving her a gift for Earth Day, wrapped, as a surprise, in hopes that this gift giving would become a family tradition.

Anyone familiar with small children will know that surprises make a singular impression. In the long run, I would prefer her to think about Earth Day as a day to go out and help to restore some piece of the local landscape. But, it does make sense to begin using a developmental lens.

Children are egocentric in a normal and healthy way, lacking the abstract thinking ability that will come in adolescence. The world children know is local and concerns them and their families. For now, this day is a gift to her. Later on, we can think about giving back.

Her gift? I chose to give her a book, a large coffee table book Earth From Above by aerial photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand. Technically, I am re-gifting her this book. I used to have it, open to an enticing page, displayed on a glass coffee table in my psychology office. Lately, I have not had a place to show it. So, it is been gathering dust, forgotten, high on a bookshelf. I thought this would be a perfect, impressive gift, heavy for a six-year-old at 10 pounds, and certainly the biggest book that she will own. And we can look at it before we go to bed and think about the earth and places near and far that we can visit someday.

And yes there will be an inscription: To Eva, Happy Earth Day, Love Daddy and Mama 2014.

 

“Parenting with Nature in Mind”, Thomas Doherty talk featured in The Oregonian featured in The Oregonian

April 7th, 2014 by Thomas Doherty No comments »

beachexplore

Thomas Doherty, director of the Ecopsychology Certificate program at Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling, will give a presentation on “Parenting with Nature in Mind” from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, in the South Chapel at Lewis & Clark College, 0615 S.W. Palatine Hill Road. (Cost is $10 for an individual or a couple, free for Lewis & Clark employees.)

Doherty’s goal for the presentation, he said, is to help parents clarify what their own environmental or “green” values are and focus on why they want to connect their kids to nature. “Then they can go into the action stage,” he said.

Parenting With Nature in Mind with Thomas Doherty

March 3rd, 2014 by Thomas Doherty No comments »

Parenting With Nature in Mind

family_at_coast
Date:
 WED April 9

Time: 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Location: Lewis & Clark Graduate Campus, South Chapel
[Campus Overview ] | [Campus Map] | [Google Directions]

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dandelion-childJoin Thomas Doherty, director of the Ecopsychology program at Lewis & Clark, for a public dialogue on the importance of nature in child development and ways families can cope with environmental issues.

Through presentation of research findings, guided discussion and dialogue, the group will explore how parents can foster their and their children’s environmental identities, in a way that fits with their culture, diversity and other values.

Thomas will also describe ways to create opportunities for children to have safe, transcendent experiences in the outdoors that promote an ecological sense of self and interdependence with the web of life.

Part of our 2013-2014 Workshop Series.

Workshop Details & Registration

Date: Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Time: 5-7 p.m.
Facilitator: Thomas Doherty, Psy.D.

Cost: Individual or couple (no CEUs/PDUs): $10
Individual with 2 CEUs or PDUs: $30

Register Now

About the Facilitator

Thomas Joseph Doherty, PsyDThomas J. Doherty is a licensed psychologist who created and helps to direct the Ecopsychology Certificate Program at the Lewis & Clark Graduate School. Thomas specializes in teaching courses that integrate research on human relationships with the natural world, environmental conservation, and sustainability with modern psychology, counseling and psychotherapy practice.

A former wilderness therapy expedition leader, Thomas received his doctoral degree in psychology from Antioch  New England Graduate School. Thomas was the founding Editor of the academic journal Ecopsychology. He is currently president of the Society for Environmental, Population, and Conservation Psychology of the American Psychological Association (APA) and served as a member of the APA’s Climate Change Task Force.

In addition to his work at Lewis & Clark, Thomas works with individuals and consults with organizations through his business Sustainable Self. He lives in Northeast Portland and with his wife and six-year-old daughter.

Thomas Doherty Animal Rights Talk — “Values about Animals”

February 4th, 2014 by Thomas Doherty No comments »

Thomas Doherty discusses “Values about Animals” at the Lewis & Clark Human-Animal Studies Conference on January 25, 2014.

humanimalstudiesLC

How people think about and value other animals, and diversity of attitudes based on different value sets.

Thomas Doherty, a professor of Psychology at the Graduate School of Education and Counseling, will focus on basic values that people have regarding animals and the natural world. He will describe some values typologies drawn from psychology and the social sciences and invite the audience to reflect on their own personal values regarding animals. This will lead to a discussion of the interplay between one’s values and beliefs about the world and their norms or expectations for behavior, and also how values influence one’s scope of justice and moral inclusion or exclusion of other species. This in turn suggests ways to create spaces for constructive dialogue and collaboration about animal welfare among competing value or interest groups.

November 20th IFMA Luncheon: The Psychology of Sustainability Behavior

November 15th, 2013 by Thomas Doherty No comments »

The Psychology of Sustainability Behavior:
Implications for Facilities Managers

November Luncheon, Presentation and Tour

Presented by Thomas Joseph Doherty
for the 
IFMA – International Facility Management Association – Oregon & SW Washington Chapter

IFMA pic1sm

DATE:
WED NOV 20, 2013

TIME:
11:30am-1pm

LOCATION:

Port of Portland HQ
7200 NE Airport Way
Portland, Oregon 97218

Session Description:

This talk will provide a framework to help you understand some different ways that people think about environmental sustainability and the use of natural resources in businesses and organizations. We will identify some best practices for communicating with and motivating different stakeholders and implementing effective behavior changes. These include recognizing and honoring different beliefs, setting realistic goals, and utilizing appropriate incentives. In this model, differences of opinion about the role of sustainability in the workplace—what we will call “environmental diversity”—are seen as a source of new ideas and innovation.

11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Registration and Networking
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Luncheon and Presentation
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Tour, Networking and Adjourn
Early Registration: Member(s)/Guest(s): $30 ea.
Non Member(s): $40 ea.
On-site Registration: Member(s), Guest(s) & Non Member(s): $45 ea.

 

 

About the Speaker:

Thomas Doherty, Psy.D.

Thomas Doherty, Psy.D.

Thomas Joseph Doherty is a licensed psychologist who created and helps to direct the Ecopsychology in Counseling Certificate Program at the Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling. Thomas specializes in teaching courses that integrate research on human relationships with the natural world, environmental conservation, and sustainability with modern counseling and psychotherapy practice. Thomas is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Ecopsychology and served as member of the American Psychological Association’s Climate Change Task Force. Thomas also works with individuals and consults with organizations.

Registration and Cancellation Information:

Registrations must be received by noon, November 15th, 2013 to ensure space availability. Registrations received after 5:00pm, November 15th, 2013 will be accepted on a space available basis. REGISTER HERE for the event.

Cancellations must be received by 5:00 pm, November 18th, 2013 to receive a refund. Cancellations received after 5:00 pm, November 18th, 2013, and no shows will not receive a refund.

Thomas Joseph Doherty on Google Scholar

November 1st, 2013 by Thomas Doherty No comments »

googlescholar

Thomas Joseph Doherty on Google Scholar:

http://goo.gl/OwiUr8

 

ABOUT: Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research.

Google Scholar aims to rank documents the way researchers do, weighing the full text of each document, where it was published, who it was written by, as well as how often and how recently it has been cited in other scholarly literature.

Ecopsychology Vol. 5, No. S1, September 2013 is now available online

October 1st, 2013 by Thomas Doherty No comments »

eco-issue-coverEcopsychology

Table of Contents AlertVolume: 5, Number: S1, September 2013
View this Issue Online

Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy: Mental Health Providers as Victims and First Responders

Editor’s Note

Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy: Mental Health Providers as Victims and First Responders
Thomas Doherty
Ecopsychology, Vol. 5, No. S1, September 2013: S-1-S-1.

Invited Essays

Katrina vs. Sandy: Essays on Nature-Induced, Human-Induced, and Nature-+Human-Induced Environmental Trauma
Ecopsychology, Vol. 5, No. S1, September 2013: S-2-S-3.

 

Thoughts on Katrina vs. Sandy: Donald F. Nemeth
Donald F. Nemeth
Ecopsychology, Vol. 5, No. S1, September 2013: S-4-S-8.

 

Thoughts on Katrina vs. Sandy: Darlyne G. Nemeth
Darlyne G. Nemeth
Ecopsychology, Vol. 5, No. S1, September 2013: S-9-S-13.

 

Thoughts on Katrina vs. Sandy: Robert B. Hamilton
Robert B. Hamilton
Ecopsychology, Vol. 5, No. S1, September 2013: S-14-S-19.

 

Thoughts on Katrina vs. Sandy: Judy Kuriansky
Judy Kuriansky
Ecopsychology, Vol. 5, No. S1, September 2013: S-20-S-26.

Ecopsychology Narratives

Experiencing Change/Trauma Associated With Katrina and Subsequent Hurricanes: A Psychologist-Victim’s Perspective
Joseph Tramontana
Ecopsychology, Vol. 5, No. S1, September 2013: S-27-S-29.

 

Superstorm Sandy 2012: A Psychologist First Responder’s Personal Account and Lessons Learned About the Impact on Emotions and Ecology
Judy Kuriansky
Ecopsychology, Vol. 5, No. S1, September 2013: S-30-S-37.

Original Article

A Model for Post–Environmental Disaster Wellness Workshops: Preparing Individuals and Communities for Hurricane Anniversary Reactions
Judy Kuriansky and Darlyne G. Nemeth
Ecopsychology, Vol. 5, No. S1, September 2013: S-38-S-45.

Book Review

Review of Living in an Environmentally Traumatized World: Healing Ourselves and Our Planet, Edited by Darlyne G. Nemeth, Robert B. Hamilton, and Judy Kuriansky
Wismick Jean-Charles
Ecopsychology, Vol. 5, No. S1, September 2013: S-46-S-49.

 


If you wish to learn more about this Journal visit us here

WORKSHOP: Applying Classic Theories of Human Development in the Context of Nature and Social Justice

August 27th, 2013 by Thomas Doherty No comments »

Applying Classic Theories of Human Development in the Context of Nature and Social Justice

forestpath

This interdisciplinary talk, suitable for counselors and educators, looks at some classic theories of human development in the modern context of people’s relationship to nature and other species.

For example, we will integrate Piaget’s theory of cognitive development with educator David Sobels’ principles of developmentally-appropriate environmental education. We will discuss the implications for education and counseling, particularly in terms of equity and social justice issues related to access to safe and healthy green spaces.

This workshop is part of our 2013-2014 Workshop Series

::::

Workshop Details & Registration

Date:
September 25, 2013

Time:
5:00pm - 8:00pm

Location:
Lewis & Clark

Graduate Campus
South Chapel 81A

Address:
0615 S.W. Palatine Hill Road
MSC 32
Portland OR 97219

[Visiting Campus Directions]
[Campus Map]

Instructor: Thomas Doherty, Psy.D

Fee: $30, includes CEUs/PDUs

Register now

Core units: .5

If you are a current Lewis & Clark graduate student and would like to attend this workshop to meet your Core Program requirements, please register through WebAdvisor.

::::

About the Instructor

thomas-doherty-portraitThomas Doherty, Psy.D. developed the Ecopsychology in Counseling Certificate at the Lewis & Clark Graduate School and is founding Editor-in-Chief of the Ecopsychology journal.

A licensed psychologist, Thomas counsels adults, couples and families and also spent a number of years working with young people in the outdoors as a wilderness therapy expedition leader and a professional whitewater rafting guide.

Thomas is an expert on the mental health benefits of green spaces and can communicate this information in a clear and accessible way to a variety of audiences.

Health Benefits of Nearby Nature – Legacy Health Talk

August 9th, 2013 by Thomas Doherty No comments »
Health Benefits of Nearby Nature
Dr. Roger Ulrich and Dr. Geoffrey Donovan present on the relationship between trees, gardens, nature and
public health: Trees and well-designed nature settings are part of our public health infrastructure!
Sponsored by: Friends of Trees, J. Frank Schmidt Family Charitable Foundation, Lewis & Clark Graduate
School of Counseling, Legacy Health, PSU Institute for Sustainable Solutions, TKF Foundation and ZGF
Architects LLP.
Thursday, September 12, 2013, at Portland State University’s Hoffmann Hall 1833 SW Eleventh
Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97201.
Doors open at 6 pm for registration, networking, educational displays and refreshments.
Presentation 7 pm – 9 pm.
$10 for early registration until Sept 5, 5 pm. No refunds for cancellations.
Register online: Health Benefits of Nearby Nature
$15 day of event. Cash or check accepted at the door. Sorry, no debit/credit.
6:00 pm Doors Open.
Registration, Networking, Educational Displays and Refreshments
7:00 pm Roger S. Ulrich, Ph.D. and Geoffrey Donovan, Ph.D.
Lecture, Dialogue between the Experts and Questions from the Audience
Details:
Roger S. Ulrich, Ph.D.
Nature heals the human body.
Roger S. Ulrich is Professor of Architecture at the Center for Healthcare Building Research at Chalmers
University of Technology in Sweden, and is adjunct professor of architecture at Aalborg University in
Denmark. He is the most frequently cited researcher internationally in evidence-based healthcare
design. Among other achievements, his research was the first to document scientifically the stress-reducing
and health-related benefits for hospital patients of viewing nature.
In his past role as director of the Center for Health Systems and Design at Texas A&M University, Dr. Ulrich
found that nature can help the body heal. In his groundbreaking study, Dr. Ulrich investigated the effect that
views from windows had on patients recovering from abdominal surgery. He discovered that patients whose hospital rooms provided a view of trees got out of the hospital faster, had fewer complications, and required
less pain medication than those who had a view of a brick wall.
Like other researchers, Dr. Ulrich has found that simply viewing representations of nature can help. For
example, he found that heart surgery patients in intensive care units at a Swedish hospital could reduce their
anxiety and need for pain medication by looking at pictures depicting nature of trees and water.
Dr. Ulrich’s work has received many awards, directly impacted the design of billions of dollars of hospital
construction, and improved the health outcomes and safety of patients around the world. His work has
influenced internationally the architecture and interior design of scores of major hospitals. Further, Dr. Ulrich
has developed a Theory of Evidence-Based Design that has become influential as a scientifically grounded
and “user friendly” guide for creating successful healthcare facilities. His recent work has dealt with subjects
as varied as the effects of single- versus multi-bed patient rooms on infection transmission, the negative
impacts of hospital noise on patients and nurses, and how nature, gardens, and art can lessen pain, stress,
and healthcare costs.
Dr. Ulrich was co-founding director of the Center for Health Systems and Design at Texas A&M University,
an interdisciplinary center housed jointly in the colleges of Architecture and Medicine. From 2005-2006 he
served at the invitation of Britain’s National Health Service as senior adviser on patient care environments for
the UK program to create scores of new hospitals.
Dr. Ulrich has published widely in both scientific and design journals, and his research has received
international scientific recognition. He has worked extensively in Scandinavia, especially Sweden, where he
has carried out research at Lund Institute of Technology, Uppsala University, and the Karolinska Institute of
Medicine. He has also been Visiting Research Professor in Healthcare Architecture at the University of
Florence, Italy and served as Invitation Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.
He also serves as advisor on evidence–based healthcare design for the British National Health Services. He
is a member of the Board of Directors of The Center for Health Design, California, and serves as co-chair of
its national Research Committee.
Geoffrey Donovan, Ph.D.
Trees don’t make our cities livable, they make them survivable.
Geoffrey Donovan, Ph.D. will present results from two recent studies examining the relationship between
trees and public health. Humans need green space and trees to survive.
Dr. Donovan is a Research Forester with the USDA Forest Service and has quantified a wide range of urbantree benefits. These have ranged from intuitive benefits— for example, reduced summertime cooling costs—
to less intuitive benefits such as crime reduction. More recently, he has focused on the relationship between
trees and public health. He found that mothers with trees around their homes are less likely to have
underweight babies, and when trees are killed by an invasive pest, more people die from cardiovascular and

Health Benefits of Nearby Nature

legacyLogoWebDr. Roger Ulrich and Dr. Geoffrey Donovan present on the relationship between trees, gardens, nature and  public health: Trees and well-designed nature settings are part of our public health infrastructure!

Sponsored by: Friends of Trees, J. Frank Schmidt Family Charitable Foundation, Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Counseling, Legacy Health, PSU Institute for Sustainable Solutions, TKF Foundation and ZGF Architects LLP.

DATE: Thursday, September 12, 2013

TIME: Doors open at 6 pm for registration, networking, educational displays and refreshments.
Presentation 7 pm – 9 pm.

LOCATION : Portland State University
Hoffmann Hall [GOOGLE MAP]
1833 SW 11th Avenue
Portland, OR 97201

COST: $10 for early registration until Sept 5, 5 pm.
NO REFUNDS FOR CANCELLATIONS.
$15 day of event. Cash or check accepted at the door. Sorry, no debit/credit.

Register Online: Health Benefits of Nearby Nature

Event Details:

Speakers:

Roger S. Ulrich, Ph.D.Nature heals the human body.

Geoffrey Donovan, Ph.D. – Trees don’t make our cities livable, they make them survivable.

Presenting the evidence base for health benefits of nature in our neighborhoods.

Dr. Ulrich is Professor of Architecture at the Center for Healthcare Building Research at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, and is adjunct professor of architecture at Aalborg University in Denmark. He is the most frequently cited researcher internationally in evidence-based healthcare design.  Among other achievements, his research was the first to document scientifically the stress-reducing and health-related benefits for hospital patients of viewing nature.

Geoffrey Donovan, Ph.D. will present results from two recent studies examining the relationship between trees and public health. Humans need green space and trees to survive.

Dr. Donovan is a Research Forester with the USDA Forest Service and has quantified a wide range of urban-tree benefits. These have ranged from intuitive benefits— for example, reduced summertime cooling costs—to less intuitive benefits such as crime reduction. More recently, he has focused on the relationship between trees and public health. He found that mothers with trees around their homes are less likely to have underweight babies, and when trees are killed by an invasive pest, more people die from cardiovascular and lower-respiratory disease. He has a number of ongoing projects including a collaboration with the women’s health initiative.

Partners:

Friends of TreesScott Fogarty

Legacy Health Therapeutic Gardens: Teresia Hazen

Lewis & Clark Graduate School Ecopsychology in Counseling Program: Thomas Doherty

Institute for Sustainable Solutions: Christina Williams

TKF Foundation: Mary Wyatt

ZGF Architects LLP: Karl Sonnenberg

J. Frank Schmidt Family Charitable Foundation: Nancy Buley