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Department ofPsychology


Tracey Kahan

Tracey Kahan

Professor Tracey Kahan will teach new upper division course in Ecopsychology

In her final year of teaching before retirement, Dr. Tracey Kahan is excited to offer a new upper division course in Ecopsychology (Psyc 192) in Spring, 2022. Broadly, Ecopsychology explores human-nature connections, including the benefits of nature connection for human thriving, within the broader context of our being part of a larger, planetary ecosystem. 

Kahan is a Cognitive Psychologist who has been a beloved member of the Psychology Department since 1990. This course emerged through her teaching and research in memory, imagination, sleep, and dreams, coupled with a long-standing passion for wild nature and personal curiosity about how one’s intimate relationship with the natural world, with particular places, shapes our memories, personal narrative, and a sense of belonging in the world. 

As climate change increasingly impacts the human and the ‘more-than-human world’ (per David Abrams in ‘The spell of the sensuous’), we are compelled to acknowledge that our individual flourishing is inextricably connected to the planet’s delicately intertwined natural systems. 

Ecopsychology will fulfill elective credit for majors in Psychology and in Environmental Studies. The class will meet in person and attendance/participation is required. To this learning community Dr. Kahan invites students to bring curiosity, heart, scientific rigor, willingness to explore both the opportunities and challenges of human-nature connections, and ‘active hope’ for a sustainable future. She writes, “We will immerse ourselves in acquiring core knowledge and skills in Ecopsychology, wonder together at nature’s intelligence and adaptability, and explore how we may find our unique ‘place’ within nature and to help co-create a sustainable future.  We will likely touch and explore our individual and collective ‘eco-grief’ and engage in 'nature connection' practices.”

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