ULSF | Association of University Leaders For A Sustainable Future
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ULSF | Association of University Leaders For A Sustainable FutureAbout ULSF {staff}
ULSF | Association of University Leaders For A Sustainable Future
Senior Fellow in Education for Sustainability

Almut Beringer, PhD works in the field of human-nature relationships. Her research interests span the natural sciences (forest ecology), social sciences (conservation psychology), and the humanities (environmental ethics, spirituality). Her work covers theoretical and community-based research.

Almut's research is guided by the question how individuals learn to care for nature, and how such caring may translate into philosophies and practices of sustainable living. Her PhD thesis used moral development theory and research methods to analyze the philosophical notion of 'environmental justice,' juxtaposing it with 'environmental care.' Further work extended this application of psychology to problems of conservation and sustainability, investigating how individuals cope with losses in the natural world (such as species extinction), how nature experiences may contribute to healing psychological trauma, and how spirituality may affect environmental ethics and mitigate human-caused ecological damage.

Consultancies in sustainability/sustainable development have been a rich source for applied and community-based research. As sustainable development advisor to a local Councillor and as board member of a citizens' action group/NGO, Almut worked in urban planning and regional development. Projects included community-based forest management; a regional greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategy, including energy efficiency audits of municipal buildings and operations; review of the municipal planning scheme; planning submissions to the state planning authority; streetscape and neighbourhood character studies; and sustainable transport initiatives.

Almut applies sustainability to her own life, for instance designing and building a self-sufficient 'green' residence with passive solar features, rammed earth walls, photovoltaic grid-connected electricity, rainwater tanks, a worm wastewater system, greywater recycling, wood stove hydronic heating system, and more. This led to research and consultancies in green building design, including a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building project at her university.

Almut currently serves as the Director of Environmental Studies and Sustainability at the University of Prince Edward Island, eastern Canada. She is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Outdoor Education and Environment at La Trobe University, Australia where she has taught environmental studies, outdoor education, and education for sustainability. Furthermore, Almut is a graduate thesis advisor in the School of Environment and Sustainability, MA Environmental Education and Communication, at Royal Roads University, Canada.

Almut holds a PhD in environmental ethics (University of Michigan), a Master of Science degree in biology (University of Michigan), a Master of Science in outdoor recreation/environmental education (University of Oregon), and a Vordiplom Biologie [Bachelor of Science] (Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Germany).

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