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.
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
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
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.
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).