Lauren Bailey completed her bachelors degree in Animal Behavior at the University of Exeter, United Kingdom in 2018. Here, she describes her philosophy and path. “I was drawn to the Kerulos internship after becoming by disheartened by the academic scientific world that objectifies Animals and sees them purely from a behavioral viewpoint. During the internship, I learned to take the time to see beyond outer form and behavior and understand that all other Animals think and feel like us and are their own individual person.”
Lauren is now volunteering with our partner Boon Lott Elephant Sanctuary ( BLES) in Thailand learning about male Elephant healing and trauma recovery. She has also completed her Reiki Practitioner course and will be continuing to obtain Reiki Master certification while she will begin my Animal medical (veterinary) nurse. Her goal is to work in Sanctuary where she will teach and work with Animals in need by combining holistic and medical practices to healing.
Robin Bjork, PhD
Robin Bjork is a conservation biologist with over thirty years experience in North and Latin America in avian ecology and conservation. She holds a doctorate in wildlife science and a master’s degree in coastal ecology. Robin began working with wild psittacines in 1994 when she directed development of the first radio tracking device to withstand the force of Macaw bills and used the device to track the movements of Great Green Macaws in Costa Rica. Her dissertation research identified the migration of Mealy Parrots across Guatemalan lowlands, the first detailed documentation of such a pattern in psittacines.
She continues conservation research with wild Parrots and Macaws and is currently directing a program to reintroduce Scarlet Macaws to El Salvador and protect endangered Yellow-naped Amazon Parrots. In addition to her work with Parrots she has documented spatial patterns of regional migrant tropical Birds with a goal of providing guidance to regional conservation planning.
Jeff Borchers, MS, PhD, LPC
Jeff is a licensed professional counselor with a background in research, teaching, training, policy analysis, and organizational development. Over the past 35 years, he has worked in academia, government, and the private sector on issues of social, ecological, and psychological significance. His interests include the use of ecotherapy to improve psychological well-being and to foster a mindfulness approach to caring for Animals and the land.
As an employee assistance professional, Jeff provided consultations, group trainings, and coaching, and is certified in mediation and conflict management. In all his work, Jeff draws from his background in research, teaching, training, policy analysis, and organizational development to facilitate lasting change.
Jeff’s education includes a PhD in ecology from Oregon State University, a master’s degree in counseling from Capella University, and a master’s degree from Yale University. He also has taught traditional martial arts for most of his life, holding the rank of nidan in Shotokan karate-dō. Jeff has a private practice where he works with individuals, couples, families, and groups, and provides training and interventions for organizations.
Elizabeth Burton Crow, PhD
Elizabeth grew up exploring the forests of the Sierra Nevada foothills alongside her feathered and four-legged kin. Spending much of her childhood outdoors, she became attuned with the rhythms of her surroundings, each season’s influence on full display at a nearby pond. Sliding down its muddy banks, each spring she eagerly awaited the return of wild Geese and fluffy Goslings. Summer brought Dragon Flies and Herons harpooning Fish. In the fall, the Bullfrogs went quiet, and the winter brought a frozen stillness that became shorter as she grew taller. Once tall enough to leave the nest, Elizabeth flew off to study Psychology and Environmental Studies, attempting to articulate the profound connection between Nature and Psyche that she’d felt all her life. At the university, her professors espoused objectivity and experimental rigor; it was a bifurcation between observer and observed that felt antithetical to what she’d been taught by Nature through relationship, subjectivity, and mutual transformation. Her philosophical approach to inquiry eventually led her to the fields of Depth Psychology and Ecopsychology, and in 2018 she earned a PhD, her doctoral dissertation focusing upon the relationship between Poultry, Parrots, and People. As Director of Education for The Kerulos Center for Nonviolence, Elizabeth has found the perfect medium for sharing her love of Nature with others through the integration of ethics, art, and science.
Joseph Daniel Mitchell, MS
Joseph is a full-blood citizen of the Creek Nation and a member of the Muskogee Indian Community. For the past 26 years, he has worked in environmental sciences and conservation on tribal and federal lands with the tribes, the USDA Forest Service, Washington, DC, and Bureau of Indian Affairs. He was Senior Executive Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and has worked with more than 200 tribes across the nation.
Joe consults with tribal governments and communities on Indian law and treaties and advocates for tribes to exercise treaty rights on federal lands, and implement traditional practices. He has also been involved in the evolution of several of the 26 tribal colleges throughout the country and has assisted many with establishing traditional ecological knowledge programs.
Jenny Wiegand holds a BA in Criminal Justice, a Psychology minor and Masters Credits in Substance Abuse Counseling. She has over 30 years of experience of working within the field of trauma and healing and has utilized the Sanctuary Model of Trauma Informed Care to help better understand the effects of trauma in order to support an individual’s unique path to healing and wellness. Trauma is universal; it doesn’t discriminate among species and as a result her mission is to create awareness regarding Animal trauma through the use trauma informed care and S.E.L.F. to bridge the gap of healing and wellness in work with Animals. She has utilized and taught the S.E.L.F. framework, a foundational component of the Sanctuary Model and understands the importance of incorporating this framework into work with Animals at all levels.
Jenny has also witnessed and experienced firsthand the transformational power of Nature and believes our (re)connection to the natural world is critical in order for the deeper level of healing that our world needs at this time to take place. Growing up in the woods that surrounded her home, Jenny learned early in her life, about the importance of our relationship to the natural world and how the personal connection to place, the Trees, Plants, Animals and all of life in that environment, laid a critical foundation and created a spiritual connection to the natural world that is vital to her today.
She also experienced this connection while leading 30 day wilderness hiking trips in the back country of Montana and watched as the adolescent youth in her care, all from urban areas, transformed under natures power and listened as the youth went from seeing no value in time spent with Nature to voicing their understanding in the wonder and awe that is available to all of us every day when we spend time in and take care of, Nature. A very powerful form of healing takes place in this environment.
Jenny believes this understanding of a relational spirituality that exists in the interconnection and intraconnection we have with Nature and all of life, is critical to our collective healing and it is this belief along with her work in the field of trauma responsive care that has provided her with illumination and hope in bridging the gap of where we are and what is possible when we realize the path to our true self is through Nature. It is here where the real work and healing gets done.
Jenny is a member of the Kerulos Stewardship Council and is deeply committed to discovering the answer to what does right look like, and how do we live a true trans-species life.