Located in Friday Harbor, WA, USA, this institute was founded three decades ago based upon the founder, Michael J. Cohen’s, Trailside Outdoor Programs and the original National Audubon Society Expedition Institute program and curriculum he developed 55+ years ago. For over 40 years Cohen has himself lived outdoors and educated learners in natural areas year round. This institute offers low to work exchange tuition to students from multiple disciplines offering essential education to enhance their existing course of study or serve as their major. BA, MA, and PhD degrees in Ecopsychology are internationally accredited and conferred through Akamai University in Hawaii. Certificate and credit courses are provided through Portland State University.
Eco-psychologist, scientist, author and musician, Cohen founded and, at 86, continues to coordinate Project NatureConnect, a distance learning degree program and extended education workshop from The Institute of Global Education, a United Nations Non-Governmental Organization. He chairs the Department of Integrated Ecology from his headquarters on San Juan Island, Washington, and networks his Natural Systems Thinking Process globally. Future plans for the institute include nature based workshops offered in Cohen’s natural setting on San Juan Island. To learn more visit: http://www.pnc.org
Reconnecting learners in all professions with their biophilic link to nature through their 54 natural senses in order to restore balance and harmony to their once nearly perfectly functioning earth home is the project’s purpose. Cohen states what he does is, “operate a self-organizing Education, Counseling and Healing with Nature program within the balancing love and intelligence of the life of Organism Earth instead of the walls of a school building”. He does it with love and gusto! Since nature has no spoken language, it is difficult to adequately express the power of his process in words. It is sensed, through 54, not 5 natural senses, the senses with which all humans arrive at birth.