Stephen Kellert Named Tweedy/Ordway Professor of Social Ecology at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Stephen Kellert, professor of social ecology and a member of the Yale faculty for 24 years, has been named the Tweedy/Ordway Professor of Social Ecology at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

“Professor Kellert is a prolific writer, superb teacher and a leader in his field,” Dean James Gustave Speth said. “He will bring honor to this Chair.”

Professor Kellert’s work includes studies of basic values and perceptions relating to the conservation of biological diversity, the connections of natural systems with human values and socioeconomic behavior, and environmental education and ethics.

He has authored more than 100 publications, including several books that explore people’s relationship to nature. In 1993, he co-edited “The Biophilia Hypothesis” with Edward O. Wilson, an entomologist at Harvard. The book brought together 20 scientists from various disciplines to refine and examine the idea of biophilia, which suggests that humans possess a deep and biologically based urge to connect with the natural world.

He went on to publish “The Value of Life: Biological Diversity and Human Society” (1996), and “Kinship to Mastery: Biophilia in Human Evolution and Development” (1997). He is writing a book called “Ordinary Nature: Exploring and Designing Natural Process in Everyday Life,” and co-editing two books, “Children and Nature: Theoretical, Conceptual and Empirical Foundations,” and “The Good in Nature and Humanity: Connecting Science, Spirit and the Natural World.”

In addition, Kellert is co-directing a large-scale watershed ecosystem study to examine the complex mental and physical dependency of people on healthy natural systems.

His recent awards include the National Conservation Achievement Award from the National Wildlife Federation and the Distinguished Individual Achievement Award from the Society for Conservation Biology. He is one of 300 individuals listed in “American Environmental Leaders: From Colonial Times to the Present.”

He holds a bachelor’s degree in social psychology and biology from Cornell University and a doctoral degree from Yale.

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Karen N. Peart: karen.peart@yale.edu, 203-432-1326