Founder Rich Silver

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"May your work become central in awakening this sleeping and confused species we are part of!
I so admire anyone who has dedicated himself the way you have."
Brian Swimme, PhD ~ Cosmologist
"The Universe Story" and "The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos"

U of Earth founder, Rich Silver is an award winning educator who has spent nearly forty years      investigating the mysteries of nature and human potential. Living in the northern Sierra Nevada, he is currently directing the development of the school while practicing as an EcoTherapist and EcoEducator. During his twenty-eight year career as a California State Park Ranger he developed many educational programs, both within and outside of California State Parks.

"You bring big medicine to the world."
Shelia Belanger
Ecotherapist and Soul Guide

Emphasizing a lifelong dedication to healing the human-nature relationship and promoting the rights of nature he co-founded The Endangered Species Faire in 1979, currently one of the longest running environmental education events in the nation. His The Many Voices of the American River (1996), an EcoEducation training program for guides and teachers gained national recognition and was the cover story for the publication, Legacy.

Many of his other field programs, Nature as Healer & Teacher, The Secrets of Trees, The Essentials of EcoTherapy and Hearing Earth's Voice have been highly praised.

Rich holds a Bachelor's degree in a special major Mind and Nature, a Master’s degree in Counseling and Educational Psychology, and is ABD having completed all course work for a PhD in Applied Ecopsychology.

Described as a "rogue scholar," with a vow to get out of the ivory tower (conventional academia) and into nature, Rich is the great-grandson of the legendary abolitionist John Brown, and like Brown, is a passionate nature wanderer and defender of life. His deepest satisfactions come in service to life and his greatest pleasures arise from solitude in nature, solo backcountry skiing, river running, nature-based group process, and soulful conversations.

Rich’s academic interests are in the field of human potential and the spiral of human development. As a developmental ecopsychologist, his studies investigate the unfolding developmental stages of self-identity, values and morals (actions is service to the greater good) and how our greater potentials in each of these domains of development might serve to help create a sustainable life enhancing society.

Rich's numinous experiences while wandering in the wild have inspired him to teach the importance of reclaiming the lost capacity for inter-species communication and an ever deepening care and compassion for both the human world and the  "more-than-human world." The subject of his dissertation, titled, The Miracle of We: A Post-Rational Animism, examines the claim of Dr. George Washington Carver, “Anything will speak to you if you love it enough” and demonstrates the need for developing trans-rational knowing and awareness that we might come to truly know; We are all in this together.


"Yours is an important work."
~Mathew Fox, PhD ~ Ecophilosopher & Theologian
"The Reinvention of Work" and "The Hidden Spirituality of Men"
"The man with the biggest heart...a rare combination of appreciation and comfort
in the upperworld, the underworld and the wild." 
~Bill Plotkin, PhD ~ Depth Psychologist & Visionary
"Soulcraft" and "Nature and Human Soul"
"What an amazing heart...he has the gift of the power of the voice."
~David Abram, PhD ~ Cultural Ecologist & Visionary
"The Spell of the Sensuous" and "Becoming Animal"
Contact Rich Silver at
530 368-6325