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Nature-Connecting Holistic  Courses and Degrees Online: Natural Career Education Personal and Professional Whole Life System Alternative Training Grants, Employment, Jobs 

Project NatureConnect
Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington, USA
Institute of Global Education,
Director M. J. Cohen Ph.D.  
Special NGO Consultant, United Nations Economic and Social Council
Online education to increase personal, social and environmental well-being


Educating Counseling and Healing With Nature

Grant-Fundeds Degrees, Career Training Courses and Jobs On Line

Learn the pure art and science of creating balanced, therapeutic relationships: a practical application of spirituality and organics.

Project NatureConnect offers environmentally and socially responsible distant learning. It enables you to add the benefits of nature-connecting methods and materials to your profession, degree program and/or other skills, interests and hobbies.

We honor your prior training and life experience by providing grants and equivalent education credit for it.

You may take accredited or professional CEU coursework and/or obtain a Nature-Connected Degree or Certificate in most disciplines or personal interests. 
  • Improve your economics and satisfaction through independent, interdisciplinary or integrated study and Ecopsychology.
  • Help people connect their thoughts and feelings with the self-correcting and renewing ways of nature.
  • Increase personal and environmental health and wellness.
  • Add the sunlight beauty and spirit of Planet Earth to your life, community and meditations.
Visit our Homepage for complete information


Project NatureConnect


Be true to yourself. Don't be a victim of contemporary society's conquest of natural systems within and around you. If you have had an attractive "feel good" experience in nature, learn how to further enjoy and strengthen its contribution to the well-being of yourself, society and the environment.


From The Web of Life Imperative, M.J. Cohen

Doesn't nature have restorative and regenerative healing powers?

If not, how then how does nature create and sustain its purity, balance and peace along with its optimums of diversity and life without producing garbage or pollution?

Humanity is part of nature. When our psyche is genuinely connected to nature, we feel better and benefit from nature's recuperative powers.

Although we and our psyche live indoor lives, separated from nature, we and our psyche are inherently part of nature. This means that the undeniable, purifying, self-healing and recycling powers found in natural systems help us heal our injured psyche and thinking when we genuinely reconnect them with authentic nature. Then we and nature help heal each other for we are once again united and whole.

Although contemporary thinking often scoffs at this notion, others applaud the beneficial results this significant science produces. It is important to keep in mind that the wellness of our thinking determines our health, relationships and destiny.

Doesn't the the difference between the state of the unadulterated natural world and that of industrial society clearly show that while we suffer from warped thinking and relationships, unadulterated nature creates and sustains its own perfection that we inherit as part of nature at birth?

Think for yourself. Explain reasonably to yourself your attractive experiences in nature and the hundreds of substantiated findings, similar to those listed below, with respect to our relationship with natural systems*.


People help rejuvenate and improve their lives by having a pet, going for a hike, keeping a garden, or vacationing in a beautiful place.

Surgical patients have shorter hospitalizations, less need for pain medications, and fewer complaints about discomfort when they have hospital windows that overlook trees rather than brick walls.

Prisoners with cells that provided views of rolling landscapes were found to make fewer sick calls than inmates whose cell windows overlooked prison courtyards.

Pets have positive effects on patients with dementia. Even patients with impaired mental abilities are able to connect with cats or dogs.

Contemporary people who live in environments that are more natural, live longer.

Post-traumatic stress victims recover by connecting in nature to "something larger than themselves." in nature.

Nature-centered people and cultures seldom display or cause the problems that undermine industrial society.

ADHD: Spending time in "green" settings reduced ADHD symptoms in a national study of children aged 5 to 18. The study was done by Frances Kuo, PhD, and Andrea Faber Taylor, PhD, of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Activities were done inside, outside in areas without much greenery (such as parking lots), and in "greener" spots like parks, backyards, and tree-lined streets. The kids showed fewer ADHD symptoms after spending time in nature, according to their parents. Symptoms evaluated by the questionnaire included remaining focused on unappealing tasks, completing tasks, listening and following directions, and resisting distractions. "In each of 56 analyses, green outdoor activities received more positive ratings than did activities taking place in other settings," write Kuo and Taylor. It didn't matter where the children lived. Rural or urban, coastal or inland, the findings held true for all regions of the country."
American Journal of Public Health, September, 2004

OBESITY: "Being outside is the key, to the childhood obesity issue...where they can move more." said Bernard Gutin, professor of pediatrics and physiology at the Georgia Prevention Institute Medical College of Georgia. He reported to USA Today (11/16/04) that his research with 3rd graders showed that children who ate healthy snacks and engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity 70-80 minutes build more bone and muscle, greater cardiovascular fitness and add less fat than childrenwho don't participate in such activities.


ADDICTION Most addiction treatment involves helping people resist the immediate impulse long enough for the frontal cortex to "remember" the long term pain. One "tool" people use to do this is through calling each other (every AA or other 12-step meeting has a phone list where you can call another addict 24/7 if you're temped to take a drink, eat Ben & Jerry's, buy an item you don't need, use a credit card, gamble, have sex with a prostitute, whatever your problem addiction is.) Other tools involve repeating mantras ("slogans") or prayers, getting social support at meetings, receiving "chips" for days of "abstinence" etc. A lot of addicts have put over 70 years of thought into developing these various behavioral "tricks" for resisting the initial impulse "one day at a time.

This can easily be applied to the short term impulse gratification that is ruining our planet through obtaining satisfactions that help break the addiction but are environmentally destructive.

In Project NatureConnect, your sense or attraction that is seeking satisfaction gets it in a environmentally supportive way when they do a nature-connecting activity. It gives nature added value, too.


"Yes, I agree that PNC is one of the methods whereby we can give people immediate reward experiences with environmentally healthy behaviour. I have found, in leading PNC events that, just as you say, it builds a sense of community, and mutual support. Perhaps most important, it helps people learn to trust their own senses and trust in the natural world."

John Scull, Ph.D. Neuropsychologist

Finding Hope Up a Creek

By Francesca Lyman, Resurgence.

Thanks to John Beal, what was once a culvert dripping with waste is now a beautifully restored stream brimming with beaver and salmon.

For a man broken by war, John Beal found himself an unlikely place of refuge.

Told that he had less than four months to live, the disabled Vietnam veteran wandered down to the stream behind his house to contemplate his future. Hamm Creek was an open sewer, plugged up with garbage. Beal was still recovering from bullet wounds and haunted by flashbacks. Besides suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, he had gone through three heart attacks, followed by a serious motorcycle accident.

"I went down to the stream behind my house and just cried, wondering how I'd care for my wife and four kids," says Beal. "Then the idea came to me: if you're going to check out, so to speak, try to leave this place better than when you found it. I looked at this wreck of a stream, filled with refrigerators, old tires, torn garbage bags, broken swings and stinking carpets and all I wanted to do was clean it up."

Maybe it was a way of processing his memories of the wreckage of war, he reflects. Or maybe it was survivor's guilt. Instead of despairing, he started pulling out the garbage. "When I yanked out this huge refrigerator, I thought it would surely kill me. Instead I felt better."

Since that day 23 years ago, Beal has directed all of his energies to restoring this polluted Seattle, Wash. stream. During the last 10 years he has moved on to restoring the entire watershed. Beal has recruited hundreds of crews to clean up and replant around the streams and has now established a network of volunteer groups living in the area, as well as drawing the support and interest of the local Duwamish tribe.

Through sheer persistence, Beal eventually raised enough public awareness and pressure to persuade the local utility to allow Hamm Creek, which had been channelized and paved into a culvert, to be daylighted and rerouted over its property. As a result, what was once a culvert dripping with waste is now a beautifully recontoured and replanted stream brimming with beaver, salmon, and other fish.

For Beal, the impulse to do environmental restoration is itself restorative: "It has empowered me and kept me alive." That same impulse has spurred the energies of thousands of volunteers. "I've seen remarkable things happen to people who connect with Mother Earth," he concludes, describing dozens of cases of people disabled physically or psychologically who benefit from the exercise and feeling of accomplishment.

"I remember watching a young man who had been in a wheelchair for eight years come out to help us weed and plant," he says. "After two years, he's almost able to walk." At first, the young man would fall out of his wheelchair, Beal recalls. But now, he says, he is able to clamber down the slope of the shore, willing himself through. "He was out there every single day. And lately he's saying, 'Now I've got a mission in life.'"

No matter how stressed, angry, depressed or troubled they are, whether it's a jail crew sent to clean up litter for the day, or a class of students, they seem to derive pleasure from the activity, says the riverkeeper.

The redemptive feelings Beal describes are echoed by thousands of visitors and volunteers who have come to his restored creeksite. They are also confirmed by an emerging movement loosely called "ecopsychology," the study of nature's therapeutic benefits.

In the last decade, hundreds of studies have begun documenting what many people know intuitively about the healing power of nature. "Nature is in some fundamental way important for the human psyche, and as such it is really central to public health," says Roger Ulrich, director of the Center for Health Systems and Design at Texas A&M University.

Ulrich has tested these theories on patients recovering from cardiac and abdominal surgery. He found that patients whose hospital rooms overlooked trees required less pain medication and recovered more quickly than those whose rooms overlooked brick walls.

John Beal, like the ecopsychologists, believes that the impulse toward environmental restoration is about the need for connection and purpose in a world increasingly dissociated from nature.

"It's the connection to something larger than yourself," says Beal. "When you are so overwhelmed by your depression, or anxiety or sense of illness, it takes away that worry; it calms that fear."

Francesca Lyman is the author of 'Inside the Dzanga-Sangha Rain Forest' and 'The Greenhouse Trap.'


*Irvine, K and Warber, S (2002). "Greening Healthcare: Practicing as if the Natural Environment Really Mattered" reviewed in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine September/October 2002 (Volume 8, Number 5).

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After you obtain information about the Project NatureConnect program from the web site by using the Navigation guide (left column), a free, helpful 15-minute discussion by phone with a faculty member is the most efficient way to customize the program to your goals.


A nature-connected, personal balance and healing, stress-management course online.

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Special NGO consultant United Nations Economic and Social Council

Readily available, online, natural science tools
for the health of person, planet and spirit

P.O. Box 1605, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
360-378-6313 <email> www.ecopsych.com

The Natural Systems Thinking Process

Dr. Michael J. Cohen, Director

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All programs start with the Orientation Course contained in the book
The Web of Life Imperative.