Pınar is a neurodivergent QTPOC from Huanca, Turkish and Chinese ancestries. Growing up not feeling particularly drawn to urban queer culture, they found empowerment in their queerness with the more-than-human world. Canyon wrens, domestic cats, fall leaves, grey foxes, desert creeks, and cottonwoods have been some of their queer peers and mentors. This guided them toward their work in developing Queer Ecopsychology through studies at Prescott College, Wilderness Awareness School, School of Lost Borders, Animas Valley Institute and Naropa University. Their undergraduate work was in applied ecopsychology with a somatic and depth approach through a decolonial and queer lens.
Pınar’s passions include wilderness/ancestral skills, rites of passage, trauma remediation (personal/ancestral/ecological), cultural/ecological roles of queers, decolonization, indigenous solidarity work, natural history, soul work, empowerment of marginalized voices, neurodivergence advocacy, radical mental health, wildlife tracking and the ecological intelligence of emotions. Currently enrolled at the University of Vermont, they are working on their Masters Degree in Natural Resources with a Concentration in Leadership for Sustainability from the Rubenstein School of Environment & Natural Resources.
Sophia ("So") is a queer Greek-American who grew up in the northern hardwood forests of central Vermont. So started consciously becoming nature's partner-in-crime when they worked as a seasonal shepherd throughout college and sheep began to teach them new things about belonging, awareness, and community. Hoping to one day be as cool as sheep are, So went on to do immersive studies in wilderness survival skills and naturalism at Roots School and Wilderness Awareness School, and also completed an MA that focused on relationships between religion and ecology in the Eastern Mediterranean, some of their ancestral lands. Much of So's work is animated by a keen study of how human spirituality is interwoven with geography and can be further informed by intimate knowledge of place through naturalist study. When So married Pinar almost three years ago, their stewardship of both the queer soul and the non-human world began to flow together more visibly, and from this confluence Queer Nature was born. Current areas of geekery are tracking, scout-craft, marksmanship, remote medicine, and so-called nature writing. So has had their writing published in Written River and The Wayfarer.
Jess, a queer English (matrilineage) and Germans from Russia (patrilineage) American, grew up in the plains of South Dakota and North Dakota, learning the ancestral lands of the Lakota Sioux (SD) and the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Assiniboine, and Lakota Sioux (ND). Jess had the luxury of growing up hunting, fishing, camping, gardening, and exploring animal wisdom with two veterinarian parents. Due to that gift, and having a mother who is a skilled deer hunter, most of Jess’ nature-based learning has been incidental and informal. More formally, Jess has worked wilderness therapy programs, been a teacher, and most recently studied to become a counselor (emphasizing relational healing via horses and nature). When Jess met So and Pinar, their friendship organically merged to add another layer to the Queer Nature ecology. Jess’ private practice as a counselor is called Natural Wisdom Counseling, and emphasizes trauma recovery, developing healthy relationships, and the exploration of one’s unique niche in the ecology of our world. Jess is fluent in English, Spanish, and ASL.