Erica is a scientist, a passionate environmentalist, and a lover of unfenced country. She earned a joint Ph.D. in cognitive psychology and cognitive science from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and is currently a Professor of Psychology at CSU, Northridge where she teaches classes about food choices, best practices in sustainability, ecopsychology, and cognition. Erica’s research on factors that influence food choices has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, and her work has been published in the leading peer-reviewed scientific journals as well as featured in Psychology Today and on the National Wildlife Federation website.
In addition to her educational training, Erica has spent a great deal of time in the wild. She hiked 140 miles of the Colorado Trail alone when she was just 24 years old, and has taken a long-distance solo backpacking trip nearly every year since. She has also summited more than half of the 14ers in Colorado, Mt. Kilimanjaro and has been long-distance hiking and canyoneering for more than 15 years. In 2012, she deepened her knowledge of edible and medicinal plants and mushrooms when she took on the life of a contemporary nomadic hunter and gatherer. Erica traveled through the western U.S., living in the forest for 6 months, gathering food and medicine--she spent $0 on food for 6 months during that time. That fall, she competed against top chefs in the Telluride Mushroom Festival Celebrity Chef Cook-Off for the honor of Champion Chef--AND WON with her wild mushroom pate recipe that was served on acorn flour crackers. She loves sharing recipes and stories from life in the forest.
Erica believes that taking communion with the land through eating, uniting Earth body and human body, has the power to remind us that life is sacred, worthy of protection!
~ We are part of a living and breathing ecological network of mutuality--practice oneness. ~
Nadine Flowers, Wilderness Therapist and Teacher