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Susan B. Eirich, Ph.D. is Founder and Executive Director of Earthfire Institute, a wildlife sanctuary with a mission to change how humans see and therefore treat wildlife, for all our sakes. The sanctuary lies just west of Grand Teton National Park, where she lives with rescued bears, wolves, bison and other animals native to the Rocky Mountains. She uses her background as a biologist and psychologist to bridge our scientific and spiritual understanding of animals. Through retreats, newsletters, speaking, videos and social media she carries their voices out to an international audience.
Dr. Eirich holds a B.S. in biology from Cornell University, an M.A. in psychology from the New School for Social Research, and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Kentucky. She worked for The Nature Conservancy for eight years as Executive Director for their Manitoba preserves, and has taught at universities here and overseas. Her desire to broaden her own understanding by seeing through other’s eyes led her to travel to many cultures, including remote villages in Nepal, the Inuit in the Arctic, hunter-gatherer tribes in the Amazon, and to work with inmates in prisons such as Sing-Sing and the super-maximum facility Colorado State Penitentiary. The last two decades she has turned her attention to trying to see through the eyes of wild animals and sharing what she has discovered.
Dr. Eirich is a pioneer in the conservation movement through her Conservation Conversation retreats for thought leaders. The retreats are by invitation only and include people from a wide variety of industries and backgrounds. Her ability to connect people through these retreats with the animals at Earthfire, provides a powerful new element for subsequent conservation discussions and meaningful, actionable outcomes.
By giving wild animals a voice at the negotiation table Dr. Eirich promotes a sense of community that includes all living beings. The impact is to change people’s perception of the role of wild animals in our community and, ultimately, the health of our planet.
Through the www.earthfireinstitute.org website Dr. Eirich has established a broad technological platform to bring the animals voices to the world. Millions have viewed the Earthfire animal videos. She has written over 100 conservation themed articles. They are typically enhanced by vivid animal stories gained from close observation of the wild animals at Earthfire. She participated in the Emmy award winning PBS series “The Embrace of Aging,” released in
2015, where she discussed finding rich and sustaining meaning in life by connecting with and drawing on the wisdom of nature. The excerpt can be found on the Earthfire YouTube channel. In addition to leading retreats at Earthfire she has spoken at numerous conferences nationally and internationally. Her total passion is to find a way for we humans to live on our Earth that respects and rejoices in all life.
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