• Twenty years international experience in the design and delivery of outdoor-based change programmes;
  • published research in the psychology of experiences of nature;
  • international consultancy experience on the interface between people and wild environments;
  • extensive workshop and conference presentations;
  • experience across public, private, academic, community, NGO and individual sectors;
  • innovative perspectives on the psychology and philosophy of wild places;
  • academic experience including programme design & management, teaching, graduate and post-graduate supervision and evaluation.


Professional Roles

Current Positions

Ecotherapist, Ecotherapy Kernow, 2014 to present
Delivery of outdoor-based therapeutic services provided through General Practitioner referral.

Director, Natural Change Limited, 2013 to present
Delivery of outdoor training programmes to catalyse and support leadership for sustainability.

Consultant & Facilitator, Self-employed, 2011 to present
Design, facilitate, and research projects that work with the psychology of experiences of wild places.

Short-course Teacher, Schumacher College, 2011 to present
Lead a programme of courses around ecopsychology, deep ecology and the psychology of people’s relationships with the rest of nature.

Member, Editorial Committee of the Journal of Experiential Education, 2011 to present
Peer-reviewed international journal published in Canada. Remit to review submissions with psychological content.

Member, Editorial Committee of the European Journal of Ecopsychology, 2010 to present
Peer-reviewed international journal published online in the UK.

Fellow, Centre for Human Ecology, Edinburgh, 2005 to present
Teaching Fellow leading the Ecopsychology module programme.

Previous Positions

Honorary Research Fellow, University of Exeter, 2010 to 2011
Fellowship with the Department of Geography at Tremough Campus, Falmouth, to develop research interests in the psychology of human relationships with the rest of nature.

Director, Footprint Consulting Limited, 2004 to 2011
Sustainability consultant specialising in behaviour change. Work on a diverse range of projects for the commercial, social enterprise, NGO and public sectors.

Tutor, University of Strathclyde, 2005 to 2010
Ecopsychology tutor and supervisor on the MSc Human Ecology programme, offered in partnership between the Centre for Human Ecology and the Department of Geography and Sociology.

Tutor, University of Stirling, 2004 to 2008
Tutor on BSc in Environmental Science and Outdoor Education programme through supply of four outdoor education modules, student support and undergraduate supervision.

Director, Centre for Human Ecology, Edinburgh, 2005 to 2006
The Centre for Human Ecology is a network for ecological and social transformation.

Instructor, Scottish National Outdoor Training Centre, Glenmore Lodge, Scotland, 2002 to 2005
Ecotherapy and Eco-education programme leader. Mountaineering instructor.

Ecological Education Consultant, Self-employed (UK & NZ), 1999 to 2002
Working with clients to develop ecological education curriculum and staff training.

Senior Instructor, Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre (NZ), 1996 to 1999
Outdoor pursuits instructor and group facilitator.

Principal Tutor, Wanganui Polytechnic (NZ), 1994 to 1996
Tutor on BSc Computer Graphic Design programme.

Managing Director, Fulcrum Creative Limited (UK), 1991 to 1994
Marketing and graphic design consultancy.

Director, PP Associates (UK), 1990 to 1991
Marketing consultant.



MSc Human Ecology (with distinction), 2003
Centre for Human Ecology, Edinburgh.

Deep Ecology: Ecological Wisdom for the Modern Age, 1998
Short-course with Arne Naess, Stephan Harding and Stephanie Mills. Schumacher College, Devon.

Certificate in Adult Teaching (Parts 1&2) (NZ), 1995
Wanganui Polytechnic, New Zealand.

BSc (Hons) Design for Industry, 1990
University of Northumbria, Newcastle.


Outdoor Qualifications

Wilderness First Aid, 2015

Canadian Canoe 4 Star Award, 2006
Scottish Canoe Association.

Winter Mountain Leader Award, 2003
Scottish Mountain Leader Training Board.

Summer Mountain Leader Award, 2003
Scottish Mountain Leader Training Board.

Lifeguard Canoe Safety Test, 2002
Scottish Canoe Association.

Day Skippers License, 1999
Canadian Yachting Association, (BC).

Certificate Pre-hospital Emergency Care (60hr), 1997
Auckland Institute of Technology (NZ)

Alpine Instructor Award, 1996
New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association.

Rock Instructor Award, 1996
New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association.

Avalanche Professional LEVEL 1, 1996
Otago Polytechnic & NZ Mountain Safety Council.



‘The Roseland Walks for Wellbeing Project’
Elective Session: Gathering at the Edge of the Wild: UK Ecopscyhology Conference.
Green & Away, Worcestershire, July 2015.

‘The Natural Change Project’
Keynote Session: International Symposium “Cultures of Sustainability in the Age of Climate Crisis”.
Part of EU COST IS 1007 “Investigating Cultural Sustainability”.
Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Telemark University College, Bø, Norway, May 2014.

Values, Sustainability and the Citizen: Making the Cultural Shift’
RSA Lecture Plenary Session: RSA in Scotland and WWF Scotland, Edinburgh, 2010.

Plenary Session: Climate Change Conference, Cornwall College, 2009.

‘Ecopsychology & Outdoor Education’
Plenary Session: Advancing Adventure Conference, Lochaber College, 2008.

‘Beyond Sustainable Tourism’
Plenary Session: Scottish Tourism Forum, 2007.

Sustainability: Scottish Tourism’s Competitive Edge?’
Plenary Session: Tourism Innovation Group Conference, Turnberry, Scotland, Scottish Tourism Forum, 2006.

‘Ecopsychology and Sustainable Nature-based Tourism’
Plenary Session: European Union Northern Peripheries Project – Nature-based Tourism Working Group Conference, Ballachulish, Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage/National Trust for Scotland, 2005.

‘The Healing Power of Wild Places’
Plenary Session: E39 COST Action – Human Health Benefits of Forests Conference, University of Edinburgh, Forestry Commission/European Union, 2004.

‘Wild at Heart: The Philosophy & Psychology of Wild Places’
Plenary Session: Sustaining Wild Land Conference, Pitlochry, Scotland, John Muir Trust, 2004.

‘Deep Ecology: An Ecosophy of Wildness’
Elective Session: Wild at Heart Conference, Glenmore Lodge, Aviemore, Scotland, 2004.

‘Wild at Heart: The philosophy and psychology of wild places’
Originated and convened two conferences to promote deeper discussion about the fundamental role of wild places in human affairs. External funding acquired through the Cairngorms National Park Authority, The Great Outdoors Magazine and SportScotland, 2003 & 2004.

‘The Ecology of Adventure’
Elective Session: Wild at Heart Conference, Glenmore Lodge, Aviemore, Scotland, 2003.

‘The Ecology of Adventure’
Plenary Session: Human Ecology Research Methods Conference, Centre for Human Ecology, Edinburgh, 2003.

‘The Ecology of Adventure’
Plenary Session: Outdoor Education Research Forum, University of Edinburgh, 2003.

‘Outdoor Experiential Learning in New Zealand’
Elective Session: Asia Pacific Conference & Exhibition of Experiential Learning (APCEEL), Singapore, Singapore Training and Development Association, Outward Bound Singapore and Association of Experiential Education, 1998.


Project Resumé

Ecotherapy Kernow: Roseland Walk for Wellbeing Project
Design and facilitation of a one of the UK’s first General Practice referral ecotherapy programmes.

The project offered a group of clients referred by their local GP a walking programme based on ten, 2.5 hour sessions over ten weeks. The project was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council through the University of Exeter as part of their ‘Dose of Nature’ project.

Australian Conservation Foundation, 2013
Consultant for the design and development of the ACF’s Songlines Project.

This offers targeted ACF stakeholders a six-day “trail” experiences of wild Australia. The trail is led by local Aboriginal people. Remit to advise ACF how to translate these experiences of wild places into stakeholder engagement with the ACF’s conservation goals.

WWF Scotland, 2007-2012
Inception, design, co-facilitation and evaluation of WWF’s innovative Natural Change Project.

The project took strategically targeted Scottish leaders through a six month programme, including a total of 16 days in wild environments.

WWF commissioned two programmes over five years which have led to policy level change on sustainability issues in Scotland.

The project is now independent of WWF with several commissions currently under way.

NESTA / Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust, 2010
Retained by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) as a consultant for the Isle of Eigg’s entry into the Big Green Challenge.

Work included community engagement in a collaborative process to design and submit their entry. The Isle of Eigg community won joint first prize and £300,000 to invest in community environmental projects. 

Artemis Fund Managers, 2010
Stakeholder and market analysis on ethical investment to inform the development of fund management strategy.

Cairngorm Mountain Limited, 2006-8
Consultant and staff training to help develop a strategy to mitigate the effects of climate change on snow reliability at Scotland’s largest ski field.

Work included the development and implementation of a highly complex stakeholder analysis and community engagement strategy.

Natural Leadership Foundation, 2009
Design and facilitation of leadership training for a private sector group from Holland.

Active Earth Foundation, 2006-9
Design of sustainability leadership training programmes aimed at the corporate sector.

The project included branding, logistics, staff training, marketing strategy, copy writing, and the development of promotional media. Programmes were implemented in Germany, France and Spain.

Glencree Centre for Peace & Reconciliation, 2004
Design and facilitation of two, three-day programmes working with violently opposed communities from Northern Ireland.

The programme showed sustainability as an issue of common concern and therefore a platform for reconciliation. The process brought the various stakeholders together successfully and led to the development of several community projects in Ireland, which are still ongoing.

The project was part of the Northern Ireland Peace Process after the Good Friday Agreement (1998).

The Wilderness Foundation, 2004
Design and facilitation of a five-day outdoor programme for an international group of environmental lawyers.

Glenmore Lodge, 2003-7
Eco-education and ecotherapy outdoor leadership programme development and delivery.

Instructor staff training.

Outward Bound New Zealand, 1999
Consultant for the development of OBNZ’s environmental policy.

Staff training on the design and facilitation of outdoor-based programmes for sustainability.

Presentations, workshops and courses
For Scottish National Heritage; National Trust for Scotland; Cairngorms National Park Authority; European Union Northern Peripheries Project; North Yorkshire Moors NP; British Trust for Conservation Volunteers; NHS Education; Ashridge Business School; the Universities of Edinburgh, Strathclyde, Stirling, Exeter, Plymouth and the Highlands & Islands; and for the Peninsula Medical School.

Mentoring & one-to-one professional support
For a diversity of individuals interested in using psychology to lead change for sustainability across sectors, internationally. Mentoring work is confidential so names and organisations cannot be given.



Key, D.H. (2015) Transpersonal Patterns in the Natural Change Project. Self & Society: An International Journal for Humanistic Psychology. Issue 43, Vol. 2.

Lancaster, O.J., Kerr, M.H. and Key, D.H. (2014) Optimism, Pessimism and Hope: Personal responses to the professional challenges of sustainability.

Kerr, M.H. & Key, D.H. (2013) Evidence of Natural Change – Case Studies from the Scottish education sectorNatural Change Foundation: Edinburgh.

Key, D.H. and Kerr, M.H. for WWF (2011) The Natural Change Project: Catalysing leadership for sustainability. WWF: Dunkeld.

Kerr, M.H and Key, D.H. ‘The Ouroboros (Part I): Towards an ontology of connectedness in ecopsychology research.’ European Journal of Ecopsychology 2: 48-60 (2011) EJE v2 – Kerr & Key

Key, D.H. and Kerr, M.H. ‘The Ouroboros (Part II): Towards an intersubjective-heuristic method for ecopsychology research.’ European Journal of Ecopsychology 2: 61-75 (2011) EJE v2 – Key & Kerr

Key, D.H. and Kerr, M.H. (2011) The Natural Change Project in ‘Vital Signs’, Totton, N. and Rust, M.J. (eds) (2011). Karnac Books, London.

Kerr, M.H. & Key, D.H. (2011). The Ecology of the Unconscious in ‘Vital Signs’, Totton, N. and Rust, M.J. (eds) (2011). Karnac Books, London.

Key, D.H. (2003) The Ecology of Adventure. Unpublished MSc thesis, Centre for Human Ecology, Edinburgh.

Key, D.H. (2003) Diversity in Unity. The Great Outdoors Magazine: 37.

Key, D.H. (2003) The Truth is Out There. The Great Outdoors Magazine: 36.

Key, D.H. (2003) An Act of Prayer. The Great Outdoors Magazine: 35.

Key, D.H. (2003) A Solitude Shared. The Great Outdoors Magazine: 34.

Key, D.H. (2003) Flight of Fancy. The Great Outdoors Magazine: 33.

Key, D.H. (2003) Ecology: A Deep View. The Great Outdoors Magazine: 32.

Key, D.H. (2003) This Whole World. The Great Outdoors Magazine: 31.

Key, D.H. (2003) Less is More. The Great Outdoors Magazine: 30.

Key, D.H. (2003) A Wilderness Fugitive. The Great Outdoors Magazine: 29.

Key, D.H. (2003) Zen & the Art of Minimum Impact. The Great Outdoors Magazine: 28.

Key, D.H. (2002) Skimming Stones. The Great Outdoors Magazine: 27.

Key, D.H. (2002) What’s it all Worth? The Great Outdoors Magazine: 26.

Key, D.H. (2002) The Tree of Life. The Great Outdoors Magazine: 25.