Founder Rich Silver

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"May your work become central in awakening this sleeping and confused species we are part of.
I so admire anyone who has dedicated himself the way you have."
Brian Swimme, PhD ~ Cosmologist & Author
"The Universe Story" and "The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos"

U of Earth founder, Rich Silver is an award winning educator who has spent over forty years investigating the mysteries of nature and human potential. Living in the northern Sierra Nevada, he is currently directing the development of the multiple aspects of the school while practicing as an EcoTherapist. During his twenty-eight year career as a California State Park Ranger he developed many educational programs, both within and outside of State Parks.

"You bring big medicine to the world."
Shelia Belanger
Ecotherapist and Soul Guide

Emphasizing his lifelong dedication to healing the human-nature relationship and promoting the rights of nature, he co-founded The Endangered Species Faire with his wife Janet in 1979, currently one of the longest running environmental education events in the world. His The Many Voices of the American River (1996), an EcoEducation training program for guides and teachers gained national recognition and was the cover story for the publication, Legacy.

Many of his other field programs, Nature as Healer & Teacher, The Secrets of Trees: A Peak Experience, The Essentials of EcoTherapy and Conversations with Nature have been highly praised.

Rich holds a Bachelor's degree in a special major Mind and Nature,
blending psychology and the natural sciences.
Has a Master’s degree in Counseling and Educational Psychology (Marriage & Family Therapy)
and is ABD having completed all course work for a PhD in Applied Ecopsychology.

Described as a "rogue scholar," with a vow to stay out of the ivory tower (conventional academia) and be in nature, Rich is the great-grandson of the legendary abolitionist John Brown, and like Brown, is a passionate defender of life. His greatest pleasures arise from solitude in nature, solo backcountry skiing, river running and soulful conversations.

Rich’s academic interests are in the fields of human development and human potential. His earlier studies evaluated the human development models that mapped the more advanced stages, stages that indicated the possibility for humans contributing to social transformation. His current research is in investigating the efficacy of spiritual practices and "subtle activism" as a means for personal and planetary healing and transformation as a support and compliment to traditional forms of social and ecological activism.

In addition, Rich is researching the archetypal nature of humans as it relates to an individual's unique "Higher Self" and soul purpose as a means to Thomas Berry's call for "reinventing the human and society." His greatest passion is assisting others in discovering their higher potentials and soul purpose and in helping others find a source of endless inspiration through deep intimacy with Nature and the "Divine Realms." 

A spontaneous and mysterious life changing encounter with an "Ascended Master," (a "Being of Light") at age 30 led Rich to study the Spiritual Sciences at a true mystery school for 14 years; a study he continues privately to this day with certain "Masters" of that lineage. His lifelong dedication to that study and practice resulted in the Masters requesting him to "teach the path," allowing him the humbling honor of offering guidance to anyone serious about spiritual transformation. And more esoterically, guidance for those rare individuals called to the path of Divine Reunion in this life, as he walks that path himself. 

Rich's many numinous experiences while wandering alone in the wild have inspired him to teach the importance of reclaiming the lost capacity for inter-species communication common to early indigenous people, a capacity that can lead to ever deepening care and compassion for both the human world and the "more-than-human worlds." 

The subject of his dissertation, titled, The Miracle of We: A Post-Rational Animism, examines the claim of Dr. George Washington Carver, “Anything will speak to you if you love it enough.”  There demonstrating the timely importance of reaching our greater human potentials by developing trans-rational awareness and knowing. As a mapped higher level of human development, trans-rational awareness is a capacity of the heart, not of the head, allowing for inter-species and inter-dimensional communication, that we might come to truly know; "We are all in this together."

"Yours is an important work."
~Mathew Fox, PhD ~ Ecophilosopher,Theologian & Author
"Creation Spirituality" and "Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh" 

"The man with the biggest heart...a rare combination of appreciation of, and comfort
in the upperworld, the underworld and the wild." 
~Bill Plotkin, PhD ~ Depth Psychologist, Wilderness Guide & Author
"Soulcraft" and "Nature and Human Soul"
"What an amazing heart...he has the gift of the power of the voice."
~David Abram, PhD ~ Cultural Ecologist, Visionary & Author
"The Spell of the Sensuous" and "Becoming Animal"
Contact Rich Silver at
530 368-6325