Institute for Social Ecology Board members:

Bea Bookchin

[Biographical information and photo for Bea forthcoming.]

Daniel Chodorkoff

Daniel Chodorkoff, Ph.D., anthropology, New School for Social Research, is cofounder   and former executive director of the ISE. He is an urban anthropologist and activist with special interests in community development and utopian studies, and has authored numerous articles on both subjects. Dan has been active in the Green movement and was a longtime faculty member at Goddard College.

Click here for more info and for links to Dan’s writings.

wee!Eleanor Finley

Eleanor Finley is a queer feminist activist with a background in reproductive justice, LGBTQ and trans* liberation, radical pedagogy, and the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Originally from the state of Virginia, she has been a student of social ecology and an organizer with the ISE since 2011. She is currently acquiring a Master’s degree in anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where her research focuses on heritage, the politics of memory, and political imagination in 1930’s Spanish anarchism as well as Spain’s Indignados movement.

Click here for more info and for links to Eleanor’s writings.

Grace Gershuny

Grace Gershuny is internationally known in the alternative agriculture movement, having worked for over twenty-five years as an organizer, educator, author and consultant, as well as a small-scale market gardener. She has written extensively about soil management and composting, including The Soul of Soil and Start With the Soil, and was the editor of Organic Farmer: The Digest of Sustainable Agriculture for its four year existence. Grace has been involved with organic certification for many years, including five years on the staff of USDA’s National Organic Program. She is working on a book about the meaning of organic and what happened to it. She has taught at the ISE since 1986, and grows her own vegetables and chickens in Barnet, VT.

Click here for more info and for links to Grace’s writings and projects.

Ben Grosscup

Ben Grosscup is an alumnus of the Institute for Social Ecology where he studied from 2001-2003. During that time, he also interned as a community organizer with the ISE Biotechnology Project. He was the organizer the 2005 Social Ecology Intensive Colloquium. In December 2005, he finished his BA in anthropology of science and technology at Hampshire College, focusing on questions of democracy and technology. He currently works as a community organizer with the Northeast Organic Farming Association Massachusetts Chapter. Based in Western Massachusetts, he serves on the board of the ISE.

Click here for more info and for links to Ben’s writings and projects.

Chaia Heller

Chaia Heller has taught social ecology and feminist theory at the Institute for Social Ecology for close to thirty years.  Heller recently published, Food, Farms, and Solidarity:  French Farmers Challenge Industrial Agriculture and Genetically Modified Crops with Duke University Press. Her first book, Ecology of Everyday Life: Rethinking the Desire for Nature, was published by Black Rose Books. In addition to being a writer, activist, and artist, Heller has a PhD in anthropology from the University of Massachusetts and has been teaching food politics and gender studies at Mount Holyoke College for nearly a decade.

Click here for more info and for links to Chaia’s writings.

Owen James

[Biographical information and photo for Owen forthcoming.]

Hilary Moore

Hilary Moore has been organizing around social justice issues in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2004. She began working with displaced youth around gender and education issues and in the past two years, she has been organizing for Climate Justice. Hilary is one of the founding organizers of the Mobilization for Climate Justice-West, a grassroots alliance of advocacy, community-based, and direct action organizations in the Bay Area dedicated to keeping frontline communities at the forefront of the struggle while advancing community-led solutions. Currently she is working within the punk community around issues of gentrification as it affects the West Oakland area. Hilary finished a graduate degree with the Institute for Social Ecology through Prescott College, focusing on building collective practices of care within communities engaged in resistance and struggle, and is now a PhD student at UC Berkeley.

Bob Spivey

[Biographical information and photo for Bob forthcoming.]


Blair Taylor

Blair Taylor has been involved with the Institute for Social Ecology since 2000. Co-editor of the upcoming book From Popular Assemblies to Social Transformation: Essays by Murray Bookchin, he is presently completing a doctorate in politics at the New School for Social Research examining the historical evolution of the US left from the New Left to Occupy Wall Street. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, he currently works in Germany as a fellow at the Einstein Crisis Research Group at The Free University of Berlin. Active in the global justice movement, today he works with a variety of political and educational projects.

Brian Tokar

Brian Tokar is an activist, author, and a lecturer in Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont.  He is the author of The Green Alternative, Earth for Sale, and Toward Climate Justice, edited two books on the politics of biotechnology, Redesigning Life? and Gene Traders, and co-edited the recent collection, Agriculture and Food in Crisis: Conflict, Resistance and Renewal. He founded the Institute’s Biotechnology and Climate Justice projects, and initiated public events in response to the biotechnology industry’s annual conventions from 2000-2007.

Click here for more info and for links to Brian’s writings.


Associates of the Institute for Social Ecology

Lorita Adkins

Lorita Adkins, director of finances at the ISE from 2002-2011, is currently the Director of the Maplehill School in Plainfield, VT, which she has been involved with for the last 30 years. Lorita works with Maplehill students on conflict resolution skills, culinary arts, and Aikido.

Ashanti Alston

Ashanti Alston, the Northeast regional coordinator for Critical Resistance, is a former member of both the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army, and was a political prisoner for over 12 years. He has been a member of Estacion Libre, a people of color Zapatista support group, as well as a board member for the Institute for Anarchist Studies. Ashanti also authors the zine Anarchist Panther.

Claudia Bagiackas

Claudia Bagiackas, M.A., social ecology, served as the director of the ISE until 2005. Involved in progressive education for 30 years, she is a founding board member of Center School Montessori, and has also participated in the Ladakh Project in northern India.



Matthias Finger

Matthias Finger, Ph.D., political science and education, University of Geneva, studies globalization and the emerging new global actors, such as transnational corporations. A professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, he was previously at Teachers College of Columbia University. He has co-authored with Pratap Chatterjee The Earth Brokers: Power, Politics and World Development (Routledge, 1994) and with José Asún Learning Our Way Out: Adult Education at a Crossroads (Zed, 2000). He is currently a professor of public management at the Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration.



Matt Hern

Matt lives and works in East Vancouver with his partner and daughters where he directs the Purple Thistle Centre and Car-Free Vancouver Day.  His writing has been published on all six continents, translated into nine languages and he continues to lecture widely. He holds a PhD in Urban Studies and teaches at SFU and UBC.

Please visit Matt’s website.

Click here for more info and for links to Matt’s writings.




Beverly Naidus

Beverly Naidus is an internationally recognized artist on the faculty at UW-Tacoma where she teaches courses in art for social change and healing. Interdisciplinary to her core, she works in many mediums, allowing the content to determine the form.  Themes in her work include the ecological crisis, fear of difference, unemployment, nuclear nightmares and her dreams for a reconstructed world.   She has displayed her work on city streets, subways and buses, in major museums, libraries, hospitals, community centers, commercial and university galleries and alternative spaces.

For over three decades she has straddled the high art world and the activist art and community arts worlds, finding it important to share ideas and art projects in all three, sometimes overlapping contexts.  Her work has been discussed in books by Lucy R. Lippard, Suzi Gablik, Paul Von Blum and Lisa Bloom, as well as in significant journals and newspapers.  She is the author of Arts for Change: Teaching Outside the Frame, New Village Press, 2009 as well as two artist’s books, One Size Does Not Fit All and What Kinda Name is That.

From 1991 to 2002 she taught activist art at ISE’s summer residency program, often co-teaching the course with her husband, Bob Spivey.  She has also taught at Carleton College, Goddard College’s low residency BA, MA and MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts, Hampshire College and California State University, Long Beach.   She now shares a home and garden on Vashon Island in Washington State with Bob (founder of SEEDS) and their teenage son, Sam.

Her websites are and and her blog for her current eco-art project is

Carmelo Ruiz

Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero is an author, journalist and environmental educator based in Puerto Rico. His articles have been published by, among others, Corporate Watch, Grist, Counterpunch, Alternet, Earth Island Journal, CIP Americas Policy Program, and the Organic Consumers Association. He directs the Puerto Rico Project on Biosafety and runs a bilingual blog devoted to global environment and development issues. Carmelo writes and lectures on the social and environmental impacts of genetic engineering and industrial agriculture and strategies for social justice and environmental sustainability.

Please visit Carmelo’s website.

Peter Staudenmaier

Peter Staudenmaier is a social ecologist and historian who has been involved with the Institute for Social Ecology since 1989. He has been an active participant in the anarchist movement, the green movement, and the cooperative movement in the United States and Germany for two decades. His research focuses on alternative cultural and political movements, the fascist era, and the history of racial thought. Peter is now a professor of modern German history at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and co-wrote the book Ecofascism: Lessons from the German Experience with Janet Biehl.

Click here for more info and for links to Peter’s writings.

Lloyd Strecker

[Biographical information and photo for Lloyd forthcoming.]

Amoshaun Toft

Amoshaun Toft is an educator, researcher, and activist. He got his BA from the Institute for Social Ecology in 2000 and his MA & PhD in Communication from the University of Washington. He is currently a PostDoctoral Fellow in Digital Media Pedagogy and a Teaching Associate in the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences program at UW-Bothell. He has taught in carpentry and media activism in two ISE summer programs. Amoshaun studies language and social movements, focusing on communication in processes of collaboration across difference. He has worked on projects relating to a wide range of social movement media platforms, homeless organizing, homeless and immigration rights coverage, social forums, anti-human trafficking networks and criminal justice campaigns. He is also a member of the Social Ecology Education and Demonstration School (SEEDS) on Vashon Island. atoft [at]

Please visit Amoshaun’s website:

Click here for more info and for links to Amoshaun’s writings.