Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune Jason Brown has master's degrees in forestry and divinity and believes forests are a place for contemplation, and are important components of our communities. He believes Mormons who aren't interested in the environment are ignoring a key part of their theology. Photographed in Millcreek Canyon, Monday, March 12, 2012.

Photo by Scott Sommerdorf of The Salt Lake Tribune. Photographed in Mill Creek Canyon, UT, Monday, March 12, 2012.

I grew up in Yorba Linda, California the birthplace of Richard Nixon, “Land of Gracious Living.” I was raised in the Mormon Church and served a Religious Service Mission in the Dominican Republic from 2001 to 2003. When I returned, I attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah and earned a Bachelor’s degree in  Anthropology and International Development. My fieldwork as in Ixtahuacan, Guatemala, where I studied the relationship between traditional and government-run forestry practices. My Master’s work, joint degrees in both forestry and theology was completed at Yale.

After my Master’s work, I taught Ethics and Religion at Utah Valley University and Salt Lake Community College during the school year, and worked for the US Forest Service during the summer months as a forester. In 2013, I started a PhD program at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES) at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. My dissertation research focuses on the spiritual ecology of monastic landscapes in the American West.

My photography is available for purchase as prints (by request only at this time), and I blog mostly at Patheos.


3 thoughts on “About

  1. I am wondering if you are also considering the critical role that DEATH plays in the nature of the Universe, and in what it means to be ‘whole’ — and further, the wholeness (and hag-iology in the broadest sense of ‘living w/holy’) of re-honouring death, incorporating it back into the cycle/spiral of our existence — and partially doing so by facing the deaths in our lives directly and dealing with them ‘hands on’. Please check out CINDEA (Canadian Integrative Network for Death Education and Alternatives) at http://www.cindea.ca if you are interested in considering conversation about this aspect of ‘w/holiness’ with me.

  2. Some other terms I’ve come across in my reading are ‘deep ecology’ and ‘eco-cide.’ The last refers to the loss of species as a result of human activity. I have some blogs about these themes! Good luck with your work; we need science + empathy/compassion to save habitats and for spiritual health!

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