Who we are

President & Projects Director: Kathleen Harrison

Kathleen (Kat) Harrison is an ethnobotanist who loves to explore the relationship between plants, mushrooms and human beings—particularly in the realms that are often hidden: cultural beliefs, personification of species, rituals of healing and initiation, vision-seeking modalities, and artistic creations that illustrate the plant-human relationship. She also studies and teaches the deep history of humans in nature, encompassing both before and since the advent of agriculture.

Kathleen founded Botanical Dimensions in 1985, with her then-husband, the late Terence McKenna, who retired from BD in 1992. Kat has been the President and Project Director throughout BD’s history, and continues to actively manage both ongoing and new projects.

Kathleen teaches courses in Hawaii, Northern California and the Peruvian Amazon. Some are university-sponsored field courses, and some are sponsored by BD and open to anyone. Please sign BD’s mailing list if you would like to be informed about her future travel intensives, local courses, conferences, public talks and publications.

Botanical Dimensions’ Board of Directors also includes:

Susan Leopold, PhD. Susan is an ethnobotanist and passionate defender of biodiversity. Over the past 20 years, Susan has worked extensively with indigenous peoples in Peru and Costa Rica. She is currently the Executive Director of United Plant Savers [www.unitedplantsavers.org]. Susan lives on and manages a productive farm in Virginia, with her family. She has collaborated with Kathleen Harrison on projects since she was a young student. She currently is working to protect native medicinal species in the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S., and Sandalwood species around the world.

Andrew Janjigian, M.A. Andrew wears many hats, quite elegantly. He is a mycologist (M.A. at Harvard), a research chef (Cooks Illustrated), a published writer and a fine photographer. Over the years, he has assisted Botanical Dimensions’ efforts in Ecuador and especially at its Hawaii project. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Melissa Rivard, an educator and videographer who also works to document BD’s projects.

Niki Sylva is BD’s Program Assistant and often staffs our Ethnobotany Library. Her background is as a world traveler and information manager. She has degrees in Latin American Studies and Social Work, and a certificate in Chicanx/Latinx Studies.

Allies around the world
Many other fine people have helped with the efforts of BD over nearly three decades. We are particularly grateful to our friends, colleagues and advisors in Peru, Brazil, Mexico, Costa Rica, France, Canada, California, Hawaii and other parts of the United States. And of course we acknowledge the plant world as that which nourishes, educates, heals and delights us.

You may contact Botanical Dimensions this way:

Email: info at botanicaldimensions.org

Phone: 707-874-1531

Mail: PO Box 807, Occidental, CA 95465

In person: 3830 Doris Murphy Court, Occidental CA 95465, during the hours when the Ethnobotany Library is open to the public — Tues. and Thurs. 11am – 4pm. Please do come, peruse the library collection, have a cup of tea, and consider becoming a Library member for $35/year per person.