Who We Are & Contact Info

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 our ongoing projects.

Kathleen also teaches a variety of ethnobotanical courses in Northern California. Please sign BD’s mailing list on this website, if you would like to be informed about her future intensives, local courses, 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 25 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. In 2023, she is focused on protecting native medicinal species in Appalachia, and is consolidating a remarkable library of herbalism, botany, and ethnobotany.

Andrew Janjigian, M.A. Andrew wears many hats, quite elegantly. He has been 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 Hawaii. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Melissa Rivard, an educator and videographer who also has documented BD’s projects. Andrew is @wordloaf, author-researcher of bread and its many variations, with his book Breaducation due out in 2024.


Niki Sylva is the Program Coordinator at 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 Ecopsychology.

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 Mexico, Peru, 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

Mailing Address: PO Box 807, Occidental, CA 95465

Visit the Ethnobotany Library

UPDATE: The Ethnobotany Library in Occidental, California was closed during the pandemic and recurrent seasons of wildfires. Without the income of its educational program, we were unable to keep the library open to the public. As of December, 2023, the library has closed and the collection is in transition to a new host, who will be sharing it at a future time and location.

Note: Other books, many rare or hard to find, are for sale to interested parties.  We appreciate your ongoing support for our work with plants of cultural significance. Thanks to all those who donated books, time, and money to the library, which thrived and built a community from 2015-2020.

Until 2023, our unique Ethnobotany Library was located at the Occidental Center for the Arts in charming downtown Occidental, in west Sonoma County, California.

The times, they are a-changin’…