Brooke Parry Hecht

Brooke Parry Hecht

Center for Humans & Nature

With a deep passion for life’s big questions, Brooke Hecht joined the Center for Humans and Nature in 2005 as a Research Associate. She has been the President of the Center since 2008. Whether through the Center’s Questions for a Resilient Future or other Center initiatives, her work focuses on what it means to be human and what our responsibilities are to each other and the whole community of life.

Brooke earned her BA in biology from Dartmouth College and a Master of Science degree from the University of Melbourne. Her work in Australia was the starting point for her interest in ecological edges and how these liminal, threshold zones are like an ecosystem’s skin – offering insights into ecological health, as well as reflections of human relationships with the land.

Brooke received her PhD in ecosystem ecology from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. At Yale, Brooke continued her research on ecological edges, including how historical human relationships with place are stored and remembered by the land and reflected at treeline zones. Her field work took her to Iceland, where she was also a Fulbright Fellow. After her work at Yale, and before joining the Center, Brooke was an Exchange Scholar at Harvard University.

Brooke’s interests are as broad as the Center’s—encompassing multidisciplinary and multicultural approaches to being in relationship with the world.


Stories and Ideas:


“Crossing the Fence,” in Kinship: Belonging in a World of Relations. Published by the Center for Humans and Nature Press in 2021. Co-edited by Gavin Van Horn, Robin Wall Kimmerer, and John Hausdoerffer.

What Kind of Ancestor Do You Want to Be? Published by the University of Chicago Press, in collaboration with the Center for Humans and Nature, in 2021. Co-edited by John Hausdoerffer, Brooke Parry Hecht, Melissa K. Nelson, and Katherine Kassouf Cummings.

“On the Wild Edge in Iceland,” in Wildness: Relations of People and Place. Published by the University of Chicago Press, in collaboration with the Center for Humans and Nature, in 2017. Co-edited by Gavin Van Horn and John Hausdoerffer.


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