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Haumea Online Essential Ecoliteracy course with Cathy Fitzgerald PhD

In this supportive, SELF-PACED in-depth online course – you can learn from home in your own time, over a 7-week period. There are two groups, one that meets weekly on Tuesdays (from 15 Sept-3 Nov) and one that meets weekly on Wednesdays (from 16 Sept-4 Nov)

Each week you will have access to video lessons, resources and opportunities to connect with my philosopher colleague Nikos Patedakis, ph.d., fellow participants and cover the essential aspects of ecological knowledge – ecoliteracy. You can also connect with myself and others in a small weekly (max 20) online Live Group Meeting on Tues or Wed, 7 PM Irish/UK time. You pick the day that suits you. You are also very welcome to take this course, without joining the weekly live meetings. From this course, you will gain confidence and competence for this urgent new topic that is rarely available in contemporary art education, art teacher or curator training or in art administration courses.

The Haumea Essential Ecoliteracy course can position your work at the forefront of exciting and important developments in the creative sector

Ecoliteracy can help align your work within expanded values for Earthly wellbeing for present and future generations. Opportunities in this field will only continue to grow...

Here's what an ecoliteracy course can do for you

Gaining ecoliteracy (ecological knowledge–of how living systems actually thrive) helps us with two main things

First, ecoliteracy helps reposition our ways of PERCEIVING OUR PLACE on Planet Earth – we learn that humanity exists in a vast web of interdependencies with other nonhuman realms and this must be factored into everything we do. Second, ecoliteracy invites us to consider creativity anew as an expanded, social, co-authored adventure with human and nonhuman others. Quite often, with ecological learning, you will find yourself collaborating and co-creating with others, not in the artworld (scientists, environmental experts, teachers and local knowledge holders), and thinking about how to give voice to nonhuman others. These considerations require social skills and new ways of thinking. Using ecoliteracy as a necessary foundation for creativity helps us question, translate and make tangible, how we can live well with all the inhabitants (human and nonhuman) in our different places.
Please note, this is not a workshop to make an environmental-themed artwork, nor is it a course that primarily reviews other's eco-art works in depth...


 “Do artists have the right kinds of tools to imagine new ways of living for the earth and its inhabitants?”  Luke Clancy, RTE Lyric FM Culture File, 11 November 2019.

Listen to interview with Cathy Fitzgerald about her ecoliteracy course with writer and radio journalist Rachel Andrews, RTE Lyric FM.   

Read more about Cathy's ongoing ecosocial art practice, The Hollywood Forest story here



dr cathy fitzgerald

ecological artist | educator | researcher and student of forests

Dr Cathy Fitzgerald, Ph.D. (Carlow, Ireland) Founder Director of the global ECOVERSITY. She is an independent ecosocial (ecological) art practitioner, educator, consultant, and international speaker. She sat on the board of the National College of Art & Design, Ireland from 2009 to 2011, was nominated to the professional International EcoArt Network in 2016 and since 2019, is a Research Fellow for Art & Ecology, at the Burren College of Art. In June 2021, Cathy became an accredited ‘Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) with the Earth Charter’ educator and is alumni of Earth Charter International which holds the UNESCO Chair for ESD.

With the support of growing numbers of creatives and collaborators, Cathy seeks to skillfully guide the creative sector on how to overcome the severe struggles she encountered–even with a science background– to develop meaningful, impactful integrated ecosocial art practices beyond outdated, fragmented educational models. She similarly wants to empower an ecoliterate Irish and global creative sector to wisely, compassionately and beautifully employ their creativity– to envision and embody a life-sustaining Symbiocene era of enduring peace, justice and planetary wellbeing.

In the creative sector, Cathy has been recognised for her innovative entrepreneurial online training on ecoliteracy and transformative learning approaches for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) with Earth Charter ecosocial values pedagogy, by the EU Our Thriving Tribe creative entrepreneurial research programme (2020), Awaken Hub - Ireland's new women-in-business organisation (2020), Green Foundation Ireland, the UK Climate Cultures Showcase and the UK founded art.Earth network, RTE Lyric FM, and Dublin FM.

An Irish-based New Zealander (with dual citizenship), Cathy has been living in rural South Carlow since 2001 and in Ireland since 1995. She has a background in biological research and received a First Class Joint Honours degree in Painting and Irish Art History at the National College of Art & Design in 2000, and a MA in New Media (Virtual Realities), in 2002.

From 2007-10, Cathy was the first Director, managing and developing a 5-county Local Authority arts professional development programme for all art forms across South East Ireland. Cathy was respected across the region for her considerable personal insights and sensitivity towards the challenges creative practitioners face in their careers, and revealed an aptitude to care for, and foster an online community of 1400 creative practitioner members. She developed early, innovative courses in blogging and podcasting so creatives could independently showcase their processes and work.

Cathy's ongoing ecosocial art practice The Hollywood Forest Story (begun 2008) was the basis for her innovative Creative Practice-led PhD and audiovisual ebook The Ecological Turn: Living Well with Forests to explain ecosocial art practice using a Guattari ecosophy - action research framework (2018). This work envisions new ecological forestry in Ireland for the Symbiocene and explains embedded-in-place ecosocial art practice.

Her practice and research, which fosters political activism for national forest policy and advocacy for an international law against ecocide, has featured in The Irish Times, the US Minding Nature journal, and shared across the UK network.

Her article ‘Goodbye Anthropocene – Hello Symbiocene: EcoSocial Art Practices for a New World’ received international attention in Plasticity – The Global Reader: On Environmental Challenge for Art and Its Institutions, 2019 for the Centre for Contemporary Art U-jazdowski Castle, Warsaw and for the Australian Institute for Interdisciplinary Research into the Anthropocene (IIRA).

Her chapter ‘The Hollywood Forest Story: Placemaking for the Symbiocene’, appears in the Routledge 2021 Handbook on Placemaking edited by Dr Cara Courage.

Her work also features in the Routledge 2020 book on Creative Engagements with Ecologies of Place: Geopoetics, Deep Mapping and Slow Residencies by Prof. Mary Modeen, Dr Iain Biggs.

Cathy was also honoured to be invited to contribute to the forthcoming January 2022 New Village Press book produced by members of the longest running international ecoart network since 1999 –'Ecoart in Action: Activities, Case Studies and Provocations for Classrooms and Communities'..

dr nikos patedakis

US philosopher, mentor, artist and student of horses

Nikos is an experienced philosopher and educator whose transdisciplinary work arises at the intersection of Nature and Culture—the sciences, the arts, and the wisdom traditions (particularly the traditions of the Ancient Greek, Roman, and Hellenic periods, Eastern philosophy, and Indigenous traditions). His research encompasses the traditional areas of ethics, epistemology, aesthetics, ontology, and metaphysics, but remains rooted in the ancient Western orientation of philosophy as a way of life, in which philosophy is seen as fundamental to the healthy transformation of self and society. This is the tradition of Western philosophy that influenced Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. His philosophical approach is also influenced by the principles of permaculture, and he received Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) in June, 2021.

Nikos pioneered wisdom-based learning at two of the most diverse universities in North America: San Francisco State University and University of California, Santa Cruz. The wisdom-based approach provides a truly holistic, ecoliterate orientation incorporating contemplative practices and philosophical frameworks that lead to transformative experiences. This approach developed in part from his certification as a teacher of the Alexander Technique, which, as the great educational philosopher John Dewey put it, “bears the same relationship to education that education bears to all other human activities.” His pedagogical approach was refined not only in the university, but also during his time as a professional dance teacher, and as a negotiation trainer and consultant for Fortune 500 companies.

Nikos left academia to focus on helping professionals of all kinds learn to think the way nature works, by taking advantage of what he sees as the single greatest untapped cultural resource humanity has: The philosophical traditions of the world, and the storehouse of practical wisdom they contain for solving complex personal and global challenges. Nikos sees art as having a special relationship with philosophy. Both philosophy and art seek to see the world with fresh eyes and an awakened heart, and they seek to offer this insight and inspiration to the culture at large, for the benefit of all citizens and the broader community of life. To bring about a more just and thriving culture in the most direct and intelligent manner, we need to empower the arts by making philosophy as a way of life available to artists and to arts education. Nikos offers training to artists that transforms both their experience of life and their practice of creativity and art making.

Learn more about Nikos and his work at

TIMETABLE: In 7 modules, Cathy will help you improve your ecoliteracy by exploring the following areas:

Note: The Heart of the Course is joining in with others in Weekly Online Group Meetings. To cater for the popularity of the course we are offering weekly Online Group Meetings (via ZOOM) on either Tuesdays or Wednesdays at 7pm Irish / UK time. You pick the day that suits you. You are also very welcome to take this course, without joining the weekly live meetings.

  • After you book you will get access to the – WELCOME ORIENTATION MODULE ON 11 SEPT; the first 'Getting to you know you' Live Group Meetings are Tues or Wed (you choose which day suits you), 15 or 16 Sept at 7 pm Irish / UK time. Check the time of the Live Group Meeting in your region– see Please check to make sure the Live Group Meeting time will work for you, before you book! THE MODULES WILL BE RELEASED EACH WEEK








What people say

about learning with Cathy

“The Haumea online ecoliteracy course provides participants with an essential toolkit to help them assemble a framework, within which to situate and develop their own eco-creative practices. Students are introduced to a wonderfully diverse range of perspectives, ranging from the philosophical to the psychological, from the sociological to the scientific, and how these distinct fields all intersect, impact and impinge upon current ecological concerns as well as exploring the ways in which they can help inform art practices. All this material, which may seem daunting at first, is presented in an easy-to-follow format, making it both accessible and engaging. Cathy is a compassionate and accomplished guide, leading her students through eco-literary forests of thought with both clarity and deftness. The weekly online discussions were also something to look forward to. They were hugely helpful and cordial, fostering a warm and intimate sense of community among the participants. It made the course much more participatory, engaging, and, most importantly, enjoyable. I have really missed these group discussions since completing the course. I heartily recommend this course to anyone interested in learning more about the relationships between art and ecology.”

Fearghal Duffy, writer, Ireland

“It is easy to recommend Cathy’s own work, and her education. Her knowledge on disparate topics, and her willingness to share this knowledge, are tremendous. Every participant brought something different: writers, artists, philosophers all shared their perspectives as part of the course. Cathy’s way is to connect the people and the ideas. Just as in her own art, where she is growing a forest, in her teaching she draws together the disparate roots, branches, leaves, seeds and flowers, leaving a healthy forest to flourish for itself. I am very grateful.”

Shane Finan - Visual Artist, Ireland

“In these crucial times in history, this innovative and artistic community is of profound importance. I experience the course to provide both scientific knowledge on the current shape and state of things, and creative inspiration, on how artistry can be used as a strong environmental voice. The course presents a very holistic approach to the processing and set of actions one can take, to help reshape the correlation between us and the natural world. So if you ever get the opportunity to participate in one of her courses, workshops or any kind of collaboration, simply soak up her passion and competence, and know, that you will be enriched!”

Katinka Igelberg - photographer, poet, writer, Sweden

“I had the pleasure and honour of participating in Cathy’s first 6-week Online Ecoliteracy course. I felt immersed in a process that was deeply informed and considered with a group that had a wealth of different experiences. I felt the learning environment was clearly held by Cathy’s inclusive, knowledgable and articulate approach alongside her collaborators. As a dance artist, I feel the course gives me clear guidance as to other areas, for example, science and ethics, that can inform how I articulate my work and its value. I now feel that I will be able to take informed action on climate and biodiversity issues in a way that relates to my values and creative practice. Thanks, Cathy!”

Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín - dance artist, Ireland

“Cathy is committed to environmental ideals and combines (unusually) a deep feeling for nature with a skilful ability to navigate contemporary digital platforms. Having viewed Cathy’s presentations on various occasions and in different forums, I have no hesitation in recommending her as an inspired and inspiring instructor. Particularly in these times when everything seems (by necessity) to be going digital, Cathy’s input is extremely important – given that, in the long term, environmental degradation is at least as concerning as the present pandemic, and may be intimately connected to it as a causal factor as well, due to (e.g.) agribusiness, factory farming, animal exploitation and, of course, deforestation. Cathy’s work offers a practical antidote to the threat posed by global warming, species extinction and the myriad other examples of humanity’s depredations on nature. I am delighted to see her work flourishing at this time when it is so greatly needed.”

Dr Paul O'Brien, Visual Culture, PhD Supervisor, NCAD, Ireland

Haumea Online Scholarship Donation Fund

Do you want to support the arts? Help creatives in any art discipline become more wise and confident in engaging in the most pressing eco-social issues of our time? We welcome donations to help creatives in need join our courses. A generous donation of €160 would mean one creative practitioner could take a course although any amount is welcomed. Thank you!

Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

Please note: The Haumea Essential Ecoliteracy course is a unique course developed from many years research

Our priority at Haumea Online is to give places to those who cannot easily access learning.

Given the urgency of the ecological emergency, we are also interested in developing relationships with education and cultural institutions where our courses could be implemented in full. Ecoliteracy represents a momentous shift in education priorities and still little understood. We care deeply about transformative learning through in-depth transdisciplinary and lifeworld experience. Please contact Cathy, if you are interested in this course for your education or cultural institution. The Haumea Essential Ecoliteracy course for Creatives and Art Professionals are registered to the registered Irish business Haumea Ecoliteracy Services for the Arts (Cathy Fitzgerald, Ireland, from January 2019), under a: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

Cathy's ecosocial art practice, teaching, research and values are inspired by: