Bio

Kathleen Dean Moore

Kathleen Dean Moore is a philosopher, nature writer, public speaker, and defender of all that is wet and wild. Her work brings together the art of the essay, the wisdom of the natural world, and the moral clarity of philosophy to explore our place on the planet and our responsibilities for its thriving.

Her newest book is MORAL GROUND: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril. It gathers testimony from a hundred of the world’s moral leaders, who call us to honor our obligations to future generations. Moore and co-editor Michael P. Nelson speak widely to audiences of interested citizens, scientists, church groups, etc. about the need for a moral response to climate destabilization and species loss.

Moore is best known as a nature writer, whose essays question and celebrate our cultural and spiritual connections to the wild, nurturing Earth. Her 2010 book of essays, Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature, tells of nature’s power to move us from sorrow to courage and hope. Riverwalking: Reflections on Moving Water, is set on Oregon's wild rivers. The rocky intertidal edge of the sea is the setting for the essays in Holdfast: At Home in the Natural World. The Pine Island Paradox, which begins under the cold salt sun of southeast Alaska, makes the case for an ethic of care based on the kinship of all being.

Moore’s nature books have won the Oregon Book Award, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers' Award, and the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award. Her work is published in magazines such as Orion, Audubon, Discover, The Sun, and the New York Times Magazine. She serves on the Boards of Directors for the Orion Society, the Oregon Humanities Magazine, and the Island Institute in Sitka, Alaska. She teaches writing workshops in beautiful places, from wilderness Alaska to the Apostle Islands.

Moore is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Oregon State University in Corvallis, where she teaches environmental ethics, philosophy of nature, and a variety of courses for OSU’s new MA in Environmental Leadership, including “Practical Moral Reasoning for Environmental Professionals.” She is the author of two critical thinking textbooks and a study of the ethics of forgiveness, Pardons: Justice, Mercy, and the Public Interest (Oxford UP), selected by Choice as an "Outstanding Academic Book" of the year. She publishes about environmental ethics and moral reasoning in academic journals such as Conservation Biology and the Journal of Forestry and in books about the management of forest and ocean resources. She is co-editor of three collections: Rachel Carson: Legacy and Challenge, In the Blast Zone: Catastrophe and Renewal on Mount St. Helens, and How It Is: The Native American Philosophy of V.F. Cordova.

At OSU, Moore is co-author of the new Environmental Humanities Initiative, which integrates science and humanities to provide leadership for complex times. She is also the founding director of the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word. Its mission is to bring together the practical wisdom of the environmental sciences, the analytic clarity of philosophy, and the emotional power of the written word to re-imagine our relation to the natural world.

Moore lives in Corvallis, Oregon, with her husband, Frank Moore, a biologist. They have two grown children -- an ecologist and an architect. Moore writes in the WaterShed, a tiny writers' studio that her daughter designed to gather water from the roof and pour it past the door into a trough where deer come to drink. In the summers, she writes in her family’s cabin on the edge of a cove in Southeast Alaska.

Photos