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What Members Are Doing And Saying . . .

Teacher, Facebook Maestro

Andrea Lulka
Montessori Teacher
Facebook Group Founder, Montessori Teachers

“Sharing stories of the universe gives children a crucially important gift — a context for their presence and helps them connect to their purpose and sense of belonging. In Montessori Cosmic Education, deeptime learning and surging curiosity are born through exploring interrelationship and interdependence, just what the DTN is all about!”

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Andrea Lulka has spent her whole life in and around Montessori, in an environment that fostered systemic vision, awe and gratitude. She is a certified 3-6 teacher holding an MEd. in Montessori Integrative Learning, now working towards 12-18 certification. Andrea also has experience in various capacities with every age group from Toddler through to Middle School as well as with parent education and school administration.

Scientist, Religious Naturalist

Ursula Goodenough
Professor of Biology, Washington University
St. Louis, MO (US) 

“Scientific inquiry has provisioned us with a mind-boggling new core narrative — the epic of evolution, the epic of creation, the universe story, big history, everybody’s story — where humans and human cultures are understood to be emergent from and, hence, a part of nature.”

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Ursula W. Goodenough is a Professor of Biology Emerita, Washington University in St. Louis where she conducted research on eukaryotic algae. She authored the best-selling book The Sacred Depths of Nature, and has presented the paradigm of Religious Naturalism and the Epic of Evolution in numerous venues around the world. She contributed to the NPR blog, 13.7: Cosmos & Culture. She currently serves as president of the Religious Naturalist Association.

“Religious Naturalist Association” to:

Thomas Berry Scholar

Mary Evelyn Tucker, PhD
Co-author and Co-producer, Journey of the Universe Yale University New Haven, CT (US)

“How will we cultivate the energy and values we need to go forward in these challenging times? A big picture view of the Earth and a deep time view of our history and future can bring us alive to serve something larger than ourselves. The Earth Charter, which situates our stunning Earth Story inside the story of a vast evolving universe, can guide us in how to integrate ecology, justice and peace.”

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Mary Evelyn Tucker is co-author with Brian Thomas Swimme of Journey of the Universe and the executive producer of the film with John Grim. She speaks on the significance of the story of the universe for the environmental and social challenges of our times. She teachers at Yale where she directs the Forum on Religion and Ecology. She has published Ecology and Religion, Worldly Wonder, and edited Thomas Berry’s books including Great Work, Evening Thoughts, Sacred Universe and Selected Writings.

Anti-bias Teacher Educator

Britt Hawthorne
Founding Member
Montessori for Social Justice
Houston, TX (US)

“We’re going deeper into Cosmic Education and making the link to social justice. Social justice, as we see it, is how Cosmic Education looks in practice. Montessori for Social Justice is a network of educators, parents and community members committed to: offering Montessori for a diverse population of students; increasing the number of Montessori teachers of color; and increasing cultural competencies so that Montessori is culturally responsive to all students.

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Britt Hawthorne is an anti-bias anti-racist teacher-educator and an Elementary Montessori Guide committed to equity, accessibility and peace education. She founded the Learner’s Schoolhouse in Houston for families whom race, gender, and culture are central to their identity and being. Her commitment to the child is careful observation, deep reflection, a meticulous environment for independence and the continued growth of humanity.

Professor, “Our Social Nature”

Lowell Gustafson, PhD
President, International Big History Association
Political Science Professor
Villanova University

“The grand narrative of the cosmos shows how everything is interconnected and brings all learning to life. My students are deeply engaged in a course I teach called “Our Social Nature” that shows how the grand narrative is a story of increasing complexity of relationships from the Big Bang to now. Innovation is all about creating new more complex relationships. What does this suggest about how we think about the future? Everything!”

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Lowell Gustafsonhas an MA and PhD in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia. He as taught in the Political Science Department at Villanova since 1992.

Educator, Jesuit Priest

Robert Athickal, SJ
Founder, Tarumitra
Patna, Bihar, India

“At Tarumitra, we are concerned about the future of our planet and believe that having a deep time perspective is central for creating a way forward. Tarumitra is a students’ initiative started in 1988. With a membership of over quarter million members and a network of over 2500 schools and colleges, Tarumitra promotes an understanding of an evolving universe to a large audience from the secondary level to senior citizens.”

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Inspired by Teilhard de Chardin lifetime effort to reconcile Christianity and evolution, Dr. Robert Athickal SJ, a Jesuit priest, facilitates understanding of the universe for students and teachers. He connects with many other pilgrims who are inspired by this vision for creating the future. Tarumitra ( has Special Consultative status at the United Nations and organizes Universe Story sessions for teenagers through senior citizens.

Geographer, Systems Theory

James MacAllister
EnvEvo Newsletter
Amherst, MA (US)

“In my work with Lynn Margulis — miocrobiologist and co-author of the Gaia Hypothesis — I learned that Earth takes care of us and we must save ourselves from our own hubris. Most evolutionary milestones predate humans by millions, and even billions, of years. It is the microcosmos, which is 99.9% of life, that has controlled the Earth system (Gaia) for over 3200 million years. Humans needs to see their place inside of the larger system.”

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As a career change, MacAllister began working for the late visionary evolutionist, Lynn Margulis.  He has a Master’s of Science degree in geography and is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London.  He is an archivist for  the Lynn Margulis Archive at ScholarWorks , W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts-Amherst and webmaster for the Environmental Evolution website(, a clearinghouse for information on Gaia and Systems Theory.  It also offers online courses in Environmental Evolution – the Origin and Effect of Life on Earth” designed and taught by Dr. Bruce Scofield.

Teacher Trainer, Principal

Betsy Coe, PhD
Director/Houston Montessori Center
Houston, TX (US)

“To inspire teachers and students alike, and to provide the best, most compelling foundation, I believe that education should start with, and relate all learning to, the big picture. This is what a deep time perspective is all about and it’s what Cosmic Education, as Maria Montessori envisioned it in the 1940s, is all about. Peace education, and all learning, is integral to Cosmic Education because it sees everything inside the whole, which is the big picture.”

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Dr. Betsy Coe is director of Houston Montessori Center, celebrating its 45th year as a Montessori teacher education center which gives an American Montessori Society credential for teachers working with children/adolescents ages birth to 18 years and heads of school. Dr. Coe is also principal of School of the Woods Middle and High school, a Montessori school in Houston for ages 2 ½ to 18 years celebrating its 56th anniversary as a Montessori school.

Intercultural Communication

Di Shearer, PhD
Spiritual Director, Retired Educator
Strathalbyn, South Australia

“From a far flung ‘corner’ of South Australia, I have a great sense of the whole and wholeness of our world through my interactions with the DTJN community. I engaged in Professional Development meetings via Zoom, little knowing how much they would challenge and inspire me, how much I would value the enormous bank of resources available through this website.”

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Di Shearer has been a teacher and teacher trainer in Australia and in the jungles of Borneo where she worked with indigenous groups. Later she specialized in Intercultural Communication and the Psychology of Learning. She has a Master of Arts (Theology – Spirituality and Pastoral Ministry) and a Doctor of Ministry where she encountered the work of Teilhard de Chardin, and immersed herself in a deep time cosmological perspective of Thomas Berry, Brian Swimme and others. Her PhD dissertation is on the subject of “Intercultural Personhood.”

Sister of St. Joseph, Activist

Toni Nash, CSJ
Cofounder of Sisters of Earth
Sausalito, CA (US)

“The role of religious and spiritual leaders today is to be carriers of the message that the universe is primary, and that aligning with the universe is crucial for the next stage in the evolution of the humans and the Earth.”

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Sr. Toni Nash, C.S.J. Ph.D., is the cofounder of Sisters of Earth, and has given workshops and retreats for the past 30 years in Earth Spirituality focusing on the beauty and challenge of living in harmony with the Universe. She holds a Masters of Theological Studies from Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Religion from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. Her work is inspired by Teilhard de Chardin, Thomas Berry, and Brian Swimme. Her dissertation, titled “Cosmological Commitment in a Time of Planetary Crisis: Values for a Vibrant Earth” is in the resources section of the DTNetwork.

Climate Change Activist

Mike Bell
Comox Valley Climate Change Network,
Comox, British Columbia, Canada

“DTJN is a tremendous community for connecting with local communities around the world inspired by Thomas Berry, Brian Swimme, Maria Montessori & others orienting to a Cosmic Story & interdependence. The CVCCN is dedicated to preserving the beauty of this valley, its ecosystems and its species, putting into action a view of the universe as interdependent and evolving.”

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Mike Bell lived in the monastery with Thomas Berry andwas deeply influenced by him. Later in life Dr. Berry became his mentor. Mr. Bell lived in the Canadian Arctic for most of his professional life working with Inuit and Dene (Indian) communities where he learned from the elders who instructed him to “Learn from the land.” The coming together of Berry’s thinking and the Elders’ teachings changed his life and sent him on a totally unexplored intellectual and spiritual path.

Environmental & Social Change

Jane Riddiford & Rod Sugden
Global Generation
London, United Kingdom

“We’re teaching this overarching and emerging narrative to schools and organizations as a catalyst for positive environmental and social change. We’re excited to see how the work will evolve and expand in collaboration with practitioners from all other the world. ”

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Jane Riddiford co-founded Global Generation and Rod Sugden facilitates on the education programs. Global Generation is an educational charity, that works together with local children and young people, businesses, residents and families to create healthy, integrated and environmentally responsible communities. Ecology, education and enterprise are at the heart of everything we do, and we have developed a wide range of educational programs, all of which reflect our core value of: I, We and the Planet.

Artist, Filmmaker

Imogene Drummond
filmmaker, an artist/educator, a futurist

“A deep time perspective contributes to the transformational process of the Earth community.  My artwork is all about that. ”

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Painter, filmmaker, an artist/educator, a futurist, the author of articles on cultural transformation, a world traveler, and a former psychotherapist. My experience, talent, and vision converge in Divine Sparks. My paintings have been exhibited and collected internationally. My short films have been selected for international, animation, and children’s film festivals.

Amazing Duo: Composer/Producer

Sam and Paula Guarnaccia
Emergent Universe Oratorio
Burlington, VT (US)

“This Network is an inspiring, interactive, and indispensable tool for sharing the vision of a living world with a “mutually enhancing” and “viable human future.” (T.Berry). The Emergent Universe Oratorio Project ( has been greatly enhanced as we strive to act within ‘the continuous becoming, beauty, and balance of our ever-emerging Universe’ (SG). ‘Think of yourself as an evolutionary force’ (PG).”

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Ursula W. Goodenough is a Professor of Biology Emerita, Washington University in St. Louis where she conducted research on eukaryotic algae. She authored the best-selling book The Sacred Depths of Nature, and has presented the paradigm of Religious Naturalism and the Epic of Evolution in numerous venues around the world. She contributed to the NPR blog, 13.7: Cosmos & Culture. She currently serves as president of the Religious Naturalist Association.

“Religious Naturalist Association” to:

Working for Global Peace

Nobuo Tsujimura
President, Asian Big History Association
Yokohama, Japan

“A cosmic narrative enables us to live the present moment in a better — more lively and creative — way, for it enables us to concentrate on the present moment without being caught only by it. In other words, to see that the present moment has possibilities to change in various and unknown directions helps us walk in a new kind of creativity with hope and deep truth of the universe.”

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Nobuo Tsujimura studies in the intellectual history of cosmic/global thoughts, perspectives, works, and worldviews in Japan and Asia. He is president of the Asian Big History Association and a board member of the International Big History Association and Institute for Global and Cosmic Peace in Yokohama as well as adviser and webmaster for J.F. Oberlin University’s Big History Project in Tokyo. His goal is to make big history as broad and as accessible as possible – to be lived and felt, to vividly make sense of the world and the cosmos, and by doing so, to vitalize our creativity to weave a new worldview together by involving people across all the genres.