Jolie Egert Elan M.S. – Founder and Director
Jolie Elan, M.S. is the Founding Director of Go Wild Institute. She is a deep ecologist, ethnobotanist, consulting botanist, and educator. She has inspired thousands of people to deepen their relationship with nature. Jolie has worked with ethnobotanical projects on four continents including restoring sacred forest groves in India and developing the herbal medicine sector in war torn Kosovo. Jolie is also a certified permaculture designer and a seasoned environmental advocate with twenty years of experience building diverse networks, especially with Indigenous groups focused on protecting sacred sites. Combining her love for the earth and spirit, Jolie completed her training as a Spiritual Director and acts as a spiritual companion for those who wish to increase their intimacy with the divine, especially through the natural world.
Jolie is adjunct faculty at College of Marin and regularly teaches at Point Reyes Field Institute, the San Francisco State University’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus, as well as large variety of herbal medicine schools, and environmental and spiritual organizations throughout the west. She works with Jewish organizations, like Hazon, Wilderness Torah, Temple Emek Shalom and the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco to offer eco- Jewish classes that ground Jewish practices and teachings in the Earth. Jolie received her B.A. from the Evergreen State College in Environmental Studies, her Master’s degree in Natural Resources from Humboldt State University, and her certification in Spiritual Direction from the Chaplaincy Institute. She has served as the President of the Marin Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. Jolie can often be found foraging wild foods and medicines and hanging out with oak trees. Birthday: June 19, 1969 9:15 AM, Brooklyn, New York.
Go Wild Associates
Constance Washburn – Facilitator of the Work That Reconnects
Constance is a facilitator of the “ Work that Reconnects” and has been training with Joanna Macy since 1994. She has 35 years of experience designing and leading educational programs which reconnect people with the earth, their communities, and themselves. She brings her nature connection, mindfulness training, theater and educational backgrounds together to create opportunities for people to awaken to their interconnectedness and find inspiration to work for the Great Turning.
For 18 years as Education Director at the Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) and then at Marin Organic she designed and ran popular events and educational programs, which connected over 5,000 people each year to the land that produces our food. She is co-founder and Chair of the Marin Agriculture and Education Alliance and is a Certified Permaculture Designer.
Constance has been a Buddhist practitioner since 1968 and is Community Dharma Leader through Sukhassidhi Foundation. She has co-facilitated a woman’s ritual circle for over 20 years and has designed and led workshops and trainings for educators, conservationists, and activists. Prior to life in California Constance was the director of educational theater companies on the East Coast producing and directing plays as well as teaching acting, improvisation and public speaking to adults and children. She has a MA from NYU and a BA from Hampshire College. To learn more about Constance go to her website
Emily Swanson – Ecotherapist and Licensed Psychotherapist
Emily Swanson, LMFT, is a licensed psychotherapist and ecotherapist practicing in San Francisco and Marin County. Her work focuses on helping people find true belonging within themselves and upon the earth that they are a part of. In addition to her private practice, Emily runs the ecotherapy program at BaysideMarin, a residential drug and alcohol treatment center in Marin where she teaches residents how to use nature to help support and guide their path to recovery. Emily brings a psychological and spiritual perspective to her work at Go Wild, weaving together traditional, earth-based ceremony and ritual, with storytelling, mindfulness, body-based awareness, and the latest scientific research about how our brains, bodies, and hearts heal from past hurts and traumas. Emily holds an M.A. in Integral Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies and a B.A. from Santa Clara University. She can often be found wandering local trails or in her garden, hanging out with her family and two cats, or experimenting in her kitchen with traditional cooking methods and herbal medicines. To learn more about Emily, visit her website
Matthew Wood – Registered Herbalist, Teacher and Author
Matthew Wood has been a practicing herbalist since 1982. He has helped tens of thousands of clients over the years, with many difficult health problems. While Matthew believes in the virtue of many other healing modalities, he has always been inspired to learn, preserve, and practice the tradition of herbal medicine descending to us from our European, Anglo-American, and Native American heritage. He is a member of the American Herbalists Guild (registered herbalist) and has earned his Masters of Science degree from the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine (accredited by the University of Wales).
Matthew has lectured in all parts of the United States and has taught in Canada, Scotland, England, France, and Australia. He is known throughout the world as an excellent teacher of herbal medicine. He is also the author of six acclaimed books on herbal medicine, published by North Atlantic Books, in Berkeley, CA:
Seven Herbs, Plants as Teachers (1987)
Vitalism, The History of Herbalism, Homeopathy, and Flower Essences, originally entitled The Magical Staff (1993)
The Book of Herbal Wisdom (1998)
The Practice of Traditional Western Herbalism (2004)
The Earthwise Herbal, A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants (2008)
The Earthwise Herbal, A Complete Guide to New World Medicinal Plants (2009) Traditional Western Herbalism and Pulse Evaluation: A Conversation The Earthwise Repertory, The Definitive Practitioner’s Guide (2016)
For more information on Matthew Wood see his website
Tom Gaman – Consulting Forester
Tom is President of East West Forestry and one of the nation’s leading experts on carbon sequestration in California Oaks. Tom is a California Registered Forester #1776 and holds BS (UC Berkeley, 1972) and MF (Yale University, 1981) degrees in forestry. Tom has worked on a wide variety of projects on public, industry and private lands. Tom’s focus areas are forest carbon projects, forest planning and management, inventory, GIS, natural resource assessment, and data analysis. He has been active internationally with a number of non-profit forestry organizations and educational exchange programs.