“Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.” E.O. Wilson
Amanda Todd is a broadly trained human-environmental geographer specializing in the intersections of cultures, the natural environment, and spiritual practices. Her teaching and research areas focus on sacred spaces, spiritual landscapes, and rituals. Her doctoral research explored non-secular activities within the Southern Appalachian Mountains of Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Kentucky. Amanda documented and participated in ceremonies and rituals (i.e., weddings, baptisms, meditations, a despacho ceremony, and “new age” group activities) at prominent mountains and waterfalls in the region. Today she continues to explore rituals, ceremonies, and experiences people have within natural landscapes as well as within intentionally constructed sacred spaces such as the labyrinth.
In supporting her research and studies, Amanda has learned from a myriad of indigenous wisdom-keepers, elders, teachers, healers, and shamans from around the world including Cherokee, Hawaiian, Q’ero, Aymara, Buryat, and European neo-shamans. She has also explored ideas within Creation Spirituality and Spiritual Ecology in understanding the relationships between cultures, nature, and religion. Amanda travels often to Hawai’i to expand her skills and knowledge of Hawaiian Hula Dance in exploring the intersection of movement (Hawaiian Hula) with geography, history, spirituality, and the natural environment.
Ph.D., Geography, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
M.A., Geography, Appalachian State University
B.S. Natural Resources: Soil and Water Systems, North Carolina State University
- ANTH/GEOG 120: Cultures and Environments
- GEOG 121: World Regional Geography
- GEOG 201: Introduction to Physical Geography
- GEOG 201: Introduction to Physical Geography Laboratory
- GEOG 300: Human Landscapes
- ANTH 310: Myth, Ritual and Magic
- ANTH/GEOG 351: Spiritual Landscapes
- GEOG 352: Sacred Spaces, Sacred Paths
- GEOG 427: Geography of Russia
- GEOG 428: Geography of Oceania
- GEOG 502: Human Geography
Hula (Dance), Labyrinths, Rituals and Ceremonies, Sacred Sites, Shamanism (Cross-Cultural, Neo, and Modern), Spiritual Ecology, Spiritual Landscapes, Traditional Healing Practices, Topophilia
Prior to her academic position, Amanda was an environmental scientist and worked on stream and wetland restoration projects for seven years between her MA and PhD. She still enjoys the outdoors and is currently working on a book series that highlights hiking trails in North Carolina and experiential activities that include rituals and spiritual practices one can do while in nature. She has taught Reiki, Kahi Loa, and meditation for over 10 years. She also teaches and shares Hawaiian Hula and has performed at Polynesian festivals in the Southeast. In 2021, Amanda became a Veriditas-trained Labyrinth facilitator. She is also a Funeral Celebrant.