Cory O’Gorman

(707) 591-9310

MS, Sonoma State University (Plant Biology)
BA, Long Beach State University (Cultural Anthropology)
BA, Long Beach State University (Spanish)

Cory was born and raised just a few miles from Pepperwood, and spent much of his childhood outdoors. The sound of the creek below his home and the smell beneath the redwoods brought him peace. He found a love for plants working with his mother in her garden which blossomed into a passion for ethnobotany, herbal medicine, horticulture, and land stewardship. After earning a Bachelor’s in Cultural Anthropology and Spanish at Long Beach State University he farmed, worked in construction, and traveled throughout Latin America. He then pursued a Master’s in Plant Biology at Sonoma State University. His thesis research centered around the role of fire and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) in black oak woodlands, which was when he first began working with the Native Advisory Council of Pepperwood. It was a great honor for him to assist with this project, and he is truly grateful for the opportunity to work on something of value to this land and its First Peoples. Throughout his work he strived to bridge the worlds of western science and TEK, anthropology, and biology, and to facilitate collaboration between the Native Advisory Council and Sonoma State University. Cory believes that western science and TEK can work cooperatively to assess California’s ecosystems and create unique stewardship plans that account for ongoing climatic and ecological change. He is passionate about getting involved as the community attempts to address questions about wildfire, fuel reduction, and forest health in light of the recent fires. Cory looks forward to working with all members of our community to connect with and collectively steward the land in ways that benefit all life. He believes that knowledge of place and connection to the land can contribute to the collective healing of society and decolonizing society’s perception of land, while simultaneously promoting a cultural shift in society at large. In his free time, Cory also enjoys diverse hobbies that include wildcrafting, woodworking, Muay Thai, dance, studying language, and writing.

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