Doctoral Research by Wendy Sarkissian PhD





An ethic of caring for Nature


My doctoral research was a high point of my life.


I received my doctorate in 1997. It was about a deeply grounded ethic based on connection with the natural world.


My 1996 doctoral dissertation at Murdoch University in environmental ethics and planning explored ways of nurturing an ethic of caring for Nature in planning education.


This interdisciplinary dissertation addresses one aspect of the education of Australian urban planners: an ethic of caring for Nature, conceived as a deeply grounded, contextual ethic based on a sense of connection with the natural world.


The study grew directly from painful and confusing professional experiences like those recounted in the story of the Williamstown Rifle Range in the Prologue.


It articulates what an ethic of caring entails, both from a philosophical perspective and an experiential perspective.


Second, it explores the current state of and potential for teaching environmental ethics within Australian planning schools.


Third, it examines, from an ethical standpoint, the educational implications of direct connection with Nature.


Finally, it proposes the foundations for a radical curriculum for planning education to nurture an ethic of caring for Nature.


My experience of living in rough conditions in tropical Northern Territory provided many insights which I am writing about in a forthcoming book.


Here is where I lived for a year:


How to download a copy of my dissertation


Murdoch University Library is  a participant in the Australasian Digital Theses Project  (ADT), which is committed to making Masters by Research and PhD theses more widely available. You can download it directly from the library.


Click here to download the Thesis.



PhD_Dissertation abstract

I now spend much of my timing helping other PhD students.

I have edited ten dissertations in the past few years and all students have successfully completed, most with no or few required changes.

I have also supervised one PhD, which received rave reviews from examiners.