Watershed Witness Tour

Venus, Mars, and the Moon above the Golden Gate, 2/20/15

I highly recommend participating in a Watershed Witness Tour! I learned a great deal in a short weekend from Josh, and from the experience which he carefully and generously crafted. Josh is an incredible teacher with a wealth of knowledge, insight and depth. He gives space for participants to explore and learn in their own way, create their own connection and meaning, while also gently guiding participants to make connections between the personal and the collective, the internal and the external, the micro and macro. Participating in a Watershed Witness Tour, I gained insight and information from an ecological perspective, a social/collective lens, and my own personal story, as well as how all these perspectives and stories intersect, overlap and dance with one other.
— Rebecca Siegel ~ Playback Theatre

Horsetail (a plant which dominated ancient forests for 100 million years) patch on Angel Island

Going on a river tour with Joshua Halpern, was an adventure that helped me feel connected to the systems in nature that allow me to be alive and enjoy the freedoms I enjoy. He planned visits to a great diversity of sites helping me understand where our water comes from and the journeys it goes through to reach us. I left our tour feeling more connected to the planet and grateful for our water sources.
— Adrian Orozco Blair ~ Playback Theatre

Burl Unfurl / Tree Touch among Novarro River Redwoods

My tour with Ecocourageous was inspiring, connecting, and magical. So grateful for Joshua’s vision of connecting people to this beautiful planet we call home. His wisdom and playfulness, with a balance of structure and flow offered myself and the other participants a hands-on experience with our most precious resource—water. I highly recommend the Watershed Witness tours as well as any event that educates and integrates us into more relationship with ourselves, each other, and our planet.
— Rebecca Farrar, wildwitchwest.com

Monterey Bay Aquarium and Steep Ravine Trail, Mt. Tamalpais

The watershed witness tour was for me a journey of awareness and gratitude for the river that flows just beneath my feet at all times. Employing my imagination along with my bodily experience to journey along the river in this way was an invitation to honor the great spring of inspiration that feeds my spirit as the source of life. Thank you, Josh, for creating a reflective, fun, sacred, and educational space to embrace this dimension of life. This is exactly the kind of work and play that is required of us as humans at the crux of our planetary shift.
— Kari Kapadia, karikapadia.weebly.com

The Banyan tree in Laupāhoehoe, Hawaii which outlived the April Fools Day 1946 tsunami, triggered by an earthquake in Alaska, which destroyed the school which stood around the tree at the time, killing 20 students and 4 teachers.

The Watershed Witness Tour along the Mokelumne River in July 2016 was a fun, inspirational, and educational way to experience the waters that those of us in the East Bay drink every day. Josh is a highly creative leader in the field of integral ecology, and I’m so grateful that he is using his many skills and talents to assist in the transformation of our world.
— Dr. Elizabeth McAnally, author of Loving Water Across Religions: Contributions to an Integral Water Ethic

Moss mouth, Pt. Reyes

Exploring the sources of our water on a Watershed Witness Tour with Josh is a deeply connecting and joyful experience! I am saturated with gratitude for Josh’s kind and knowledgeable guidance.
— Gregory Mengel, Beyond the Culture of Separation

Lichen like lightening, Boot Jack trail, Mt. Tamalpais

I thoroughly enjoyed the watershed tour on so many different levels and will always look back upon it fondly! Firstly, I delighted in all the new fascinating knowledge and information. Josh was so well-versed in every single part of the river, tying in both ecology and history, making it come alive through actually engaging with it in the physical world. Secondly, I cherished the social connections and being able to meet and hang out with new people, and united by the fact that we are all human and are sustained by the same water sources. Finally, I gained a deeper understanding that we are one with nature. Josh invites us to experience the river intuitively for ourselves, to give us a deeper respect for water and trees and birds, to listen to the world and to feel it be alive around us.
— Christine Li, thebackroad.me

Santa Cruz Shore Creatures

Had a great time on the Watershed Witness Tour – Josh is a deeply kind and considerate guide. I felt supported and engaged in learning about where our Bay Area water comes from, and now feel more connected to this precious resource.
— Melvin Escobar, LCSW, RYT, Mindfulness Psychotherapy
Rocky Ridge Tafoni at Los Trampas Regional Wilderness

Rocky Ridge Tafoni at Los Trampas Regional Wilderness

Learned so much today about Marin’s watersheds through my friend Josh’s Watershed Witness tours! Everything from where the villages and shell mounds of the native people used to be, to theories on why Marin has had such high breast cancer rates (but doesn’t anymore), to learning that Sir Francis Drake, unsurprisingly, was not the nicest guy, to seeing my first fish ladder! Plus picnicking and beach poetry. Highly recommend. Thanks @ecocourageous!
— Julie Wilson, equine therapist

San Pablo Creek Tree Curves Before the Reservoir, Berkeley Hills

Even though I’ve been exploring the East Bay’s hidden nooks and crannies for many years, Josh took me to some very cool places I’d never seen during our tour of the San Leandro Creek. I really appreciated how the experience included a mix of ecology, natural history, cultural observations, and personal stories. In a time of global climate crisis, getting to know our watersheds can play an important role in restoring vital ecosystems at the local level. There’s no better way to start making that connecting than attending one of these tours.
— Liam O'Donoghue, East Bay Yesterday
Gualala near the Harbor Seal Haul-Out

Gualala near the Harbor Seal Haul-Out


Testimonials for
Eco Courageous Education Creations*:

*Eco Courageous is the environmental educational curriculum
(including workshops, art/media, and events)
through which Watershed Witness Tours was founded.

Inspiration Pt overlooking Golden Gate, Berkeley Hills

Josh Halpern is one of the most creative, thoughtful, and knowledgeable educators I’ve encountered. He is uniquely able to make connections across diverse topics, and he does so in the most engaging and playful of ways. What is more, although Josh is grounded in the perilous realities of today’s environmental situation, he does not inspire through fear; rather, he impresses audiences with his sincere reverence for this planet and his desire to be of service. I have left each of Josh’s presentations not only having learned something (that is, quoting some new exciting fact) but also having reconnected with my own love for life.
— Corinne Donly, Theatre-Maker and Cosmological Consultant, corinnedonly.com

Habibi the Parrot’s Habits, Kosmic the Hike Shepard, Cow Bones at Regenerative Design Institute

When Josh Halpern begins to perform he ushers you across the threshold of another world: a world in which future fuses with past, animals merge with technology, humans are one with star clusters, disaster zone becomes home, and every orifice of Earth is the birth place of the familiar and strange. The beauty of Josh’s work is that he awakens one to the dire needs of our own world by revealing its inherent uniqueness, and showing us that the profane is always sacred.
— Dr. Becca Tarnas, The Red Book and The Red Book: Jung, Tolkien, and the Convergence of Images beccatarnas.com

Dust Storm, BRC

Concerning this emerging new era, one line of thought proposes that the integral processes of Earth will serve as its lingua franca. If that proves to be the case, one of the principal seed bearers of this new consciousness will be Joshua Halpern who is, in my opinion, the world’s foremost Metamorphosis Ecologist.
— Brian Thomas Swimme, Professor of Cosmology, California Institute of Integral Studies

Tahoe Pop-Out Rock

Joshua Halpern is a modern sage; a wise spirit and stirring voice in these perilous times. His powerful blend of art, education, and ecology ignites our possibilities and illuminates our path into the future.
— Drew Dellinger, Planetize the Movement

~Chitina and Copper River Confluence, Alaska

~Biscayne Bay, Florida

~Deception Basin, Olympic Mts

~Laupāhoehoe Point, Hawaii

~Peaks over Napeequa Valley, Cascadia

~Mokelumne Tributary below Salt Springs Reservoir

Josh is one of the most heart-oriented people I know and I have received much from the conversations he has facilitated on difficult issues at hand today, particularly around “our fears for the future.” Not many people who are radical—offering insight into the roots of problems—are able to be so present and so curious as I have experienced Josh’s facilitation style. He doesn’t merely talk about it, he actually strives to live by the heart, which means to listen deeply, activating and allowing the voice of the other to emerge and to receive consideration, no matter the content. It is to observe the respect of being related and to tend to that relation with honesty and curiosity about ways in which we may transform together—or not.
— Erica Jones realimaginal.com

~Hidden Hudson River, NY

~Childhood Bedroom, NJ

~The Quabbin, Massachusetts

Josh Halpern – A man who knows no level. Josh has the amazing ability to put everyone in the room at ease. He puts himself fully on the stage of life and allows each person in the room to be drawn in to his orbit, whether during a musical performance or an informative presentation. Josh is fearless in his self-expression, yet vulnerable in his approach to the world. He carefully crafts his performative journeys so that there are no observers, only participants, both swept away and lead, to a destination Josh brings us to together. Josh is a visionary in his understandings of our species and our place in the cosmos, and his creativity gives us all a sense that no matter how dire, we will somehow be ok if we stick together and remember love, laughter, and a good costume.
— Dr. Laura Reddick, Ecology Spirituality and Religion PhD

~The Final FIsh


~Chaz the Garden Chimera

~Nine-Anus’d Novestome



~Woolly Man-Moth

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 3.06.05 PM.png
Josh is a warm-hearted Earth warrior with a knack for weaving together his many talents into psychedelic tapestries of wonderment. He is a shape-shifting trickster who somehow manages to blur boundaries while simultaneously cultivating a safe and sumptuous garden in which we are invited to join him in roaming, playing, grieving, and grappling with our fragile human existence on this beautiful and imperiled planet.
— Darrin Drda, artist and author of The Four Global Truths: Awakening to the Peril and Promise of Our Times.

Fukushima Building #4

Joshua Halpern is singular in his multi-faceted vision for our society’s way forward. His brilliant and whimsical approach to holding space for grief in the midst of ecological devastation embodies the compost that decomposes our fears and transmutes them into the sprouts of a new world. You can see the light of a new dawn in the twinkle of the magic he wields. This work he does is as expansive as it is detailed, as visionary as it is pragmatic. His storied lessons take you by the hand and gently break open your constructions of consciousness to invite you to communion with the earth, to participate in a re-visioning of a new story based on love. What could be more important?
— Kari Kapadia, http://kari-lynn.weebly.com/

Laniakea, our super cluster of galaxies, with the Milky Way at the tip of a long arm of light, the Great Attractor alluring 100,000 galaxies towards the heart.

I’ve watched Josh transform and microtransform and macrotransform for nearly twenty years. I’ve watched and collaborated as he has made sounds raucous and small, videos sometimes meditative and sometimes goofy (and sometimes both), costumes outrageous and feeling-provoking, photographs haunting and gorgeous, and relationships full of depth - explored in all of their adventure. It’s been a profound joy for me to read most everything he writes, to dive into the wreck with him, to further understand life through his sensory intelligence and his willingness to soulfully engage with the most fascinating elements of the universe - imaginary, tactile, dreamed, molecular, great and small. To know Josh is to engage with speeds and slownesses, struggles and serenity - the stranger self. The small and the super-massive. The love and the poop. He is impossible to summarize. There is always more.
— Scott Salus, my falcon from way back.

~Luxor, Egypt 1997

~Tulum, Mexico 2004

~Ibaloi Smallpox Mass Grave, Kabayan, Philippines 2007

~Igorot Hanging Coffins, Sagada, Philippines 2007

Josh is great at facilitating deep dialogue about challenging subjects with utmost sensitivity. With a broad background, and hard won compassion, Josh is a sincere warrior for a positive tomorrow.
— Abeer Dasai, Director of Marketing at Zymr

~ Tofino Hotspring Cove, Vancouver Island

~ Berkeley Garden

~ Sierra Hotsprings, Sierraville

In my encounters with Josh, I have found him to be a brave, warm, and insightful individual. Highly recommended.
— Grant Maxwell, author of How Does It Feel?: Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and the Philosophy of Rock and Roll

deep in the woods

Josh has an uncanny ability of inviting others around him into their own bodies to sit with and explore the depths of emotions that arise from both the beauty and destruction of our Greater Body….Earth. Quite simply, he is a guide, bringing us back into relationship with the full experience of what it means to be alive in this transformative moment in time. We need more Joshes!
— Jeff Krone, Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness MA Student, CIIS

what if we grew a garden on the old Bay Bridge?

Josh wields a heartfelt, unbridled creativity that will have you laughing, dancing, feeling, and thinking your way far beyond preconceived boundaries you didn’t know you had, all in service of a profound transformation of our way of being in relationship with ourselves and our planet from stuckness to a playful, responsible, joyous freedom. Josh is a generous nurturer who holds a welcoming space with sensitivity and deep engagement with the profound.
— Kerri Welch, A Fractal Topology of Time: Implications for Consciousness and Cosmology

~Bridal Veil Falls, Columbia River Gorge

~Montgomery Woods near Orr Hotspring

~Earthrise, Institute of Noetic Sciences

If you’d like to offer a testimonial ~