Haydn  Washington Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Haydn Washington

Institute of Environmental Studies, UNSW

Dr Haydn Washington is an environmental scientist and writer at the Institute of Environmental Studies at UNSW. His particular interests are sustainability (and what this really means), solutions to the environmental crisis, human dependence on nature, and humanity's denial of its problems. He is also keenly interested in wilderness and the 'sense of wonder' humanity feels towards nature.


Dr Haydn Washington has a forty year history in environmental science. He has a degree in ecology, a Masters of Science in eco-toxicology (heavy metal pollution), a Dip. Ed., and a Ph.D. ‘The Wilderness Knot’ in Social Ecology (2007). Haydn was worked as an Investigations Scientist in CSIRO, studying heavy metal pollution and acid mine drainage. He has also worked as Director of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW (1988) and for many years as an environmental consultant. He has conducted many flora surveys as a plant ecologist (e.g. Gardens of Stone NP, Wollemi NP) and worked studying the Wollemi Pine (also finding the second site). He has also worked extensively within environmental non-government organisations, being a councillor on the Australian Conservation Foundation for four terms, the secretary of the Colo Committee (which led the campaign to create Wollemi NP), and a media officer for the Wilderness Society. He was Director of Sustainability at Willoughby City Council from 2007 to 2009 and wrote the first Sustainability Charter of any Council in Australia. Haydn has a keen interest in geodiversity and is the lead author in the 2011 paper ‘The Geoheritage and Geomorphology of the Sandstone Pagodas of the North-western Blue Mountains Region (NSW)’ published in the Proceedings of the Linnaean Society of NSW (Vo. 132, pp. 131-143).

Dr Washington is also an environmental writer, being the author of many articles, and six books on the environment - ‘Ecosolutions: environmental solutions for the world and Australia’ (1991), ‘A sense of Wonder’ (2002), ‘The Wilderness Knot’ (2009), ‘Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand’ (2011), ‘Human Dependence on Nature’ (2013), ‘Demystifying Sustainability: Towards Real Solutions’ (2015) and 'A Sense of Wonder Towards Nature' (2018). He is also currently on the Executive Board of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness. He is also the Co-Director of the NSW Chapter of the Center for the Advancement of a Steady State Economy.

Haydn is an Adjunct Lecturer at the PANGEA Research Centre, BEES, UNSW.


    PhD, Western Sydney University, 2006
    M.Sc. Macquarie University, 1987

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Sustainability - demystifying its meaning. Is sustainability the same as 'sustainable development'?
    Human dependence on nature - how humanity is totally dependent on the ecosystem services that nature provides
    Denial - especially of climate change but also other environmental issues, and how we can break the denial dam about the environmental crisis
    A 'sense of wonder' towards nature and the sense of place humans feel towards the land
    Ecocentrism and ecological ethics

Personal Interests

    Poetry - Haydn is a nature poet with three books of poetry published
    Bushwalking in the Greater Blue Mountains area



Featured Title
 Featured Title - Climate Change Denial: Washington - 1st Edition book cover


Sustainability - time to move past waffle and denial

Published: Jul 16, 2018

2016 Walter Westman Lecture on Sustainability, Humanity and the Environment at the University of Sydney (28 September 2016)

Denial of human dependence on nature: Time to accept reality

Published: Mar 23, 2015

Talk to the 2014 Fenner Conference on the Environment 'Addicted to Growth?' held at UNSW, Sydney Australia (see http://www.ies.unsw.edu.au/fenner-conference-environment)

How close are we to the denial dam breaking?

Published: Mar 23, 2015

Talk on 'How close are we to the denial dam breaking' to Parracan (The Parramatta Climate Action Network'

Climate change denial

Published: Mar 23, 2015

Discussion (using humour!) of the topic of climate change denial with the 'Steaming Toad' program at UNSW TV.

Interview with a scientist: Dr Haydn Washington

Published: Mar 23, 2015

Interview with Dr Haydn Washington by media students at UNSW.