Douglas Vakoch, PhD, received his PhD in Clinical Psychology with a Quantitative Concentration from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His earlier training was in comparative religion with an emphasis on Buddhism (BA, Carleton College) and in the history and philosophy of science (MA, University of Notre Dame). Dr. Vakoch is a licensed psychologist in the state of California, and his psychological research and clinical interests include topics in psychotherapy, ecopsychology, and methodologies of psychological research.
Dr. Vakoch has published widely in scholarly books and journals in psychology, anthropology, space sciences, and the relationship between the arts and sciences. He serves as General Editor of the book series Ecofeminist Theory and Practice, published by Berghahn Books, and he is a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Ecopsychology.
In addition to his position at CIIS, Dr. Vakoch is also the Director of Interstellar Message Composition at the SETI Institute, a nonprofit organization in Silicon Valley that conducts research and educational programs in astrobiology and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI).
Through the SETI Institute, Dr. Vakoch coordinates an international network of scholars in the natural sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities as they contemplate how we might communicate something about the human condition to civilizations that may exist around distant stars.
As a spokesperson on the cultural aspects of the SETI, he has been interviewed on radio and television shows on the BBC, NPR, ABC, The Learning Channel, The Discovery Channel, and many others. His work in SETI been featured in newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times, Nature, Science, New Scientist, and Der Spiegel.