Stephen Robert Kellert
{ "" }
Share Stephen's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
1943 - 2016
The world lost a shining star on November 27th, when Stephen Robert Kellert lost his courageous battle with multiple myeloma. Known as the "Godfather of Biophila," Steve was the Tweedy Ordway Professor Emeritus of Social Ecology and Senior Research Scholar at the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. His work focused on understanding the connection between nature and humanity with a particular interest in the human need for nature, environmental conservation, and sustainable design and development. Steve's accomplishments are many, as the following list of awards and publications demonstrates, but it is his wonderful sense of joy, humor, adventure in living and love of others that will be missed the most. He was genuinely interested in everyone he met. His legacy is a zest for and appreciation for life.
His awards include: the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award, Connecticut Outdoor and Environmental Educators Association; the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Service Award, Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; the 2009 George B. Hartzog Award for Environmental Conservation; the 2008 American Publishers Professional and Scholarly Best Book of Year Award in Architecture and Urban Planning for the book Biophilic Design; the 2005 Outstanding Research Award for contributions to theory and science, from the North American Association for Environmental Education; the 1997 National Conservation Achievement Award, from the National Wildlife Federation; the 1990 Distinguished Individual Achievement Award, from the Society for Conservation Biology; the 1985 Best Publication of Year Award, from the International Foundation for Environmental Conservation; and the 1983 Special Achievement Award, from the National Wildlife Federation. He served on committees of the National Academy of Sciences and was a member of the board of directors of many organizations. He authored and co-authored more than 150 publications, including Birthright: People and Nature in the Modern World; Companions in Wonder: Children and Adults Exploring Nature Together; The Coming Transformation: Values to Sustain Natural and Human Communities; Biophilic Design: The Theory, Science, and Practice of Bringing Buildings to Life; Building for Life: Designing and Understanding the Human-Nature Connection; Kinship to Mastery: Biophilia in Human Evolution and Development; The Value of Life: Biological Diversity and Human Society; The Biophilia Hypothesis; The Good in Nature and Humanity: Connecting Science, Religion, and Spirituality with the Natural World; Children and Nature: Psychological, Sociocultural, and Evolutionary Foundations; and Ecology, Economics, Ethics: The Broken Circle. He also created a documentary video, Biophilic Design: the Architecture of Life. At the time of his death he was completing a new book for the Yale University Press entitled, Nature by Design: the Art and Practice of Biophilic Design, to be published in 2018.
Steve died surrounded by his loving wife Cilla, his two daughters Emily and Libby, his son-in-law Arthur, and his four grandchildren, Ellanora, Simone, Aven and Henry.
Please honor Steve's commitment to the natural world by supporting The Wilderness Society, 1615 M Street, Washington DC 20036. A memorial service will be held in early January at Kroon Hall of Yale, the biophilic building he originally inspired.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in New York Times from Nov. 29 to Nov. 30, 2016.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by His loving wife Cilla
Not sure what to say?
View Printed Guest Book
52 entries
September 21, 2020
I had the priveledge of serving with Stephen on the AFWA Blue Ribbon Panel for the Future of Conservation and Wildlife first it was just about finding secure and ongoing funding for 12,000 at risk wildlife species in the USA....following Stephen's gentle but firm advocacy, the Panel added a 2nd goal- having state wildlife agencies become more relevant to American's in the 21st Century. As we now deal with the Covid pandemic and the social unrest from racial inequality, this relevancy goal is now even more significant. We now have over 200 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives for the Panel's legislation which is called the Recovering America's Wildlife Act....and it has a good chance of passage, if not this Congress, then the next. Thankfully, the Revelancy goal Stephen championed is now a key foundation in the state wildlife agencies that will administer these funds once RAWA is passed.
glenn olson
August 6, 2019
I am a latecomer, by at least three years, to the elite group
of folks who were privileged to know Professor Kellert. Sadly, I never met him face-to-face, but we had a brief email correspondence which started when I discovered that he had purchased a hillside farm in Washington, Vermont, formerly owned by my grandparents, Mr. & Mrs. Ernest N. Bemis. Grandpa Bemis first used the property as a retreat for the executives of the Walkover Shoe Company of Brockton, Mass. Later, starting in 1933, he ran it as a small dairy farm, continuing until 1943. That decade encompassed my birth and early childhood, and scores of trips there with my parents during those years, in all seasons, engendered in me a love of Nature that has guided my path through the last 86 years. Small wonder, then, that my favorite poet is Robert Frost!

I wish I had known Professor Kellert personally, but by happenstance, he was never in residence when I was able to visit. I am envious, even jealous, of those who have written their accounts here of how he uplifted their lives, a privilege that I will never experience. To Mrs. Kellert and family, please accept my belated but sincere condolences.

David B. Keith, Dartmouth Class of 1957
David Keith
July 16, 2017
I am so lucky to have met Stephen at the Greenbuild Conference in Los Angeles, a couple months before his passing. I studied his work, along with E.O. Wilson's and Bill Browning's (who I also met at a design conference) for my thesis project on a biophilic mental health facility. He is truly an inspiration to us all. I was star struck and starry-eyed when I met him and sat and had a chat with him in the atrium of the conference center. He modestly admitted his autograph wouldn't be that impressive, but to me it was. I will forever remember his smile as I sat with him in the atrium, daylight flooding in through the structure. It struck me to see him not doing well, but I'm so lucky to have been in his presence. I have to thank Elizabeth Freeman Calabrese for helping him while he visited the conference. We must follow his example now, and strengthen our connection to nature, so that we can become better caregivers of the earth. You're highly revered, Stephen Kellert. Although delayed, my sincerest condolences are shared with his family. It would be a pleasure to visit Kroon Hall and the biophilia chapel someday. I can't imagine how blissful it must've been to know him personally or be his student/mentee.
Rebecca Kiefer
March 21, 2017
Stephen and Priscilla Kellert moved into the house next door to the one I was growing up in New Haven, CT. They were both very kind and helpful people. A few years ago, I went back to visit New Haven with my wife Lisa. Soon after that, I was able to email Stephen Kellert. He was very gracious and responded to it and told me of his and Priscilla's future plans for living since he had retired from being a Yale professor and Priscilla was going to retire from teaching at Hopkins. Priscilla, Emily and Libby, my wife Lisa and I are very sorry for your loss and to know that a wonderful person has passed on.
Michael Cronin
February 25, 2017
I am sorry to hear of Stephen's death. He was an absolutely inspirational man and significant human being.
I was introduced to Stephen's work while studying at the University of Melbourne in Australia.
The world and buildings and cities have looked different to me ever since.
- Margaret J McCarthy (Melbourne, Australia)
February 25, 2017
I was sorry to read of my Uncle Stephen's passing. I am his sister Lorraine's oldest daughter. While Stephen chose to remove himself from this portion of his family later in his life,( much to his family"a grief) I had wonderful visits with him as a young person and young adult . I met his girls when they were young and we recently corresponded about his sister Lorraine who is still living , I followed his professional accomplishments and shared that my youngest son looks very much like him . While he chose not to be in touch his sister she still speaks of him and there is other family who is sadden by his passing as well
Fran-linda Tannenbaum
February 25, 2017
As a first cousin of Stephen, I do have fond memories when we were young with family gatherings, however, we lost regular contact more than 5 decades ago. Stephen will be missed greatly.
David Rosenfield
February 25, 2017
So sad to hear of the passing of my cousin Stephen. As a child he was like a brother to me. We grew up together and spend all of our summers together. Even as adults we had some contact. I feel bad that there was no contact lately. Rest in peace. You were like a brother to me in our younger years.
Susan Kragen
February 24, 2017
I'm Stephen's first cousin; his mother and mine were sisters. Although we haven't been in contact for half a century, I still remember "Cousin Stevie" fondly. He was a huge Brooklyn Dodgers fan during those years.

Members of our side of the family have just learned this news today (February 24) and we are quite saddened by it.
Love, Ellen Rosenfield
Ellen Rosenfield
January 20, 2017
Stay connected to nature..
I have been so fortunate to have met Stephen Kellert at an ASLA conference in Boston a few years ago. I had already been a fan - his research inspired my design work from the mid-90's onward. Stephen was gracious and interested, and I began my PhD pursuit after meeting him - his receptivity to my concept of Biophilic Design used to mitigate stress for Nurses was a refreshing confidence boost. I am very sad today.
Mary Anne M Bifulco
January 20, 2017
I just heard of the unfortunate news that Stephen Kellert has passed from this world. He was a remarkable person and I am lucky to have met with him eight years ago. After reading several of his books I reached out to him and asked for a meeting. And he agreed. So I visited him at his office at Kroon Hall for about an hour. Here I was, a feng shui consultant - really nobody that was influential or would help move his work forward in any meaningful way - yet he met with me and was truly inspiring and humble.
I am so grateful for that opportunity.

And I am grateful for his insight and courage in all that he's accomplished - his truly deep wisdom and passion for making all of our lives greater. His recognition that the world, right now, needs nature for greater balance and harmony.

Thank you, Stephen.
Maureen Calamia
January 15, 2017
Steve wandered into my office in the 1970's he was a sociologist working in public health school as I remember it. He was wildly interested in birds and the importance of wildlife for people. I said you need to be at the Forestry School (as it was called in those days) and I will fight to have you get an appointment. The faculty of that time thought that one sociologist was more than enough but I argued we need to honor the School's legacy of wildlife biology. The rest is history as they say.

He was a great pioneer of interdisciplinary work and sparked a quantitative rediscovery of the biological roots of social science. Clearly his students carried this new vision of Leopold science.

I am certain others will fill in the many academic accomplishments of Steve. Mine are more emotional. We were a mutually supportive tag team. Supporting each other in challenges to the integrity of social science in natural resource management. He was always a helpful ear when I had complaints about deans and trends in intellectual and personal life. I like to think I served a similar purpose for him.

I loved him like a brother. When I saw him at the October 2016 alum meeting we agreed there was a need to meet with the new dean and trace out some of the lagging success in keeping interdisciplinary work as a central theme of the School and the need for moving forward and how important that effort was for the intellectual image of the School.

When I heard the news of his passing I broke into tears. He was not to go before me. I was the old guy. He had so much more to offer. Bless him for remaining true to our mutual love of nature and our faith that that love should be shared and opened to others. Indeed it was the holy mission of our educational practice in the field, in the classroom and in our personal lives.

How fortunate he has been to have Cilla to support his faith in this necessary humane venture. Bless you kid.
Bill Burch
January 3, 2017
Dear Cilla...I went to Yale because of Steve...I was on my way to grad school at Princeton and Steve walked into my office in Kenya and said I'd had to go to Yale. No ifs, ands, or buts. I had a fellowship from Princeton and Steve got a match from Yale. When I got to Yale...Both of you housed me...and watched my car get stolen the first night in New Haven...and helped me recovery from knee surgery. After Yale..Steve got a call from the Dodge Foundation who was looking for a program officer to cover animals and environment program and Steve told then...I have the guy right next door across from my office..he's a veterinarian and ecologist. I got the Dodge job. Steve was also adamant that I get to know Rick Weyerhaeuser since we both crossed paths in Africa but never really knew each other and as a result, he helped create a great friendship.
From human dimensions to biophilia to wilderness values, Steve has had a lasting impact on my life and I am very sorry not to have the opportunity to share these experiences with him before his untimely passing. I guess Steve is still alive within his family, friends and impressionable students. He will be sorely missed. He will forever be admired. Sending my deepest sympathies.
Gary Tabor
December 27, 2016
To say that Steve Kellert was highly influential in our lives would be an understatement. This wonderful and gentle man profoundly changed the direction of both our lives. We first came across his work in 1980 when Terril did a phone interview with him for a small agricultural newspaper in Montana, where Steve's landmark study (one in a series), Public Attitudes Toward Critical Wildlife and Natural Habitat Issues, found its way to the editorial office. We were attracted to his work ever since, and ultimately his biophilic typology became a lifelong foundation for our own work on behalf of our less favored brethren, as Steve referred to some of our most important but unpopular forms of wildlife. Always so sweet and humble in our presence, Steve was a role model for us. Thank you, Cilla, for being so significant in his life. You are in our thoughts and our hearts. We are a part of the world that will deeply miss Steve Kellert.
Yvette Schnoeker-Shorb and Terril Shorb
December 21, 2016
Steve influenced me in so many ways, certainly in the classroom, where I always knew I would learn more in one of his courses than all my others combined that semester, but even more outside of it. I've carried collected bits of his wisdom with me throughout my life and career. He once told me that "the secret to a successful life is to make functional use of your madness." I know he did this, and I try to do the same. I feel so lucky to have had his guidance as a mentor and teacher. I will miss him greatly. All my love to Cilla and their family, who I know will miss him even more.
Matt Black
December 19, 2016
Steve was the first professor I met from FES, even before I became a student. As I sat in his basement office in Sage Hall, he enticed me with encouragement about my interests and the idea that I could pursue them freely at Yale. Once I was enrolled in the Masters Program a year later, he continued to be supportive and encouraging and was equally so when I was launched on my career. Steve shaped the way many of my classmates (now colleagues, 20+ years out of graduate school) think about the human factor in conservation. His contributions to the field are unique and will have a lasting impact on our approaches to solving conservation challenges. My best wishes and condolences to Cilla and the family.
Margaret Williams
December 19, 2016
I am admirer of Stephen Kellert. Great man, He will be missed.
deba Han
December 15, 2016
Cilla--I am so saddened by your loss. What a remarkable man Steve was, and what a brilliant legacy he left behind. Thinking of you. . .
Marcia Southwick
December 10, 2016
I always knew that my brother-in-law Steve was an intellectual giant in a field that I admit I know not much about, but I always admired him for his efforts to make our world and environment a healthier and safer place to live. I also had to honor of knowing Steve on a very personal level as he was married for 35 wonderful years to my fantastic sister Cilla. I admired their union over those years, two people obviously very much alike in tastes and interests and just about every other thing imaginable. I used to love visiting them in New Haven and the Vineyard just to hang out with their affectionate pets. One morning several years back I woke up in their New Haven guest room, and suddenly the door opened and in walked their two dogs Mario and Paschall just to say hi to me. What a great moment.

On the Vineyard Steve would sometimes walk by my parents home next door early in the morning, and with his dogs Willie and Sammie we would embark on a walk into the West Chop Woods, a Vineyard sanctuary set aside by the former owner for little if any construction and an observation post of nature's best and most contemplative areas. Steve and I would talk about many subjects, usually the local gossip but also about many things that I found stimulating and memorable.

Steve loved his work and his life, and I only regret that he did not live long enough to enjoy a comfortable retirement with Cilla. But if he can hear my thoughts, and I think he can, I would like to thank him for providing my sister Cilla with 35 years of a wonderful life together as a husband of pride, endearment, and humbility. There are not many men that I will miss as much as my wonderful brother-in-law and friend Steve Kellert. God speed.
Maclin Whiteman
December 9, 2016
On behalf of all my collegues in Montreal's Space for life, I wish to express my deepest condolences to Mr Kellert's family. I was deeply saddened by the news of Stephen's passing. He was a tremendous inspiration to us all and his work will continue to have a profound influence on the way we think about nature, in our organization and beyond.
Charles-Mathieu Brunelle
December 9, 2016
In remembrance of Stephen R. Kellert
Dear Cilla, on behalf of the Sky Factory, I would like to pay our respects. Stephen's eloquent scholarship on Biophilic Design is the foundation on which our own research rests. We share with him a deep love and reverence of nature as the indelible touchstone of our own humanity. We will miss him dearly as the mentor he was to an entire generation of researchers, architects, and design professionals, as well as the humane and loving person that he was. With deepest sympathies and heartfelt gratitude, from our family to yours.
David Navarrete
December 5, 2016
I just learned with regrets the immense lost of Stephen Kellert. Dr Kellert has always been an inspiration to me since so many years, and to our museums, Espace pour la vie, in Montréal. Biophilia is now currently in our eduactional approaches and new architecture goals, because of him. Rest in peace and thank you so much Steve. Anne Charpentier, Director, Insectarium, a Montréal Space for Life.
Anne Charpentier
December 4, 2016
Professor Kellert's lectures and casual conversations with students were highlights of my time at Yale. I went on to work with Native Americans with similar deep connections to Nature. Dr. Kellert truly changed the world and he will be missed.
Mary Verner
December 2, 2016
Steve Kellert inspired me to pursue a career in the environmental profession. He was always optimistic and gave us great tools to help preserve the natural world. The world is lesser for his loss.

I'll miss you professor. I haven't given up the fight to save nature.
Ugur Parlar
December 2, 2016
I am so sorry for your loss. Steve was a tremendous inspiration. I met him only once, in the spring of 2012. I was visiting New Haven and he agreed to meet at his house. We had a lovely conversation, but he was distracted by the first year's sightings of yellow-rumped warblers. He kept leaping out of his chair with binoculars to catch another glimpse. When he apologized, I refused to acceptAre you kidding, I said, what better way to know Stephen R. Kellert than to share in the delight of nature in that moment in his own back yard? It was the best visit I could have asked for and a memory I will always treasure.
Naomi Sachs
December 2, 2016
Dear Cilla words cannot express our shock in learning of Steve's passing. I hope to see you soon and share a heartfelt hug for the loss we will all feel. Please share with your family the real admiration we and others in the design fields have had for Steve's dedication and teachings on a subject he defined for us all. Much love during this tender time, Roz and Ron and our entire Italian team of believers.
Rosalyn Cama
November 30, 2016
I have always carried with me the day, my first year at FES, Steve passed me in the hall and said, "GREAT PAPER!" I had taken a risk, I had been myself, and he loved it. So began a long journey, that is now my life. Steve's thinking has influence me in so many ways, through my masters and doctorate, and on to the rest of my academic life. Sometimes I hear him reflecting on what it means to be a teacher, how we almost never know the true impacts we have. Sometimes I hear him reflecting on how hard it is to be a pioneer. Sometimes I just remember the warm light in his 301 office and feeling so happy to be able to do what I was doing. Sometimes it is just walking my dog amongst the birds in the woods, delights in the simple pleasures of nature. These were gifts he gave to me. And his gifts to the world were many more. I am thinking of you Cilla, and your family, and wishing you all peace, as I hope Steve also had in his passing. All my best -
Tori Derr
November 30, 2016
Steve was integral to Envirommental design on Block Island for the Ocean View Foundation- his students were charged by his enthusiasm and creative thinking. He will be sorely missed. Deep condolences to his family.
Josie Merck
November 30, 2016
I did not know Dr. Kellert personally, but history will show that his work had a profound influence on the way we think about nature and its role in our lives. Sincere condolences to his family, and appreciation for the love that undoubtedly allowed him to flourish.
Betsy Townsend
November 30, 2016
I am so sorry to hear of his passing. I remember his classes fondly.
Amy Dumas
November 30, 2016
My condolences to the family members and friends of Stephen Kellert. Coping with the loss of loved one can be extremely difficult but by reflecting on the times spent together, can help bring some comfort.

New York, NY
November 30, 2016
Deepest sympathies for Steve's family. An outstanding scholar and mentor.
Quint Newcomer
November 30, 2016
This is a great loss to the environmental community. Steve was a unique and extraordinary scholar, a mentor to countless individuals (myself included). We are so grateful for his powerful insights and sorry not to have him in our ranks as we continue to promote these values.
Hillary Brown
November 30, 2016
It was my great pleasure to meet Steve at our April BioPhilly event in Philadelphia. He has been and always will be one of my greatest inspirations. His profoundly important and beautiful work will continue through the ongoing work of many of us, who for years have felt the call to action, and who know that, 'we will only conserve what we dearly love'.
Helena van Vliet
November 30, 2016
Steve Kellert and Mark Damian Duda in the northern Quebec wilderness. Steve was happiest when enjoying nature with family and friends.
Steve was my advisor at Yale F&ES, mentor of 35 years, good friend, business colleague and hunting and fishing partner. In the coming days and weeks, publications around the world will eulogize Steve and detail his many professional accomplishments, which include numerous books, extensive research papers, dozens of prestigious awards, and a teaching career spanning decades. Historically there will be no doubt of his immense accomplishments: certainly he was a man who reached the very pinnacle of academic and professional success.

But for those of us who knew Steve and spent time with him, what we will remember most is the deep and personal interest he took in his students; how he not only cared deeply and passionately about the environment, but also about humankind. In fact, very few people stood at the interface of humankind and the natural world like Steve did. He was a pioneer in academic study on how people relate
to wildlife and the natural world. He was a pioneer in the concept of biophilia, the idea that, beyond just providing humankind with material goods, nature helps ensure humankind's social and psychological well-being. As Steve wrote, "We will never be truly healthy, satisfied, or fulfilled if we live apart and alienated from the environment from which we evolved." In another passage Steve noted: "We may construct and create our world through learning and the exercise of free will, but to be successful, we must remain true to our biology, which is rooted in nature....If we stray
too far from our inherited dependence on the natural world, we do so at our own peril." I have no doubt that just as conservationists over the past century have quoted Leopold, Roosevelt, Muir, and Thoreau, we will soon be ensuring Steve's place in their company as we quote his words and refer to his wisdom and advice.

From a personal perspective, Steve was directly responsible for my own career: he assisted me in the development of my company by helping me through the seemingly impossible early times of a start-up, and he continued to provide guidance throughout the days when we wondered how we would get all of the work done. And even though he was working on multiple projects 24/7, he would find the time to answer every text, call, and email, always within a couple of hours.

Steve, I will miss you and I thank you for all you have done for me. My professional career is the direct result of your influence, mentoring, friendship, and patience. I consider myself incredibly blessed that the interest you took in me as a young student didn't end when I graduated but instead continued for 35 years, literally up to the week before your passing. The amazing part? I know there are hundreds of other people around the world who have had similar profound and deep experiences with you and who continue to experience the benefits of your wisdom and helping hand. Thanks for everything you have done for so many people and this beautiful planet of ours.
Mark Damian Duda
November 29, 2016
Like so many students before and after me, Steve changed my life. He helped focus my passion for wildlife and set me on a course that has become a 30 year career. I think of him often and in fact referred to him and his work in a meeting today before learning of his passing. I am grateful for the opportunity to have had lunch with him last month at reunion weekend. He was a true friend and inspiration to me. I will miss him greatly and will think fondly of him always. My prayers are with you, Cilla, and your family.
Gregg Renkes
November 29, 2016
As an MFS student (1986-1988) I learned a lot from Steve Kellert, and now as a prof myself I mention him or the things he taught me regularly, in my classes. I'm so sorry to hear that he is gone, its way too soon.
Eric Olson
November 29, 2016
My deepest condolence to his family. May the love of bring you great comfort, mathew 5:4
November 29, 2016
Steve was a gifted writer, a dedicated educator and mentor, and we were privileged to have studied under him at Yale Forestry many years ago. Rob Ramey and I send our deepest sympathy to the Kellert family at this time of loss.
Laura Brown
November 29, 2016
Steve changed and enlarged our thinking again and again: about our relationship with other animals,with the whole community of life, children and nature, families in nature, design, cities, green business--how all aspects of our lives could be brought in harmony with the greater life. I expect that he left us confident in this harmony. I sadly regret that we won't have future conversations, but he left his influence and I believe that will continue to grow.
Louise Chawla
November 29, 2016
Steve was my favorite professor at Yale and biophilia was the one area that truly resonated with me. He was a gentle, kind and thoughtful teacher and friend. Thank you Steve.
Terry Miller
November 29, 2016
I read Dr. Kellert's work on conservation when I was in college; in fact, his were some of the first academic papers I ever read. I went to grad school at Yale so I could work with him. He understood that I could be deeply interested in science and yet choose to focus on education and communication in my career, and he supported that decision.

I think something shifts inside of you when a mentor dies. It's a signal that it's time to stand up and take responsibility, to continue the journey of those who paved the way. I hope that my classmates and I can do justice to the legacy of those who went before us.
Mary Ford
November 29, 2016
Cilla, I was so saddened to hear of Steve's passing. I have such fond memories of Steve and dog-sitting and babysitting your girls during my graduate school years. He was a pivotal mentor for me (and so many other students) at a critical time in my life, and I will forever be grateful for his enabling gifts. His contribution to the environmental world was truly significant and will continue to be as his ideas are passed from generation to generation. Warmest wishes and my deepest sympathy to you and your family.
Renée Askins
November 29, 2016
Dear Cilla, it was with profound sadness that I read of the loss of your husband Steve. I am glad to know you had many years with him, and that he passed with you there. I would love to connect with you, and would also like to donate something to F&ES in his name if that pleases you. Love to you & family.....Thea Weiss Hayes
Thea Weiss Hayes
November 29, 2016
Stephen Kellert was one of my advisors back in 1993 at the Yale School of Forestry. He helped shape my career to the present day. My condolences to his family. He will not be forgotten.

Ilana Schoenfeld
November 29, 2016
To the Kellert Family: My heartfelt sympathies go out to the family and friends during this difficult time. I hope that the promise in 1 Thessalonians 4:14 can bring comfort. Knowing that there's a hope for the ones we have lost in death can be so reassuring.
November 29, 2016
When I think of the magic of Steve Kellert, I think of snow and sequoia in Yosemite. One January we all met up there as planned for a few days--Steve & Cilla and Linda & me, all with cross-country skis. Driving to the valley through deep snow had been dramatic; some cars had slipped gently off the road at steep angles. Entering the narrow gates of the valley, which suddenly opened wide to splendor, felt precious and felt like talking with Steve--the world instantly seemed wider and wiser and often wilder than before. Half Dome looked freshly sheared. We took our skis to the top of the trail that goes downhill to the giant sequoias of Tuolumne Grove. The snow was untracked. Almost instantly among big trees, gliding, we sung praises of giant sequoia grandeur. How epic they were, we thought. We got happily biophilic, warmly affiliated, for quite a while, with those ponderosa pines--which is all they were (mighty good, but still). Then we turned a bend. I'm sure Steve was in the lead, taking us in that new direction. Suddenly those ponderosas seemed matchsticks. Real big trees loomed and lay around us--big and red against the snow, real sequoia. Even lying on their sides, fallen ones had more breadth (we should have known) than we had height. I'm not sure how to say this now, but Steve had too. He reached so expansively in his thinking and work; and he was always reaching for the sky. He made so many of us think anew about how we view the natural world: Is our view dominionistic? Is it moralistic and utilitarian and humanistic, and what else? Pushing us to think, he helped us affiliate (that biophilic word) so strongly, including with him and what he valued. He deepened friends and friendships. (A disclosure: long ago, when we had already been friends for years, Steve & Cilla convinced Linda & me to buy the house next to theirs in New Haven.) Oh, gosh: so many of us will be wishing, in days ahead, that again we could be following a path with Steve, could be turning another bend, could see the world suddenly magnify and go grand--as, thanks to Steve, it so often did. So very many thanks to Steve, and to Cilla, and to the wide world they've opened so wide, and so near and so far, for so many.
Fred Strebeigh
November 29, 2016
Steve was a grace-filled presence to generations of students, now leaders, who came through Yale F&ES to cherish the natural world--and from that cherishing pursued management, scientific study, and care-taking of that world. His biophilic inpsiration is ever with us.

Sweet memories and condolences to Cilla and his children with his passing...
Kathleen Schomaker
November 29, 2016
Steve was a principal professor of mine during my two years as an M.F.S. student at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (1981-83), and a colleague during my time working in the Dean's office a few years later. His courses at Yale Forestry represented a high point in my academic work. He was a wonderful mentor to many of my classmates, a fine advisor, an excellent trip leader (particularly the 1982 South Florida trip). His writings about the human biological dependency on and inherent love of nature were and are groundbreaking, inspirational. I will miss seeing Steve in East Rock Park, a site much loved by many of us, where humanity and nature blend together in multiple ways. Thank you, Steve.
Steve Broker
November 29, 2016
My heart and sympathy are with Cilla and the family. It was truly an honor to know Steve.
Linda Malcouronne
November 29, 2016
Steve, you will be missed. As a friend and mentor through my graduate school degrees at Yale and since that time, you always provided the wisdom I craved and friendship I loved. It is hard to believe you gone, but your legacy will survive forever.
Rich Reading
November 29, 2016
Dear Cilla and family, I was crestfallen at learning the news of Steve's passing. I know he fought hard to stay with us all and continue to teach us the joys he found in the natural world. He will always be one of the most instrumental teachers in my life, and I will redouble efforts to make our world a better and more secure place for all creatures great and small. I send hugs and my deepest condolences for your loss. His battle is over and strife is done. Go gently into the night faithful warrior for Nature! Sincerely, Star
Starling Childs
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences