"Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly
simple." — Bill Mollison, Co-Founder of Permaculture
Studying Permaculture Design at Naropa
Within the BA Environmental Studies program at Naropa University, students have the
option to study permaculture design in-depth. Permaculture is an ecological design
field for the development of sustainable and regenerative human communities. We learn
how to design integrated ecosystems for food production, housing, economics, and wildland
preservation. The permaculture courses are based in a foundation of design, where
we focus on how to create systems that are not only less damaging to the planet, but
also surprisingly beneficial. A fundamental question that we ask in this program is:
how can we create a human civilization that actually improves the health of the planet,
local ecosystems, and human culture?
Introduction to Permaculture is offered in the Spring and Summer semesters, and Permaculture Design is offered in the Fall. Students who complete and excel in these two courses can receive a Permaculture Design Course Certificate, which is issued by the instructor, Jason Gerhardt, and originates from Permaculture Institute USA.
Students can also minor in Permaculture with the completion of the two permaculture
courses, in addition to the completion of Ecology and Systems Science, and Physical
Naropa University grounds are host to a number of ecological design projects. Each year, students completing the permaculture courses take on design projects around campus. Projects have ranged from initiating development of a food forest on one of the front lawns, to a redesign of student housing and grounds, to the design and construction of the William D. Jones Community Greenhouse.